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Industry Talk

International visitor numbers double at Intertextile Apparel

Welcoming nearly 90,000 visitors from 116 countries and regions, international visitor numbers rose by 99% at this year’s show.

26th March 2024

Knitting Industry
 |  Shanghai

Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear

After three days of facilitating cross-border business across the show floor, fringe events, and various Spring / Summer 2025 fashion forums, the Intertextile Apparel Shanghai closed doors on 8 March.

Following the government’s easing of visa requirements, the over 3000-supplier showcase saw a 22.9% increase in international exhibitors compared to the previous Spring Edition. Welcoming nearly 90,000 visitors from 116 countries and regions, international visitor numbers rose by 99% at this year’s show, with a higher than usual 87% returning on Days 2 and 3 signifying considerable sourcing intent.

Across 190,000 square metres and seven halls of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), domestic buyer demand for various Chinese and globally produced textiles was also high, particularly in categories with luxury, sustainable, and functional elements.

Just before the fair’s close, Ms Wilmet Shea, General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, commented: “From raw materials to finished garments, apparel textiles is one of the world’s most interconnected industries, and this Spring Edition’s strong showing of exhibitors and buyers has reiterated the importance of Intertextile Apparel to the global market.”

“With multiple opportunities for insight and innovation exchange, domestic and international visitors were able to stay on-trend for Spring / Summer 2025. The exceptional return rate of overseas buyers across the three days bodes well for the global market and speaks to the multitude of sourcing options at our comprehensive platform. After the high attendance and positive feedback for this show, we have already set our sights on Intertextile Apparel’s 30th anniversary edition this autumn, which is sure to be unmissable.”

Joining the Spring Edition’s strong flow of domestic buyers, the top five visiting countries and regions were Korea, Hong Kong, India, Russia, and Japan. In addition, the fair welcomed over 100 buyers from delegations representing industry associations of Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, and Vietnam. Pavilions and zones from France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey were well received, as were group pavilions from Korea Textile Center, Lenzing, and OEKO-TEX.

Meanwhile, suppliers from new exhibiting countries showcased varying products, including Ethiopia’s Arbaminch Textile Share Company, with sustainable natural and synthetic fabrics; Peru’s Topy Top SA and its 100% cotton knitted garments; and Spain’s Monday&Co, displaying pattern designs for fashion and interiors. From across the textile spectrum, many of the show’s exhibitors lauded the renewed ease of doing business and the prevailing strength of the domestic market.

Exhibitor feedback

“We are an Italian company which specialises in producing cashmere and cashmere blends. We have brought our winter collection, and our S/S 25 collection for both men and women. The first day of the fair, we had many important customers placing orders. It seems we are back to the fairs of 2016 – 2018, where it was really profitable. It’s a good sign for the Chinese luxury market – in the last year, domestic menswear brands have improved, and for womenswear, we are doing very well with online brands, many of which came to our booth to see our products,” said Mr Andrea Rossi, Sales Manager, Lanificio Luigi Colombo S.p.A (Italy Pavilion).

© Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd

“Our main products are cotton and linen, and we’ve added some functional fabrics such as nylon and polyester. We also do sustainable fabrics, including organic, and recycled nylon, which are more in-demand from domestic buyers at this edition. The Japan Pavilion is really helpful, we can harness its reputation, and let more people see what Shibaya does. We’re using a new WeChat sample ordering system, and we’ve received even more customer details; it’s been a very good exhibition,” added Mr Chen Yu Jyun, Sales Section, Shibaya (Japan Pavilion).

“We need sustainability along the whole supply chain, and that’s what MADE IN GREEN stands for. It’s our cornerstone for end consumers, growing 73% last year. Consumers are making decisions, pushing regulations, and pushing brands and retailers to initiate change. China’s visa-free initiative is really important for international trade, and I feel like we are back to the Intertextile Apparel of pre-covid times. The engagement is interesting, innovative, and we see a bright future for China and for sustainability,” said Ms Linda Wegelin, Chief Commercial Officer, Testex AG, Switzerland (OEKO-TEX Pavilion).

Since November’s offering of visa-free travel to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, the Chinese government has since added Ireland, Switzerland, Singapore, and Thailand to the list. With strong exhibitor representation across multiple categories, from functional and sustainable to suiting and shirting, domestic and international visitors were pleased with the options available.

Buyer comments

“The global market is growing, so we chose Intertextile Apparel, the world’s most well-known industry event, as our sourcing platform this year. The scale is huge, and with Yarn Expo and Intertextile Home Textiles, it covers most of the industry’s upstream and downstream categories. We came to purchase anti-fouling and eco-friendly chemical fibre fabrics. I found several interesting suppliers in the Trend Forum and visited them in the Taiwan and Japan Pavilions, and should place orders after the meeting,” commented Mr Hong Sajun, Purchasing Manager of YoungHW Textile Trading Co Ltd, Korea.

“Sourcing in China makes sense logistically, it's best to maximise our margins, with many opportunities that we have yet to explore. At this fair, I’ve seen many useful fabrics for the brand, that will inspire the design team, with realistic commercial applications. It’s really important for global and domestic industries to be together, because that’s the nature of design, it’s very collaborative and being isolated in your own bubble doesn’t help anybody. It’s great to see a different culture’s take on a motif, new technology, or new innovation,” said Ms Rebecca Sales, Senior Fabric Design & Development Manager, Jonathan Simkai Inc, USA.

Encompassing the themes Design & Trend, Market Information & Business Strategies, Sustainability Issues, and Technology & Solutions, this edition’s fringe programme covered 35 seminars, themed forums, and product presentations, supplementing the business conducted on the show floor.

Fringe participants insights

“My presentation was about our Open Lab. HKRITA is a research institute, and we believe that R&D cannot just be kept in the laboratory. We want to have multiple parties talk about how to solve the environmental problem. I think it was really wonderful, we've got parties from the government, brands, and also fabric makers with different angles to talk about sustainability, which is ultimately a topic for everybody. There is real interest in sustainable topics, and we've had a good turnout,” said Ms Clara Tse, Senior Manager, Research Product Design, HKRITA, Hong Kong.

As the apparel fair is held concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Spring Edition, Yarn Expo Spring, CHIC and PH Value, the entire textile value chain can be found under one roof, providing an extended platform for business networking opportunities.

The fair is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre. For more details on this fair, please visit: To find out more about all Messe Frankfurt textile fairs worldwide, please visit:

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition was held from 6 – 8 March 2024.

Other upcoming shows

- Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics / Yarn Expo Shenzhen - 5 – 7 June 2024, Shenzhen (Futian)

- Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition / Yarn Expo Autumn - 27 – 29 August 2024, Shanghai

- Vietnam International Trade Fair for Apparel, Textiles and Textile Technologies - 26 – 28 February 2025, Ho Chi Minh City

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