Last week, Frankfurt's fair grounds hosted both Techtextil and Texprocess, the trade fairs for technical textiles and the latest processing technologies that closed doors with some impressive numbers: 1,789 exhibitors, and over 47,500 visitors (an increase of around 14 percent compared to the previous edition; 2015: 41,826) from 114 countries.
A satisfactory balance for Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt: “We are delighted that so many visitors came to Techtextil and Texprocess, anyone who was not here over the last four days has really missed experiencing the dynamic nature of the textile industry.”
Entering the exhibition halls of Techtextil, the main topics were smart and functional textiles and digitalization: Warming or cooling fashion, garments with integrated LEDs, water-resistant, fireproof and dirt-repellent fibers to name only few.
Optimization of processes were the main topics of Texprocess with dimensions ranging from scanning the body size of tomorrow’s apparel customer via IT-aided fashion design, automatic cutting, ever faster sewing and joining as well as embroidering innumerable parts simultaneously.
Elgar Straub, managing director, VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies, saw individualization as a main topic and a trend which runs like a golden thread through both trade fairs. “Everybody wants individuality today. No matter if it is food, clothing, cars – and this is only possible with technology. We are undergoing an enormous change in the industry. To combine mass production with individual processes, this is the future and Techtextil and Texprocess are exactly showing what industry 4.0 can look like.”
Here, we sum up our main highlights from both fairs:
The space-travel oriented exhibition, ‘Living in Space’ that was opened by ESA astronaut Dr. Reinhold Ewald and featured a virtual-reality journey to Mars, materials for use in space and a ‘Space Habitat’ designed by star architect Ben van Berkel. In his speech, taking place at the kick-off press conference one day prior to the show, guest of honor Ewald emphasized the importance of textile materials for space travels and the innovation in that field: “It’s not only the space suit that is made of textile materials but also tiny things in the space shuttle like wire insulations or filters – inventions that are made especially for space travel can also be useful for people who work at the fire department.”
In the context of the ‘Textile Structures for New Building’ competition, an international jury of renowned civil engineers and architects gave away eight awards in various categories. With this competition, Techtextil honours the ideas of students and young professionals on building with textiles and textile-reinforced materials. The winner projects showed air-inflated halls, tents for refugees, concrete textile and smart façade elements.
The ‘Innovative Apparel Show’ presented high-tech textiles live on the catwalk several times throughout the fair.
The ‘Digital Textile Micro Factory’ showed the entire chain of digital production from design, digital printing and automated cutting to serial manufacturing integrated into the workflow.
The Texprocess Innovation Awards were presented during the official opening ceremony of Texprocess 2017. Altogether, the expert jury awarded four products. The winners include a new technology for dyeing yarns and a digitalized sewing machine that is set up via a touchscreen or an app.
The next Techtextil and Texprocess will be held in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 17 May, 2019.