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Heimtextil ends with an increase in exhibitors, and sets new standards for a sustainable and AI-driven textile industry

Frankfurt am Main, 12 January 2024. New contacts with decision-makers, global business opportunities and worldwide streams of visitors: Heimtextil 2024 ended with 46,000 visitors[1] from around 130 nations and 2,838 exhibitors from 60 nations with 25 per cent growth. With a plus in visitors, the show overcame difficult travel conditions due to nationwide rail strikes and regional demonstrations. The response from international buyers to the quality and variety of the new Carpets & Rugs product segment was overwhelming. In numerous talks, tours and workshops, Heimtextil as well focused on two of the most important key topics of the coming decades: sustainable production and action as well as artificial intelligence. At the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles, transformations could be experienced more intensively than ever before.

With intercontinental strength, Heimtextil 2024 laid the foundation for a record year for Messe Frankfurt. 46,000 buyers from around 130 nations took the opportunity to participate in the global textile market – from upholstery and decorative fabrics, bed and bathroom textiles, mattresses, functional textiles and carpets to wallpapers, outdoor fabrics, artificial leather, curtains, fibres, yarns, sleeping systems and decorative cushions. Despite nationwide rail strikes, this edition recorded a plus in visitor numbers and, with 2,838 exhibitors from 60 nations, a 25 per cent increase in exhibitor numbers compared to the previous year’s event: “Heimtextil ends with overwhelming participation. The increase in space, exhibitors and visitors in 2024 makes the following clear: the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles remains on course for growth – and sets new standards for a sustainable and AI-driven textile industry”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

Outstanding intercontinentality: participation grows nationally and internationally

Heimtextil achieved an increase in the level of internationality on the exhibitor side to 95 per cent. The top ten exhibiting countries were China, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and the Netherlands. There was an increase in the exhibitor numbers from Belgium, Bulgaria, China, India, Japan, Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the USA and Egypt. On the visitor side, more visitors came from China, Germany, India, Japan, Croatia, Macedonia, Pakistan, Slovakia and Cyprus. The number of German trade visitors increased by around ten per cent.

Significant increase in satisfaction and visitor quality

In 2024, visitor satisfaction rose to an average of 93 per cent both nationally and internationally – particularly with the breadth and depth of the offering. Among German trade visitors, overall satisfaction rose by seven percentage points to 88 per cent. Over 90 per cent of all visitors achieved their trade fair goals. Exhibitors were also impressed by the increased visitor quality and buying competence: the proportion of top decision-makers among buyers rose by six percentage points to 78 per cent. Around 80 per cent of exhibitors achieved their trade fair goals.

Brilliant start for new Carpets & Rugs product segment

The launch of the new Carpets & Rugs segment was a complete success. For the first time, the global carpet industry presented together in one hall, including numerous international market leaders who exhibited in Frankfurt for the first time or after a long time – with overwhelming satisfaction:

“For our debut here in Frankfurt, we deliberately presented our entire collection, which turned out to be the right strategy. The stand was well attended throughout and we made many new global contacts – from Europe to overseas, from Asia to Scandinavia,” says Katrien Vandenbroucke, CEO of Ragolle Rugs, one of Belgium’s leading brands.

“We came back because we saw potential in the new concept. And I have to say, we were more than pleasantly surprised,” summarises Raghav Gupta, Director of E-Commerce at the Indian company The Rug Republic, which stands for high-quality handmade rugs.

The wish for a new joint appearance came from the industry – and Frankfurt was convincing. Exhibitors such as the Egyptian Oriental Weavers Group are looking to the future:

“We are completely convinced by the new concept. The hall has turned out beautifully from the very start, a perfect platform for our industry. Now it’s time to take it forward together. In any case, we already know that we will be at Carpets & Rugs in 2025 – and with a significantly larger stand,” says Ahmed El Gamal, Export Sales Manager of OWG subsidiary Mac Carpet.

From AI in textile product design to scalable sustainable solutions

Never before have transformations such as artificial intelligence and sustainability been so intensively at the center of Heimtextil and presented effective levers for a future-oriented approach to key technology. For the first time in 2024, the trade fair provided fascinating insights into the textile application of artificial intelligence and the use of AI-controlled sorting to refine recycled textile waste into new yarns. In the trend space, visitors’ textile design ideas were also brought to life at interactive stations using tools such as ChatGPT-4 and Midjourney.

In addition, Heimtextil once again made state-of-the-art sustainable production and action tangible. One of the main points of contact were the Heimtextil Trends with New Sensitivity: the concept focused on the ongoing transformation of the textile industry and presented numerous market-ready and scalable solutions. One example was the company Ever Dye, whose self-developed color pigments enable dyeing at room temperature. Variant 3D, on the other hand, offers AI-driven knitting software that can be used to produce even complex shapes such as lampshades without creating patterns. The Econogy program offered further central content formats, with Finder, Talks, Tours and the Econogy Hub demonstrating all the versatility of circular approaches, the relevance of certificates and possible applications for textile materials. The exhibitors listed in the Finder contributed to the holistic experience of sustainability:

„We have met many customers and are very happy with Heimtextil 2024. Almost all of our important business partners are here. Sustainability is a topic that is noticeably changing. People used to talk about recycling, but today it is being taken up as a holistic approach that extends from renewable energies deep into the processes to the raw materials and processing methods“, said Mevlut Baydar, Chief Sales Officer (CSO), Vanelli Tekstil San.

“At Heimtextil 2024, we were able to present our new collections in an eye-catching way as part of the DecoTeam. Sustainability plays an important role for the Alfred Apelt GmbH. We are delighted that we were listed in the Econogy Finder at Heimtextil as a supplier of sustainable products,” said Sebastian Ihling, Sales Manager and Business Development at Alfred Apelt GmbH.

Strong response to textile range of bed, bathroom and sleep systems

From bedding, bed linen and bathroom textiles to mattresses and sleep systems – the broad Smart Bedding range for all forms of retail as well as the brands and private label excellence in the Bed & Bath segment met with a strong response:

„We are very satisfied and happy to be back at Heimtextil with the Herbert Neumeyer Group. Our concept of the three-sided open stand as a communicative concept has paid off. The exchange with our national and international customers is very important to us. We absolutely achieved this goal at Heimtextil and did so in a pleasant, informal, feel-good atmosphere on our stand. This enabled us to establish ourselves as a permanent focal point in the hall“, said Markus Ertel, Managing Director, Heinrich Häussling GmbH & Co.

„In a nutshell: Heimtextil has always been the guarantee of international strength and the global market for us“, said Roeland Smits, Managing Director, Essenza Home.

„We travelled here with many confirmed customer appointments and were also able to make new contacts. We were very pleasantly surprised by the numerous hospitality buyers who showed great interest in our high quality products and manufacturing processes – Heimtextil gave us access to the right markets“, said Tânia Lima, Marketing Manager, Lameirinho – Indústria Têxtil.

In 2024, the focus was once again on high-quality knowledge for the bed retail and hotel industry: international experts shared best practices, e.g. on the design of bedrooms and hotel rooms or the use of artificial intelligence in sleep analysis.

Asian Selection & Excellence: impressive range of high-quality large volumes

In the Asian Excellence & Selection halls, trade buyers of medium and large volumes found export-experienced partners and a unique range of high-quality manufactured textiles. The suppliers were very satisfied with the quality of the visitors and were able to open up new markets and contacts:

“We have been taking part in Heimtextil for 16 years and are very satisfied. The quality of visitors has increased again this year. We were able to do more order business. Our strongest markets are the UK, USA and Europe,” said Nishant Kumar Singh, Export Sales Manager, GM Syntex.

“What is noticeable this year is that, in addition to Europe and the USA, more visitors from the Middle East are here. We see great potential for our products here and believe that this market could become very relevant in the future,” says Muzzammil Kasumbi, Senior General Manager, Al-Karam Textile Mills.

International, innovative and sustainable: the offering for the contract business

The Interior.Architecture.Hospitality programme at Heimtextil was more extensive and international than ever and brought architects and hospitality experts together with suppliers for the contract business. Whether focusing on health and care, outdoor, new work or sustainability – international manufacturers presented their functional innovations for a wide range of applications.

“Heimtextil 2024 was a successful start to the new business year for us. The Trevira CS brand was able to present itself to an international audience together with 17 top customers on a large joint stand. The sustainability topics such as fibres, yarns and fabrics obtained in various recycling processes, including chemical recycling, met with great visitor interest,” explained Anke Vollenbröker, Director Marketing & Business Development Trevira CS at Indorama Ventures Fibres Germany.

In the LIBRARY, visitors were inspired by selected functional textiles. Highlights included a flame-retardant wallpaper, dirt-repellent upholstery fabric and light-resistant leather. The contract range was complemented by the Fibres & Yarns area for decorative and upholstery fabrics. In 2024, the preliminary stage was larger than before.

Outlook for 2025: partnership with Studio Urquiola announced

For 2025, Heimtextil is announcing a partnership with one of the most important and influential international design studios: Studio Urquiola. A pioneering installation is planned for the upcoming Heimtextil 2025, which will enable an immersive and unique design experience. With this collaboration, the Milan-based design studio and the leading trade fair for home and contract textiles are emphasizing their joint commitment to innovation, sustainability and design in the entire textile industry.

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