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BITA Fabric Roadshow

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  • BITA Fabric Roadshow

    As I don't suppose many went, thought I'd let you all know what the BITA fabric roadshow was like. I went on Mon 21 Apr to the one in Camberley. It was a small event with only about 14 companies exhibiting - these included Tru Textiles (the quality end of the same co as Richard Barrie, RB Studio & Curtain Express), Wilman Interiors, Lloyds Furnishing Co/Simpson Interiors, Prestidgous Textiles, Bill Beaumont Textiles, Hardy Furnishing Fabrics/Montgomery, Alhambra, May-Lean & Co Ltd, Rufflette and Speedy Products. Globaltex and Voyage were on the marketing info but don't recall seeing them there.

    All the companies there had their entire fabric range with them which was wonderful - lots to look at. But one thing I noticed was that, on the whole, there doesn't seem to be a lot to chose between a number of the fabric co's - they all have a range of plains, silks, etc & they all have a range of big bold patterns in big bold colours. As I progressed through the show, I started to feel I'd seen it all before. So I guess it comes down to quality & price.

    There were very few visitors (half a dozen at most!) which the exhibitors naturally weren't very happy about & I believe some have pulled out of the remaining shows which is a shame. But for me it was great - because it wasn't busy, I got to have a good long chat with the sales reps/agents for every company, looked at oodles of beautiful (and some frankly horrible) fabrics, got demos on tracks, poles & roman blind systems & gathered lots of details on fabric & book/hanger prices.

    I'm new to the fabric selling end of our business and somewhat intimidated by what I thought would be big co's who wouldn't be interested in a little one-man-band business like mine. But I couldn't have been more wrong - they were very happy (eager even - but perhaps they were bored!) to talk to me, they weren't in the least dismissive but there was no hard sell either.

    All in all, I found it very useful & an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon if you love fabrics as I do. If they run the roadshow again next year, I'll be having another afternoon outing.