Should you consider visiting the London Textile Fair?

sarah2016

Sarah Glyn-Woods – designandcolour@gmail.com

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So often I look at shows and wonder whether I should attend and there have been times I have been sorely disappointed. We exhibited last week and thought we would do a review with a difference, so here we go. This event is for European and Turkish textile mills, accessories and print design suppliers and is the biggest in the UK.

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The show is in the Business Design Centre in Islington, which is super easy to get to. Just take the Northern line to the Angel tube station – just one stop one from Kings Cross. From the station to the building is a pleasant 4 minute walk past a variety of cafes, restaurants, banks, and shops.

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If you are driving there is a super expensive Car Park under the Business Design Centre/Hilton Hotel.

There is a much more affordable option around the corner at the Angel Centre for £18.00 a day. Just continue on Berners Road past the Design Centre, taking the first exit on the mini roundabout and it is in front of you. Then walk back in no more than 300m!

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5The venue is in the former Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, a marvelous 1862 glass building formerly used to display the best in breed of farm animals. The exhibition is in the main glass building, around a balcony and an adjacent hall. The venue is light and airy and very pleasant to walk around. Frankly it is always very warm whether it is summer or winter so leave your coat in the cloakroom. They will also take cases.
All the stands consist of one tressle table, 4 chairs and 2 rails. We love this as you only bring the best and essential parts of your collection. Unlike PV the stands are open and there is so little privacy that everyone is forced to be friendly. There is a real bustle once everyone gets in and you can wave to your colleagues and clients as everything is at a low level. Whenever you speak to people about the show words such as easy, intimate and friendly pop up and this is so true.

The first day there is an after show party from 6- 8 p.m which is great fun, so much so that we will run a separate posting.

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7We took along both our Digital and Gravure collections, Spring Summer and Autumn Winter 2017 plus our look books for the two seasons.

As the studios were there we also had appointments to buy artwork.

Lots of end clients came by and we not only looked at design but discussed the market, the current value of sterling for importers, design trends and new technologies.

We were so busy that we did not have time to get lunch until 3.15 p.m. There is a great self service restaurant but at this time we were left with a bag of Walkers Ketchup flavoured crisps. The next day we bought sandwiches earlier in the day.
However they serve good hot food and salads at lunchtime and, first thing in the morning, super breakfasts. Some people got out for lunch as there is an Ask next door and plenty of restaurants all around.
If you need to have a quiet meeting many people nip next door to the Hilton to eat or have a coffee.

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Both Ask and the Hilton have terraces in summer and are immediately outside the venue. The next show is 19 & 20th July.

If you need to stay overnight there is a Premier Inn within 100 metres as well as the Hilton. We stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton an 8 minute walk away and previously stayed at the St Mark’s Citadine apartments, also nearby.

There are loads of great restaurants in the immediate vicinity and we have tried and recommend;
Kilis, Afghan Kitchen, The Elk in the Woods and Byron, which are all within 5 minutes, as well as The Castle Pub next door to The Double Tree.
However I really wanted to take Alice from Turin to the Pie and Mash/ Jellied Eel shop, M.Manze, in Chapel Market but unfortunately it closes before the show. Next time we will make time.

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Read the review on Cool Places: M.Manze, 75 Chapel Market, Islington N1 9ER.

 

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