COLOMBIATEX 2019 Reflected A Positive, Dynamic Recovery Of The Economy

Colombiatex10More than 1,300 business meetings between buyers and exhibitors, together with a general sense of recovery, opened the most important textile agenda in Latin America in ColombiaTex 2019, organized under the Inexmoda initiative.

By Dr. Virgilio L. González, Textiles Panamericanos Correspondent

From January 22 to 24, the textile and clothing sector was on display at ColombiaTex 2019, an event with 30 years of experience, on of the most important shows of its kind in the continent.

In the opening ceremony, Inexmoda highlighted the exchange rate and the inflationary level as factors to improve business, both at the fair and in 2019. In his speech, the Vice Minister of Business Development and Minister in Charge of Trade, Industry and Tourism Saul Pineda Hoyos welcomed exhibitors and national and international buyers who participated. He said: “We invite you to share the optimism and confidence that the National Government has in this sector, which represents 8.5 percent of the manufacturing industry. The numbers grew in November 2018, according to figures from the manufacturing industry report of Dane, exports grew by 7 percent in both sectors, in contrast to the increase in imports of clothing, 15.9 percent and textiles of 25.9 percent in the same period.”

Pineda also highlighted the scope of the productive alliances that are promoted among a group of 86 national garment manufacturers, integrating most of them to the small and medium industry, and 15 large commercial chains to encourage local purchases, in order to stimulate the production and local sales.

In his speech, the Governor of the Department of Antioquia Luis Pérez Gutiérrez highlighted the strength of Inexmoda to position Colombiatex and Colombia as fashion references in this industrial sector in Latin America, inviting entrepreneurs from the textile chain to “connect knowledge,” a motto also highlighted by Camilo Fernández de Soto, director of the Productive Transformation Program PTP, and Laura Valdivieso Jiménez, vice minister of Foreign Trade of this portfolio. The indicated connection aims to develop the smart textiles that the market demands.

In the same meeting, the Secretary of Economic Development of Medellin Maria Fernanda Galeano stressed that Colombiatex de las Americas generates an economic impact on local tourism of about $11 million, and a hotel occupancy of 86 percent, one of the highest of the year.

Nearly 600 national and international brands were connected at the Plaza Mayor exhibition center in Medellín, in 10,400 square meters of commercial exhibition, receiving 14,424 buyers from 60 countries. In this edition, the business opportunities were $481 million, projection certified by the prestigious INVAMER surveyor. Of these businesses, 42 percent were projected in purchases of textiles, 20 percent in machinery, 15 percent in supplies, 8 percent in yarns and yarns and 4 percent in technical solutions among others.

“From Inexmoda we celebrate the positive dynamics of ColombiaTex de las Américas 2019, starting with the increase in the average purchase ticket, the growth of international buyers and the effectiveness of the more than 1,300 appointments with exhibitors, which were previously arranged through our online business platform that allows us today to have positive results in business expectations that account for the recovery of the Colombian economy,” said Carlos Eduardo Botero Hoyos, executive president of Inexmoda.

Business Conference

With the help of Inexmoda, ProColombia and the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, international buyers connected with new opportunities in business meetings, particularly in finished products and complete package. Through appointments of 65 buyers with 170 exhibitors, $65 million in business was generated, for purchases in swimwear, control clothing, underwear and sportswear.

“We are very optimistic about the results this year because we work as a team with Inexmoda, the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, Propaís, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and because the 300 buyers who came from 21 markets with which Colombia has a current commercial agreement, as always stood out the quality and variety, demonstrating the confidence they have in the country as a supplier, and were interested in products and sectors such as woven and knitted fabrics, elastics, underwear, swimwear, uniforms and sportswear,” said Juliana Villegas, vice president of Exports of ProColombia. “Thanks to the different mechanisms we use to bring international demand closer to the Colombian offer, we generated more than 300 appointments in the business meetings, plus the visits that the buyers had to the stands of the fair.” Villegas noted that 126 buyers visited the fair for the first time.

Foreign Vision

According to information from ProColombia, the mission of buyers from the United States was highlighted, among which was Disney. This well-known company had been looking for options for their employees’ uniforms. They did well. Not only were they in Colombiatex but they also have a complementary agenda in Cali, Barranquilla and Bogotá, where 12 companies were visited.

Likewise, negotiators from Edward Garments of Michigan went to the show in search of uniforms from Colombian makers to whom they bought goods 10 years ago. They claimed to have found business opportunities for shirting and grooming items.

Another important delegation was Marferres de México, interested in women’s clothing in knitting. It is the third time that this firm participates in the fair and processed the purchase of 1,200 female and male sweaters that will eventually sell in 50 boutiques in the center and southeast of Mexico.

From Costa Rica representatives of Impomarcas were also at the show. On this occasion, they showed interest in denim because they consider Colombian quality higher than in other parts of the world.

Also, the Axis group from Peru searched for underwear with particular design details, style and materials for this type of garment.

News At The Fair

During the fair, Inexmoda highlighted sustainable organizations, where 18 companies that presented innovations were part of. On the other hand, Inexmoda also appreciated the joint work carried out with allies such as the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Tourism, the Productive Transformation Program (PTP) and the Government of Antioquia, among others, with which the Institute achieves the transformation of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs nationwide from different projects, which have improved productivity, income and competitiveness of the Fashion System in Colombia. Some notable exhibitors included:

Lafayette, a Colombia-based company with more than 75 years of experience in textiles, presented a space inspired by the landscapes of Guanajuato, Mexico, where they carried out the production of the calendar and Fashion Film, images that could be seen with digital printing — a whole story narrated on canvas. Lafayette also joined the sustainability route promoted in the show, making visible the best practices of the textile industry, sharing as pillars, water treatment, recycling of reusable materials and entrepreneurship programs with social responsibility such as: Hilando Empresa (Spinning the Enterprise) and Mothers Entrepreneurs.

Cotton USA introduced information on the Trust Protocol for cotton in the United States — an integrated procedure for data collection, measurement and verification that will document the practices used in cotton production in that country and its impact on the environment. These data would be the reference in agricultural advances and goals that would give the global supply chain of textiles, an additional proof that cotton is produced in a responsible manner in the United States.

Among the goals reported were:

  • Increase productivity by 13 percent, implying a reduction in the land used per pound of cotton;
  • Increase irrigation efficiency by 18 percent;
  • Reduce by 39 percent gas emissions to the atmosphere;
  • Reduce by 15 percent the energy expenditure;
  • Reduce soil loss by 50 percent; and
  • Increase the amount of carbon in the soil by 30 percent.

CHT, a Germany-based multinational company that provides the textile industry with innovative products and services, announced his new Be So Effective concept, characterized by meeting international standards that certify products as friendly to the environment. The concept, represented by ten products, showed that each one is designed to offer added value to all the universes of the wardrobe, since it applies to woven and knitted fabrics, denim, natural fibers, synthetics and blends.

The Be So Effective concept is added to OrganIQ, the first eco-friendly bleach for denim fabrics.

Artextil is a Colombia-based company expert in the textile transformation, carrying out processes of printing, dry cleaning and finishing. At this edition of Colombiatex, this mill brought its proposal Avat/Art, technological tool 4.0 that facilitates the textile process and will transform the way of creating fashion thanks to the speed offered by this new technology, allowing the customization of fabrics, its flexibility when choosing the designs and the efficiency of the production chain.

As an objective, Artextil wants to connect this new initiative with designers, both in the graphic market and new designers, involving the creation of a community integrated by 21 Colombian visual and graphic artists, showing the latest trends in textile illustration.

Sutex participated for the eighth time in the fair presenting its consolidated portfolio in fabrics for fashion, beachwear, activewear, decoration and staff. With the slogan “inspired by art passionate about fashion,” Sutex presented a colorful textile collection inspired by the river washer women in rural and artisanal Colombia, along with the designers SOY Diego Guarnizo and María Luisa Ortiz. The process Printing Greentex by Sutex used, cares about the environment by not using any water at all.

Vicunha Textile, a Brazil-based company arrived at Colombiatex with positive growth in its operations and sales during 2018 and expects continuous growing, following zero-tax agreements with Colombia, and the anti-dumping policy.

With an operation that generates 7,500 jobs, the expansion of its plant in Argentina, the modernization of its plant in Brazil and its distribution center in Colombia, Vicunha projects a year of growth in Latin American sales, and the recovery of the Brazilian market.

This company also made part of the Sustainability route of the fair through his SS20 “Future Loading” collection, as well as technology developments to facilitate the design process and different projects that make the company sustainable. In the show visitors to their stand were able to see its software “Match your Rags,” which facilitates developing the chain of denim collections. This software brings together a large database of textiles, laundry finishes, seam types, buttons and appliqués, allowing designers to create prototypes in 3D with images of high quality and precision, reducing costs and real sustainable actions.

EKA Cierres a textile factory in Colombia, showed its new macro trends, with the campaign INSPIRED, with ideas of own style called Exotic nature, Barroque d’or, Urban Beat, Western Bohemian, Oriental Breeze and Denim Much. These trends inspire them to give prominence and differentiating value to their collections through the supplies used for fashion. EKA seeks to fit into a group and at the same time show differentiation and exclusivity, generating an artistic and creative impact.

Enka, founded in 1968 by Akzo Nobel and important Colombian textile companies, manufactures and markets resins, synthetic fibers, contributing to the development of the local industry. Enka presented its resins made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), filaments based on recycled PET, fibers, industrial threads such as tarpaulin for tires, and was also on the sustainability route of the fair.

Coltejer is a Centennial company that lived, among other things, the birth of denim and  can tell many stories of national and international textile evolution. It presented the Secret Denim Project, with the aim of seeking to integrate the consumer with the textile chain. Hand in hand with 2 influencers of the City, develop garments to the consumer’s taste in terms of fabrics, silhouettes and washed garments. They were active participating in the Denim Day of the fair.

Statements by its director Matías Gaviria, Coltejer will introduce 34 new fabrics to the market. To achieve this transformation, the entrepreneur indicated that 7 million dollars will be invested in processes of sustainability, modernization and technological updating.

Estrela Aviamentos, is the Brazil-based Manufacture of Avíos with a factory in Guarulhos. It presented its biodegradable elastics. Products are made with natural fibers such as linen and cotton promoting differentiated design and aesthetics. Estrela is the first industry of elastics manufactured with the Amni Soul Eco @ of Solvay Tchnology, making its products biodegradable and with remarkable soft touch. The Amni Soul Eco @ technology makes possible to manufacture a biodegradable nylon 6,6 yarn, which has an improved formula, allowing textiles made to decompose quickly after being dumped in sanitary landfills in three years. Other fibers can last for decades or centuries without decomposing.

Estrela also serves sectors such as footwear, automotive, orthopedics, clothing, decorations, Beachwear and intimate fashion.

Huntsman is a major manufacturer of chemical products for textiles. It presented its range of products, including:

  • TERASIL @ Washfast Red Dyes, which have proven to give good performance in polyester dyeing and blending. TERASIL Washfast dyes satisfies the list of restricted substances (Restricted Substance List RSL), in widely known sports brands.
  • Dicrylan @ SD Deep dye technologies, which contributes to greater intensity in the colors sought in all types of fibers. This can be critical in achieving deep-toned blues and blacks.

Fabricato is another Colombia-based company with a long history and tradition that allowed the public, through its stand and walkways, to appreciate its sustainable initiatives. “This will be a year of consolidation that will be observed in the transfer of the RioTex plant from Rionegro to Bello,” said President Carlos Alberto de Jesús. “The land where the knitting plant was would be changed into an industrial park, which will generate new revenues.”

Fabricato recently took a big step in its innovation, acquiring, among other equipment, state-of-the-art Toyota flat looms.

Epson showed a series of printers designed for haute couture, casual fashion and even the printing used with special reference to sportswear. Its equipment features high speed, low production cost and high volume.

Alvanon showed on its stand a wide range of mannequins that guarantee the consistency of sizes, reduce samples and shorten times. The company states that the mannequin as a tool allows a more effective process and cost reduction. Large production brands know this and have put it into practice gradually. In addition to mannequins, Alvanon offers consulting services related to the sizing, climbing of garments and product development, as well as professional training. Among its customers are brands of great fame Customer in Mexico and South America include Walmart Mexico, Almacenes Garcia, Andre Badi, Totto, Liverpool, Shyla, Arturo Calle, Pat Primo, GEF, Punto Blanco, Palacio de Hierro, Scappino, Innova Quality , Línea Directa, Swantex and Price Shoes among others.

Archroma is a well-known manufacturer of a wide range of chemical products for industry. Among its products presented were:

  • Advanced Denim — Indicolor technology has opened a wide range of productive benefits and design possibilities in an ecological way, reducing the use of Sodium Hydrosulfite, making manufacturing more versatile, flexible to production variations and guaranteeing high quality products.
  • Denisol @ Indigo 30 Liq. pre-reduced Indigo color that helps a more effective, more environmentally friendly and high-productivity coloration.
  • OPTISUL dyes that contribute to the achievement of color effects in a simple and economical way. Its use allows greater control in dyeing processes, even in complicated colorations.

Weko showed its latest advances in cutting, both standard and special for different applications. Some are developed in textile branches and compactors with chain of needles, others are applied to cut bent, coated or other processes cutting different types of fibers and substrates.

The Weko range of products includes edge cutters, longitudinal and transverse cuts, and can include through-cylinders for installation in different applications. They can cut textiles, paper and nonwovens among others. The company also presented its innovative rubber applicator at the fair.

Italian Delegation

Through the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), Colombiatex 2019 coordinated the presence of important Italy-based companies involved in the textile sector. ITA promotes and develops commercial and business relations between Italy and foreign markets, paying special attention to the needs of small and medium industry, its consortiums and associations. It also supports the export of Italian goods and services to international markets.

On this occasion were present:

  • MCS — Important manufacturer of high performance dyeing machines;
  • Arioli — Specialized in printing and finishing garments;
  • Beschi — Molded by plastic injection and plastic accessories for textiles;
  • Biancalani — Textile machinery of various types;
  • Caipa — Industrial automation;
  • Itema — Weaving machinery: and
  • Other companies including Ferraro, Mario Crosta, Fadis, Sicam, Tecnorama and Ugolini.

Delegation Of India

Supported by The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India, 40 Indian firms participated in Colombiatex 2019. These 40 exporters showed their yarns, cotton fabrics, and home textiles.

Members of this large delegation, said that Colombia is an important market for them with total imports of 1,693 million dollars in 2018, of which 163 million came from India. India being the second largest producer of cotton worldwide, there is interest in selling this agricultural item to Latin American countries.

Lastest Trends

In terms of knowledge, fashion and illustration, it was possible to observe at the fair a large number of participants in the Inexmoda – Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana — UPB Knowledge Pavilion, which dealt with topics such as Industrias 4.0 and Orange Economy. There were 22 conferences attended by 8,470 people and connection via streaming of 7,719, from the TeleMedellín signal. 300 people also enjoyed six practical workshops.

“In this edition of the Inexmoda Knowledge Pavilion – UPB we presented two thematic axes: in the first, we  saw how new technologies have impacted industries, forcing them to adapt to a new reality that implies the permanent generation of experiences for the consumer. In the second, we explored the Fashion System in constant change, making its actors see creativity as one of the most important assets of companies, as well as being a fundamental pillar for innovation,” said Lorenzo Velásquez, director of Transformation and Knowledge of Inexmoda.

Like other previous fairs, Colombiatex 2019 did not omit the Denim Day, where assistants paid tribute to this fabric. Some manufactured goods presented were shirts in Chambray, sets, overalls, jeans, cargo, wide leg trousers and jackets. Additionally, fiber exploration was seen, where elastane integration was important for this type of garments.


In an event like this one could not miss catwalks, among which parades coordinated by Fabricato, Lafayette, Invista (Lycra) with intimates of Leonisa, Diane & Geordi, Deportivo Flexme Gymco, Intimo Fiorentina and Baths Touché and St Even stood out.

Brazil’s footbridges also stood out in its General Stand and the catwalk – exhibition of Ceci La Lavandera, by Sutex, with traditional themes from rural Colombia.

There is no doubt that ColombiaTex 2019 was a resounding success, and it is not difficult to predict that this fair will continue to be a leader in its style, for the entire Central/South American region. Important to indicate is that in Colombian textiles, the United States continues to b the most important business partner.

April 11, 2019