Asian buyers pick Turkish home textiles in Shanghai

Asian buyers pick Turkish home textiles in Shanghai

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Asian buyers pick Turkish home textiles in Shanghai

Turkish textile workers produce towels. More than 40 Turkish firms have made a splash at the Shanghai Home Textiles fair. DAILY NEWS photo

Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian and U.S. firms, which are on hand at the Shanghai Home Textiles 2012 Fair in Shanghai China, are flocking to Turkish textiles.

These firms, which came to the home textile fair at its opening on Aug. 28 to buy Chinese textile products, instead found themselves eyeing Turkish textiles. After China, the 41 Turkish textile firms that participated in the fair formed the second largest block. They were able to form new connections with Asian companies attending the fair and were attracted to the wide variety, new designs and high quality of the Turkish textiles.

“While Chinese firms have a tough time entering textile fairs in Turkey and Germany, we have been quite brave by being the second largest and most organized participant in this fair. We are selling our textile products both to the Chinese and their customers,” said Uludağ Textile Exporters Union (UTİB) President İbrahim Burkay.

Chinese knock-offs

One obstacle, however, was the prevalence of cheap Chinese imitation products and “knock-offs” of Turkish textiles.

“Some of our colleagues perusing the fair noticed some catalogues that were copied from last year’s models. The brand names weren’t even changed and many of our colleagues just assumed that these were their own catalogues,” Burkay said. “The products we gave to the Chinese last year as samples are now coming back to us as new products.”

He added that China hadexported $2.7 billion in home textiles in 2011, but that every year Turkey’s textile exports to China were increasing by 20 to 25 percent.

Meanwhile, China is gearing up to establish a new city close to Shanghai that will appeal to the wealthier segment of Chinese society and will offer healthy and ecological living standards.

The home textiles used in this city will be functional, yet ecologically friendly. Since there are not enough functional textiles in the Chinese market, they are planning to import some textiles and this will offer a huge opportunity to Turkish textile firms.