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Short runs meetings in Prato make progress

Partners from Prato, the Textile Centre and the Veneto met businesses in the Prato district last week in order to cement progress towards the construction of a programme of short run opportunities. TCoE representative Bill Macbeth spoke to around twenty local textile companies at the Textile Museum in Prato: short run slides (English) or short run slides (Italian). He provided a succinct summary of opportunities being created by TCBL by bringing designers and manufacturers together across Europe, including via the local pratoexpo site. Individual meetings also took place with Trafi and Lottozero. Finally, Slovenian partner eZavod identified further opportunities for collaboration.

Fabio Giusti, of Trafi, displays a range of designs utilising various dyeing and punch needle techniques.

Here are just a few of the possible short run opportunities under discussion:

1.       An artisan designer in Yorkshire providing patterns to a short run producer in London with the transaction to be facilitated by the TCoE

2.       A British designer working with a specialist dyer and textile recycling house in Prato, Italy. This will be facilitated by the TCoE (UK) and Prato (Italy).

3.       A designer in Sicily working with a print producer in the Veneto, facilitated by UCV

4.       A group of designers around the Prato region working and collaborating in a shared space with access to business and textile support. This will be facilitated by Prato.

5.       DALi Sport is interested in producing textiles for helicopter pilots from material with fire-proof characteristics. This will be facilitated by eZavod in Slovenia.

If you have your own ideas for innovative or practical ideas for collaborations on short run productions, please let us know.

Richard Axe

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Bill Macbeth, of TCBL partner The Textile Centre of Excellence, visited the fashion fabric show, held at One Marylebone on 14th & 15th March, to gauge the reaction of the design and fabric buying community to an idea - put forward by the industry - to reduce some of the barriers to short run production. It's widely recognised as an issue for much of the industry so TCBL partners are in the process of developing a platform capable of bringing designers and manufacturers together and help them to do business. Aggregating demand from smaller designers to meet minmum thresholds, offering a trade floor for surplus stock and providing access to online design and business tools to improve communications and quality control between designers and manufacturers are just three of the elements that Bill discussed with exhibitors.

The results? There was genuine excitement that this could make a real difference! Sites exist that offer individual elements but no one was aware of any existing provision for the industry with such breadth.

Partners will be working hard over the next three months to demonstrate a working model with real business examples.

Richard Axe

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