HIGH POINT, N.C. – March 17, 2014 – For three days last month, a packed tour bus shuttled among fabric mills, furniture plants and showrooms in North Carolina on an educational tour that brought eager textile students face-to-face with companies interested in meeting the next generation of talent.
A group of 38 students, from schools across the Unites States, took part in the eighteenth annual “Fabric: From Concept to Consumer” educational tour sponsored by the International Textile Market Association’s Educational Foundation.
Participating companies included: Century Furniture, Microfibres Inc., P. Kaufmann Fabrics, Pearson Furniture, Valdese Weavers, and Wesley Mancini Ltd.
Designers, plant managers, executives, and production workers at these companies gave presentations to the students on designing, weaving, printing, and dyeing fabrics, as well as on the manufacturing and marketing of fabrics and furniture.
The students were from Arizona State University, College for Creative Studies, East Carolina University, Georgia State University, Kent State University, Philadelphia University, Savannah College of Art and Design, and University of Rhode Island.
They had a chance to show their personal design portfolios to industry professionals at a social mixer and dinner held at the String & Splinter Club in High Point.
ITMA Executive Director Catherine Morsell said the trade group hopes to attract more fabric and furniture designers and executives to the annual event, which is a major part of ITMA’s mission.
Founded in 1990, ITMA is a non-profit trade association consisting of mills, converters, tanneries, and trimming manufactures that supply decorative coverings for the home furnishings industry. It produces Showtime, the largest textile market in the United States, in June and December of each year.