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HMS International: Tailoring to a shifting fabric landscape


HMS International, a leading company in the global fabric market with renowned brands like Gladson New York & Huddersfield Fine Worsteds, is adjusting its approach to cater to changing customer preferences. In an interview with Bob McAuley, President, HMS International , Sanjay Chawla, Global Convener, FashionatingWorld delves into the evolving trends shaping the textile industry during Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics Spring Edition 2024.

Q: Bob, how has the fabric market changed in recent years?

A: We're seeing a big shift towards casual and performance fabrics. People are looking for clothes that are comfortable and versatile, with features like stretch and moisture-wicking. This is happening all over the world, but the US market seems to be leading the charge.

Q: What about the Chinese market? They're known for luxury goods.

A: That's true, there's still a strong demand for high-end fabrics in China. However, the trend towards casualization is reaching China as well. Interestingly, there's also a growing interest in heavier fabrics, which goes against the global trend a bit.

Q: So, what are some of the hottest trends in fabric right now?

A: Definitely heavier fabrics, like gabardine, are making a comeback in some regions. But overall, it's casual and performance fabrics with stretch that are really dominating the market. We're also seeing a rise in women's tailored clothing and sportswear options.

Q: How do these trends differ across the US, Europe, and China?

A: In the US, it's all about casual wear with stretch fabrics. They prefer simpler designs, like small patterns and tone-on-tone colors. Europe leans towards those heavier fabrics and a more classic, "English Feeling" style. China, like I mentioned, is a mix of casualization and a preference for heavier, performance fabrics.

Q: You mentioned India is a big market for HMS. Can you tell us more about that?

A: India is actually our biggest market! We've had a presence there since 2012, with a large team of over 100 people, including a dedicated design department that caters specifically to Indian tastes. We sell directly to retailers, with around 2500 accounts across the country. It's important to note that India isn't just an "all wool" market. We offer a variety of fabrics based on what sells best there, and production happens in Europe, China, and India itself.



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