The inaugural Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Hong Kong International Home Textiles Fair runs from today to Friday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, with more than 240 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions. As a by-product of the HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, the new fair aims to establish a clearer identity to visitors. 'The fair was created to become a dedicated platform for the sourcing of home textiles,' says Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of HKTDC. Taking place during the peak sourcing season in Hong Kong, the textiles fair also acts in synergy with the houseware fair. Buyers can benefit from double sourcing opportunities and expand their business networks, while exhibitors will be able to reach two lots of buyers, according to the organiser. The fair's seven product zones are Hall of Glamour, Bedroom Textiles, Table and Kitchen Textiles, Interior and D?cor Textiles, Carpet and Floor Coverings, Bathroom Textiles and Baby Textiles. The Hall of Glamour, which showcases high-quality products including bedroom, kitchen, interior and bathroom textiles and carpets, is the special highlight of the fair. Three seminars - 'Latest Home Textile Procurement Trends', 'Green Dyeing and Functional Finishing Technologies for Home Textiles', and 'The Know-how of a Sustainable Textile Supply Chain' and 'Overview of EU and US Regulations for Food Contact Items' - will also be held. Despite being the first home textiles fair held by HKTDC, exhibitors are confident it will be a success. 'As it is held with the houseware fair, which attracts a lot of visitors, we believe there will be a high level of visitor flow,' says Quentin Chan, director of international marketing and sales at A-Fontane. 'People underestimated the economy and the economy in Southeast Asia has bounced back quickly. 'The buyers didn't buy a lot of stock last year due to the bad economy and so they will purchase more this year. The bad weather in Europe at the beginning of the year might have affected buyers' trips to the largest textile fair in Germany, so they may choose to come here instead.' Apart from being optimistic about the number of fair visitors, home textile companies are also confident sales will pick up. 'There was a decrease in sales last year but this year should be better,' says Rita Yu of Delight Home Textile. Even though there is a positive outlook for the market, companies are still striving to provide outstanding products for customers because the home textile market has become a lot more competitive over the last five to six years, Yu adds. Delight Home Textile is showcasing a range of low-cost, environmentally friendly products. 'Being environmentally friendly is one of the major trends in the industry right now, so this year we are launching some eco-friendly products made of natural raw materials such as organic cotton,' Yu says. Delight Home Textile believes that home textiles are just a step behind clothing fashion trends right now, unlike the past when they were one or two years behind. The company is showcasing some super-soft textiles in keeping with fashion trends. Similarly, the latest product line that A-Fontane is displaying is an environmentally friendly bedding range called i-simple, made from organic, non-bleached cotton that contains no formaldehyde.