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China reconnected: long-awaited return to in-person business at recent Yarn Expo Spring

13 Apr 2023

Taking advantage of reduced border restrictions, key industry players from around the globe gathered at Asia’s leading yarn and fibre trade fair. The 27,000 sqm stage was set by 451 exhibitors from 10 countries and regions (2021: 387 exhibitors, 6 countries and regions), a 16.5% increase from the previous edition. New exhibitor countries and regions were Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Türkiye. In another testament to this edition’s internationality, suppliers were met at the fairground by over 28,000 buyers from 70 countries and regions (2021: 21,204 visitors, 16 countries and regions), with sustainability proving a popular specification for in-person sourcing.

After a somewhat disrupted trade fair schedule, participants from across the yarn and fibre spectrum were pleased to be part of Yarn Expo Spring 2023, and the linking of the entire textile value chain in Shanghai. The organisers shared a similar outlook. Speaking at the fairground, Ms Wilmet Shea, General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “We have been pleased to welcome so many new and returning global industry players to our concurrent fairs in Shanghai, and judging from their positive feedback it has been a worthwhile exercise for them. Regarding Yarn Expo Spring, it has been gratifying to see the diversity of visitors returning to near pre-pandemic levels.”

Ms Shea continued: “The fair has been China’s first major in-person yarn and fibre sourcing platform since the easing of travel restrictions, and the high participation reflects that. Key decision-makers have been making up for lost time, and I have witnessed a stronger-than-usual appetite to establish and renew business relationships at this edition.”

A wide variety of exhibitors showcased their products over the course of the three-day trade fair, with major yarn and fibre categories including cotton, man-made, and specialty. One common thread shared across product groups was sustainability, a much talked about trend made evident by its widespread presence at the fairground, both within the fringe programme and at multiple booths.

Exhibitors’ experiences

“Yarn Expo is the only textile fair that we join, and the most influential for yarn. This edition has met our expectations, as there have been many visitors, and more international buyers. As a Swiss company, this is good for our global influence. This year we are promoting the use of recycled and green fibres, such as lyocell, for our downstream partners; our machines can produce yarns from these materials. Sustainability has gained traction in China in the wake of the 14th Five-Year Plan, and we are focused on meeting the targets.”
Ms Li Qian, Head of Marketing & Communication China, Marketing China, Rieter (China) Textile Instruments Co Ltd, Switzerland

“Huafon has been participating at Yarn Expo for more than ten years. It is a key platform for us to increase brand awareness in domestic and overseas markets, and our results are good at every spring and autumn edition. As the first industry trade fair after the pandemic, it is packed with visitors and there’s an increase in overseas buyers. We have received many enquiries about our recyclable spandex as sustainability is a major trend.”
Mr Denny Fu, Sales Manager, Huafon Group Co Ltd, China

“Yarn Expo is an important platform for us to showcase our DTY yarns and connect with buyers from China and overseas, and we have already received several orders on day one. There’s a significant increase in overseas visitors compared to during the pandemic. Many buyers are now more aware of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, and are actively seeking out sustainable options. This category of visitors has shown strong interest in our booth this year.”
Ms Peggy Lin, Section Chief, Textured Yarn Dept., Everest Textile Co Ltd, Taiwan

“Yarn Expo Spring is one of the busiest fairs we have joined. Face-to-face, it is easier to really connect with buyers, and the five concurrent fairs are important to bring more industry players together and increase exposure. On day one, we have already run out of catalogues and name cards. We have met many buyers from China, one of our main targets, who are mostly sourcing open-end yarns. Sustainability is important, and our cotton is sourced mainly from BCI or CmiA partners.”
Ms Yen Mai, CEO & Sale Department, Long Van Yarn Co Ltd, Vietnam

“Our company has participated in Yarn Expo Spring for many years, and this time we have brought some sustainably developed products. As this is a relatively hot industry topic, visitors are highly interested. The domestic customers we met have been quality, and I am highly optimistic about the market this year. Overall, our business at this edition has been great. We were able to meet many industry manufacturers, and had multiple exchanges on technological development.”
Mr Chen Yusheng, Sales Manager, Yibin Grace Textile Trading Co Ltd, China

“Yarn Expo Spring 2023, our first trade fair since the pandemic, is better than expected as the fairground is packed with quality exhibitors and visitors. We have been using online channels to maintain existing customer relationships, but in-person interactions are essential to expand our customer base. Many of our overseas buyers are here, from Russia and Bangladesh, and lately their purchases have increased. This sends a strong signal that Chinese products are still competitive in the global market, and we expect our industry to quickly recover to pre-pandemic levels.”
Ms Liang Wenli, Sales, Dongguan Wanke Textile Co Ltd, China

Visitors’ feedback

“We are a certification company for environmentally friendly and health-related products, and we have found some functional suppliers who we will further discuss cooperation with. The pandemic measures have eased, and it is a good sign of market recovery to see more domestic and international exhibitors at Yarn Expo Spring 2023. Having these textile fairs together attracts a lot of industry players, due to the comprehensive range of products and suppliers onsite. I am overwhelmed by the scale and very happy with the result.”
Mr Scott Shao, CRM Manager, Bluesign Technologies Ag, China

“I come to Yarn Expo almost every edition, and this year seems like the biggest, there are a good number of exhibitors and so many buyers. My company specialises in workwear materials for firefighters, and I am sourcing spandex and aramid fibres. We now have better prospects to expand our supplier network, which is why we are here today. The market is growing and very hungry, and 2023 will be much better than the last few years.”
Mr Bogdan Levchenko, Production Director, ARMTEX LTD, Russia

“I have visited Yarn Expo about five times, and the last time I came was in 2019 pre-pandemic. This fair is key for us to understand what’s new in the market. We have businesses in over 20 countries, and we supply to most of the major apparel brands such as Nike, Lululemon, and Victoria’s Secret. We are here sourcing nylon performance and other value-added yarns that we can use for our products. We have just arrived, and already found two new technologies.”
Mr Lucky De Silva, General Manager, Group Sourcing & Supply Chain, MAS Capital (Private) Limited, Sri Lanka

Yarn Expo Spring 2023 was held concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Spring Edition, CHIC and PH Value. Yarn Expo Spring is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT. For further information, please visit:


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Texpertise, the textile business network,
stands for Messe Frankfurt's entire textile commitment. With a unique portfolio currently comprising around 50 international trade fairs in 11 countries, the company is the world market leader in trade fairs for the textile industry. Texpertise Network covers the entire value chain of the textile industry and, as a central communication platform, provides valuable information on the textile trade fair brands.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is one of the world’s leading trade fair, congress and event organisers with their own exhibition grounds. With a workforce of some 2,200* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 28 subsidiaries, it organises events around the world. Group sales in financial year 2022 were around €450 million*. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of Messe Frankfurt’s key strengths is its powerful and closely knit global sales network, which covers around 180 countries in all regions of the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are using our digital expertise to develop new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Sustainability is a central pillar of our corporate strategy. Here, we strike a healthy balance between ecological and economic interests, social responsibility and diversity. For more information, please visit our website at: With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at:
* Preliminary figures for 2022