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Evteks takes on added importance

The recently completed Evteks show drew some 80,000 visitors here and nearly 400 home textiles exhibitors. Sponsored by the Turkish Home Textile Industrialists Association and the Home Textilers Association, the event bills itself as "the world's second biggest home textiles exhibition."

Iklnur Elmastas, managing director for Menderes Tekstil, a maker of bedding sets that does about $45 million in business in the United States, noted that the show has grown in importance. "Heimtextil is more important, but this show has also been important in the past two years," he said. "Our sales are very high during the show."

Another exhibitor, Akman Tekstil, produces curtains, bedspreads and table linens, and counts on exports to the United States for roughly 20 percent of its business. The company primarily targets chain stores, said chairman Vehbi Akman. "The States is the first market our firm considers for growth," he said.

It is very much an order-writing show, suppliers said, and several noted they were pleased with the volume of business.

"The visitors not only visit — they also purchase," said Soner Yilmaz, export manager for upholstery fabric manufacturer KETS, which is just beginning to explore the U.S. market.

"Our sales figures are high," said Sabahattin Fazlioglu, factory general manager of textiles mill Kucukcalik A.S., which relies on the United States to generate one-third of its business, primarily in curtains.

Executives from Vanelli Tekstil, an upholstery fabric producer that also manufactures curtains and other home textiles, had a similar experience. "Our firm didn't give the same importance to Evteks as the other shows, but our mind has changed," said Ruchan Turkun, vp, international manager, who said U.S. sales account for 20 percent of the company's business.

"It is a show with high ambience and function," said Can Yuruten, managing director of Ulusoy Textile Inc., a manufacturer of polyester-based home textiles that generates 41 percent of its sales in the United States. The company was targeting retailer-direct business, and recorded a strong sales volume during the first two days of the four-day show, he said.

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