The 19th edition of the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition, ITMA 2023, opens in Milan, unveiling a definitive showcase of cutting-edge technologies presented by 1709 exhibitors from 47 countries. This impressive gathering promises to showcase the forefront of innovation in the industry.
Spanning 200,000 square metres of the Fiera Milano Rho venue, ITMA 2023 is the biggest textile machinery exhibition in the post-pandemic era. Highlighted on the show floor are solutions on advanced materials, automation and digital future, innovative technologies, and sustainability and circularity under the show theme, Transforming the World of Textiles.
According to CEMATEX (the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers) which owns ITMA, the textile machinery exhibition has continued to build on its strong reputation as the global innovation launchpad since its debut in 1951.
Speaking at the ITMA 2023 press conference, Mr Ernesto Maurer, President of CEMATEX said: “ITMA continues to be a sought-after platform for textile machinery manufacturers, with this year’s exhibition receiving a 3% increase in net exhibit space compared to ITMA 2019. Interestingly, we also welcomed new exhibitors from Tunisia, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, Ukraine, and as far as Panama, Peru, and Honduras.”
“Due to high demand, about 150 applicants were unable to be accommodated as some sectors were sold out after the space application deadline.”
An Innovation Launchpad
ITMA 2023 will feature a spectacular display of manufacturing technologies and raw materials spread over 118,300 square metres of net exhibit space. Buyers will be able to source newly launched machinery and products across 20 product sectors that will help in the digital and sustainable transformation of their business.
ITMA 2023 features strong participation of European bellwethers in the textile machinery sector. Like past ITMA editions, exhibitors from CEMATEX countries continue to have a strong presence on the show floor. A total of 867 exhibitors booked 63% of the net exhibit space.
The largest contingent of 422 exhibitors comes from Italy, formed by ACIMIT (Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers). Italian exhibitors occupy the largest space at 30% of the space.
Mr Alex Zucchi, President of ACIMIT, said: “Despite facing numerous challenges, we are pleased by the resounding enthusiasm exhibited by our companies. Visitors can expect to find a plethora of innovations and digital solutions at our members’ booths.”
The next biggest group of exhibitors come from Germany. A total of 198 German exhibitors booked 15% of the space. The third largest group is from Turkey with 191 exhibitors taking up 12% of the space.
Exhibitors from other non-CEMATEX countries with sizeable participation are China (7% of space by 231 exhibitors) and India (6% of space by 181 exhibitors).
Comprehensive Product Sectors
With the inclusion of a new product sector – textile composites – visitors can source a comprehensive range of technologies and services.
The top 5 sectors in terms of participation are:
- Finishing – 329 exhibitors (27% of exhibit space)
- Spinning – 257 exhibitors (13% of exhibit space)
- Weaving – 161 exhibitors (10% of exhibit space)
- Printing – 146 exhibitors (12% of exhibit space)
- Knitting – 128 exhibitors (10% of exhibit space)
Although not in the top sectors, the recycling and software sectors have attracted greater interest. In this edition, both sectors have seen a doubling of exhibit space. The number of exhibitors has also increased to 31 for the recycling sector, and 47 for the software sector.
Mr Charles Beauduin, Chairman, ITMA Services, explained: “Digitalisation and sustainability are twin drivers to build a better future for the industry. Research and development in these areas have resulted in many ground-breaking technologies. Hence, these sectors have gained greater traction and there is a healthy growth in the number of exhibitors.”
He further emphasized, “The global pandemic has significantly impacted businesses across the industry. In response, exhibitors and visitors alike are leveraging the ITMA exhibition as a means to revive and rejuvenate their respective enterprises. Recognizing the exhibition as a valuable platform, industry stakeholders are hoping to seek opportunities at the exhibition to propel their businesses forward amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
The spotlight on innovation can be seen from various highlights at ITMA 2023. Among them is a new initiative that showcases young enterprises with game-changing solutions for the textile, garment, and fashion industries. The Start-Up Valley in Hall 3 features 15 companies selected by a panel of industry experts. All start-ups receive a CEMATEX grant to support their participation at ITMA 2023.
Other highlights at the exhibition include:
- Research & Innovation Lab
- ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award
- Innovator Xchange (9 to 13 June)
- ITMA Textile Colourants and Chemicals Forum (9 June)
- ITMA Nonwovens Forum (10 June)
Co-located industry events that enhance educational and networking opportunities among textile industrialists from around the world are:
- ZDHC Impact Day 2023 by ZDHC Foundation (11 June)
- Planet Textiles, Hosted by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (12 -13 June)
ITMA 2023 is held at Fiera Milano Rho venue, Milan. The exhibition ends on 14 June. The opening hours are from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm daily, except on 14 June when the exhibition ends at 4.00 pm. For more information, please visit www.itma.com or download the ITMA app.
The next ITMA will be held in Hanover, Germany from 16 to 22 September 2027 at the Hannover Exhibition Center.