Category: News

Fashion Textile & Children’s Trust …….. and how you can support them!

The FTCT is a charity that has supported the children of the UK fashion and textile families since 1853.  Maybe you or your company would be interested in supporting them? 

Read on and find out how…..

Where it all began…..

The charity was founded back in 1853 when the cotton weaving industry was thriving. A group of textile merchants formed a financial trust fund, to support the children and widow of a former colleague.

The trust grew in size and funds to help more children of those working in the allied textile trades.

To this day, the FTCT is here for anyone in the textile industry who needs help.


 Textile Recycling Association and Clothes Aid

The importance to recycling at every level is at the fore right now and the FTCT has been working with the Textile Recycling Association since 2020. Through the promotion of their grants to member companies, they have already supported families in the sector, including a family at Clothes Aid.

Promote the FTCT at work!

Spreading the word of what the FTCT is something you can help with.  Here’s how you can get started.

From bake sales to fun runs, fundraising for FTCT is a great way to introduce staff to the charity and the support the grants can give families.  Or you can donate directly via the website.

So, who can apply for a grant?

To apply for an FTCT grant perhaps if you have faced redundancy or the such like (a grant is a financial donation which does not have to be repaid), one parent must work OR have recently worked in the UK fashion and textile industry, for at least one year within the last nine years. Find out more about the criteria on the website.

Perhaps a member of your staff is in need or maybe you would like to refer a family in need?

How else & who do the FTCT help?

  • They can provide grants for essential items such as a proper bed to sleep in.
  • Rehousing grants for families who need help with set up costs.
  • Grants for when a parent is unwell, maybe a long term physical or mental health condition.
  • Kinship care grants for families who are raising children of relatives or friends.
  • Therapy grants to provide funding for children with additional learning, emotional or health needs.
  • Specialist equipment grants for children with complex health needs and conditions.

Interesting Facts

  • Between 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 the FTCT supported 1049 children!
  • Between 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021 the FTCT awarded more than £500,000 in financial grants to the children of the UK fashion and textile employees.
  • The average grant to fund essential household and children’s clothing is £473.

The FTCT have several corporate partners across the industry who work with them and support them in a variety of ways, which you can read about below. This ranges from sponsorship to fundraising and advocacy.

BITA (British Interiors & Textile Association) has been a proud supporter of the FTCT for many years.  Check out for more information.

They’re already making a big impact to hundreds of children in families across the industry. With your help, they could do so much more.

It’s really easy to fundraise for the charity, whether as part of a team or individually. Set up your FTCT fundraiser today by contacting Anna or calling 0203 667 7882 to discuss larger donations or sponsorship opportunities.



‘Fall in Love with Your Home’

The British Interiors and Textiles Association are delighted to present their latest associate member…

‘White Pocket’ – a home textiles company based in Poland who produce a combination of original designs with 100% natural fabrics and have the highest quality workmanship in the spirit of social responsibility. They specialise in the production of bedlinen, tablecloths, table runners, sheets & throws and are looking for a UK wholesaler / distributor for their brand…Minimum order just £800 (special sizes in their designs with just a 20 piece minimum order).   However, they are also willing to produce your own designs under your own brand …so if you want to know more about pricing and minimums or are interested in seeing their range in the flesh please contact or call her on 07912 379739.

All designs are original and created by their talented textile design team. Developed from handpainted illustrations to high quality digital print.
The company uses natural fibres such as cotton and wool – whether woven or knitted and all bedlinen, tablecloths and sheets are Oeko-Tex certified, which is the world’s leading safety mark for textiles.

White Pocket pride themselves on their ethical and environmentally friendly approach to business.

They transfer 1% of their total sales to the charity ‘Beautiful Angels’ who renovate rooms for children from the poorest families.

They also use ecological packaging – avoiding the use of foil.

“We believe that what we give – will come back to us.
Which is why we decided to help others.” – says Roma Kowalska, founder of White Pocket.
Here are some examples of their products – but many more can be found by clicking on this link…

We hope you want to know more and look forward to hearing from you by email or telephone 07912 379739 …however
if you are not interested in finding out more about White Pocket and what they have to offer just let us know so to avoid being contacted by them or us in the future.




What are sustainable fabrics?

Sadly there are so many issues with our planet these days, whether it be due to climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, water scarcity etc.  Unfortunately, the textiles industry has and still is contributing towards this problem.  This is due to the negative impacts on the environment through the production of many fabrics.  One example is the production of cotton – we have all heard in the news how it takes 10k litres of water to make a pair of jeans and how lakes the size of a sea have dried up due to farms and mills using all the water to make cotton. Fortunately, it is not too late for us to help the planet – there are solutions to these problems.  The Coronavirus pandemic has made us think about how we are destroying the planet and how nature is fighting back to reduce the damage we are instigating.  Our industry have been actively looking at a way to improve the planet through creating fabrics using different, more environmentally friendly methods of production such as recycling and using organic resources.

Sustainable fabrics are made from natural or recycled materials with the aim to reduce harm either through production, fibre properties, or environmental impact. Other contributions include waste reduction, water conservation, lower emissions, and soil regeneration. However, no fabric is completely sustainable. “Sustainable fabrics” is just a term used to group together environmentally friendly materials and the hope is that through responsible production and environmentally growing practices, better fabrics can help to create a more eco-friendly fashion and interiors industry.  Some examples of natural fibres include cotton, wool, silk, and bamboo. They are more sustainable than synthetic fibres such as polyester, nylon, acrylic etc.  However, whilst natural fibres are more sustainable there are still some concerns on their impact on the environment.  As already mentioned cotton, for example, requires a great deal of water and pesticides to thrive.


  • Bamboo is a fast-growing, regenerative crop that doesn’t require fertilization and can be made into a sustainable fabric. However, there are concerns about land clearing and harvesting methods. Bamboo is incredibly absorbent, comfortable, and moisture-wicking, making it a favourite with sustainable brands.





  • Jute is a natural fibre that is made from the plants Corchorus olitorius and Corchorus capsularis. These plants are native to India but crops are also grown in China and Pakistan. Jute is grown throughout the year and the fibres are taken from the area near the stalk. They are composed of cellulose and lignin. There are two kinds of jute that are produced: White jute and brown jute (which is stronger, softer, and silkier). Jute uses a fraction of the water cotton does.






  • Hemp is a specific type of cannabis plant. It’s fast-growing, doesn’t exhaust the soil, and doesn’t require pesticides. Hemp creates a durable fabric that’s non-irritating for the skin and has many uses. It’s often used in place of cotton. This fabric is often more expensive, making it less accessible to everyone. Hemp doesn’t require a certification and is already organic.





  • Linen is made from flax, which can be grown without fertilizer and planted in areas where other crops cannot thrive. Flax can also be used in its entirety (seeds, oil, and crop), meaning there’s no waste. Linen is biodegradable—if harsh chemicals are left out of the process. The downside to linen is that it can be expensive to make.





  • Organic Cotton is produced without any toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. This usually implies a sustainably managed fabric production process, though it is not always a given without proper certifications.





  • Reclaimed (Deadstock) is leftover fabric from manufacturers. It can also mean vintage fabric, or any unused material purchased second-hand which would otherwise be thrown away. By using deadstock, makers keep textiles out of landfills and use something that’s already been made.





  • Recycled Polyester is PET (the chemical used to create polyester) made from plastic water bottles that have been broken down into fibres. The recycled fabric keeps plastic out of landfills and can be recycled again many times over. Recycled polyester is less harmful than its original counterpart, generating fewer carbon emissions in production.





  • Silk comes from silkworms that live on a diet of only mulberry tree leaves, which are resistant to pollution and easy to grow. This plant’s characteristics make silk a low waste route of production. However, as silk requires animal labour, it’s essential to vet brands and ensure they’re using ethical production methods, so be sure to look for Ahimsa silk (or Peace silk).





  • Wool can be a sustainable fabric depending on how it’s produced. Fibershed, for example, creates Climate Beneficial Wool on Carbon Farming landscapes where carbon is captured and put back into the soil. Wool is also compostable, incredibly insulating, and doesn’t shed plastic microfibers.





  • Recycled cotton is essentially cotton fabric that has been converted back into cotton fibres and can be reused in textile products. This process starts off by organising the cotton into different colours, then they are run through a machine that shreds the fabric into yarn and then again into raw fibre.


Textile recycling come from two main sources;


  • Pre-consumer which includes scraps created by yarn and fabric by-products.
  • Post-consumer which includes garments, upholstery, towels, household items to be repurposed.


The largest volume of recycled cotton sources is produced through pre-consumer waste, such as cutting scraps. Post-consumer waste is more difficult to sort through due to various colours, fabric blends, and generally requires more work to be put into the process.


Benefits of recycled cotton include use in low grade products such as insulation and rags, it can result in less use of landfills (annual textile waste is estimated at £25 Billion), less use of energy water and dye and less CO2 and fossil fuel emissions.


Whilst there are lots of benefits to recycled cotton there are also some challenges that include the cotton needing to be blended into other fibres for strength and durability, the process is harsh on the cotton and puts a great deal of strain on the fibre which can lead to it breaking or getting entangled, it is more expensive and there is a higher risk of contamination from other fibres.


However, I think it is safe to say that the positives outweigh the negatives due to the impact that it could have on creating a greener industry and public response shows that there is a demand for this type of product with 24% of consumers willing to pay more for products labelled as recycled and 32% of people planning to buy them.





Other examples of sustainable fabrics include blended fabrics utilizing fibre technology that reduces synthetic microfiber pollution, advanced recycled and biodegradable fibres, biodegradable polyester and antimicrobial coatings that reduce the need for washing.

Types of not so sustainable fabrics include acrylic, elastane (aka Spandex or Lycra), nylon, polyamide, polyurethane and sequins. All of these are made using oil, which means they are made from fossil fuels which are usually extracted in an unethical way. Fabrics made from these can take hundreds of years to degrade.

BITA Member Flaire are a company committed to creating a better world through making home textiles using sustainable fabrics.  They are committed to the promotion of natural fibres (including fusion hessian, jute and organic cotton) to develop home textiles.

Hessian fibre is a natural, green fibre which acts as an insulator against heat, offers UV protection and provides moisture control. Its applications are multi fold. As an eco-friendly source, hessian is being used in areas such as construction and soil as protection material in disaster control and as reinforcement material. Flaire are the only company in Pakistan working with hessian with the concept of the 3 Rs (Reduce, reuse, and recycle). They have a wide product range from fabrics to home textiles and are working with hessian yarn and fabrics and now have implemented it into their home textiles products resulting in a more cost efficient and a better environment.

After years of research Flaire were able to succeed in merging two natural fibres that have different intrinsic qualities in order to generate a new environmentally friendly sustainable product which has been a landmark achievement for them. Through their efforts they hope to create a greener, more eco-friendly world. If you are interested in taking a deeper look into Flaire and the products they provide you can contact, or alternatively you can go to their website  at




BITA Member Norfolk House Consultants represent Aznar, a mill from Valencia in Spain who also pride themselves on their green eco-friendly response. Founded in 1881 they have been in the industry for 140 years and have grown the company to the point where they export to more than 85 different companies. They work in designing, manufacturing and marketing fabrics for decoration.

Aznar believe that “changing the colour of reality is possible” and this is why they pioneered launching Eco Green Products on the market, including a new line of fabrics made from recycled yarn. They did this hoping to guarantee a sustainable production process for their collections. Now that customers are growing increasingly aware of green products there is more of an interest in buying products that are not harmful to health, respect the environment, the universal rights of workers and the rights of children.

Aznar recycle products, including cotton and polyester. Recycling cotton reduces the cultivated land area used which results in water being saved, less energy being used and less use of pesticides. No chemicals are used in the process of recycling cotton.

Savings achieved for every ton of recycled cotton used:

  • Saving water consumed in crops – 10300 Litres.
  • Savings on chemical fertilizer – 194 KG
  • Energy consumed in the trimming process – 29 KW
  • Energy consumed in the spinning process – 2366 KW
  • Energy consumed in the dying process – 528 KW
  • Water consumed in the dying process- 6022 Litres.
  • Emissions to the atmosphere (CO2, CO and NO2) in the dying process – 29 KG
  • Chemical products consumed in the dying process – 21 KG
  • Wastewater in the dyeing process – 4468 Litres.
  • Toxic residues in the dying process – 4468 Litres.
  • Saving cultivated area – 2487 M²


Polyester comes from petroleum and requires strong processing resulting significant environmental impact. However, Aznar can create polyester from the recycling of plastic bottles. Recycled polyester uses less oil, less energy and emits less gases in its production. It also helps reduce plastic packaging waste. Recycled polyester acts the same as standard polyester as it is also waterproof, flexible, and highly resistant to wear and tear and high temperatures. Go and see how Aznar are pioneering through a sustainable process at if you would like to see their range (minimums 1 roll wide width or 2 rolls narrow width) contact

Clearly using sustainable fabrics will have a huge impact when it comes to protecting our environment and is something that is becoming increasingly popular in the hope of the industry doing what they can to help save the planet. If you are a buyer or supplier of sustainable fabrics, get in touch with us here at BITA to tell us your story so we can help you promote your company and products.  Email





How has Covid-19 affected people in the interior textile industry?

(Image From Reisoglu)

Last year the world was struck with disaster when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. In response to the dangers posed by the virus, many countries initiated a lockdown, which resulted in many businesses having to close for the foreseeable future, including those in the interior textiles industry. The lockdowns have affected the industry in many ways, leaving many people to adapt to the new modern world.

Last year the textile industry was forecasted a potential 50% drop in sales. For many businesses production had to stop, which resulted in many cancelled orders and overseas trade deals becoming strained, which would have a major financial impact on many in the industry on top of many businesses having to close or shut down.

One company that hasn’t been affected negatively by the pandemic is Alpaca Comfort LTD. Since the beginning of the first lockdown the company’s turnover has shot up by 50%. Alpaca Comfort Limited began in 2002 with a small alpaca farm in the Peninne hills of Yorkshire. Alongside this, they were also running a small business importing textiles from Peru and because of their current business were also buying and selling natural fibre bedding items such as pillows and duvets. When their suppliers closed, they took the opportunity to buy a mill and start manufacturing their own fibre bedding items.

Shaun Daniel from Alpaca has said, “We are struggling to keep up with orders, so we are bringing in more machines and staff. If this changes we will adapt.” Shaun has said he doesn’t know the cause of his recent success but believes the pandemic does have a large part to play. Alpaca have continued their online shopping option and because more people are at home, more people have been purchasing their products which are becoming increasingly desirable. Their success has been gradually improving throughout the year, despite the lockdowns and some of their larger clients having to shut down. Now that the Prime Minister has announced his exit plan from lockdown some businesses will have been preparing for the world to start returning to normal, but Alpaca plan on continuing as they have been given their recent success.



From Alpaca Comfort LTD


‘Interior Needs’ based in Gloucester are a family run business Interiors Retailer and Showroom who, like many, have also been affected by the pandemic. They provide at home consultations where they can measure and provide quotes for window coverings, provide interior design advice, and use their experience in tricky bays, conservatory roofs and motorisation. They also work with outdoor furnishings.

Last year the company had more positives than negatives and have been more busy than usual, shown by the fact that they had to shut down for 3 months and still broke even in 2019. In the last year, the pandemic has allowed Interior Needs to focus on improvements such as holding more controlled appointments. They have also focussed on marketing and advertising the company, mainly on Facebook in the hope that they will become more well-known and get better recommendations.

Jayne Court from Interior Needs described the first lockdown as very scary because no money was coming in and this caused them to panic. However, everything has been fine since then. Like many companies they have had to adapt to the rules the country has had to follow and to reduce risk they have been going to home addresses for presentations rather than having customers come to the showroom, despite how time consuming it is. They plan to continue to safeguard their future by working by appointment and having different people working on different areas of the business so more is covered. When asked about how she thought business would be next year Jayne said, “I don’t know… it’s scary, business might stop when people start to go on holiday and stop refurbishing when things get back to normal.” She believes that the lockdowns have been very influential on their successes because people have been stuck staring at the same 4 walls and have been saving money so have decided to redecorate.



From Interior Needs Facebook Page


What about the rest of the World? Well Angelo Carillo, an Italian fabric supplier selling Worldwide under the brands Via Roma and Gruppo Carillo, like many has had to face the troubles caused by the pandemic.  However, Angelo claims that although he had a quiet period for roll sales from March 2020 to March 2021 his cut length business exploded and he say that since April he has never experienced a better period for business throughout his career! He has managed to kickstart their roll service again and is now having successful meetings with wholesalers, shops & distributors throughout Italy.  Angelo has said, “the feeling now is very positive, everyone is selling again. Of course, our Italian customers know us very well and they know that we are the right partner to work with.” They hope their current success will continue and that their export sales will start to grow again.    NOTE:  If you are interested in seeing their fabric range sold by the metre cut length and rolls – contact their UK AGENT



From Via Roma


The lockdown has also affected young designers hoping to get into the industry. BITA member Janna Alu graduated from university last summer with a BA in Textile Design and like many people has struggled to find a job since finishing her degree. Despite crediting the first lockdown to helping her finish work for her degree, she has been looking for a job that will allow her to put what she has learnt at university into practice. Janna was able to get an internship in Amsterdam last year, where she was able to gain some experience in the textile industry. However, she was forced to finish it at home due to the pandemic, cutting her hands-on experience short. Despite the frustration of unemployment, Janna hasn’t let Covid stop her from pursuing her dream and has adapted to the situation by creating and selling facemasks and scrunchies on Instagram. Janna’s experiences show the wider impact that covid-19 has had, as it is not only affecting existing businesses but also prohibiting talented young people getting into the industry.  NOTE:  If you are based in the South of England and would like to give Janna some unpaid work experience in the industry (ideally pay her travel expenses) – please get in touch with us at



Janna Ala


Diane Harding – Managing Director of Norfolk House Consultants and BITA reports that many of the industry’s larger suppliers have had a really difficult time due to a large % of their business being export.  With the whole world being affected by this pandemic – sales are down both in the export and contract industry with hotels around the world shut and development on hold.  Diane says she is aware of many redundancies throughout the industry during last year and new appointments being postponed due to the uncertainty.  However – there is a light at the end of the tunnel with many reporting excellent cut length trade in the UK during the latter part of last year and early part of this year and now hotels are beginning to open contract sales are on the increase.  We are sure 2021 will be a far better year for the industry and by 2022 sales will be back where they should be in all sectors.


Diane Harding


It is difficult to tell if all businesses have been impacted in the same way, but it is safe to say that the pandemic has affected everybody in the interior textiles industry in one way or another. Some business will have found success, and some will have had to shut down but now there is an end to this in sight there will be many companies hoping to return to some sort of normality. We here at BITA would love to hear about your experiences from the last year and your thoughts about the future?



BITA member Edmund Bell launches new print designs: BLOOM & Printed Textures

Edmund Bell are pleased to announce the addition of nine new print designs in the form of the BLOOM collection, and DUET, OPERA and QUARTET printed textures.

BLOOM’s spontaneity captures the freshness of pretty country gardens. Scattered florals and blossom evoke a playful summer garden and mix decoratively with leaves and abstract patterns of the entire collection.

With a cool mix of emerald and midnight, blush, magenta and espresso; vivacious shades dance and mix effortlessly with neutral basics.Bloom news post 1FLORIS as the main floral bursting with summer delight mixes calmly with AMILIE; another organic inspired easy to use leaf. FINESSE and MONSOON, whilst multi-coloured, add certain calmness and contrast with zig zag lines and subtle drops. MARQUISE on the other hand punctuates with notes of formal trellis work and geometric clarity.Bloom news post 2The entire BLOOM story is complimented with METRO and OASIS (printed Sentinel base fabric), both waterproof upholstery substrates; and SERENITY our exclusive FR voile. MATRIX , a three tone FR strié effect woven fabric, completes the entire use of fabric complements for successful interior spaces.Bloom news post 3See the full BLOOM collection here

DUET, OPERA and QUARTET are a range of contemporary printed textures, designed to compliment and co-ordinate with a wide variety of decorative fabrics and interior schemes. Bloom news post 4The three designs, each presented in a assortment of 12 trend-led colourways, feature a range of subtle, printed ‘weave’ effects.Bloom news post 5Find out more about QUARTET , OPERA  and DUET

Suitable for any setting, but ideal for contract interiors projects, you can choose from an extensive range of 17 flame retardant base fabrics that are appropriate for the Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, Marine, Leisure and Events markets. Options of printing to narrow and wide widths (137cm to 300cm) are available on some of our base fabrics.

For over 160 years, Edmund Bell have been honing their product knowledge and manufacturing expertise to earn our reputation as your entrepreneurial partner who delivers the best quality, added-value and superior service.

BITA Website

Our brand new website is finally here!

Interact with us, our new website just became a lot easier to navigate and use! With an easy click, you can now view and interact with all industry and BITA Events, even add your own events … absolutely free! Our Interiors Directory now allows you to swiftly add your own listings and look up either specific or general companies in the trade. Locate the latest industry News including; show reviews, offers, etc.

Jobs – find your dream occupation or if you want to find the perfect candidate – post your job on our board (this is free for our BITA Members or a small charge for non BITA Members). One of our new sections is the Graduate Hub, a new section solely for design graduates. Lastly the Membership area is to learn how to become a member.

Preview images of the website below.

new website image-01.jpg


“More visitors, more opportunities; best Heimtextil yet” says Edmund Bell

Edmund Bell have just returned from their tenth appearance at the Heimtextil international trade fair, and it was their best yet.

Edmund Bell previewed a number of new ranges at the exhibition including new velvet blackout SENSATION and new velvet upholstery range PLUSH, new woven ranges MATRIX and EQUILIBRIUM, and new print collection BLOOM. All of which were well received by visitors to the stand.


Simon Nutt, Group Head of Marketing says:

“We have been exhibiting at Heimtextil for ten years now and the exhibition is showing no signs of slowing down. For 2019 we invested in a larger stand space at the show, and showcased a new stand reflecting our new brand identity. We were very encouraged by the positive customer reaction and increase in customers visiting the stand. As well as a big increase on last year, we recorded over 50% more customer opportunities than we did two years ago.”

Not one to rest on their laurels; the team are already thinking about how they can improve the visitor experience at Heimtextil 2020 – which will be the shows 50th anniversary. There will more product launches throughout the year to look out for.

Edmund Bell are a leading and trusted supplier to the global soft furnishings market, and experts in flame retardant blackout and dimout fabrics to the hospitality, cruise, healthcare, education and workplace markets.

For further information about us or our extensive product range and services please email, call +44 (0)1706 717070 or visit

 Edmund Bell. Where design meets performance, since 1855.


original-2.jpgA day of discussion and valuable insights about how to design for the print industry.

The course will be taught by professionals from Standfast & Barracks and will cover the topics; Researching your customer; The importance of Colour and Technical Considerations; And ‘how to win your dream job in textiles’ – a talk given by BITA & Norfolk house Director, Diane Harding. The masterclass will be useful for people who want to know more about working in the printed textile industry, making contacts and meeting like-minded individuals.

The day will also include a tour of the Standfast & Barracks design studio and factory to get an insight into how a successful Printed Textile company operates.

Diane, will also be on hand to offer tailored advice on your CV and portfolio to help you further your career.


This event is FREE for BITA members (email to book) and only £25 for everyone else.

Lunch is provided as well as refreshments on arrival.

Check our website or contact for more information on BITA membership.

* Please note that attendees will be visiting a working mill and must wear sturdy footwear with flat soles and closed toes. No clothing such as floaty scarves and draping skirts will be permitted due to machinery on the factory floor.

Reviews from the previous masterclass;

“I personally enjoyed the design process being explained and comparing it to my methods. It’s great to see how it works in industry as it helps a designer to understand the process and adapt your designs for certain print methods.”

“A Valuable insight into an industry and seeing the process from design to completion. Seeing the technical process of print was also invaluable as was seeing the factory. It was very professionally run, and the day was delivered brilliantly. Excellent value, I would highly recommend.”