Established alongside IMB in Cologne and JIAM in Japan as one of the three global exhibitions for apparel technology, the organisers of this year's Bobbin World could not help but be disappointed by a low visitor turnout. Unfortunate timing, which coincided with a backdrop of increased global competition, retail pressures, rising material costs and economic downturn meant that the show was a quiet affair, with technical innovations few and far between. Niki Tait and Leonie Barrie report.