Textured and hi-tech fabrics are seen as growth areas of the Japanese home market in 2003 according to Kyokuyo/Sangyo Co Ltd, division of the Ashai Kazei group.

"What the Japanese consumer seeks today is high performance with moisure absorbing, quick drying and stretch priority requirements," says the company's Chie Ishi who will be leading the sales team when the company makes its first appearance at the Expofil yarn fair in Paris in December.

To date, Kyokuyo/Sanggyo's strongest links with Europe have been as importers since it holds exclusive rights to import and process Enka viscose filaments for use in the Japanese textile trade.

Meanwhile, at the same event parent Ashai Kazei will be introducing its Pewlon branded range of acrylic filaments to European fabric manufacturers. These will be shown alongside its much more familiar Roica elastane range.

By Sonia Roberts.