Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise is launching an extended support package to help keep textile companies up-to-date with fashion trends.

Scottish Enterprise's Scottish Textiles team hopes to make local companies more competitive in the global marketplace by increasing access to information on international textiles trends.

Scottish Textiles manager Kirsty Scott said: "Due to the seasonal nature of the textile and fashion industry, Scottish textiles companies must create new product ranges every six months in order to remain competitive with their international competitors.

"Fashion weeks in London, Paris, Milan and New York set the trends for that season's must-have colours, styles and fabrics, and keeping up to date with industry trends can be really expensive for individual businesses."

She continued: "Our package of support will ensure Scottish companies can incorporate these trends into their designs and are able to meet the current and future needs of their customers."

Scottish Textiles is launching the GBP25,000 (US$47,430) package to link with the Lighthouse, Scotland's centre for architecture and design.

The support will include:

* Seasonal trend presentations that identify international textiles, interiors, accessories and buying trends 18 months in advance to ensure companies have time to produce new product ranges.

* A trend library consisting of a collection of seasonal trend books covering the latest colour, fabric and style references, and which are available to view at the Lighthouse or on a loan basis to help with companies' research and development.

* A series of design workshops aimed at smaller textiles companies offering them strategic advice on how to grow their business.  These will cover topics such as how to protect textile designs, how to co-ordinate PR and best practice in micro-manufacturing.

Companies using these resources will pay an annual fee which is around a tenth of what it would cost them to keep up to date with the trends themselves.