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Since its inception in 1998 it has developed into probably the top international forum and marketplace for quality textiles and carpets. Despite the general malaise in business this event seems to go from strength to strength and its critical acclaim is almost matched by its commercial success.

The fair, which is organised by Hali magazine and Soho-based Centaur Exhibitions, showcases around 100 specialist dealers and they must be the most international bunch at any fair anywhere.

On duty are exhibitors from as far afield as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, America, The Lebanon, Morocco and Pakistan.
There is a considerable turnover of exhibitors this year with no fewer than 40 either returning to the fair or making their debut. Returning is Adil Besim from Austria bringing a good collection of early knotted Oriental carpets dating from the 17th to the 19th century.

David Sorgato from Milan promises rare examples of prayer rugs and door hangings, while an ornate selection of work from the Indian subcontinent will be offered by London dealers Junnaa and Thomi Wrobleswki.

Surrey dealer Rhona Valentine exhibits an original and unique collection of textiles by the Italian designer and artist Mariano Fortuny.
Introduced a year ago, The Design Pavilion will again be a feature, with a display of the best modern carpets, weaving and design. The growing interest in contemporary textiles was apparent last year and many commented on how well the new work blended with the more traditional antique carpets.

The fair is already colourful and exotic and it can only be more so this year with the introduction of a Souk Area for smaller works under a covered awning.

Another most welcome dimension to this year’s Hali is actually a departure from the textiles brief, but very much in the spirit of the fair: the Tribal Arts Pavilion offering African, Oceanic, Asian and primitive items dating from before 1940.

This new area, which will be as strictly vetted as the rest of the fair, neatly complements the already well-established and impressive array of tribal weavings elsewhere among the stands.

Expect around 10 dealers in the tribal area, among them Owen Hargreaves and Tribal Gathering, both from London. This new departure may well be outside the Hali remit but it strikes me as very much in sympathy with the look of the fair. Definitely a development to watch.

Some of the very top dealers are in the Gold Section and these include the Tai Gallery from Santa Fe with Far Eastern, African and ancient Peruvian textiles, London dealers Michael Franses and Jonathan Hope, and Sam Coad from the United States.
Admission is £10.