Fabrics & Furnishings - Spring 2020 Issue

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The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper Volume 30, Number 2 • Spring 2020

Coronavirus Disrupts Global Supply Chain; Upholstery, Decorative Fabric Sales Affected China represents about 16% of the world gross domestic product (GDP) F&FI News Network


IAMI BEACH, Fla. — There are reports of the coronavirus disrupting supply chains around the world, especially since infections in China reached 80,000 in early March. The epidemic could also interrupt supply lines for other industries, including the fabric industry and the ancillary producers of fibers, yarns, and dye houses. This is the finding of a Fabrics & Furnishings International inquiry into the growing threat of the coronavirus to the world textile trade. “The major challenge from the coronavirus problem is the uncertainty it creates on the supply chain,” says David Li, owner of an upholstery mill and a bedding company in China and also an exporter to the U.S. (continued on Page 36)

Stout Scores Dramatic Growth • PG 21

Ann Hahn-Waddell


Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated, is about 620 miles from China’s major fabric mills.

WALL COVERING TRENDS Rockland Recapitalizes, Arthouse Wallcoverings Closes Mill • PG 7 Popularity • PG 27 Rising • PG 7 Arthouse CEO Paul Mullen

John Greenawalt

Aquaclean Opens First U.S. Office • PG 22

Aquaclean President and owner Rafael Pascual

Jiangsu & Zhejiang Hubei

Decosit Textile Fair Reboots for 2020 • PG 37

Kris Vermoesen

Kwantum Sells 25% Dutch Window Treatments • PG 20 Neutex Home Deco Appoints New Joint Managing Directors • PG 21

Andreas Peter

Joe Wheeler

Paris Deco Off 2020 • PG 46


Spring 2020 | Vol. 30, No. 2

21 26 27


The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper

Stout Achieves Major Growth

South Carolina Plant John Greenawalt


Mexico’s Hermes Steps Up U.S. Market

F FI Chemaya and Elias Mizrahi


Rockland Faces Financial Problems

23 PHOTO GALLERY | F&FI 30th Anniversary 34 PHOTO GALLERY | Heimtextil 46 PHOTO GALLERY | Paris Deco Off 47 PHOTO GALLERY | Showtime 50 Design | Design for a New Decade

PUBLISHER & CEO Michael Schneider, Publisher/CEO Tel: +1.212.404.6936 Mbl: +1.917.399.7464 michael@fabricsandfurnishings.com

931 Manhattan Avenue, Suite 3 Brooklyn, NY 11222 U.S. Tel: +1.212.404.6936 Fax: +1.866.891.6345 www.fandfi.com ISSN: 1523-7303


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ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ray Parker Mbl: +1.305.942.7741 ray@fabricsandfurnishings.com

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APC & Express Air Freight

E.U. Legal Counsel Herman Nayaert

F&FI NEWS NETWORK India | S. Vishwanath UK | Jennifer Castoldi


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PORTUGAL, SOUTH AMERICA Renato Strauss Mbl: +55.11.99188-8966 renato@fabricsandfurnishings.com

CORRECTIONS TO WINTER 19/20 ISSUE: These photos were incorrectly captioned in the Winter issue. Here they are with the correct captions. We regret the error.

Corrections – Address any factual errors to: Ray@FabricsAndFurnishings.com

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Valerie Hamroff (left), design consultant at Fabricut Contract in New York City and Julia Dalton, Director of Design at Fabricut Contract

Get & Gain Centre is the official subscription agent for Fabrics & Furnishings International in India. The price of a subscription in India is $250.00. Please contact GET AND GAIN CENTRE / SPACE AND TIME CENTRE ATTN; MR. VASANT. S. JAIN 301, SAGAR SHOPPING CENTRE, 3RD FLOOR, OPP. BOMBAY BAZAR, 76, J.P, ROAD, ANDHERI (WEST) MUMBAI – 400 058 INDIA. MOBILE NO. 9820720189 / 7303655501 | Tel:- 0091 -22-26775822 / 26773888 ©COPYRIGHT 2020 by Fabrics & Furnishings International.. All U.S. and International Rights Reserved.


Wallcoverings Market Is on a Roll; Set to Grow 5% and Reach $45 Billion in Six Years F&FI News Network


RANKFURT – The global wallcoverings market came to $27.5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $45.3 billion by 2026, thus growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% from 2017 to 2026, according to Stratistics MRC. The global wallcoverings growth is driven by several factors, including interior design trends, ceramic wall tiles, and new textures.

Marburg CEO Ullrich Eitel shows the new custom LED lighting for wallcoverings.

Additionally, printing advancements have driven down costs. Technological advancements in inkjet and digital printing, which allow for customization and lower costs, have further increased demand. The digital wallcovering market amounted to $4.5 billion in 2018, while it has been projected to grow by a CAGR of 13% from 2018—2023, according to Smitherspira. In terms of geography, South America is expected to experience a significant growth rate in the next five years due to investments in both residential and contract construction, according to Stratistics MRC as well as wallcovering executives at Heimtextil. Also, the Asian-Pacific area will have significant growth, as a result of burgeoning economies with growing middle-class disposable incomes. That is the big picture look at the industry. F&FI spoke with some of the biggest wallcovering companies for their perspective on the industry. The bottom line seems to be that the industry has shrunk, but this could change if consumers once again embrace wallcoverings, officials say. YORK WALLCOVERINGS, LARGEST NORTH AMERICAN MANUFACTURER, BUYS HIGHTEX York Wallcoverings celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. The privately held company is owned by High Road Capital Partners. Former owner Carl Vizzi is on the board of directors. York bought Hytex Industries in November 2019. York officials say the acquisition adds to York’s capabilities in the commercial sector

Rasch CEO Dario Rasch holds a book commemorating the company’s link with the Bauhaus movement.

since Hytex supplies innovative, acoustic wallcovering and decorative textiles. York CEO Brian Golden says the two big priorities have been developing new products and e-commerce. For instance, York launched a non-woven, peel-and-stick wallpaper this year. “Hytex has a high-performance reputation,” Golden says. “Where York comes in is, we have the design and the marketing push behind it. … Hytex is a North American company, so we see a big opportunity to use our global (continued on Page 42)

Wallcovering Changes: Arthouse CEO Paul Mullan Sees Distribution Channels Shift and Sales Up 15% F&FI News Network


RANKFURT— Wallcovering distribution is changing from do-ityourself to lifestylediscount-department stores (B&M, The Range, Dunelin and Wickes) as well as online retailers: Wayfair, Amazon, and Ebay. This is the opinion of Paul Mullan, CEO of Arthouse, a wallcovering converter based in Lancashire, U.K. Mullan says his business was up 10-15% in 2019 and he expects similar results for 2020. Certainly, that’s good news for Northedge, a U.K. private equity firm that purchased

Arthouse five years ago. Mullan joined Arthouse in September from his post at Walker Greenbank. Arthouse is exporting wallcoverings to 60 countries including Europe, North and South America, Russia, and the Middle East. Its export and domestic sales are evenly split. The company has 65 people employed with 12 devoted to design in its Manchester headquarters. “You generate 10 designs for every hit you have,” Mullan says during Heimtextil 2020. A big hit for Arthouse can generate $500,000 a

year, while overall company sales are about $25 million. “We innovate quickly,” Mullan says. That agility is aided by the fact that Arthouse works with 20 manufacturers. Mullan says that Arthouse is refreshing its product range every 12 months as opposed to the industry standard of every three to five years. “This is a trend and fashion-led business today,” he explains. “When the product sells, we push much harder. We don’t wait five years to take it off the market. This is not a commodity business.” F&FI

Arthouse CEO Paul Mullan

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Kelly DiFoggio Becomes First Female President of International Textile Alliance: Creators of Showtime Market F&FI News Network


IGH POINT, N.C. — Kelly DiFoggio has been named the president of the

10-member board of directors of the International Textile Alliance, producers of the semi-annual Showtime Market and the governing body of the ITA Educational Foundation.

DiFoggio is the first female president of the 29-year-old association. Kathryn Richardson, Libeco, will serve as vice president and Mendy Kearns of Hamilton Fabric Sales as ITA gets its first female executive committee with (left to right) Mendy Kearns, treasurer; Kelly DiFoggio, president; and Kathryn Richardson, vice president.

treasurer to complete the first all-female ITA executive committee for the two-year term, from 2019—2021. DiFoggio is currently the director of sales and marketing for Yarn & Loom and has served on the ITA Board of Directors for the past seven years and as a member of the executive committee for the past four years. “I am both flattered and honored to serve the association and industry I love,” DiFoggio said in a statement. “I am looking forward to announcing some new initiatives in the near future that we hope will benefit both our members and the industry we serve.” Other returning board members include Nathan Copeland, Highland House; Carmen Herndon Barbee, Ballard Designs; David Lappert, Kravet; Dada Patil, Catania Fabrics; Jana Platina Phipps, Classical Elements; Katherine Shoaf, STI; and David Stunda, Barbarossa Leather. Formed in 1990 to advance the textile industries, ITA hosts the bi-annual ITA Showtime Market and directs the ITA Educational Foundation. The non-profit, member-driven organization is based in High Point, North Carolina and is supported by leading companies across the industry. F&FI 10 • www.FandFI.com • Winter 2019/2020


Treasures From the Kravet Textile Archives go on Exhibit at the New York School of Interior Design Pattern and Process: Selections from the Kravet Archive showcases more than 80 documents at the NYSID Gallery through November 27 Calico Blog

For many years, the Kravet family and Calico management have been closely aligned, although each targets a different customer for upscale decorative fabrics. Calico, the largest retailer of

decorative fabrics in the country, sells directly to consumers. Kravet, the largest jobber (distributor) of decorative fabrics in the country, sells to interior designers and selected retailers, such as Calico. Both companies celebrated major anniversaries in 2018: Kravet marked its 100th anniversary, and

Calico celebrated its 70th anniversary — remarkable achievements given the roller-coaster economy and home furnishings industry have been these past two decades. Textile history is a major interest of Calico’s Jan Jessup, member of the merchandising and marketing teams at the company’s

Fourth-generation members of the Kravet family at the opening of Selections from the Kravet Archives at NYSID (left to right): Scott Kravet, Ellen Kravet, and husband and wife Lisa and Cary Kravet. Scott and Cary Kravet have been buying documents (antique textiles) and entire archives to save the patrimony of the textile industry. Courtesy New York School of Interior Design. Photo Credit: Jan Jessup

India’s Sutlej Textiles Promotes Nesterra Home Collections Recycled yarns made at the mill By Vishwanath S.

MUMBAI, India — ­ Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd., a predominantly large yarn manufacturer, went into home textiles 14 years ago. It currently accrues about 4%-5% turn over from home textiles from a total turnover (continued on Page 27)

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“The humanity is in the archival documents. You feel the wonderful sign of the human hand.” headquarters in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Jan attended the opening of the Kravet exhibit at the New York School of Interior Design and here is her report: An Archive of Archives. For a history buff and a textile maven, there is much to love on display at the Scott Kravet unfurls a Shibori Pattern and Process fabric from Japan that’s part of show at NYSID. These the Kravet Archive during the 80 selections from NYSID exhibition. the Kravet Archives were gleaned from about 40,000 documents comes from Orinoka Mills in stored at company headPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania. quarters in Bethpage, Calico used to purchase Long Island. The collecjacquard upholstery fabrics tion started with Kravet’s from Orinoka in the 1970s, own designs and sample and I recall visiting that books that were used for mill where I first learned reference by the designthe intricacies of designing ers in the Kravet studio. patterns on point paper It grew in 1995 when for the complex jacquard Kravet acquired Lee Jofa, loom (more on that later!). adding their archive of In researching the Kravet English documents, chintzes history, I came across a and linen prints. In 2001, quote from David Toback, a Kravet purchased the British member of the Brunschwig firm GP & J Baker, noted & Fils design team, who has for their hand block prints a special appreciation of and archive of rare textiles. hand-crafted historic docBrunschwig & Fils became a uments “The humanity is part of Kravet in 2011, along in the archival documents. with its collection of French, You feel the wonderful English and Indian textile sign of the human hand.” documents. As other jacFrom An American Textile quard mills and print houses Company to the Trade: have closed (both domesThe Corporate History and tic and foreign), Kravet Textile Collection Highlights acquired their archives. of Kravet Inc., by Deborah The most recent addition E. Kraak, 2014. F&FI


Dicitex Furnishings Streamlines Administrative and Manufacturing: $91 Million Annual Sales and 5% Growth “Value-added” products, such as FR velvets and Lurex cotton furnishings, sold to U.S. hotel chains By Vishnawath S.


UMBAI—Dicitex Furnishings Pvt. Ltd. is consolidating various manufacturing and administrative operations to streamline the company, according to Nimish Arora, managing director. He says Dicitex has completed 20 years of furnishing business, achieving an annual turnover of $91 million and is growing at 5% a year. “We aim at a steady top-line growth but with increased profit mar-

gins,” says Nimish Arora, managing director, Dicitex Furnishings. “The current atmosphere in the marketplace does not encourage us to keep increasing capacities.” Instead, he adds they’ve chosen to add value through an innovative line of products while focusing more on U.S. and U.K. markets.

(Continued on Page 30)

Brothers Nimish Arora and Rajjnish Aroraa see potential in the U.S. markets, especially in hotels, for Dicitex.

Design a Bord Ends at Paris Deco Off, While Private Viewings Succeed More Americans Seen During Paris Deco Off 2020 F&FI News Network


ARIS – Veteran textile designer Eugène van Veldhoven rented an upscale apartment for clients during Paris Deco Off because, after seven years, the textile-design boatshow, Design a Bord, has been discontinued. The Dutch designer says the apartment helped draw a variety of clients, instead of the same ones during the boat show. More Americans attended Paris Deco Off 2020, according to Veldhoven, and more than a handful of textile sellers. “I totally agree there have been more” Americans here, Veldhoven says, who sells 85% to U.S. clients. “I noticed it as well two weeks ago at Heimtextil. “There was a time when Americans would choose either Heimtextil or Paris, maybe they’re starting to combine it.” Veldhoven creates print patterns and decorative techniques, selling to editeurs and mills. He also provides the technical process for production,

such as mills wanting process, so when a client ing up with design ideas my clients. It’s like going to do digital printing. buys a design, she can give for print, wallcoverings, deeper into the ideas you He’s been in the business them all the information, dobby, and jacquards. He already have because you for 25 years and now never from construction on. I lives in Den Haag (The find a new textile machine. asks what clients do with the think she works with all the Hague), Netherlands. “After so many years, designs. One year he sold weaving mills in the U.S.” “You get so much feedpeople in the industry designs to IKEA and told Veldhoven originally back, even when a client know me like machine his family and friends, but studied fashion design but is not giving verbal feedbuilders or suppliers of the design was not used. was told he should work in back,” Veldhoven says. “I chemicals. So, they start “Our experience is if it’s textiles, which he did after a don’t read magazines. I sending me stuff or telling not used right away it goes year in the fashion industry. hate all the visual input. I me, ‘This is new, would you in a cupboard,” he says. “So “From then on it went follow the collections of like to try it out?’” F&FI now I don’t tell anyone.” quite quickly,” he Still, he’s been selling says, “It’s never more designs to flock vela million-dolvet printers as well as very lar business.” small patterns for wallHe draws coverings at Heimtextil. every day, comVeldhoven and his business colleague, Hélène Dashorst, tour the U.S. annually for two weeks. They see about 150 clients and are now looking for agents. He says a good year is when 50 clients buy from them. “It’s really a niche, more for me then Helene, she also travels to China,” he says. “I live a basic life. An Instagram post proEugene van Veldhoven rented an upscale apartment near The Louvre … Just like me, moting the Design a Bord during Paris Deco Off 2020 for clients to see his new designs. she knows the event in 2019, its last year.

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Tana Bana Offers Heimtextil Extras: 2020 Trend Report and New Printing Technique F&FI News Network


ORRISTOWN, N.J. — Tana Bana, the design company for residential, wallcoverings, and other markets will offer Heimtextil prospects its 2020 trend report and introduce a new printing technique for woven jacquards. “As customers’ taste-level increases,” Principal Shreenie Vasan

Principal Shreenie Vasan says he wants to offer specific information for customers at Heimtextil 2020.

says. “It is important for us to be extra specific about what we want to offer.” For the trend report, officials say they have done an extensive study of customers at different price points, varying product categories as well as visiting several shows, including Maison A part of Tana Bana’s trend report for Heimtextil. & Objet, the home décor fair connecting the internation• Bisque Pink • Techno looks al design community. (orange, pink) • Iridescent textures “We have put down this • Warm neutral, • 1970s retro looks information in a cohesive camel sands • Day of the Dead manner,” Vasan says. “We • Electric blues • Cute fruits are hoping this informa• Soft jade plus blush • Cosmos/ planets/space tion helps our custom• Lavender lush NEW TECHNIQUE ers to focus on product • Marigold (earthy yellow) Vasan says there needdevelopment and save • Techno mint ed to be a new way of lots of time and effort.” Here are a few of the producing jacquards due Customers will get a free 2020 pattern trends, to their rising cost. physical copy, or email, according to Tana Bana. “We see a big need for of the trend report at • Fringes prints that look like woven Heimtextil [Jan. 7—10, 2020]. • Ruffles jacquards,” he says. “Hence Here are a few of • Quilted looks we created a new line the 2020 color trends, • Shiny sleek of patterns based out of according to Tana Bana. • Lace true fabric simulation with

the help of Jacquard software (Pointcarre.com). “The result is you will get the look of jacquard fabric at the cost of the print.” Vasan co-founded the company with Susan Ritchie. They named it Tana Bana because it means warp and weft in the Hindi Indian language. They have 12 employees in India, who help in producing about 150 patterns per month. F&FI

Turkey’s Boyteks Creates New Upholstery Brand Called Weavers by Boyteks, in Effort to Compete With Chinese F&FI News Network

BURSA, Turkey — Weavers by Boyteks is the new upholstery brand of the company. Seyit Ali Koksal is the general manager of Weavers as of July 1, 2019, who shifted from his previous position as vice general manager of upholstery for Boyteks. The Boyteks brand now only covers mattress ticking. The growth of the upholstery business for Boyteks made the move important. There are literally thousands of upholstery collections produced by Weavers in the $2—$20 per meter range, a spokesman said during Heimtextil 2020.

Weavers by Boyteks logo

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Weavers is producing 1.5 million meters of fabrics per month, according to the spokesman. “There is a 200-meter-percolor minimum on the Weavers collections,” a spokesman says. “This also covers custom production and attractive pricing. “We are going head to head with the Chinese upholstery producers. We are not going to give up the market to the Chinese.” Weavers offers product in wool, cotton, and polyester as well as top-of-bed products in knitted and woven construction. F&FI

Seyit Ali Koksal

Froca, Top Spanish Manufacturer, Expands Main Warehouse to 40,000 Square Meters and Moves Into U.S. Market F&FI News Netowrk


IAR, Spain ­— Froca is expanding its warehouse by 15,000 square meters for a total of 40,000 square meters in the next couple of months. It’s also selling more in the U.S. with agents in New York and Florida, and soon, in California. “Right now, everybody wants fast delivery,” says Juan Marin, general manager and second-generation owner. “Now we have to stock a lot of meters here. … and we’re going to have robots. It’s kind of what Amazon started, so now everybody expects it.” Marin says the goal is to have same-day delivery with the new automated factory. He adds it takes about two months to gather the fabric, weave, and roll it. “If you deliver in two months, you will be out of business,” he says. “During the height, we have more than five million meters in stock.” Froca does about $35 million in annual sales, mostly in upholstery fabric to Europe, and employs 60 people. The company moves from 5 to 6 million meters per year. Froca grew about 15% last year, Marin says, but this year is more unpredictable due to political instability, such as the strikes in France. Froca was founded in 1967 by Francisco Marín, Juan’s father. Now, the trend is plains with a soft touch in neutral colors, he says. “Right now, people don’t want any more chenille,” he

says. “So now we have to do it with chenille, but it doesn’t look like it.” Froca also started a new brand called H2Oh, which provides stain protection. Although it has been around a few years, Marin says there has been a push recently with new collections. Also, there is a new eco-friendly line from recycled bottles, which Froca unveiled at

Heimtextil 2020. The recycled yarn comes from Barcelona, and there are several collections, including Habitat and Forest. “We finish a lot of material here in Spain,” he says. “We also make some material in China, India, but this is more the commodity plains, the cheaper. And then if it is jacquard, or something more sophisticated, we produce it in our factory here.” F&FI

The Froca warehouse that is expanding by 15,000 square meters.

Juan Marin and his father, Francisco Marin, who founded Froca. Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 19


Richloom Buys Chambers Fabrics Mill, Now Offers Made-in-America Wovens Now called Richloom Weaving, mill targets upholstery fabrics: Fortress Clear and Richloom brands F&FI News Network


EW YORK — Richloom Fabrics Group Inc. has bought a mill, more than a decade after selling its last one, the Chambers Fabrics facility in High Point, North Carolina. Former owner Ray Chambers is now president of manufacturing and engineering. “As a global company, we’re able to make products everywhere,”

Richloom COO Michael Saivetz says. “The one area we were actually lacking was made-in-the-USA wovens. “We have a print business up in New England, but this was a hole in our assortment.” Tariffs are an issue. “The unease of China or Vietnam, the lead-time issues that many were having, we decided that it was the right time,” Saivetz says. He adds Richloom can now take its Chinese product and layer in its new domestic product. It’s a matter of logistics, price, and construction.

Overall, the prices are $3 to $12 per yard for domestic fabrics, officials say. “It’s things you just can’t get out of China or India,” Saivetz says. “The one thing that Richloom can do is to bring the product from all parts of the world, all different looks, and marry it in here. It’s not just wovens, not just body cloth, not just prints, not just embroideries, we can do everything.” Richloom Vice President of Upholstery Sales/ Merchandising Nolan Mitchell says the new mill will help with the companies’ diverse customers.

Kwantum Sells 25% Dutch Window Treatments F&FI News Network


RANKFURT — KWANTUM, part of Homefashion Group NV in Tilburg, The Netherlands, sells one out of four window treatments in Holland each year, officials say. Homefashion Group is the owner of the brands Kwantum Netherlands, Kwantum Belgium, and Benesto. It was acquired from Macintosh Retail Group in December 2015. Jolanda Ploegmaker is the buyer of ready-made and made-to-measure curtains, roller blinds, and hardware for KWANTUM. KWANTUM has 600 employees and 110 stores in the Benelux region. KWANTUM officials say it is the low priced leader in the retailing of home furnishings. In fact, it offers a low price guarantee with curtain panels selling for as little as 14 euros each on an everyday basis. KWANTUM has over one million visitors online and in its store, according to the company.

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Jolanda Ploegmaker

Jolanda Ploegmaker is the buyer of ready-made and made-to-measure curtains, roller blinds, and hardware for KWANTUM from approximately 30 suppliers. She attended Heimtextil 2020. KWANTUM’s theme is “contemporary living for everyone.” “We strike a refined balance between quality, speed, price, process, service, and accessibility on a daily basis,” according to the company website. KWANTUM’s vision is to “introduce living products and services to the people.” “The real value lies within finding the best fit for each client,” according to its website. F&FI

Nolan Mitchell (left), R​ichloom vice president of upholstery sales/merchandising, and COO Michael Saivetz, show fabrics made from its new mill in Highpoint, N.C.

“There are some customers that really just want to buy out of a warehouse and just buy a domestic product,” he says. “And some who just buy in Asia or wherever, but with the diversity that we have, this gives a platform to make something [new].” The Richloom Chinese operation, or Richloom Shanghai Trading, has not been altered. “We have actually had an increase over there as well,” Saivetz says. “It’s a matter of a segment of our customers asking for a domestic product, and there are things we can make here that we can’t make in Asia.” Nolan adds the domestic product isn’t so much about new prices as it is about new textures, use of yarns, and color combinations. Officials said the new fabrics sold “extremely well” at Showtime in November 2019.

Saivetz says diversification is the key to the future. “It’s not easy out there, we all know that,” Saivetz says. “But I think we’re doing what we need to do to make sure we’re here for a long time.” Jim Richman, CEO and president of Richloom, says, “Adding aggressively-priced domestic product to our portfolio is something I have wanted to do for many years. It’s great to be back in domestic production.” Begun in 1988 as a fabric converter, Chambers Fabrics Inc. grew into a domestic, state-of-the-art, vertical-jacquard mill that offered woven jacquard textures, chenille, and flat-woven upholstery fabrics to the furniture industry, distributors, jobbers, and other specialty markets. F&FI

Stout’s Fourth Generation-Family Ownership Scores Dramatic Growth Through Additional Contemporary High-End Fabrics, Hardware, and Wallcovering Lines Annual growth of 7%-10% F&FI News Network


OLMAR, Penn.—Stout is expanding its product line and price points with a more diverse offering of high-end fabrics and wallcoverings, according to John Greenawalt, fourth-generation owner and current vice president, operations, of the residential fabric wholesaler with about $25 million in annual sales. Supported by strong sales in January this year, Greenawalt says sales have John Greenawalt grown steadily by 7%-10% for the past six years and he expects to achieve this growth in 2020. “We don’t want to be the biggest in this business—only the best,” he says. “That means we want to continue offering one of the best product lines in the indusF&FI News Netowrk try and also offer on-time delivery to our customers.” UENCHBERG, Stout is now reaching Germany -- The out to a different end-conNeutex Home Deco GmbH sumer with Bassett McNab (Neutex), a producer and Marcus William brands, of decorative fabrics, and Greenawalt feels there made-up goods, textile is a big piece of the highwindow coverings, and end consumer pie still out technical fabrics, has there for Stout’s taking. appointed Joseph Wheeler The open line of tradiand Andreas Peter as tional products is growing joint managing directors under the Stout brand. Stout effective April 1, 2020. is also expanding in the They will succeed Jochen modern-high-end range Rieger, who has been with Marcus William brands the managing director of and the upper-end product Neutex since March 2015, and offering, in Bassett McNab’s will leave the company on March 31 at his own request. traditional handwriting, Wheeler joined Neutex in 2014 and has previously has increased dramatically, been sales director for national and international sales. according to Greenawalt. Peter has been part of Neutex since 1990, He and his sister, Kate, who and was the technical director for production, is vice president of sales, are technology, and purchasing since 2011. being groomed for co-management of the company since Bill Greenawalt l, vice president and head of sales, will partially retire later this year, and Bob Greenawalt, F&FI News Network president and head of operations, is planning to retire RADFORD, WEST YORKSHIRE, UK — Rob Surtees has in five or six more years. been named UK sales director for both Prestigious Barbara Godwin Textiles and Styleline Blinds(SLX). joined Stout in the Surtees replaces Graham Bateman who held this posifall of 2018 as design tion since 2003. Bateman died in an accident last August.

Kate Greenawalt

Neutex Home Deco Appoints New Joint Managing Directors


Andreas Peter

Joe Wheeler

Wheeler and Peter will continue Neutex´s strategic development with a focus on further integrating digital technologies and enhancing customer services. Neutex, a division of the Hoftex Group AG, has locations in Muenchberg, Germany and in Targu Mures, Romania and employs 240 people. F&FI

Prestigious Names Rob Surtees U.K. Sales Director


Surtees joined Prestigious in January from Gordon John Textiles, Ltd., Warrington, UK where he held the same position. He was with Gordon John for just under 19 years. He has over 30 years’ experience in the industry. F&FI

Rob Surtees

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Aquaclean, Largest European Fabric Producer, Opens Its First U.S. Office F&FI News Network


URO DEL ALCOY, Spain – The Aquaclean Group, the largest producer in Europe, is opening a new subsidiary in the U.S. this year. Aquaclean has annual sales of $70 million, about 80% in Western Europe. “We’re going to have easy logistics to help with the branding and to make the product accessible at a decent price,” President Rafael Pascual, and second-generation owner, says. “I think there are two markets. One is the sofa market and the other is the jobber, or fabric, market.” Aquaclean is made in Spain and it is doubling its manufacturing capacity this year. The Aquaclean headquarters is located in the textile hub of Southern Spain in the city of Muro del Alcoy, about an hour inland from Alicante. “As far as upholstery, we are a worldwide player and we want to control our brand,” he says. The Aquaclean brand started 12 years ago, but prior to that, the Pascual family had other successful brands, such as Courtisane. “That was a hit,” Pascual says. “That was in the early 1990s. …The company, especially Antecuir, the flock part, grew to almost $80 million. “We knew we needed our own brand for the cleanability story. We were large users of Teflon. We were one of the largest promoters. … And we developed this new micro-encapsulation technology.

We understood that the function had to be defined by the name, so (Aquaclean).” He says there are two kinds of Rs in the story of stains: repellency and release. “So, our focus was mild repellency to allow for a good release,” he says. “These are functions that you have to balance in the chemistry. … We are not only able to clean immediate stains but old stains.” Javier Miro, Aquaclean marketing communication manager, says this balance is even more important in hotels, where stains can go unnoticed for hours or days. Even so, the distinction between residential and contract segments is not so important for Aquaclean. “Everybody now wants to address both markets,” Pascual says. “You sell to a jobber and he tells you, ‘I do more domestic,’ but they also, through their professional interior designers, they have a fabric that could be used for both Aquaclean President and owner Rafael Pascual stands hospitality or domestic (residential).” in front of a photo of his father, who started the He adds: “Our idea is to make company. this (fabric) like an SUV vehicle, if you want to use off-road, it’s up to you, but you can do anything.” says. “We don’t have or need any special liquids Aquaclean has fabrics for famior cleaners. … When I say websites, they are lies with pets. It is starting an eco-fabactual instruments to sell. Consumers can find ric line created with recycled materials. our brand, whether it’s a jobber or other buyer.” “We see that as a big trend now of hybridIn the end, officials say it’s the Aquaclean ization of spaces,” he says. “Especially, you see brand that drives sales. Its research and develthese tech offices, who are trying to attract talopment department have two executives ent by building spaces” that are like a home. and six employees doing trials and tests. Aquaclean has almost 50 videos on “I think branding is what drives our demand,” about 70 websites on how to clean stains, he says. “Aesthetics and price are not enough for both consumers and professionals. because you have the Chinese and the Turkish. It’s “Basically, everything is with water,” Pascual hard to be in Europe, let’s put it that way.” F&FI

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Stout’s Fourth Generation-Family Ownership Scores Dramatic Growth director, replacing Mark Rickers who retired. A hardware line was added since Godwin joined the company plus a wallpaper line, both under the Stout brand. Stout is back into wallpaper after 15 years without it. A Victoria Larsen wallpaper line is coming out this April. As a result of these activities, the sample budget has seen a major increase, Greenawalt says. Stout has always been known for the traditional look in its Rainbow Library collections for the past 30 years, but this has been supplemented with the expansion of the Marcus William line through the distribution of Ashley Wilde’s contemporary Kai line in the U.S. since 2018. The fourth collection will debut this spring, and more recently, Stout purchased the intellectual assets of the high-end, traditional Bassett McNab line (August 2019) — the iconic print line in the $70-$150 price range. Under the watchful eyes of creative director Anne Hahn-Waddell, Bassett McNab prints are being recolored and coordinated with 40 woven fabrics developed in India and Italy. Hahn–Waddell joined the company in late 2019 from Bailey & Griffin and will be attending Proposte 2020. The increased product effort will be supported by the Stout sales force of 40 plus in 40 nationwide showrooms. There is a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and office in Colmar to handle the inventory. Stout had a major loss of inventory and IT systems due to a fire in 2011 but has completely recovered in a much stronger fashion, according to Greenawalt. F&FI

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Ann Hahn-Waddell, the creative director of Bassett McNab


F&FI 30th Anniversary

F FI David Titlebaum, principal of Radiate Textiles, Norwalk, Conn.; JohnAndrew Ovenstone, managing director of Warwick, U.K. and Scott Kravet, vice president, design, Kravet Corp., Bethpage, N.Y.

Deborah Newberger, sales manager and Darren Fradin, president, Rockand Mills, Inc., Baltimore, Md.

Matthew Crew, managing director, Beaumont Textiles, U.K. with Omar Al Guthmi, Mohamed O. Al-Guthmi, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Ajay Arora (l-r) principal of D’Décor; Michael Schneider, Publisher F&FI; Eric Schneider, founder of Fabrics & Furnishings International, and Sanjay Arora principal of D’Décor

Matthew Helliwell (l-r), Sanjay Arora, Nicola Brumfitt, marketing director, Prestigious, U.K., and Trevor Helliwell

Ahmet Sapmaz, vice president, Valley Forge, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. with Eric and Michael Schneider, Diane, Michael and Judy Dobin, Valley Forge principals.

Bob and Ari Greenfield, principals of Magicdecor, Miami, Fla. with Eric Schneider (center)

Gary Price and wife, Robyn, principals of Materialised, New South Wales, Australia, wholesaler, and Ray Parker, associate editor, F&FI, Miami Beach, Fla.

Archie Tchernov (center), Moscow based principal of Arben Galleria with his fiancé Victoria (left) and S. Wishnawath (right), F&FI’s man in Bangalore, India

Matthew Helliwell, Nicola Brumfitt, Diane Harding, David King, all U.K. based Michael Schneider, F&FI Publisher; Ana Stephan; Eric Schneider, founder of Fabrics & Furnishings International; Bernard Bain, F&FI UK, Ireland, France and Spain Sales Rep; S. Wishnawath,

Brett Fleetwood, Christchurch, New Zealand based sales agent with daughter, Amy

Jeff Rocque, sales agent based in Greensboro, N.C. with Ruth Bond

F&FI India Sales Rep ; Ray Parker, Associate Editor; Sonia Tan, F&FI China and Southeast Asia Sales Rep; and Sevim GÜneş, F&FI Turkey Sales Rep Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 23


Robert Allen Duralee Group Closes Showrooms in Six Major Cities Real estate developer Brant Enderle bought RADG for $19 million F&FI News Network

The Robert Allen Duralee Group (RADG) will close its showrooms by the end of March 2020 in the following cities, according to a released statement: Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, High Point, North Carolina, and San Francisco. Once the second-largest American supplier of decorative fabrics and furniture, RADG officials filed for chapter 11 protection in February 2019 and the company was bought by real estate developer Brant Enderle for $19 million in May 2019. Brant Enderle “It will maintain a physical presence in all major design center markets by launching with new high-end, multi-line agent showrooms,” according to the statement. “Robert Allen believes this transition will continue to accelerate its ability to seize industry growth opportunities while delivering innovative products and reliable operational performance to its customers.” The company continues to offer “an eclectic range of fabric, trim, decorative hardware and furniture to both residential and commercial clients,” according to the statement. F&FI

Beech Heads U.S. Zimmer + Rohde Contract Sales, a New Market for Z+R F&FI News Network


EW YORK — Leslie Beech has been named vice president of contract sales for Zimmer + Rohde (Z+R) in the U.S., in the Stamford, Connecticut office, as of Jan. 1, 2020. This is a new position and a new market for Z+R, which has been a residential jobber in the U.S. Beech says she will target hospitality and contract specifiers in her new position. Family-run for four generations, Z+R is a German manufacturer and produces fabric, furniture, accessories, and wallcoverings. The mill is located in Oberursel (Taunus), northwest of Frankfurt.

Beech was previously with Donghia for three years in New York as director of contract. Beech reports to Dorothy Kostek, the North American Leslie Beech managing director of Z+R. Kostek also was previously with Donghia. Prior to joining Z+R and Donghia, Beech was with Architex, the contract specialist near Chicago. Z+R owns the following brands: Ardecora, Travers, Hodsoll Mckenzie, Etamine and Warner. F&FI

Valdese Wavers Opens New High Point Showroom The 105-year-old textile company will move to 311 N. Hamilton St. F&FI News Network


IGH POINT, N.C. - Valdese Weavers is relocating their High Point showroom to 311 N. Hamilton St., from their previous location at Market Square Tower, where it was located for 30 years. The company will occupy the entire third floor of the Hamilton Street building. “This is simply a very momentous decision for us,” says Mike Shelton, president and CEO of Valdese Weavers, in a statement. “From a single showroom in 1990, to the 10,000 square feet of nine conjoined spaces most recently, it has been a great venue to host our customers and tell our story. “Our future presence in High Point needs to represent our evolving strategy by showcasing our products and services in a way that is consistent with that strategy. Along with our Inside Out Performance Fabrics Outreach Gallery at 200 Steele, our new home at 311 N. Hamilton will allow us to do just that. Our show-

24 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

room will be larger with a much more open environment than before and provides us with a clean canvas to create an elevated experience for our customers.” Valdese Weavers received the Best Showroom award at Showtime in November 2019. “We hope that when our customers visit us at Showtime in May, as well as earlier during the April International Home Furnishings Market, they will understand immediately what we are saying to the marketplace with this exciting move,” Shelton says. Valdese Weavers, a 100% employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) company, is a leading designer and manufacturer of decorative textiles in the U.S. for residential and contract markets. The company operates four facilities in Burke County, North Carolina, and trades under the brand names Valdese Weavers, InsideOut Performance Fabrics, Sustain Performance Fabrics, Circa 1801, Home Fabrics by Wesley Mancini, Valdese International Products (VIP), Dicey Fabrics, and Valdese Weavers Contract. F&FI

Walker Greenbank Names Montague CEO Other positions filled F&FI News Network


ONDON — Lisa Montague was named on April 10 the CEO of Walker Greenbank PLC, a public company designing and manufacturing wallpaper and fabrics. It trades under several brands including Arthur Sanderson Lisa Montague & Sons, Morris & Co., Zoffany, and Harlequin. The company employs over 650 people, mainly in the U.K., and has showrooms in London, New York, Chicago, Paris, and Dubai. David Butcher, general manager of brands for Walker Greenbank, has left the company. Montague has extensive experience in luxury brands marketing with companies like Mulberry, Loewe, and Aspinall. In other appointments at the company, Beth Holman was appointed president and CEO of Style Library in the U.S. in October 2019. Style Library is a subsidiary of Walker Greenbank and the parent group for British brands Zoffany, Harlequin, Sanderson, Morris & Co., Scion, and Anthology. Holman has a background in fashion—most recently she was vice president of wholesale at LVMH group fashion house, Celine. Mauricio Solodujin was also named commercial director of Walker Greenbank and is based in the U.K. office. He was previously a senior vice president for LVMH in New York. Nigel Hunt joined WG as a group marketing and digital director. He will be responsible for developing strategic marketing plans for the company’s portfolio. Ben Naylor joined the company as group operations director in January 2020. F&FI

American and Indian Textile Partnership Hits Stride at Showtime: Epingles and Velvets Hot American Silk Mills launches new brand and new collections to record attendance F&FI News Network


IGH POINT, N.C. — American Silk Mills, one of the oldest American textile brands, founded in 1896, turned a critical corner after it was bought by Sutlej Textiles & Industries Ltd. in India. ASM officials say the working partnership came to fruition at the 2019 Showtime Market, where they launched a new brand (ASM Loft) and two new collections (Anthology and OffLoom) to record attendance. “We’ve had more attendance than the last 14 Showtimes, and more walk-ins, and extraordinary response from customers, to the point that they’re seeking us out,” ASM Creative Director Susan Hedgecock says. “Obviously, it’s a new day for us.” Several customers agreed, including Highland House President Nathan Copeland: “They’ve done some good work.” In what was likely a first, a major Indian textile company, Sutlej, bought ASM in November 2017. Officials say the aim has been to

integrate both companies, so that ASM provides design and marketing in the U.S., while Sutlej provides infrastructure and manufacturing in India. “We see this as a step to get into the U.S. market,” C. S. Nopany, executive chairman of Sutlej, said in April 2019. The new brand, ASM Loft, is a first major product by the American and Indian teams, offering textured plains and feature fabrics that incorporate novelty yarns, such as twist, slub, space dye, boucle, and chenille yarns. Intentionally developed around chameleon-like colors, such as blush, linen, sage, and indigo, officials say the collection complements most palettes. ASM will stock many of the 112 SKUs with shipping within 48 hours of order. ASM CEO David Corbin, who has been at the helm since February 2019, says that the expected price points for body cloths will be between $9-$14 per yard, while jacquards will top out at about $15 per yard. “ASM Loft is one of the

first brands to bring truly affordable luxury to market,” Corbin says. “We believe this will open the door to new accounts that need more accessible price points.” ASM Creative Director Hedgecock described the new Anthology collection as an iconic construction from the 123-yearold archive. “It’s meant to be luxurious, it’s the sizzle on the runway,” Hedgecock ASM Creative Director Susan Hedgecock (left), Highland House says, adding the President Nathan Copeland, and Highland House Creative Director Lee Belmore gather inside the ASM offices during Showtime in collection is refined November 2019. velvets, epingles, and silks spread across three color palettes. business,” she says. “Seeing coming out of India.” There are 35 SKUs priced them in every facet, so ASM specializes in in the mid- to upper-range, it’s printed velvet, velvet designing, weaving, and topping out at 100% silk. jacquards, and so on.” distributing textiles to Velvets are a hot item Anthology “is a very niche customers across residential, in the collection. market for us,” Hedgecock contract, transportation, “Velvets continue to says. “The real workhorse and specialty markets. grow and a big part of our is going to be Loft.” Its products include business, and they’re a She added, “We have Sensuede, an eco-friendly big part of our customers’ a stable supply chain synthetic suede. F&FI

D’Decor Exports and D’Decor Home Fabrics Show for First Time Inside Villa Erba at Proposte 2020 Proposte 2020 Rescheduled September 23–25 F&FI News Network


UMBAI — D’Decor Exports, the largest home fabrics and upholstery mill in the world, and sister company D’Decor Home Fabrics will be showing inside Villa Erba in Como for Proposte 2020 (Seeptember 23–25). This is the first time D’Decor has this prime location, which has always been dedicated to mills based in Europe. Previously, D’Decor showed its line at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. D’Decor has annual sales of about $225 million and employs 6,000 people. F&FI

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 25


Mexico’s Hermes Targets U.S. Market Due to Global Supply-Chain Uncertainty F&FI News Netowrk


EXICO CITY — Industries Hermes SA de CV, the upholstery and contract manufacturer, looks to expand its U.S. business during a time of supply-chain disruptions. It has close to 50 distribution partners throughout Mexico, but also six distributors in Canada and three in the U.S. (one in New York and two in Chemaya and Elias Mizrahi Florida). “We are currently looking to add more distributors to our U.S. territory as we speak,” Hermes COO Chemaya Mizrahi says. “The outlook is very promising, in part thanks to the geography, which is very suitable for this.” Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Hermes began in 1980 by Elias Mizrahi, who remains the CEO. In 2019, Hermes sold 2 million meters; the company employs about 300 people. “We expect to surpass last year’s (sales) as we continue to add international distributors,” Mizrahi says. The catalog of Hermes has continually increased, and today it offers more than 1,000 different products. Here are the main product lines. Hogar Collection: Upholstery that is made up of more than 600 different products. Contract Collection: Targets furniture manufacturers, architects, designers and also theaters. Mattress: Hermes works with different lines that serve this sector, from service products to performance textiles for mattress covers. It will start exports in late 2020. Footwear: This is a newly opened division, serving domestic and export markets. Mizrahi explains how Mexico is becoming more competitive, especially in the U.S. “(First) Asian products have been rising little by little over the years,” Mizrahi says. “On top of that, they seem to struggle continuously with the exchange rate issue. Prices in Mexico have increased, but to a lesser extent in terms of percentages compared to Asia. Add to that the freight, it will always be more attractive to send a

26 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

freight to the U.S. from Mexico than from China.” He adds: “In Mexico, we produce a container at the same time as it is made in China, but the customer is able to receive the shipment in 10 days or less.” Second, Mexican designs also have an advantage over China, Mizrahi says, “As we know, they are very efficient in production and aggressive in price, but there’s more to that. And we seek to propose different and non-traditional solutions to the market that generates new trends and spurs creativity in furniture and attractive customer solutions.” Hermes manufactures half of its production and imports the rest from Asia, mainly from China. “These are the products for which we do not have the necessary machinery in Mexico and are normally destined for the interna-

tional market, including suede, faux leather and mattress covering,” Mizrahi says. “Everything else we make it in Mexico.” He adds there’s already suppliers in Spain if Chinese material is delayed due to the coronavirus. In addition, Hermes has invested in technology. “The technology at Industries Hermes has always been a topic of vital importance,” he says. “Both the technology for our machinery, processes, and manufacturing procedures, as well as for our internal and external management.” For all these reasons, Mizrahi says, Hermes is set to expand its U.S. market. “The U.S. market is a focus of attention in 2020,” he says. “We have very ambitious plans to continue to be present in that market and continue to grow it, making an important leap in 2020.” F&FI

Amare Restaurant Ceiling Is Worth the Trip F&FI News Network


IAMI BEACH, Fla. — “I love for people to experience good eating, surrounded by beautiful designs and warm company; moments like these are what I call la grande bellezza – the great beauty,” says Gino Iovino, celebrated restaurateur and founder of Amare Ristorante in South Beach Miami. Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Gino grew up absorbing the city’s lively spirit, old world charms and time-honored culinary traditions. A fashion lover since his boyhood, Gino was just 18 years old when he left Italy and headed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work in his family’s fashion boutique. Less than a decade later, in 1981, he opened his own store, Eleganza, in Atlantic City. He was one of the first to feature Versace fabrics in his store. In the spring of 2019, Iovino debuted his newest concept, Amare Ristorante, in South Beach located in south of Fifth Street at 1 Collins Avenue. Iovino hired an artist to painstakingly cut voile fabric into a very unusual ceiling. It’s worth the trip just to see it. F&FI

“I love for people to experience good eating, surrounded by beautiful designs...”

Gino Iovino with Rolando Henao, U.S. fabric importer with Versace piece goods. Unusual fabric ceiling in Amare Restaurant

(Continued from Page 14)

India’s Sutlej Textiles Promotes Nesterra Home Collections of $380 million. Sutlej has 15,000 employees and exports to over 65 countries. “We are the largest manufacturer of melange and dyed yarn in India,” says ~Updeep Singh, deputy CEO of Sutlej Updeep Singh, deputy CEO of Sutlej. “The ran ge also includes spun yarn and yarns with special effects. Manufacturing of recycled spun yarn is our core strength. We are also commissioning the manufacturing of PET recycled fiber soon.” He adds: “Our focus is now on the home textile division. We have introduced a sustainable range of products made from in-house manufactured exclusive recycled yarns. Over the years, the textile industry has had a major impact on the environment, the carbon footprint of the sector has been a major cause of concern, and we have consciously shifted to make sustainability the next trend and Sutlej has taken a leading role.” The capability to produce recycled yarn in-house extends unique benefits, such as better control over quality and competitive pricing, Singh says. F&FI News Network Sutlej also is also constructing the world’s largest blackout producer and a solar power plant and installed new IAMI BEACH, Fla. —Rockland Industries is the only manufacturer of blackout lintechnology to enhance efficiency. based in Baltimore, Maryland is closing ings in the USA. Those who supply hotels, “Our portfolio in home décor segment conits sole manufacturing plant in Bamberg, South healthcare and other industry segments will sists of draperies, upholstery, cushions, throws, Carolina. be hard-pressed to replace this supplier. table covers, table mats, comforters, and other Up to 133 employees could be terminated Check www.FandFI.com for further trendy made-ups,” Singh says. “Our main advanfrom the Calhoun Street plant, which Rockland details as they become available. F&FI tage is that many of the yarns are sourced has operated since 1963. Rockland is the proin-house in an array of fibers like cotton, polyesducer of Roclon blackout drapery linings. ter, rayon blends, chenille, flax, embellishing them News of the plant closing broke first with various designs after which they transform to in the Times and Democrat, a local a wide range of our offerings in home collections.” Bamberg newspaper on Feb. 25, 2020. Also, he says Sutlej has expanded its cusF&FI has since learned that Rockland tomer base in export markets and have is undergoing a recapitalization but no named its new vertical as Nesterra. The further details about that process or collection includes a range of green prodthe final outcome is forthcoming. ucts, inherent FR products, indoor-outdoor Rockland sales and administrative personline, and easy-care line of products. nel were blindsided by the closing. They knew “The company has invested heavily on research nothing about and development, new products, skill enhanceit beforehand. ment and training, collaboration with compliCalls to Mark ance: in the times to come, more and more Berman, CEO of organic ways of doing business will come Rockland Industries, handy and Nesterra is determined to explore and Tom Kasputys, innovative ways for growth,” Singh says. second in comThe home textiles unit has obtained sevmand, have not eral certifications, including SEDEX SMETA been returned. (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) PILLAR F&FI learned IV, and Oeko-Tex standard 100 (tested for that the plant will harmful substances), among others. cease production In 2017, Sutlej bought American Silk this week and all Mills, which has enabled Nesterra to benoutstanding orders efit from the ASM design capabilities. will be shipped. Rockland Industries suddenly closed its plant in South Carolina. Singh says, “To Sutlej, this is a forward Rockland is step to get into the U.S. Market.” F&FI

“We are the largest manufacturer of melange and dyed yarn in India,”

Rockland Industries Recapitalizes, Closes South Carolina Plant


Rockland is the world’s largest blackout producer and is the only manufacturer of blackout linings in the USA

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 27


A New Twist: Illustrator Agostino Iacurci Designs Proposte 2020 Poster Proposte 2020 will be held September 23–25 F&FI News Network


ERNOBBIO, Italy— Proposte organizers usually collaborate with designers to come up with their annual poster/image, but for 2020, they chose illustrator Agostino Iacurci for the task. Iacurci is a multidisciplinary Italian artist who lives in Berlin. Proposte President Piercarlo Viganò says in a statement: “Illustration is the warmest and most engaging visual communication system in existence. In Agostino Iacurci, we found the ideal exponent of this world to The Proposte 2020 poster created by Agostino Iacurci. synthesize in an exemplary way what Proposte 2020 represents.” The artist looked back to an iconic chair for inspiration. “When I was imagining the Proposte 2020 poster,” Iacurci says in a statement, “I thought of fabrics as a story-telling tool due to their ability to transform spaces and objects. While I was pondering this idea, I remembered Poltrona di Proust (1978) by Alessandro Mendini and the re-design concept at the origin of that project. “I, therefore, imagined placing at the center of the scene, theatrically crossed by two curtains held open with tie back braids, a classic armchair in which each element – the armrests, back, and seat — had a different fabric and decoration that helped generate the international, multicultural, and open identity of the object and the event.” For Proposte 2020, the social media hashtags are #ProposteFair and #Proposte2020. F&FI

Here is a Poltrona di Proust armchair created by Alessandro Mendini.

Agostino Iacurci, creator of the Proposte 2020 poster.

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(continued from Page 16)

Dicitex Furnishings Streamlines “Importantly, we have begun online marketing with select channel partners for ready-made products, such as curtains and cushions in the USA,” Arora says. “We are also marketing recycled and inherently FR fabrics to the hospitality segment in the USA.” In particular, foil-printed fabrics, embroideries, velvets, and FR velvets, and lurex cotton furnishings, including jacquards and plains, continue to sell well, he says. Dicetex has already secured orders for such fabrics from leading U.S. hotel chains. “The company has begun the year with orders worth $8 million on hand and will focus more in North American markets, which is growing at 7% plus, with other markets stagnant, while U.K. sales are good,” he says. The U.S. remains the most promising market for the company. “Elsewhere, the markets are average to negative, like in the Middle East, due to political uncertainties, though buyers want to stock the goods with a long period of credit, which we are not keen to extend,” Arora, says. “Now, the USA is the most important market for us and we are working with dozens of converters, and online marketing with select channel partners, in order to enhance our exposure in US markets further.” Dicitex Furnishing’s Vice Chairman Rajjnish Aroraa was nominated as vice chairman-CITI YEG of the Young Entrepreneurs Group (YEG) of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry & Members, which includes spinning and weaving segments to clothing and machinery manufacturing. “This is a privilege to serve the Indian textile industry as we are able to present our views to the government about various issues, including environmental systems, power-saving technologies, and such issues that Indian textile manufacturers face regularly,” said Rajjnish Aroraa, vice chairman of Dicitex Furnishings. “This gives me also an opportunity to serve the textile community and put across any grievances that are faced by the industry to the ministry of textiles.” Also, Rajjnish feels that several measures adopted at Dicitex will make it more efficient as far as manufacturing costs and administrative costs are concerned. “Last year, we invested over $5 million and we have budgeted to spend similar money in the current year too,” he says. “My brother Nimish and I will together continue to lead the company more confidently than ever before.” F&FI

Bru Textiles Ups its Digital Game With “Digital Textures” Bru Visualization Suite Offers 100% computer-coded fabric: lower cost and faster speed than traditional photography F&FI News Network


ONTICH, Belgium — Bru Textiles Belgium, one of the world’s largest furnishing fabric converters and distributors, launches the Bru Visualization Suite (BVS). It shows photo-realisticdigital fabrics. “With the ultimate goal to sell more fabrics, the BVS will be the virtual-design assistant to help interior designers, architects, on-line furniture and decoration sellers to visualize their products digitally with photo-realistic clarity, literally imagining the touch and feel of the fabric on the screen,” Bru CEO Gary Neiman says

in a statement released today (Jan. 21, 2020). Bru explains a “digital texture” is a fabric that has been developed in 100% computer code, so it’s neither a photo, nor a scan, but is rather a state-of-the-art recipe combined to produce a photo-realistic replica of an actual fabric, which is called the “digital twin.” The digital textures are then ready to be skinned on thousands of 3D models of furniture, drapes, curtains, and beds. BVS has also mastered the process of developing perfectly compatible 3D models, so the digital textures can be easily applied. Three years ago, under the umbrella of Bru Textiles Belgium, Bru Digital was founded in Kiev, Ukraine, with a mission to build a center, which would produce digital textures (i.e. digital fabrics). Bru Digital was born in Unit City, Kiev, (next to the technology university),

Textile Veteran Rayess Joins Morgan Fabrics F&FI News Network


RANKFURT—Sam Rayess has joined Morgan Fabrics Corp., the Los Angeles-based con-

Sam Rayess

verter, as an international sales director. For the past two years, Rayess held a similar post at Z-Wovens, the U.S. branch of the Chinese mill Zhongwang, which is based in Hangzhou. Prior to joining Z-Wovens, Rayess was an international sales director for Burlington Technologies. Rayess, a native of Beirut, Lebanon, is a wellknown textile-sales veteran based in Dubai. F&FI

which is managed by Bru’s local Ukrainian team who are experts in design, 3D, AR, VR, and other digital development skills. This team is working in tandem with Bru’s digital design and technology experts in Belgium. Bru Digital specializes in the production of digital textures. The company is partnering with fabric distributors, furniture manufacturers, on-line interior merchandise sellers, and gatekeepers to help them offer their consumers an experience they have rarely had before, company officials say. Bru can now show a model of furniture with every possible fabric color and design combination at the click of a button. BVS allows a curtain style on a window, for example, to be presented in every color to give the consumer a true idea of how their final selection is going to look. A digital texture will

allow an interior architect to present a perfectly rendered interior with the actual fabrics that are being specified for that particular project. Officials say BVS is a true solution to bridge the consumer’s imagination gap. BVS includes thousands of curated decoration scenes with the possibility to change colors and designs in a quick and inexpensive way. Officials say this will be a huge help for the contract/project market where quick turnarounds and the perfect visual images are a real need. Officials say the Bru Visualization Suite is unique because, for the first time, all digital textures are accompanied by the physical fabric supply chain to support it. In other words, the actual fabric

can be delivered in each and every digital texture, solving this long-time painpoint for many architects and interior designers. All these BVS services come at a fraction of the cost and thousands of times faster than traditional photography content, officials say. Traditional content production (i.e. photography) is cost and time-intensive and has an impact on the environment. “Yes, the BVS is a sustainable solution to the future of digital-interior content-creation,” Neiman says. “The Bru Visualization Service is by default immensely increasing the quality and standard of today’s interior renders, which is by default setting the benchmark for interior digital content.” F&FI

Bru Bash Draws 500 Industry Insiders During Heimtextil F&FI News Network


RANKFURT—Bru Textiles, the largest fabric converter in the world with sales of about $150 million, celebrated its 25th year during Heimtextil. Gary and Jason Neiman, the two brothers who started Bru, hosted the event on Jan. 8 at Depo 1899 in honor of their milestone with about 500 people. Gary attributed the success of Bru to many things, but he specifically mentioned several people he most admired in the industry. These included the late Peter Kaufmann, founder of P/ Kaufman, New York; Ralph Anstoetz of JAB, in Bielefeld, Germany and Keith Gordon, owner of Architex, in Chicago. “Bru does an outstanding job with servicing its customers,” says David Finer, principal of Fabricut in Tulsa, Okla. Finer says the cost of sampling is a growing expense, which must be addressed by the industry. He says, “there’s a growing movement to digitalize samples but the issue of touch must somehow be addressed.” Bru is based in Kontich, Belgium. F&FI

Gary Neiman

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 31


Edward Gargiulo, 87, Remembered by His Peers President of Rockland Mills writes how Gargiulo shaped his career F&FI News Network


APLES, Fla. — Edward Gargiulo, a well-known print-fabric converter in the New York area, and also a partner in Anju/ Woodridge, died after a brief illness on Jan. 12. He was 87. Anju Woodridge was purchased by P/Kaufmann several years ago, and Gargiulo retired in Westport, Connecticut. He later moved to Naples, Florida in 2002. He will be remembered Edward Gargiulo by many for his encouraging attitude and mentoring abilities. “He was my mentor,” says Darren Fradin, president of Rockland Mills. One of Fradin’s first textile jobs was working at Anju Woodridge. “I learned more from him about business and life than anyone else. He shaped my entire career.” Johnny Keeton, a well-known international-textiles sales agent remembers Gargiulo expanding exports in the early days. “Eddie was an industry icon,” Keeton says. “Eddie was one of the first to expand U.S. fabric exports in the 80s and 90s.” Gargiulo was vice president of sales and a partner at Anju/Woodridge Inc., where he drove the company’s expansion into Europe, Asia, and South America. He served in the Army with the rank of first sergeant and was a veteran of the Korean War.

He had civic duties, such as the Chamber of Commerce of Mount Vernon, New York. Additionally, he was involved with the Westport, Connecticut Little League Baseball organization, serving multiple terms as league president and umpire in chief. Most recently, he served on the board of directors for Cedar Hammock Golf & Country Club. An avid golfer, he carded multiple holes-in-one during his lifetime. Laura Evans, Gargiulo’s daughter, writes: “Thank you for the friendship, love, laughter, support, and care you all gave to my dad. He cherished each of you and the individual ways you enriched his life.” Gargiulo is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marilyn; his brother, Gerald; his sister, Victoria Fasano; sons, Edward, Stephen, and Michael; daughter, Evans; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Kidney Foundation. Memorial services will be held at New Hope Ministries in Naples, Fla. on Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. FRADIN REMEMBERS HIS MENTOR Rockland Mills President Darren Fradin wrote this letter about Gargiulo. “Eddie Gargiulo and his partner, Irwin Ginsburg, created such an amazing culture at Anju/Woodridge that I genuinely felt privileged to work there. I literally couldn’t wait to get to work every day. I was a kid. He took a chance on me and I never forgot that. “On my first day at Anju, Eddie brought me into his office and said: ‘Darren, I’ve got four kids, and they all have chores around the house. One I have to yell at. One I have to make laugh. One I have to bribe. And one I have to beg. At the end of the day, they all do their jobs — but it was up to me to figure out how to motivate them. That’s the secret to being a good sales manager — welcome to the company.’ “I walked out of his office feeling like I had just

received a gift. That was my first day of work. I have told that story a thousand times. Since then, I’ve tried to model myself after him, hoping to be a fraction as good, wise and as respected as he was. His legacy will live on forever.” PETER & MARIA GARBER REMEMBER COWORKER AND FRIEND Peter & Maria Garber wrote this letter about Gargiulo. “I was so saddened to hear of the passing of our dear Ed. So many memories of the years in the textile industry, so many years at 295 5th Ave. I cannot help but think of him with gratitude every time I travel to some part of the world that he exposed me through my travels for Anju Woodridge. “People around the world and in the industry here in the states will always remember him for being the pioneer in bringing American products to their countries at a time that ‘made in America’s counted, and their economy was blossoming. “We went through so many turbulent times as well. I remember when Swavelle offered me a better paying job and in the same building. I had a migraine for two days as I could not bring myself to tell him and Irving Ginsburg that I had accepted it. And Ed, being the man he was, was upset but invited me to his home that year for Easter dinner with the family. “I also remember that he introduced me to Elio Fumagalli, his friend from Imatex in Italy, the other pioneer, who then became my friend and who hired me years later when I became an independent agent. I am grateful to Ed and you [Marilyn] for years of friendship that still continue for me around the world with clients and with Grazia Fumagalli and family who send their love to you. “I am sorry I cannot be in Naples for his memorial as I am having eye surgery on the prior day. However, I will see you at another time. Know that you and Ed will be in my heart and prayers always. Much love, Maria and Peter Garber.” F&FI

Antonio Casanueva, Textiles Agent who Pioneered Luxury Design, Dies at 81 in Mexico City F&FI News Network


Eleanora and Antonio Casanueva

EXICO CITY—Antonio Casanueva, a wellknown textiles agent, died on Jan. 12 at his home here. He was 81. According to his daughter, Fabiola, his greatest passions were dogs, bullfighting, and textiles. In 1988, he joined JKS

32 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

Agents (Johnny Keeton Studios) to distribute decoration fabrics in Mexico and continued until his retirement in 2015. He represented brands such as Prestigious Textiles, Textiles Vilber, Mitex, and Textiles el Cid. “He was a pioneer in the introduction of luxury design

in textile retailing in Mexico,” his daughter, Fabiola, says. “He implemented innovative ideas such as establishing ‘store within the store’ in order to promote the sale of luxury decoration brands.” Hitting goals was an important part of Casanueva’s success. “Antonio managed his life

by objectives,” she explains. “He was always establishing ambitious goals and striving to achieve them. For example, as a young man, almost without speaking English, he traveled to the U.S. and graduated from the international MBA program at Thunderbird (continued on Page 40)

Web Police: Google Toys With Penalizing Slow Websites Fabric and e-commerce sites could be especially vulnerable By JOE DYSART


oogle is toying with the idea of shaming slow-loading websites by displaying a “Usually loads slow” splash screen in place of a homepage when someone is trying to visit a tex-

Michael Miller

tiles business site. The move, which Google detailed in a recent blog post, would have a chilling effect on any website Google deems as slow-loading. Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin is policing the security of websites. Essentially, a “Usually loads slow” splash screen posted by Google could hurt fabrics and furnishings businesses, encouraging a web surfer to move along to an alternative website with better performance. “Internet users are less tolerant of slow websites than they’ve ever been,” says Marcus Taylor, founder, Venture Harbour, a digital marketing firm. “And the shift towards Internetenabled mobile devices means that if you’re not fast, you’re not going to be seen.” While Google was careful to word its new policy as a possibility rather than an inevitability, it’s no secret that the search giant has been campaigning hard for a faster web for decades. Moreover, the search titan has demonstrated that it has no qualms about stepping in as officer-on-the-beat when it comes to exposing

poorly performing websites. Indeed, since the summer of 2018, Google has been branding websites exhibiting poor security by displaying an “insecure website” icon in a browser’s website address bar. Secure sites are rewarded with a padlock icon – the sign of a correctly secured site. No one asked Google to do that. “Many companies find that YouTube is a fast and effective way to disseminate all kinds of information,” says Michael Miller, author of the guidebook, “YouTube for Business.” More than a few website owners have been vexed by the branding. But like it or not, Google has already set itself up as the arbiter of web security. Now, it’s looking to expand that policing role to include rating the speed of sites. Bottom line: Many Google watchers see the Google post on shaming slow websites as a trial balloon — a probe to see if there is a significant backlash to the idea or widespread acceptance. Either way, the prudent move is for textile businesses to up-their-game on their site’s download speed now. As many of us have learned over the years, more often than not, what Google wants, Google gets. THE FIRST STEP: SEE HOW FAST YOUR WEBSITE DOWNLOADS Interestingly, you can get a quick look at how fast your website downloads, courtesy of Google. The reason: Given that Google has a vested interest in a fast web seeded with its advertising, it’s no won-

der it offers free tools you can use to quickly assess the speed of your site. Simply type in your site’s web address at Google’s Page Speed Insights, and you’ll see in a matter of seconds how fast your site’s home page downloads. Besides offering you an instant rating, Page Speed Insights also offers you extremely detailed, specific suggestions for speeding up your site, such as changing the format of your images or eliminating unnecessary coding from your site. Similar tools you can use to quickly analyze the speed of your business website include Lighthouse , Yslow and Google Analytics Site Speed Page Timings. Once you’ve got an idea of how much faster you’d like to have your site download, here’s a game-plan for speeding it up and avoiding the loads-slow stigma. 10 TIPS TO SPEED UP YOUR WEBSITE *Pay extra for faster hosting: Investing in premium web hosting is one of the easiest ways to speedup a large site. While smaller websites may be able to get away with cheaper host, larger sites often benefit from premium, usually faster hosting on a virtual private server or dedicated server. Unlike cheap hosting, which houses numerous websites on a single server, a virtual private server solution actually uses multiple servers to distribute your site content across the web. For the highest-priced, potentially most powerful alternative, consider a dedicated server. That features a single website on a server that is maintained by a dedicated system administrator. *Ask your web host for help: Web hosts have a number of simple, free

solutions fabrics and furnishings businesses can use to speed-up their sites, such as clearing their website’s cache. Plus, web hosts can advise you on a number of other actions you can take to increase speed. Chances are your web host will also try to pitch you on additional services and options that cost money. But it’s worth calling them and sorting through what’s free, what costs, and what makes the most sense for you. *Use low-resolution images wherever possible: Bloated, extremely high-resolution images are one of the major causes of slow-loading sites. And in most cases, they’re completely unnecessary. Generally, low-resolution versions of images look exactly the same on the web as high-resolution versions of the same images. “One of the biggest drains on your site’s resources is its images,” says Ellice Soliven, content and social marketing manager, Dreamhost, a web hosting company. “They’re great for making your site look amazing and for supplementing your text content,” she says. “But they also require server space and bandwidth. This is especially true if your site contains high-quality images — such as in a portfolio, gallery, or online store.” You, or your web designer, can use a photo editor like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements to change an image from high resolution to low resolution with a single click. Or you can use other tools like TinyPNG, Microsoft Paint, Microsoft Picture Manager, Pixlr, Shrink Pictures and Smush for Wordpress.

*Host your company videos on YouTube: Hosting the promotional videos for your fabrics and furnishings business on YouTube enables you to offload all the heavy bandwidth transmission involved when someone clicks a video link on your site to view a video. Why draw resources from your own webserver, which may be hosting hundreds of other web sites, when you can have YouTube’s ridiculously fast servers handle all your downloading requirements? To use YouTube as your free video hosting provider, the easiest solution is to simply post your video on YouTube and then post a link to that video on your website. Or you can embed a YouTube player in your website that will display your video on your site while YouTube’s servers handle all the processing. “Many companies find that YouTube is a fast and effective way to disseminate all kinds of information,” says Michael Miller, author of the guidebook “YouTube for Business.” “Done right, it gets information out there.” *Consider using a caching plugin: Websites based on PHP code (such as Wordpress) need to convert that programming to HTML before displaying a web page in a user’s browser. A caching plugin eliminates that conversion wait by generating an HTML version of each page of your website ahead of time in a cache – so it’s there for your visitor’s browsers to access as soon as he/she arrives. There are risks to using a caching plugin: Some plugins you’re already using on your textiles site may not be compatible with a (continued on Page 54)

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 33


Heimtextil 2020 S

ustainability was a central theme of Heimtextil 2020, which had nearly 3,000 exhibitors for the 50th edition.

Throughout the event, there were exhibits on how to improve the environment with both recycling and durability in mind. “The re-think is really only just beginning,” Martin Auerbach, general manager of the Association of the German Home Textile Industry, says in a statement. “To actually get to the circular economy, we must think and act with the entire value-creation chain in mind.” Visitors could see new sustainable concepts at the new Future Materials Library in the Trend Space in Hall 3.0. The library offered innovations in sustainably produced textiles. The section on Natural Assets drew attention to some unused natural forms of algae and stinging nettles. The Biological Byproducts exhibit showed agricultural resources in the form of orange peel and agave leaves.

Doris Deng caught at Hetextil. She is selling upholstery in China through her Kentex mill and developing finished products under her new upscale brand, La Belle Vie. (l-r) Manoli Kolekar, assistant manager – export marketing, Smita Joshi, vice president – exports, Updeep Singh Chatrath, CEO, Sutlej Textiles and Industries Limited in India, Sarah Wolfe, director, contract design, and Denise Gutierrez, design director, Crypton Fabric, in New York, U.S.

This is Giacomo Barzhagi of Como, Italy. He says he is retired but we know better. Giacomo admits he has licensed a 150-man design studio in India to produce designs under his watchful eye and license. (l-r) Shaul and Adi Shecter, Ali Aydin, general manager, Mehmet Taka and Sinan Esen, sales & marketing coordinator Murat Canik, a principal of Elvin, the novelty curtain maker upholstery fabric, Aydin Tekstil in Istanbul, Turkey from Bursa, Turkey, with Erin Finn, designer with Heritage Fabrics in Concord, NC; Woody Lowdermilk, senior manager, also with Heritage; Cigdem Ozturk, agent with MTL Global Ventures, NY, and Esin Baykan, export sales expert with Elvin

The Kahans: That’s papa Steve with sons Andrew and Scott. The trio own Regal Fabrics in Middleton, MA. Regal is well known for the novelty textiles it produces in China, but they are looking for other suppliers in Turkey and India due to the tariff situation.

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Simrat Kaur, textile designer, and Nimrat Kaur, director, GM Fabrics in Mumbai, India, and Ross Cartwright, head of home, Laura Ashley Limited in London, U.K.

Jennifer Castaldi, design consultant, her new baby boy Leonardo, and his father Damien walking the halls of Heimtextil

Ashok J.V. and Parkas J.V. managing partners of Euro Asia, well-known sales agents based in Singapore

Mesut Ozsoy, general manager of Texmar International Ltd., Shaoxing, China, with Ari Greenfield, president of MagicDecor, Miami-based wholesaler and converter, Baris Coskun, BSB Sourcing, Istanbul, Turkey, Eric Schneider, Editor Emeritus, Fabrics & Furnishings International, and Robert Greenfield, principal of MagicDecor

Friendly competitors Paul Marshall, principal of Fryetts, and Ashley Brodin, principal of Ashley Wilde, both based in the UK

That’s Michael Joseph, the curtain fabric trader from Manchester with his pal, Tero Jaakola, principal of Falk Group Finland and Markus Company based in Pielarsaari, Finland. Tero is looking for good curtain fabric suppliers.

Arwind Modi of the Albani Group, Augsburg, Germany, with colleague Bernd Konrad, purchasing manager, and Juan Marin, general manager, Froca of Alicante, Spain

Jeff Erdheim, executive managing director, Crestmont Fabrics Ltd.,Hauppauge, NY, with Nina Lee, New & Next Design Ltd., Shanghai; Judi Harris, owner and CEO of Crestmont with Cristina Harris Coffey, EVP Design, Crestmont

Karen Piperno, director of Paloma in Montivideo, Uruguay, with Gokcen Kibrit, Weavers, sales coordinator Bursa, Turkey, and Rafael Piperno, also director of Paloma

Peter Fitzgibbon, MD of The Textile Company, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, fabric wholesaler with Rafael Pascual, principal of Aquaclean(r), the Interfabrics brand from Alicante, Spain

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 35


(Continued from Front Cover)

Reports of Coronavirus Disrupting Supply Chains Around the World

“As ex-Soviet Union, the first reaction a communist regime tends to take in front of a disaster is try to cover. Sadly, China is no exception.” “China lost a few weeks to alert the public. Now the problem is getting out of control in Wuhan and Hubei province. It is heartbreaking and very upsetting to see so many innocent people getting sick, even losing their lives, because of the lack of transparency. It shows how fragile life can be and how important freedom and transparency are.” The virus outbreak in Wuhan happened some 620 miles from the location of major fabric manufacturers, which could reopen in February. “Regarding the impact to the fabric industry, if you look at the China map, you will notice that Wuhan and Hubei Province is in the middle of China, while the Chinese upholstery fabric industry is mostly located in coastal Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces,” Li says. “Zhejiang and Jiangsu are about 1,000 kilometers [621 miles] away from Wuhan and Hubei. Their geographic relationship is similar to that of France/Germany (in relation) to Hungary. China has now


Mill owner David Li says he’s confident the coronavirus will be under control in a few weeks in China.

applied very tight control on the human movements. Factories were told not to reopen until February 9. I am confident that Coronavirus will be under control in a few weeks. They stopped SARS in 2003. They can stop Corona in 2020.” It’s uncertain if lead-times will be enough to handle shipments to the U.S. “So far as we are concerned, we deal with mostly major US retailers and manufacturers,” Li says. “We are always prepared for a 12–14 week lead-time. We have enough yarn and fabric stock for our programs. We will struggle a little as we lose almost over a week of weaving and printing time, but we will be fine.” One U.S.-based Chinese fabric importer, who preferred not to be quoted by name, says that he “really doesn’t have clear answers as the world economy is so intertwined. While we import little directly from China, there are so many components and distribution links that may be disrupted.” He continues, “Unexpected impacts are rather likely when the smooth flow of markets is unexpectedly altered. Yarn and dye supplies may be affected by weavers and printers in Europe and America. Logistics may change. Costs of raw mate-

Greg Tarver, president of Covington Fabrics & Design, has had minor issues as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

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rials and consumer sourcing preferences may change. Unpredictability in business is a negative. How negative is hard to tell. Thus far, I have seen no impact.” CHINESE DOMESTIC MARKET ALREADY AFFECTED “This coronavirus, which started in Wuhan in the Hubei Province, has a very big impact on the fabric business for the domestic Chinese market,” says Hohans Cheung, owner of Morprow, a major importer of Chinese fabrics into Europe and a domestic player in China. “This coronavirus, which initially only influenced a province (although an important province), has become a nationwide problem. The shops are closed and the streets are empty. In addition, it also impacts the complete distribution,” Cheung says. “Customers cannot rely on their deliveries being on time or even getting delivered. Normally the Chinese New Year already is a period that sales go down, but now this period is getting longer, and it takes additional time to get the sales back up. What will also happen is that market sentiment is becoming really unstable. Customers are even more cautious, and this will result in lower pick-ups for the new collections. Projects are canceled or are put on hold because of this instability.” Cheung points out that while there is uncertainty, he is optimistic the textile manufacturing will return around March. “Priorities are shifting from consumers and this will also result in lower spending in the fabric business,” he says. “The number of cases of the coronavirus is relatively low

and the fatality rate is also low at 2%–3% (although one is one too many), the emotion of the people and the market is the biggest influence. So overall this will have a negative influence on the whole domestic Chinese market. At the moment, I expect that the market will not recover very quickly and according to the experts, we can expect only in the middle of March that we can slowly start working to recovery again.” Chinese officials are taking measures to contain the virus. “This time we see, although in a slightly delayed reaction, that China is determined to get this coronavirus fixed and contained,” Cheung says. “Severe measures and regulations were taken by China: Nationwide curfews, transportation controls, and containment procedures are quite drastic, but will be effective. Also, the willingness to invest like building a complete temporary hospital in a mere ten days with capacity for over a thousand patients are just some of these measures. People are buying premium face masks, disinfectants, and gloves instead of cheap ones. This is a change of mentality in the market that was already happening before the virus.” Cheung predicts the domestic textile market will shift once the virus is contained. “In the long term though we will see new opportunities after this virus; it causes the market to have more faith in the stability caused by the government,” he says. “Also, the people will be willing to spend more to better their lifestyle instead of keeping it in savings. This will result in a

Hohans Cheung, the owner of Morprow, says the Chinese New Year coinciding with the virus outbreak means a faster recovery.

shift from lower to a more mid- to high-end market.” “For the export business, I think we will have some very big challenges to take on,” Cheung says. “During early February, the factories were still closed and the expectations for opening were around February 21. This will extend the already difficult time for production to follow up on after the Chinese New Year.” He says although a lot of factory workers are not located in the Wuhan area and come from other regions of China, this will still result in big delays for workers to return. Late openings and shortage of workers in factories will result in delays in productions and delays in deliveries to customers. “The biggest challenge for the export business will be the emotion of the market,” Cheung says. “If the market does not recover as speedily as we hope, the long-term effects will be a very unstable market for a long time. Less confident and smaller factories will feel the biggest impact of this, so every supplier will have to improve themselves by being even better and more consistent in this already (continued on Page 52)

Decosit Textile Fair Reboots for 2020 Organizers expect about 55 companies F&FI News Network


RUSSELS — The new Decosit textile fair from Sept. 8–9, 2020, will be stripped down: standard-size booths, low-participation fees, and no trends area. “It’s not a major expense to participate,” Kris Vermoesen, the temporary Decosit spokesman, says. “All standard booths for everyone … We want to have a fair to promote winter collections.” The new Decosit organizers expect about 55 companies to participate, unlike last year, when they had just a couple months to put it together. Easyfairs, a Brussels Kris Vermoesen, the temporary Decosit spokesman, says trade show organizer, suddenly canceled the MoOD+Indigo show last year. a fair organizer will soon be hired to promote the rebooted “The industry still felt we need to have a show,” Vermoesen says. Belgium fair. “People buy their collections in September, October, to be prepared for the furniture shows at the beginning of the year.” This year, exhibitors can choose among three booth sizes: 10, 20, or 40 square meters. “You’re free to design your stand as you want, but they’re all the same size,” he says. “We want to create a meeting point, that’s more the emphasis, not so much seminars or trends.” Vermoesen is the product manager of textiles for Belgium’s Fedustria (federation of the textile, woodworking and furniture industries), a textilefurniture-federation company. He stepped in temporarily to help, but a professional trade fair organizer will soon be hired for Decosit. F&FI

Chinese Furniture Fairs Canceled Due to Virus Epidemic Guangzhou Fairs for March 18–21 and 28–31 Cancelled F&FI News Network


UANGZHOU, China — Both the China International Furniture Fair and the China International Furniture Machinery & Furniture Raw Materials Fair 2020 have been cancelled according to an email by the China Foreign Trade GuangzhouExhibition General Corp. The fairs were scheduled for March 18–21 and 28–31, respectively. “As China is fighting a serious battle against the novel coronavirus,” the Jan. 31 email reads, “prevention and control of the epidemic is the country’s most important work for now. Following the Chinese government’s guidelines to contain the

virus, the Department of Commerce of Guangdong Province and Guangzhou Municipal Commerce Bureau recently announced that all large-scale economic and trade events should be suspended.” New dates will be announced. “As a brand exhibition organized by the ‘national team’ of China’s exhibition industry, CIFF [China International Furniture Fair] adheres to the principle of ‘putting exhibitors and visitors first,” the email reads. “Given the current situation of the novel coronavirus in China, rescheduling the fairs to protect people’s health and safety is an important and necessary decision to make.” F&FI

Norbar Launches Virtual-Web Sample-Book Program; GM Says Initial Results Are Excellent F&FI News Network


OCA RATON, Fla. — Norbar, a mediumsized, 75-year-old fabric wholesaler with 28 employees, is leading the charge to offer virtual samples on the web as a way to save time and money. “The response has been incredible,” says Frank Tucci, general manager, and 20-year veteran of the firm. “Two weeks ago, we put samples of a new Norbar leather collection on our website — it’s only sold on the web and we did $10,000 worth of business in no time.” He says the company has 10,000 customers, but it only produces 3,200 sample books of each collection. “Our reps move those books around,” Tucci says. “With virtual sampling, all of our customers can see the collections whether they have sample books or not.” The new virtual books are not meant to replace traditional books, according to Tucci, but allow Norbar sales representatives and customers to send an e-book to a client who is looking for a certain product. “There are additional benefits to this program from a merchandising standpoint,” he says. “We can create a virtual book of products that are only available on our website. Samples can then be requested and sent to our clients for review.” He adds, “Nobody makes 10,000 sample books anymore, so we made the move to offer virtual samples of 32 collections on the internet with eight more on their way

in April.” The new software was developed in Asia and even shows how the patterns are engineered, he explains. “Our sales reps send the virtual Norbar GM, Frank Tucci samples ahead to their designer clients; even if they are an hour away by car — they can look them over and narrow things down,” he says. “Then the rep can bring the actual samples to the customer.” Tucci himself tweaks each product offering online to make certain the colors are as exact as possible, but this also depends on the definition and age of the monitor the customers are using. Tucci says Norbar will test new categories of products in the same way, including textured blackouts, before he commits to additional books. About 24% of the Norbar product is sourced in China, according to Tucci, but so far, “we have had no problems with supply.” F&FI

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 37


Proposte GM Disputes Eric Schneider’s Describing Proposte as “Tarantella” Dance Editor’s Note: A letter from Proposte General Manager Massimo Mosiello to F&FI Editor Eric Schneider

Dear Eric, We were very surprised to read your articles about Proposte 2019, especially the one published in the June 2019 issue of Fabrics & Furnishings International. Besides your legitimate and authoritative opinions in this article, we would nevertheless like to point out several inaccuracies that should be corrected in the appropriate venues. First of all, already in the title, you accuse Proposte management of dancing to the rhythm of the Tarantella: moving or, better yet, senselessly thrashing about in confusion, as if bitten by the famous “taranta” (tarantella) represented in the eighteenth-century Italian dance. That is your opinion. What we can tell you is that Proposte has almost reached its thirtieth edition, which is a remarkable age for any international event that has gone through all the fluctuating phases of the sector’s international economic situation while preserving its international authority intact and even growing. If there had not

been a plan and clear intent shared by the vast majority of the participants and the public, this would not have been possible. The mission of the event has always been clear: to represent the best international decorator fabric and drapery producers through a careful selection of both the exhibition venue and visitors. Proposte has never wanted to represent the market in its entirety: other European events have this purpose. Its objective is to be a qualitative review of the most creative and valuable segment of international textile production. Abandoning this objective would distort the event and empty it of its essential content. Therefore, there is no “Tarantella,” but the necessary steadfast determination in expressing the need to protect the business of the companies and professionals participating in the event. Let’s move on to the real inaccuracies: at the beginning of the article, you claim that Ala Regina was half empty. If you check the catalog, you’ll see that just one exhibitor was missing compared to the previous year. It seems to me that you have extensive experience in trade fairs: therefore, you will have to agree that any exhibition venue experiences some sort of turn-over,

especially during complex market periods. Companies come and go every year. The task of a trade fair organizer is to keep the level of the offer consistent with the project and have an adequate number of visitors. In short, we must maintain a high quality of service for exhibitors and visitors. One can have an opinion that criticizes the composition of the exhibition, but criticism cannot be based on an incorrect description of the numbers. Moreover, contesting the quality of the exhibition would be an opinion in open contradiction with the whole sense of the article that calls for a tout court opening o ​ f the doors of the event, even to external companies that certainly cannot compete with the quality level of current exhibitors. Continuing, you insinuate that Proposte admission rules are unclear. I am enclosing the documents that are uploaded every year to the homepage of the exhibition website for the selection of new companies. Therefore, if many companies were not admitted, it is because they do not have the fundamental requisites; it is not due to the arrogance of the founders, as you wrote. It is legitimate to ask for greater globality of the event, as

we have already pointed out at the beginning of our letter. It is legitimate but useless: it would mean doing something that differs from the constitutive DNA of Proposte. If you are not familiar with it, we suggest that you visit Frankfurt in January, where you will find all the globality that interests you. However, opinions cannot be insinuations, especially in the revered world of American journalism, unless they are proven by facts: we, therefore, invite you to review the attached documents, which clearly indicate the characteristics that companies must have to participate in Proposte. There is no arrogance, but simply the intent to keep the promises that we have been making to exhibitors and visitors for thirty years. And now we have come to the long-standing question of exhibitors outside Proposte. To ask, with the authorization and the full consent of the Municipality of Cernobbio, companies who exhibit outside the show to respect certain dates and times are not a sign of a frenzied and slightly neurotic dance, but a consistent effort, which has existed for several years, to protect our exhibitors and their business. Participation and competition are at

the root of our market, but everyone must respect the rules. A free market does not mean being free of rules: that would be a chaotic vision of business. In fact, with a clear and regulated schedule of exhibitions, all buyers, visitors, professionals and company representatives can adjust their agendas, make the necessary choices and give necessary priorities to their visits and business, thus escaping from a “Tarantella” of openings at any time, several days in advance with respect to the real main event which, let us not forget, is Proposte at Villa Erba. Having hopefully clarified this, we repeat that we do not dispute your freedom of opinion and the fact that you are free to write whatever you want in your magazine. We simply ask you to correct the inaccuracies published, through clarification or publication of our letter. We ask you to respect the facts and to report the actions and intention of management as they really are, especially in light of a relationship between you and Proposte that has existed for almost thirty years! By General Manager Massimo Mosiello

(continued from Page 32)

Luxury Design Pioneer, Antonio Casanueva, Dies at 81 School of Global Management (Arizona).” Casanueva started in the textile world in 1974 as operations manager for Polifil, a Mexican polypropylene thread producer. He managed Polifil’s plants based on a philosophy that textile marketing begins in the production plant and that operations must work with sales and marketing to better serve customers. Before “just-in-time” was introduced in Mexico,

40 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

he established an innovative production system with a short manufacturing cycle that responded quickly to the market. He developed leading polypropylene brands such as Pliana. Casanueva was eventually named export director of Polifil. In 1986, Mexico entered into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, now OMC). Casanueva understood that international trade was the future for Mexican

companies. He traveled the world making the Pliana brand well-known and succeeded in exporting more than 70% of Polifil’s production. His daughter remembers her father not only as a dedicated executive but also as a man capable of forming a values-based family, which he did with Eleonora Fernández, his wife of more than 54 years. They raised two children, Fabiola and Antonio. F&FI


(continued from Page 7)

Wallcoverings Market Is on a Roll distribution to leverage it.” Carlisle and Co. Wallcoverings is a brand that’s been rebooted as a luxury brand and has been shown in decorated showrooms, such as Holly Hunt.

Grandeco CEO Patrick Molemans says the company grew 15% in 2019.

In addition, officials have recently invested millions in the York, Pennsylvania facility. They have expanded their digital print capacity and hired about 35 new employees in different positions, including facility services and customer support. York has about 300 employees. This has allowed for lower minimums, so for commercial purposes, it’s been reduced from 200 yards to 100 yards. York’s digital business has also grown. “Both the commercial and residential business,” Golden says. “It’s been a nice boost.” York sells about 85% in the U.S. and 15% to international customers. “This last year we’ve grown tremendously in the commercial side globally,” Golden says. “Our e-commerce business is growing quite a bit. Nonstick wallcoverings have been really good for us.” He added that the do-it-yourself, or stick, wallpaper market is about 10% of the business, but it is rather an important segment, selling at big retailers and e-commerce sites. Another York-branded peel-and-stick wallpaper has been launched, which was released in collaboration with lifestyle author Joanna Gaines under the Magnolia brand. “I think (residential wallcoverings) is being helped by the repair and remodel market,” Golden says. “The commercial business, I think, is being helped by a lot of the retrofit. Marriot has acquired the Sheratons and Crown Plazas, and they’ve made a commitment to renovate, which I think is extending what’s already been a really good run for commercial construction.” Golden says the York contract business has grown by double digits, 42 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

mostly driven by hospitality. “Both the DIY (do-it-yourself) and residential, designer area are all opportunities we’re looking at,” Golden says. MARBURG WALLCOVERINGS LIGHT UP WITH LED LIGHTS Marburg introduced LED lights in its wallcoverings during Heimtextil 2020. The company has been selling for 175 years and has about 325 employees. The German company sells about 40% domestically and 60% worldwide. Although there is growth, CEO Ullrich Eitel says U.S. consumers are not using wallcoverings anymore. “The consumer is not using wallcovering anymore in the U.S., very low,” he says. “We have about 60 lines on the market. Handmade products, so … middle- to higher-end market mostly.” Although, Marburg has products that cost from 1 to 100 euros per meter. RASCH, THE LARGEST EUROPEAN WALLCOVERING COMPANY, SHIFTS INTO CONTRACT Begun over 150 years ago, Rasch is being run by the fifth generation of the Rasch family. The Cousins Frederik and Dario Rasch now continue to run the company that was founded in 1861. Rasch Wallcoverings sells about 30% in Germany, 30% throughout Europe and the rest in Russia and China. A majority of the wallcoverings sales are in residential, but the company is “strengthening its contract.” Rasch manufactures its wallcoverings at its German mill, while it has subsidiaries with mills in three other countries: Poland, Ukraine (Sinta company), and a joint venture with a Turkish mill called Ravina. “The markets are becoming much more similar internationally,” Dario says. “The designs get quirkier and wilder. The Russians are becoming more European. “So, we see that the market is sort of growing together. I don’t know if this is a result of internationalization or social media … A big trend is that the emerging markets like Russia, and especially China, but also some of the other Asian markets, are weaker.” He adds, “The big change that we did is ecological wallpaper, which could be carbon footprint neutral, so could be less PVC or other PVC alternative technologies.” Rasch says his company has the only rights to the Bauhaus wallpaper, which it has been marketing to niche markets. “It’s something my grandfather acquired from the Bauhaus,” Rasch says. “The Rasch wallpaper was the most successful Bauhaus product.

York CEO Brian Golden holds up a bestseller during Heimtextil 2020.

“We have developed together with a paint manufacturer the original Bauhaus colors, all certified from the 1930s and 1940s.” GRANDECO FOCUSES ON VINYL WALLPAPER Grandeco Wallfashion Group Belgium manufactures vinyl wallpaper with an annual output of 10 million rolls. It has 300 employees and six offices across Europe. “What we do going forward is value-added products, and that doesn’t mean expensive products but products with a bigger margin and better return for consumer,” CEO Patrick Molemans says. “Two, we believe strongly in digital printing … We bring it in smaller quantities to the market.” He adds: “In most of the countries the market is going down, but in some countries the market goes up, for example, India.” Grandeco grew 15% in 2019, according to officials. CHINA’S TOPLI WALLCOVERINGS GROWS 10% Topli Wallcoverings, one of the largest wallcovering manufacturers in China, has grown by 10% in 2019, according to officials. Based in Beijing, Topli Decorative Materials Co. Ltd. was started in 1976, and today, it has about 600 employees. It has annual sales of 450 million Chinese yuan, or $64 million, with 90% of sales in the domestic market. CEO Fan Yang says the company has not been affected by U.S. tariffs because they export to the U.S. constitutes only 10% of their sales. “Business will definitely be impacted by the coronavirus, especially the first half of the year, but we will see how long it lasts, and how much, since it’s still in the long Chinese New Year holiday, which has been postponed for around 10 days,” Yang says through an interpreter. F&FI


Paris Deco Off Pierre Frey Hits Braquenie Bestseller in U.S. PARIS – Fiona West, president of North America for Pierre Frey, the French editeur, says its braquenie collection has become a bestseller in the U.S. “Last year, we launched quite a daring collection of braquenies, or 18th century French prints,” West says during Paris Deco Off 2020. “Mr. Frey used all these 18th century patterns and ended up recoloring them and blowing the scale up … in really surprising ways.” “It was bold. It was how can we make braquenie attractive to the next generation and I think he really managed to do it.” She adds, “Our sales of braquenie have more than doubled.” Founded in 1935, Pierre Frey is a French company that creates fabrics, wallpapers, carpets, and furniture. The braquenie style began in the 1800s with the Braquenie brothers, Alexandre and Charles-Henri, who then sold it to such clients as Napoleon III. West says the company has expanded over the years. “I’d say we started as a company that has very nice wallpapers to a company that now has changed … to wallcoverings,” she says. “We’ve always been about big design and creativity. We’ve

always been about referencing periods of history, mixing and matching. “It’s usually very bold patterns that are bestsellers.” West and others noticed more Americans during Paris Deco Off 2020. “There are a lot more Americans this year than in the past,” she says. “It feels like this is happening every year more and more … I think it’s the buildup of all the showrooms.” Speed is one of the biggest challenges for the luxury brand. “We weave beautiful fabrics, so sometimes there a real disconnect between the expectation of the client and what we can deliver,” West says. “One of challenges is helping them understand they are purchasing a luxury product that can’t just happen in two days … Especially educating the younger buyers.” Another challenge in the near future, she says, is staying on message for the brand. “We’re experiencing a lot of growth,” she says. “To stay true to who we are. We’re a family-owned business … Mr. Frey will come out with these amazing collections … and it’s our job to communicate, explain, and apply.” F&FI

Hanging lanterns help visitors find companies during the fair.

Fiona West, president, North America, at Pierre Frey

Thibaut hangs curtains outside their showroom, where the window displays a colorful elephant.

Cole & Son hang flowers around their showroom for extra pop. The window display of Pierre Frey

Inside the Pierre Frey showroom 46 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020


Paris Deco Off

The entrance to the Louvre Museum, outside the glass pyramid, remained empty because of demonstrations.

Mark Jones, sales director, Osborne & Little in London


Chairs at the window display of Sahco

Work continues on Notre Dame. Paris traffic with iconic sight-seeing car


One of the big events during Showtime Market November 2019 involved TV host and designer Hillary Farr showing off her new collection. The luncheon event with a musical ensemble was packed at noon, inside Covington Fabric & Design’s new expanded showroom.

Ray McKinnon, director of merchandising, Danny Korori, CEO, Brett Barker, creative director, and Gary King, sales rep, all of Ramtex in Los Angeles, Calif. Hillary Farr, host of “Love It or List It” on HGTV, shows off her new collection during a special luncheon at Covington Fabric’s new expanded showroom – on the eighth floor of Market Square Textile Tower.

(l to r) Jennifer Davis, vice president merchandising, Southern Motion in Pontotoc, Miss.; Lucio Esposito, president, Crest Leather in Greensboro, North Carolina; and Ginger Whitten, merchandise manager at Southern Motion

Michele Laluenoudier (left), principal, Of Wall Things in North Carolina and Edna Saghian, principal, E-Tex-La in Los Angeles, California.

Bill Rifkin (standing, right), chairman of the board at Covington Fabric and Design, enjoys the musical ensemble during the Hilary Farr event.

Carey Burchfield (l to r), design consultant, Smith Brothers of Berne, in Berne, Indiana; Dan Carroll, Brentwood Textiles in High Point, North Carolina; Amy Wright, merchandise coordinator, Smith Brothers of Berne. Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 47


Artist Lynn E. Haude, 76, Noted Orinoka Mills’ Designer, Dies F&FI News Network


EW YORK — Lynn E. Haude, a well-known decorative and upholstery fabrics designer, whose work was recently on display at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, died Dec. 19, 2019. She was 76. Haude lived in New York for about 30 years at 1 Fifth Ave., an iconic building in Greenwich Village, near Washington Square Park. Lynn is survived by her three brothers, Jeff, Butch Lynn Haude was known and James; also for her creativity and her sisters in law kindness. Janette, Martha and Christa.She was born June 14, 1943, and was considered to be an accomplished watercolor artist. However, Haude was most recognized for her work during her 30-year career as Design Director of Orinoka Mills Corp. from the 1960s to the 1990s. “Lynne Haude was an extremely talented artist and headed up the Orinoka studio in New York City for so many years,” says Scott Kravet, vice president, Kravet Design, who recently purchased the Orinoka design archive from Langenthal Mills in Rural Hall, North Carolina. “I believe Haude worked for Orinoka in New York from the mid1960s to the late-1990s when Orinoka was a premier jacquard weaving mill that catered to the high-end furniture manufacturers and Jobbers. “I have fortunately acquired the Orinoka archives and her designs are plentiful with her


Two paintings by Lynn Haude.

48 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

hours that she took to complete each design. These hours are indicated in the corner of each design. I am very grateful to have known her during the peak of her career.” Prior to her retirement, Haude also worked at Wearbest Mils in Garfield, New Jersey (now owned by Swavelle Fabrics). At one time, Orinoka Mills was a thriving American curtain and upholstery mill built in the 1880s by the The original Orinoka Mills building in Kensington, Penn., (U.S.) Solomon Brothers. Orinoka initially is today a housing development. produced silk and curtain materials, but in 1898, the firm shifted emphasis to upholstery. Orinoka had 300 looms runtechnical skills and market savvy. I was a new ning in the 1930s, when it was decided to move sales representative on the West Coast, and we its upholstery operations to York, Pennsylvania, bonded immediately. Lynn brought fresh ideas and other locations in the southern U.S. to the mill and was always subtly pushing the Orinoka Mills, formerly B. L. Solomon’s Sons, envelope to get an old dog to learn new tricks. was considered a major textile company locatShe had lots of ideas and amazing patience. ed in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Before long the mill was enjoying a renaissance It was purchased in the mid-1980s by Lantal - the qualities and designs in high demand. Textiles, Inc., and in 1989, Orinoka was inte“Lynn traveled to the West Coast to work grated into Langenthal Mills in Rural Hall, with me and my clients and meetings were a NC. Through the purchase, Lantal (which joy. She knew everyone. All the clients loved her was later named Langenthal) acquired the and had great admiration for her talent. A trip extensive 10,000-piece library of Orinoka with Lynn was a cause for celebration whether fabric documents, which includes some of it was visiting my customers or a trade show the designs created by Lynn Haude. in Europe. Her eye for trends and color was In her later years, Haude was the hisunerring and walking a show with her always torian and organizing member of the revealed an unexplored depth of understanding Knickerbocker branch of the National Society of design and the textile business. She also knew Daughters of the American Revolution. where all the best restaurants were wherever we “She shared her textile talent and experwent, which was a skill not to be taken lightly. tise for a great many service projects,” says “When she left Raxon, it seemed Lynn didn’t Sarah Collins, regent of the group. Collins really retire. She kept her hand in design with says Haude was also an accomplished knitter the mills and consultants and never stopped who used the knitting arts as a way to reach drawing. Creating was as natural to Lynn as out to her community and those in need. breathing is to most people. Sketching, painting, making cards, knitting - it was her lifeblood. We CANDACE KEY REMEMBERS HER stayed in touch over the years and got togethFRIEND, LYNNE HAUDE er whenever I was in New York. I marveled at “Lynn Haude was the head designer at Lantal/ her ability to get around such a busy city in Orinoka when we met in the late 1980s. She was her scooter, but typically she was resourcelegendary for her design prowess and historic ful and always found the easiest route and knowledge of textiles, but we didn’t get a chance best time to get to the museums and shows. to work together until 1996 when we were both “She was my personal resource for the best new to Raxon shows to see when in NYC. Her bright spirit, Fabrics. unflappable nature, and kindness were an inspi“Lynn started ration and strength to many. The textile industry as a consulwould not be quite as rich without Lynn’s influtant there, ence, and her gentle presence will be missed by brought in by all who had the great fortune of knowing her.” Dick Wagner, Candace Key has been active in the textile but manageindustry since 1987, working for Boris Kroll, Knoll ment quickly Textiles, and Deepa Textiles as a designer, and discovered since 1996, as a mill agent and consultant for the depth of several domestic and European mills. F&FI her talent and need for her


Design for a New Decade By JENNIFER CASTOLDI


articipants of the coming generation live digitally, consume more impulsively and decorate their homes differently. Individualization implies shorter runs, oodles of products will be self-designed, brand lifetimes will be shorter, and unknown start-ups celebrated like super stars. For well-known companies, the future scenario could be grim if they do not acclimate to changing market environments. Understanding how to adapt to Generation Z, who will account for 40% of the global consumer market in two years, is paramount. Digital, smart, social, and unique.

Digital Craft


ne of January 2020’s Rising Talent Awards at Maison&Objet went to Laureline Galliot. Describing herself as a “design and painter”, Galliot utilizes new technology to create designs in which color plays a YouTube Screenshot major role. “I want to turn on its head the paradigm that dictates that color is only a finishing touch”, she states. “I work with it as a material”. She envisions her designs either by drawing on an iPad or by slipping on a virtual reality headset and using software initially developed for cartoon animation. A clip on YouTube reveals her creating swooping actions with a joystick. In both cases, she has no predetermined notion of the final design. Here is TUFTY – a hand tufted carpet, designed from an iPad painting – in collaboration with NODUS RUG.

Social FlexAbility At the Sleep & Eat event in Olympia London, six design firms created four guest room sets alongside two restaurant and bar sets, with the challenge to provide flexible spaces where users activate the social experience of their choice under the theme “Social FexAbility”. TWENTY2DEGREES’ guestroom, “No two guests are the same. Dance, Sleep, Work, Play – we are creating a flexible space for the social, a haven for a guest’s stay. Distorted riffs softened with plush fabrics, warm timbers set against a vibrant zing, a hotel room that’s more than one thing.”

50 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

Knot Yourself


his chair designed by Zohair Zouirech obtains its poetic from the fact that its final design is left undefined: the chair has no seat at all until the user ties a simple knot in its draping fabric. The fluid textile creates an opposites attract feeling with the streamlined tubular steel frame.

Hides That Do Not Hide An entirely new range of printed leather hides for upholstery, wall panels, and leathergoods, fashioned by a range of designers, transforms ultra-white premium European bovine hides (averaging sizes of 55” x 67”) into canvases of creativity. SFM 42 & SFM 37 by Marcel Wanders: “SFM 42 and SFM 37 are fractals based on Marcel Wanders’ unique computational language of infinite geometries. Inspired by the sacred mathematics of nature – as seen across the plant and animal worlds – their organic artwork repeats across varying scales, adding a new three-dimensionality to the leather hides.” Tie-Dye by Matthew Day Jackson: “With an interest in how process can create organic images in a variety of materials, the hides work with the principles of dyes and resists, specifically when applying waterborne pigment to leather.”

All the Colours by Solange AzaguryPartridge: “All the Colours addresses the use of color as an instinctive and visceral need. A single beam of light, radiating from the center of the hide acts as the focus, separating light into its constituent spectral colors.”

Super Textile Decor

Onda by J.P. van der Horst is an interactive textile decoration for the home. Hung on the wall, it looks like a piece of art, and employs nanotechnology to purify the air. Due to the abilities of a coating that reacts with daylight, the fabric transforms polluted air into nontoxic water-based molecules.

Jennifer Castoldi is the CEO and Chief Creative Director of Trendease International. Since 2004, Trendease has been providing cutting-edge and competitive design information to readers and clients spanning over 170 countries. Trendease is an influential resource reporting and consulting on global trends and key international design events. Hundreds of images and forward-thinking articles are presented on www.Trendease.com each month, additionally videos and podcasts are available on www.Trendease.TV.

Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 51


(Continued from Page 36)

Reports of Coronavirus Disrupting Supply Chains Around the World

difficult market. I think in the end the ‘good’ ones will survive: the complete export market becomes smaller and less players with bigger market share for export will result.” U.S. companies continue to monitor the situation. “So far, we have had a few Chinese suppliers indicate that their post-coronavirus production resumption will be delayed but these are minor,” says Greg Tarver, president of Covington Fabrics & Design in New York. “We’ve answered a few customer’s specific questions on a SKU-level basis when they’ve had concerns. Our logistics team continues to get updates.” Phil Levy, the chief economist for Flexport, a freight forwarder based in San Francisco, says air shipment costs will likely increase. “First and foremost, we’re focused on keeping our employees in China and around the world safe,” Levy says. “We’re also watching for impacts on the supply chain as the virus causes more and more business interruptions.


Phil Levy, the chief economist for Flexport, says the economic impact of coronavirus could be worse than the 2003 SARS virus.

“We’ve already seen a steady stream of major airlines canceling flights to and from China. In some cases, the cancellations are comprehensive. Others have focused on specific routes. Most of the reductions are until the end of March — well beyond the Chinese New Year holiday.” Levy says much will depend on when Chinese travel restrictions are lifted, and factories resume production. “How will all this affect the global economy?” Levy asks. “The full impact will depend, in great part, on how long business interruptions last. Because we expected a supply chain lull during the Chinese New Year period anyway, most shipments had already been pushed through before then. “Now that the holiday has been extended, an important question is how much of post-Chinese New Year freight will ultimately be impacted.” There are many variables to how freight shipments could be affected. “Unlike air freight, ocean freight is usually pretty independent of passenger traffic and accounts for the bulk of supply chain shipments,” Levy says. “But the Yangtze is a very important internal waterway running through Wuhan. When traffic is disrupted, the effect can be significant.” CORONAVIRUS’ ECONOMIC IMPACT COULD BE COMPARED TO SARS OUTBREAK Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) appeared in China in 2002 and spread worldwide within a few months, but was quickly contained. No known transmission has occurred since 2004. “While we do not yet

52 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

know how this coronavirus outbreak will play out — and we obviously hope it will be very limited — one estimate of the immediate economic impact of the 2003 SARS outbreak was a cut to

Chinese GDP (gross domestic product) of just over 1% and a hit to Hong Kong GDP of over 2.5%,” Levy says. He adds Taiwan was estimated to have lost just under 0.5% of GDP, and

the authors of the study found longer-term drags (over 10 years) of 2.3% of GDP for China, 3.2% for Hong Kong, and just over 0.5% for Taiwan. “Those are significant, though not enormous numbers, over a longer-term,” Levy says. “But such a reaction to the new coronavirus would come on top of slow-downs we have already seen in China and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, China has already reported more cases of the new virus than it had of SARS.” F&FI

Covington Fabric & Design Reports No Fabric Delays Due to Coronavirus “Over the last week, Covington began to receive a few inquiries from customers concerned about potential service impacts associated with the Coronavirus outbreak. “Obviously, this is a subject we are very sensitive to on multiple levels, starting with the health and well being of our Covington staff, business partners and friends in China. I am pleased to report that everyone is doing well under the circumstances. “Secondly, product is continuing to flow from China. While some logistics companies are reporting inefficiencies due to the outbreak, there has been no hold on our fabrics due to concerns over virus transmission from the product itself. “The vast majority of Covington’s current product line is not produced in China, with only 30% of our yardage originating there. We’ve obviously been in close contact with the mills since it became clear that their restart after Chinese New Year holiday would be delayed. “As of today, all of our suppliers have reported that they are returning to work in stages, with many already having resumed limited production. It will of course vary by location. Our smallest supplier is reporting a 21-day delay in restarting; however, most are reporting 7 to 10 days. “Covington is committed to working with you to mitigate possible disruption to our respective businesses due to this global event. Circumstances could change, but so far, we have been able to provide reasonable assurances to customers who contacted us. Because we work to optimize our inventory levels, some interruption may occur. “Lastly, our business at Covington is anchored by great data and information. Please feel free to contact Customer Service or your sales representative about your account if you require additional information. We are happy to do a detailed inventory review for your account. “Together, I am confident we can navigate this unforeseen event. Thank you for the opportunity to do business.” Respectfully, Gregory D. Tarver President & CEO



The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper


Eric Schneider

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/PUBLISHER EMERITUS Mbl: +1.917.251.9922 eric@fabricsandfurnishings.com

Ray Parker

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Mbl: +1.305.942.7741 ray@fabricsandfurnishings.com Spring 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 53

F FI C A L E N D A R April


April 21—25, 2020 (at press time, likely to change) Evteks

August 24—26, 2020 Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles

CNR Expo, Istanbul, Turkey

April 25—29, 2020 Highpoint Furniture Market High Point, North Carolina

National Exhibition & Convention Ctr Shanghai

September September 8—9, 2020 Decosit



May 5—7, 2020 HD Expo

Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas

May 17—20, 2020 Showtime

September 23—25, 2020 Proposte Villa Erba, Como, Italy

High Point, North Carolina


For more event information or to add your event to our calendar, please visit: www.fabricsandfurnishings.com/events

June 16-21, 2020 Salone del Mobile Milan, Italy


CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISE HERE! $10/word, minimum 25 words. Please contact Michael Schneider michael@fabricsandfurnishings.com +1 212.404.6936

F FI A D V E R T I S E R I N D E X American Silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cover

ITA/Showtime. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Aqua Clean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

J. Serrano. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Ascent Decor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Kravet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Ateja. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38—39

MagitexDecor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Aydin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Neutex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Covington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

PDF Systems, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

D’Decor Exports. . . . . . . . . . . . 4—5

Plastex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

D’Decor Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2—3

Sutlej. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12—13

Dicitex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

WEAVERS by Boyteks. . . . . . . 8—9

Express Air Freight. . . . . . . . . . . 10

Zhejiang Huachen . . . . . . . . . 28—29

GM Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44—45

54 • www.FandFI.com • Spring 2020

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Web Police caching plugin. That can lead to less-than-desirable performance – or a complete crash of your site. Caching plugins are also sometimes vulnerable to hackers. And caching plugins can sometimes store older versions of your website pages for longer than you’d like. In that case, someone visiting your site might not see the latest updates – or corrections — you’ve made. (This problem can be solved by simply clearing your site’s cache.) Even so, caching plugins can speed-up your site considerably. So, they may be worth the risk. For more information, search for “caching plugin” along with the name of your website’s content management system (such as Wordpress, Drupal, etc.) *Minimize your use of plugins: While extremely handy, any plugin you add to your site to perform a specific function – such as analyzing your website’s data, creating a firewall for your site and the like – represents a drain on your system’s resources. Expertly coded plugins generally mute speed loss. But some less-than-artfully-coded plugins are written so inefficiently, they really slow down your site. Rule of thumb: Take a few minutes to inventory all the plugins on your site and completely delete any plugin that is not absolutely crucial or truly beneficial to your site’s operation. *Compress your site’s files with Gzip: “Gzip works by compressing your files into a zip file, which is faster for the user’s browser to load,” says Venture Harbour’s Taylor. “The user’s browser then unzips the file and shows the content. This method of transmitting content from the server to the browser is far more efficient and saves a lot of time.” *Use a Premium Domain Name (DNS) System Provider: Basically, DNS providers help a computer browser quickly navigate to your business website address. Premium DNS providers offer faster connections for that task.

*For large sites, consider a content delivery network (CDN): If you have a lot of content to move around the web – especially to distant points on the globe – a CDN will help speed up your site significantly. CDN’s essentially store copies of your site on various computer servers around the world. The result: Someone from Hong Kong typing in your site address will be served your site’s content directly from a computer server in Hong Kong, for example, rather than waiting for the same content to be served from, say, Miami. “Using a Content Delivery Network can help you create a consistent and faster experience for visitors, regardless of their geographic location,” says Dreamhost’s Soliven. *Consider Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Heavily promoted by Google, AMP’s are near replicas of regular website pages. They are specially designed to download quickly on mobile devices. Essentially, you create a page for your website. Then you create an extremely mobile-friendly, near-replica of that webpage in AMP format. The result: When someone visits your fabrics and furnishings business website with a mobile device, their smartphone or similar mobile device is served faster-loading AMP pages. Many popular content management systems, like Wordpress and Drupal, offer plugins to help you,or your web designer, easily create AMP pages. For a complete rundown on how AMP works and how to get started with AMP, check-out Google’s free tutorial on AMP. *Check-out still other techniques: There are scores of more ways to speed-up your website. Type “website speed optimization” into any search engine for more ideas. F&FI Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan. Email: joe@dysartnewsfeatures.com

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