Fabrics & Furnishings - Summer 2020 Issue

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The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper Volume 30, Number 3 • Summer 2020

Global Supply-Chain Expert: U.S. Businesses Reopen in May, Rise During Summer, Recover in September Freight costs could double F&FI News Network


EW YORK — U.S. businesses will reopen in the first two weeks of May, rise throughout the summer, and in September show the first signs of recovery, says Thomas Cook, CEO of Blue Tiger International, which helps companies with global supply-chain management. He adds China will recover first, then the U.S. and Europe, and the rest of the world about a month later. “We will come back, Americans are the most resilient community on the planet,” Cook said during an April 13 webinar called “Solutions for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Supply Chains.” (continued on Page 7)

Regal Triples Warehouse, Offices Betting Upturn Soon • PG 16

Rothschild Puts New Wheels On His Bus • PG 18 Tom Cook

The Fabric World Battles Corona • PG 30 Photo by F. Schumacher & Company

The Kahans: father, Steve (l to r), with sons, Scott and Andrew

Aydin Ups U.S. Presence • PG 26 Textile Expo 2020 Changes Salman Chaudry

Hamza Aydin

• Decosit: Canceled. • HD Expo: Canceled. • Intertextile Shanghai: Aug. 24-26 • Evteks: Aug. 25-29

• Cruise Ship Interiors: Canceled. • Proposte: Sept. 23-25 • Showtime: Nov. 15-18

Walter Rothschild

China Regains Production Footing, Suppliers Wonder What Happened to New Orders • PG 12

Top 36 Upholstery Fabric Buyers • PG 22


19 23 30

Summer 2020 | Vol. 30, No. 3


The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper

RADG Sells Remaining Warehouse Stock

Once second largest U.S. decorative fabrics and furniture supplier, now a “ghost.” South Carolina Plant


French Editeur Thevenon Makes Major Push into U.S.


Tony textile firm teams up with U.S. designer Carolina Irving.


Free Business Financial Planning During Coronavirus

Textile leaders spearhead new online resource called RecovidNow.

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

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



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Art Director

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

Roxanne Clapp, RoxC LLC


APC & Express Air Freight

E.U. Legal Counsel Herman Nayaert

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


36 Design | Dream About a Better World and Design It


Materialised Speaks Out

Hello Eric! Thanks for inquiring after us. How are you and your team coping? This little virus is causing an enormous amount of damage both from a health point of view and shutting down the economy. Australia has had, at the time of writing just 5,687 people contracted the disease and 34 people of a median age of 74 have said to have died from it. The question being asked is did they die from corona or some other condition exacerbated by corona? I’m self isolating as is recommended for septuagenarians which is hard for someone with fibre in their veins. I miss the very smell and feel of textiles. Many of our clients are also working from home and as a means of maintaining contact, one of the many things we have developed is a Virtual Visit program which encompasses virtual meetings via Zoom product presentations on YouTube, custom sampling boxes and room renders,

delivered to their home address. Amongst all the disruption we are fast-tracking our electronic methods of communication. Our WeaveUp program was made for a crisis such as this. Our designer clients can craft a customized print, be it texture or pattern from wherever they are working. Mother of invention is a very busy woman at Materialised! One thing that has been highlighted is the foolishness of the degree to which we are reliant on imports. I’m sure in many, many ways we will as a nation, become much more self-sufficient. Our in-house print capability is being used to the max! The mood is mixed! Some clients are going gang-busters whilst others are reporting deferments and a poor pipeline. Attitude will be the determinant. Einstein once said, “In the middle of a crisis one finds opportunity.” Keep safe, Gary Price

Corrections – Address any factual errors to: Ray@FabricsAndFurnishings.com 6 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

TURKEY, BELGIUM, HOLLAND, GERMANY Sevim Güneş Mbl: +31 6 8290 9965 Whatsapp: +90 532 2362524 sevim@fabricsandfurnishings.com

CHINA, SOUTHEAST ASIA Sonia Tan Tel: +86 133 8601 9288 WeChat: SoniaTan25034704 sonia@fabricsandfurnishings.com

INDIA Siddharth Vishwanath Tel: +91.97.42164757 sid@fabricsandfurnishings.com

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

UK, IRELAND, FRANCE, SPAIN Bernard Bain Tel: +44(0)7423306500 bernard@fabricsandfurnishings.com

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(Continued from Front Cover)

Global Supply Chain “This COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the global supply-chain for all countries and businesses, and with New York both a center of global trade, and now the epicenter of the pandemic, supply-chain risk management is now a ‘household’ word.” During the hour, Cook gave the following suggestions for short-term supply-chain export strategies: • Watch receivables closely • Transparent communication is important • While other countries and companies contract, this could be the time to get aggressive • Offer deals, terms, and creative approaches • Approach existing import accounts overseas and find out what they may currently need in their country that you can source here in the U.S., possibly different then what you are currently selling • Work with the Department of Commerce and other their trade specialists (check out www.Export.Gov)

Textile Supply-Chain Reboot in Twelve Steps Since December 2019, the global supply chain has been disrupted since its origin in Wuhan, China when manufacturing began to slow down and delaying shipments to the world. As we enter the last days of April, global supply chains on every continent have significantly impacted imports, exports, and domestic business models. In some countries and regions international trade and local commerce has halted. Manufacturing for non-essential products has come to a stand-still and most people are sheltered-in-place. The economy in the U.S., as in most of the world, is and will remain in a recession mode for the immediate future. Unemployment is at record levels with companies furloughing many employees. While the future of business will change, all is not lost. As of April 20, it appears the COVID-19 pandemic in most Asian, European and North American countries has plateaued, and there will be a decline of new cases. Social distancing, virus testing and a robust healthcare system has made a favorable impact. As people get back to business we will see the growth and resurgence of supply chains both domestically and in global markets. As the recovery process moves forward, there are twelve strategic steps one can take to mitigate the impact on your global supply chain, according to Tom Cook of Blue Tiger International. 1.

Do not panic. Keep a steady demeanor and focus on what you have to do to make matters better. Be positive and keep an open mind.

2. Develop resources for guidance. Consultants and service providers with expertise are available to help deal with trade disruption and recovery management. 3. Communicate openly, transparently, and comprehensively with suppliers, channel partners, and customers. 4. Conserve resources, inventories, and capabilities where they are most needed and beneficial to your sustainability.

Slide from presentation.

Freight costs will continue to increase. “Freight is still moving, the census we received last week, it’s at about 60%,” Cooks says. In Europe, he adds there’s been much more air freight services (100%) than ocean freight services (65%). In the Pacific Rim, countries are ahead of the U.S. by 4-6 weeks, while China is now manufacturing at about 60%65% due to a shortage of some basic materials. Ocean freight prices could increase 20% to 100%, Cooks adds, but in general he expects a 20%-25% increase for freight costs. Mexico has seen a big increase in business from U.S. companies, especially because of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. However, there will not be changes to those tariffs for 90 days, and he expects that to continue to end of year for the 232/301 tariffs. “In Mexico, a lot of companies have moved there because of the advantages,” Cook says. “So much, there’s a strain on manufacturing there.”

Overall, Cook recommends the following strategies in the short term: keeping on top of resource development every day; conserving capital and negative payments; having open communication with both suppliers and customers; reaching out to industry associations and government agencies; and keeping a positive attitude. Overall, Cook recommends these strategies for the long term: creating vendor-risk assessments; having alternative sourcing and tiering suppliers; and diversifying tier-one supply sources. He also recommends looking for Free Trade Agreements, bonded warehouses, foreign trade zones, and freight assessments, among others. The webinar was co-sponsored by the National Institute for World Trade. Cook is CEO and managing director of Blue Tiger International (bluetigerintl. com), an international business consulting company on supply chain management, trade compliance, purchasing, global trade and logistics. F&FI

5. Anticipate delays as supply chains start-up again. 6. Expect limited carrier bandwidth on certain trade lanes, more specifically in ocean and truck freight services. Air freight will be a viable option, but at a very high price. Expect overall freight costs to increase 20%-100%. 7. Recovery will be slow as it begins in May and will pick up aggressively by September. 8. Learn what financial resources, grants, loans and deferments are available by government agencies. 9. Most recently for importers, who may face “significant financial hardship,” they may be in a position to defer customs (CBP) duty obligations for 90 days. 10. Service providers, 3PL’s, freight forwarders, and customhouse brokers will be critical partners in managing supply-chain recovery. 11. There are many government programs, such as Drawback, Bonded Warehousing, Foreign Trade Zones, Free Trade Agreements, and Tariff Engineering, to name a few. All present options to importers and exports to lower risk and cost in their import and export supply chains. 12. Technology could prove to be a very valuable tool in supply chain responsibilities to increase efficiency, allow for more capable operations, and provide real-time management tools.

Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 7


Need Material for Masks and Gowns? Simone Rejoins Kravet Rockland Mills Has It After 14 Year Absence U.S. mill has inventory F&FI News Network


ALTIMORE — Rockland Mills President, Darren Fradin, says the company has the fabric to make masks, gowns and other items due to the coronavirus.

“(Rockland is) searching to see if any companies can use our help in making masks right now,” Fradin says. “We have a lot of inventory of polyester, poly/cotton, and cotton sheeting. We can apply antimicrobial, we can bleach and can scour.

F&FI News Network

“I read that many furniture manufacturers and workrooms are converting operations into making masks, gowns.” Contact Rockland at mail@roc-lon.com or 1-800876-2566. F&FI


ETHPAGE, N.Y. — Claudine Simone, a well-known member of the fabric industry, rejoined Kravet Inc. as its North Carolina accounts manager last October. She is based in the Kravet office in High Point, North Carolina, and reports to David Lappert, vice president of sales. In her new position, she calls on furniture manufacturers with the complete Kravet fabric line. Simone previously worked for Kravet from 1997-2006. “They are the top of the line and again my home,” Simone says. “I have always stayed in touch and always considered them family. It is amazing to be able to sell to all my fellow merchandisers.

Claudine Simone

“I have the best of both worlds now more than ever… working for an amazing company, selling to whom I consider customers and friends, and being able to play and sell with the most amazing selection of fabrics; I could not ask for more.” Simone has had extensive experience in sourcing, purchasing, and merchandising upholstery and decorative fabrics in the furniture industry for the past 14 years. Prior to her new Kravet post, she was a merchandising executive with Radiate Textiles, a fabric converter in Norwalk, Connecticut. Before that position, she was the brand director for the Drexel and Henredon divisions of Heritage Home Group. She left Heritage in December 2018, after nearly ten years with the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2019. F&FI

8 • www.FandFI.com • Winter 2019/2020


China Regains Production Footing, But Suppliers Wonder What Happened to New Orders From World Markets, Especially U.S.? F&FI News Network


IAMI BEACH, Fla.—First came the tariff wars affecting the cost of Chinese upholstery and fabrics coming into the U.S. The market had just started to adjust to the new pricing when it was hit with the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the fabric business may be returning to normal in China, but the export market is suffering a dramatic setback. One China-based supplier said the new order rate is so bad in the U.S. that many Chinese mills may not survive in the future. These were some of the key conclusions drawn from an F&FI survey of importers, manufacturers, and professionals who know what the score is in the upholstery business. One major American upholstery fabric buyer said: “I appreciate you reaching out, but as you can imagine we are very busy right now trying to figure out how to best run our business in the midst of all the uncertainty. I hope to speak to you again in much better times.” In fact, the bulk of the buyers surveyed had no time to speak with F&FI because they are truly overwhelmed working out of their homes and trying to figure out what is going on in the industry. “China is almost back to normal now for everything, except for kids still not in school,” says Doris Deng, owner of Kentex Mills and Bella Home. “The business for the domestic China Doris market is Deng picking up, but orders from the U.S. and other countries are zero. In addition to zero, there are some cancellations or postponement of shipments. “This is disaster for all the people in the world. I hope


human beings can work closely together to overcome it asap.” Hohans Cheung agreed with Deng that the Chinese domestic market is recuperating. “The market is still slow, but regaining every day a little better,” says Cheung, principal of Morphrow, a Chinese importer and exporter of fabrics. “The bigHohans gest conCheung cern is with the market abroad. With a lot of countries going on lockdown, a lot of orders for export have been stalled temporarily. “There is no definite timeline as to when this situation is going to improve. Initial reports are already predicting as far as the end of June or early July.” Cheung says the Chinese mills are at almost full production. “The main issue is the unstable flow of orders and the concern for the transport of goods,” he says. “The distribution will be affected a lot by certain measures and safety protocols; and with certain lock-downs, no goods are being produced or shipped. “The lead times for the production are already ‘normal’, but with the unstable climate in the market, we will expect severe impact on the business.” Cheung predicts a bleak future, including mills closing. “A lot of mills will have to close down,” he says. “This will follow further down the supply chain and result in more closings of factories. This virus has become a global situation, which will affect the complete market for a longer period than earlier predictions. “While China has been recovering, the risk for another outbreak is still there. This combined with the bad situations abroad will affect all markets worldwide.” Still, Morphrow officials are

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preparing as the lockdowns lift. “Our company strategy is surviving and innovate further in the areas we were already focusing on,” Cheung says. “In the end, the mills that make a difference will recover and will be able to quickly better themselves. The aim is to gain a bigger market share in a smaller market.” A major American importer of Chinese upholstery fabric says: “Our Chinese suppliers are shipping. We have not had a problem getting goods. Our California warehouse is closed. We are still shipping from North Carolina, but most customers are not taking deliveries. We are also continuing to ship FOB Shanghai to our large customers.” Covington Fabrics continues to operate. “Covington is in a war-time footprint so to speak, we are well equipped to telecommute throughout the company and have been doing that in New York City (headquarters) and in Spartanburg, South Carolina,” Covington CEO Greg Tarver says. “Our warehouse, which is remotely located, is still operating with enhanced cleaning procedures and spacing,” Tarver explains. “We’ve made the necessary adjustments expense-wise to weather this storm. We’re reviewing the CARES guidelines Greg to see to Tarver what extent the small business loans could impact our game plan. Orders and push-outs are significant, but we are coping.” U.S. TARIFFS CHANGE ON SOME FABRICS: CHENILLE AND POLY There have been some changes to the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. “As to the tariff relief, I am only aware of one new change that affects our product line;

the most recent decision to lower the tariffs from 15% to 7.5% on some of the List 4A items like chenille,” Tarver says. “We were made aware of an obscure ruling that affects 100% polyester textured-dyed fabrics more than 170 gsm. This tariff went from 25% to 0%.” True North Fabrics officials report their Chinese shipments have been arriving. “At True North Fabrics, we sell directly for Hightex, (major Chinese mill) and only Hightex products,” says Dominick Anile, sales manager for True North USA. “Since a one-week government imposed delayed opening after Chinese New Year, everything seems to be back in place and shipments are on time. We’re delivering market samples orders in 5-10 days, and production orders in 4-5 weeks, just as we always have.” Anile adds, “We’ve even had improved delivery requests for faster delivery met. There have been some U.S. Dominick manufacAnile turer delays, and I think the uncertainty has put a damper on new business interest.” But business is not the only concern these days. “We are faced with the loss of human lives — and watching the spread of a virus like in a movie is surreal,” says an important sales representative for a major U.S. mill. “The economic situation related to the stock market, unemployment rates, and business closings and failures is frightening.” The sales rep adds, “The three weeks prior to March 16 were three of the best incoming order weeks of the year, but the week of March 16 was down versus the same week last year. I fully expect orders to continue to slow down. We are still weaving three shifts, five days a week, as long as incoming orders support that

level of production.” This major mill is now classified as a critical business since it supplies the healthcare field with privacy curtain fabrics. “I can tell you without any degree of uncertainty that we will be here on the other side of this pandemic; (and) so will the America-based national jobbers and some of the national retailers,” the sales rep says. “Most of the national jobbers I have talked with have shared significant drops in incoming orders. “I see the biggest risk to future business will be the hospitality market, as with restaurants and hotels closed and not operating, many won’t be able to make it if this goes on too long.” MAJOR FURNITURE RETAILERS CLOSED Tom Muzekari, a well-known, upholstery-fabric-marketing consultant, says freight shipments are becoming a major factor. “Furniture manufacturers are asking for delayed shipments from Chinese fabric suppliers, as much as 90 days,” Muzekari says. “Nobody wants extra inventory right now. Chinese mills were operating by the end of February. They were supplying the local market, but they got cancellations Tom Muzekari from the States. “Meanwhile, major retailers like Haverty’s, Robb & Stuckey, Pottery Barn, and Room & Board have closed their stores to ride out the pandemic, compounding what already was a terrible situation.” There are still many open questions for the industry: What retailers will survive this meltdown? What manufacturers will survive? Are people staying home and not buying anything more than needed to survive? F&FI


Regal Triples Warehouse, Offices While Betting Upholstery Business Upturn Will Come Soon


IDDLETON, Mass.— Regal Fabrics moved into a new 94,000-squarefoot warehouse and office facility in mid-January, triple the size of their former plant. Owner Steven Kahan foresees $50 million-plus sells in the future based on the new

Three generations of the The Kahans: Herb, Steve, Andy and Scott

The Regal team expands, with Herb & Arlene’s son Steve (who continues to serve as company president) and daughter Ronda (who serves as VP of operations) joining the company. Regal hires several experienced designers to develop original, trademarked fabric patterns.


Regal purchases first stand-alone headquarters and warehouse in Middleton, MA. Regal is known as “The Tapestry Source,” supplying decorative and novelty tapestries to the furnishing and fashion industries.


After showing in the temporary area for years, Regal opens permanent showroom in the Marketplace Tower in High Point, NC.

Anne Hood

Sales of solid and textured “body cloth” fabrics begin outpacing decorative patterns. Introduction of Performance by Regal Fabrics, an easy-clean treatment that can be added to any fabrics in the Regal product line.


Herb and Arlene’s oldest grandchildren, Scott and Andy, join the Regal Fabrics team. Regal unveils a new visual identity, highlighting the company’s strengths in the areas of design, product and service.


Ronda Wilson

Product line expands, with the purchase of Krelan Fabrics, Hafner Fabrics, and sourcing fabrics from mills in China in addition to Europe.


Alan Krigsfeld

2003-2008 20102015

Herb Kahan

16 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

Regal Fabrics Inc. is founded by Herb and Arlene Kahan.

(continued on Page 32)

Sue Patrolia

The Regal warehouse and offices



30% solid body cloths to the reverse, Kahan explains: “Novelties as a percentage of our business declined but they are still an important part of our business today.” The new facility will house several million yards of upholstery for furniture manufacturers in North Carolina, the Midwest, California, and jobbers nationwide.


investment for the debt-free business that started in 1987. The next generation of management is assured with his two sons, Scott and Andy, both joining the business. Andy is focused on marketing and sales, while Scott covers business growth outside the traditional areas for the company. Other family members include Steve’s sister, Ronda Wilson, who is COO, while her father and founder, Herb (CEO) still comes to the office every day. Alan Krigsfeld, international operations manager, completes the team. He handles the sourcing logistics. “Almost everything we import is on the shelf because our business is driven by the needs of our customers,” Owner Steven Kahan says. “We always try to stay ahead of our customer’s needs.” Although the move was just in time for the COVID-19 shutdown, Steve is betting that Regal will catch the upholstery business in the coming upturn. Regal has been a success since it started in 1987, when it first developed novelty upholstery in Italy and then switched sources to China beginning in 2004, where Kahan ultimately found five to six different weaving partners, he says. Over the years, the business shifted from 70% novelty designs and

F&FI News Network

Regal moves into a brand new, 94,000-square-foot headquarters. Regal continues to add to product offerings and services, sourcing fabric from India and other locations worldwide, as well as adding in-house digital printing capabilities.


Rothschild Puts New Wheels On His Bus

The 134-year-old company is one of the last family-owned, upholstery mills in U.S. F&FI News Network


EIDSVILLE, N.C. — The David Rothschild Company Inc. is one of the last independent family-owned-uphol-

Townson Smith

Walter Rothschild

stery mills left in the U.S. It is run by Walter Rothschild, the fourth-generation family member. In the last six months, other independent mills like Chambers, Abercrombie, and Wearbest have been acquired, which makes Rothschild an unusual story today. “Our good fortune was not being able to compete with mills like Joan and Mastercraft, so we had to go our own way by picking niches,” says Rothschild, who is not related to the famous, banking Rothschild family. Aside from upholstery for furniture producers, Rothschild also sells to the contract jobber market for one-third of its business. “Although it’s a challenging market for all of us today, I think our best days may be ahead of us as American upholstery manufacturers start thinking about local sources of fabric to beat the tariffs and the delivery times,” Rothschild says. At one time, the company sold to all of the Englishspeaking countries of the world, but the onslaught of Chinese imports put an end to that export business. Rothschild has some business in Canada today but that’s the extent of its ‘export’ business. The company has a total of six sales representatives with two exclusive reps serv-

ing markets in Chicago and High Point. Walter took over from his father (David—named after the founder) about ten years ago and is breathing new life into the mill with an aggressive new equipment program and an in-house solution-dyed polyester-yarn extrusion, he says. He is currently planning a second yarn extrusion line. “In addition, as soon as we can get the Italian technician to tweak it, our new digital printing line will be up and running in the future,” he says. He wants the new print line to lead to a multipurpose fabric business. “We are one of the few mills that extrudes polyester in-house, which leads to some pretty interesting novelty yarns,” says Walter, 63. Walter grew up around the mill and has an engineering background. What is less certain is whether or not the fourth-generation-family member will be able to continue the fight against imports, which account for 80% of the company’s upholstery business in the U.S. Imports are Rothschild’s main competitor and the same can be said for his domestic competitors, namely STI and Valdese. In order to offer his U.S. customers more novelty and niche upholstery lines, Rothschild hired Townson

“I think our best days maybe ahead of us as American upholstery manufacturers start thinking about local sources of fabric to beat the tariffs and the delivery times.” ~Walter Rothschild Smith (a former Valdese designer) as creative director. She is working with a team of five designers on new novelty yarns and fabric constructions — polyester and olefin blended bouclés and slubs with cotton and rayon blends. David Rothschild sold the original mill to Riegal La France in the 1990s but managed to buy back the converting business from Riegal and start anew with a garment manufacturing plant in Reidsville, which is the Rothschild dobby and jacquard mill today. The raw material for the Rothschild polyester fabrics comes from Repreve by Unifi, the chip manufacturer, which consists of about 20 bottles per yard of fabric depending on the construction. When asked about the longevity of the mill, which was founded in 1886 by Walter’s great grandfather, David, Smith says: “We’ve always had an eye on the upholstery market; we offer a great price

Here is the Abeline plaid, Summerville stripe, Marfa check, and Moriart chevron.

with a great look in the $5-$15 price range to the manufacturer.” F&FI

Ste-Lar Textiles Becomes Global Closeout King Under the Radar F&FI News Network


HESNEE, S.C.—Ste-Lar Textiles Inc. is a 43-year-old company dedicated to buying and selling closeouts of all types of textiles, including upholstery, decorative, and textile components for upholstered furniture. Reportedly, Ste-Lar has purchased over 3 million yards of closeouts in the past 12 months and is actively selling them to export markets worldwide. All shipments are made from the

18 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

Chesnee warehouse in South Carolina. Ste-Lar, with 30 employees, has annual sales of about $10 million. It has quietly become a major player in the global market. Ste-Lar officials could not be reached for comment, but this information comes from a source familiar with the company. The company started in 1973 by Larry Per and Steve Bronstein. Per’s son, Joshua, vice president in charge of purchasing, became a partner about ten years ago.

Bronstein is based in Philadelphia in the company’s second office. There are some domestic sales to upholstered furniture manufacturers, but 90% of company goods are geared to export. Ste-Lar operates out of a 600,000-squarefoot warehouse in Chesnee and the John H. Montgomery Mill, formerly owned by Spartan Mills. There is a total of 900,000 square feet when combined with the two other locations. F&FI

Robert Allen Wants Only Sales From Warehouse Stock RADG is “ghost” of company that once was second largest U.S. decorative fabrics and furniture supplier F&FI News Network


IAMI BEACH, Fla.—It will be a year next month that real estate developer Brant Enderle bought Robert Allen Duralee Group (RADG) out of bankruptcy for $19 million. Today, he’s reportedly selling its inventory at full wholesale and telling customers he’s canceling old orders and prefers to sell only what it has in stock, according to a recent letter sent to active accounts. “As Robert Allen adapts to remain a strong company during the current incredibly challenging and unprecedented times, procedures and policies are being reviewed and changed to what is seen best for both Robert Allen and its customers,” the letter states. “Due to the uncertainty in the economy and the global supply chain being interrupted, we have made the difficult decision to no longer process orders for stock not currently available in our Gaffney [South Carolina] warehouse. “Unfortunately, any pending back-orders cannot be fulfilled at this time and will be canceled. And no new orders falling to a back order are to be processed in AS400.” Of course, COVID-19 is not helping RADG sales or anyone else’s. Industry observers say Enderle bought the company a year ago only to liquidate it and has no long-term plans for RADG. In the past few weeks, he has closed all major showrooms, retreated from a New York headquarters to his base in Knoxville, Tennessee, collected on high-value receivables owed to the firm, and is now reportedly debt-free on the purchase of RADG. Also, customer service is in Bulgaria, F&FI has learned. “He has little or no management; no sales force, no showrooms; no studio, no designers, and no design director,” one source observed. “At the end of the day, he has

taken a distressed asset and do what he knows how to do— squeeze the profit out of it.” When the smoke clears, Enderle will walk away with several million dollars and the company will be a ghost of what it once was—if it survives at all, observers say. The letter continues, “If a customer is inquiring to order at least one piece (50.0

yards) and is willing to pay a deposit, then these inquiries can be escalated to management to review if possible for Robert Allen to process the order and the terms for the order. “Don’t forget about research team as they always here to help us

alternatives, if possible, for patterns with stock available in Gaffney. Also, we have revised our website to only Brant Enderle show patterns that have stock in our Gaffney making our pattern are search a great resource find to independently find an

alternative. “Robert Allen currently has 21,756 SKUs in stock with at least 15 or more yards in Gaffney totaling 2,288,227 yards,” the letter states. “Orders being processed with stock available in Gaffney are being handled ‘business as usual’ and dispatching within 24/48 hours of order placement.” F&FI

Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 19

Top 36 Upholstery Fabric Buyers - 2020 F&FI News Network

The first “Top Upholstery Fabric Buyers” listing was published two years ago. For 2020, the new listing has seen some key changes including its expansion to 36 companies. There are other changes. Heritage Home Group is no longer in business. It was a key buyer, which filed Chapter 11 last July.



Schnadig no longer exists. The new name is Caracole. Universal became a key player in custom upholstery with the purchase of Southern Furniture in Conover, North Carolina, last October. Key personnel changes include Melanie Cooper who left Sherrill. Deitra Carpenter joined King Hickory, a new name on the list. Erica Wingo left Bernhardt for Baker.

Head Office

Corey Keifetz retired from Rowe Furniture and Carrie Bleile from Flexsteel. Amy Archer left Lee. Hannah Rangel joined Rowe. Also, Kim Caraballo joined Universal late last year after being with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams for over 17 years. Claudine Simone recently joined Kravet after being at Heritage Home



Group and Radiate. If we missed something else, we’d love to hear from you. Your comments on the listing would be appreciated. The show must go on! F&FI Please email Eric Schneider at Eric@fabricsandfurnishings.com

Head Office

American Leather . . Kristen Foster . . . . . . Dallas, Texas

King Hickory . . . . . Deitra Carpenter . . . . Hickory, North Carolina

Ashley . . . . . . . . Lisa Adair . . . . . . . . Tupelo, Mississippi Joel Nowacki

Klaussner . . . . . . . Jay Foscue . . . . . . . Asheboro, North Carolina Jill Sprehe

Bassett . . . . . . . . Kena Cohenour . . . . . Bassett, Virginia

La-Z-Boy . . . . . . . Paula Hoyas . . . . . . Monroe, Michigan

Bauhaus . . . . . . . Aaron Larry . . . . . . . Saltillo, Mississippi

Lee . . . . . . . . . . Jan Whitson . . . . . . . Conover, North Carolina Reine Cenac Bondi Coley

Bernhardt . . . . . . Dawn Pearson . . . . . Lenoir, North Carolina Taylor Hoffman Best Chair . . . . . . Brooks Messner Cook . Ferdinand, Indiana Bob Williams Katie Czyzewicz Caracole . . . . . . . Roger Turnbow . . . . . Hickory, North Carolina Larissa Whitt Century . . . . . . . . Lynn Wright . . . . . . . Hickory, North Carolina Corinthian . . . . . . Jason Ethridge . . . . . Corinth, Mississippi Craftmaster . . . . . Suzanne Hinson . . . . Taylorsville, North Carolina

Lexington Home . . . Katrina Patton . . . . . Hildebran, North Carolina Erin Tsucalas McCreary Modern . Bob McCreary . . . . . Newton, North Carolina Michelle McCreary Himes Hunt Holly McLaughlin April Winters Beth Miller Mitchell Gold- . . . . Leslie Stoll . . . . . . . Taylorsville, North Carolina

England . . . . . . . Megan Hudson . . . . . New Tazwell, Tennessee Cara Perkins

Palliser . . . . . . . . Brenda Gurica . . . . . Winnipeg, Canada Cameron Cook Sellers Madi Cash

Ethan Allen . . . . . . Patricia Hoffman . . . . Danbury, Connecticut Mary Rose Cleary

Precedent . . . . . . Arika Lowther . . . . . . Newton, North Carolina Lori Grigg-Hartzog

Flexsteel . . . . . . . Mallory Appleton . . . .Dubuque, Iowa

Rowe . . . . . . . . . Hannah Rangel . . . . . High Point, North Carolina

Franklin . . . . . . . . Jamie Cook . . . . . . . Houston, Mississippi Chuck Tidwell

Sherrill . . . . . . . . Susan Bay . . . . . . . . Hickory, North Carolina Melody Kearns

Fusion . . . . . . . . Bo Robinson . . . . . . Tupelo, Mississippi Anna Claire Reed

Smith Bros . . . . . . Steve Lehman . . . . . Berne, Indiana Amy Wright

HM Richards . . . . . Andrea Banda . . . . . Baldwyn, Mississippi

United . . . . . . . . Chris Burgett . . . . . . Tupelo, Mississippi

Hooker . . . . . . . . Sandy Teague . . . . . Martinsville, Virginia

Universal . . . . . . . Kim Caraballo . . . . . High Point, North Carolina

Hughes . . . . . . . . Susan Morris . . . . . . Randleman, North Carolina

Vanguard . . . . . . . Harriett Miller . . . . . Conover, North Carolina

Jackson . . . . . . . . Anthony Teague . . . . Cleveland, Tennessee Jonathan Louis . . . . Javier Sanchez . . . . . Gardena, California Heide Gonzalez Eric Boling Kimball . . . . . . . . Jan Dodd . . . . . . . . Jasper, Indiana

22 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

French Editeur Thevenon Debuts Outdoor Collection in U.S. Showrooms via Carolina Irving Textiles New collection also available in France via Casa Lopez boutiques F&FI News Network


E PUY EN VELAY, France — Thevenon, the French editeur, wants inroads into the U.S. market with its new collaboration with U.S. designer Carolina Irving.

Thevenon CEO Vincent Thevenon

François Bauchet

Vincent and his father, Olivier, Thevenon

The new performance-outdoor collection, its main design called California Caning, will be available in Carolina Irving Textiles’ 13 U.S. showrooms – once the coronavirus lockdown lifts. “(The new collection) will be highlighted in French retailer [Casa Lopez] and Carolina Irving in the U.S.,” Nicolas Doher, Thevenon export director, says. “We will be highlighted in showrooms …We’ve just shipped it … and we hope everything will be ready in the U.S. and elsewhere.” Begun in 1908, the fourth-generation family company has its headquarters in a small town in the south, about 90 minutes from Lyon, France. Vincent Thevenon became CEO about 12 years ago from his father, Olivier, with a new directive: expand its offerings. With about 7 million euros in annual sales (or about $7.5 million), Doher says his task is to increase exports, now about 25% of the company’s business, especially in the U.S. and India markets, alongside its historical markets in Europe. “First time we have a complete collection not only in core business of double widths … but technical fabrics for contract and hospitality markets,” Doher says. “France’s domestic market is still improving.” That is why the company teamed up with Casa Lopez, which has three retail stores in Paris. California Caning consists of jacquard or plain weaves, digital prints on linen and acrylic, and all finished for the outdoors. “Vincent himself works with independent designers which allows him to go into more technical items,” Doher says. In addition to the Caning collection, Thevenon teamed up with French designer François Bauchet to create the Uono collection for the contract industry, which uses Trevira fabric. “We can now print or weave any of our designs,” Doher says. “For Uono, which has 20 colors … the point is not only to have an FR collection. The point was also to use the quality print or weave of any of our designs in an FR.” Doher adds customers can now pick from the collection without a large minimum of production. Thevenon weaves most of its fabrics in Belgium and prints in Italy. There are four different designs for the California Caning Collection and here are the retail prices at U.S. showrooms and distributors. • Gordes Plain : 80 euros per meter • Ménerbes Stripe : 100 euros per meter • French Ikat : 100 euros per meter • Californian Cannage : 150 euros per meter This is the first time the French editeur teamed up with a U.S. designer. Irving was born in the United States, to Venezuelan parents, and was educated in Paris, according to the company website. She went on to

Carolina Irving and Pierre Sauvage

study art history and archaeology at the Ecole du Louvre. She specialized in 17th century Italian art. “I particularly like fabrics that are easy to live with, look handmade, slightly old, and colors that are not jarring, but never beige,” Irving says in a statement. Two years ago, she started a collaboration with Pierre Sauvage, owner and art director of Casa Lopez. “Carolina dreamed of fabrics that her customers on the American coast could install outside, when Pierre was already immersed in this culture of inside-outside, but had not yet tackled the field textile,” a company statement says. “Quite naturally, they joined forces and desire to imagine [together] a collection that make sense to them.” And along with Thevenon, they have created the Caning collection. In addition, Maison Thevenon associates its collections with many renowned names of French design, such as InkFabrik, Patrick Plattier, Nathalie Lété, Prune Cirelli, Stella Cadente, Leslie David, Robert Le Heros, and others. F&FI

Here is Thevenon’s outdoor collection with Casa Lopez and U.S. designer Carolina Irving; the main design is called California Canning. Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 23


Fiama Textiles Is Developing Fabric With Copper Twisted Yarns From Chile, World’s Leading Copper Producer, Said to Repel Bacteria F&FI News Network


EW YORK — Fiama Textiles Inc. is developing a line of residential fabrics woven with copper twisted yarns that will reportedly repel and kill bacteria once it touches the fabric. The copper twisted yarn is being spun in combination with linen, polyester and/or cotton, according to Leonardo Novik, director of this South American mill with mills in Campinas and Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile. Novik expects to have the new line by June. Diversified Laboratories will provide the certification for the bacteria

repelling properties, he says. Right now, it is working with a Chilean yarn supplier. Chile is one of the world’s leading producers of copper, which has antibacterial properties. “Chile has 60 percent of the world’s copper resources,” he says. Eventually, he expects to have the copper twisted yarns available in Sao Paulo. “During these times, it is more than ever important to develop new products,” Novik explains. “Beyond April, we’re having a hard time determining how our business will be,” he says. “We’re finishing up some custom

projects now for mid-April but we need to find out what the new lows for order quantity might be.” Fiama has been selling direct since 2015. Prior to that, Fiama says it was selling to other jobbers/distributors. “We stopped doing that in order to go to the customer direct,” says Thiago Omati, CEO of Fiama Textiles. “Fiama has offices and a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in Greensboro, North Carolina,” Omati says. “In addition to direct customers Arhaus and Crate & Barrel, it is now selling to Rooms to Go and Ethan Allen.” F&FI

Thiago Omati, MD Fiama

Boyteks Creates New Brand: Weavers by Boyteks The leading Turkish textile manufacturing company, Boyteks is in a leading position in the mattress ticking industry and produces upholstery fabric, warp knitting, and carpet


URSA, Turkey- As of July 1, Boyteks upholstery division after 20 years in the industry has a new brand: Weavers. Ilknur Dag, Boyteks sales and marketing director, says Weavers exports its products to more than 100 countries in residential and contract markets as well as producing outdoor, home textiles, and velvets. She added the Weavers’ mission is to make innovative and value-added fabrics that make life easier for consumers.

In these unprecedented difficult days, Weavers offers a special product named ProtectPlus, which is antimicrobial and antibacterial as well as entirely safe, non-toxic, and washable. It’s also recycled, biodegradable, and free from heavy metals, according to the company. Dag says customers will be able to visit in a renovated showroom and soon be able to access a 360-degree virtual-tour. Turkish textile has a significant role in world trade with the capability to meet high standards (continued on Page 32)

The new Weavers by Boyteks showroom

Indian Textiles Under Lockdown, Expect Resuming in May BY S. Vishwanath


UMBAI, India — The Indian textile industry has been under lockdown due to COVID-19, but it is expected to reopen in May.

Gurvinder Singh, managing director, GM Fabrics

Gurvinder Singh, managing director of GM Fabrics, a leading family-owned textile manufacturer, says, “By early March, we had this rude shock of COVID.” GM Fabrics employs more

Rajnish Arora, managing director, Dicitex Furnishings.

24 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

than 2,000 people. Rajnish Arora, managing director of Dicitex Furnishings, says Indian mills will have to not only reopen, but receive orders. He adds the health of America and Europe is as important as Indian furnishing mills, which depend on exports. The Indian government closed all malls and retail outlets, which resulted in no domestic furnishing sales. The textile mills are supposed to continue to pay salaries despite there being no business, escalating financial

woes, several sources in the textile industry say. There is also limited financial help coming from the Indian government, such as loans, unlike in the U.S. that has offered various stimulus packages. “It is the testing period of our lifetime and I don’t want to be negative and hope this will pass through and a new era will sprout by October and make things moving again”, Amit Mehta, partner of KC Fabrics in Mumbai, says. KC Fabrics are distributors

of furnishing fabrics in the Indian domestic market and have closed all distribution activities since mid-March. “All furnishing fabrics retail activities consisting of thousands of dealers are shut in India and the activities are nil, while we just await the covid virus to extinguish by itself,” Mehta says. Amitabh Sen, director of Casamia Fabrics, says it will be some time before business returns to normal levels in India. F&FI

Fil Doux Textiles Introduces Pro-Tech Plus, Extra Protection for Hospitality, Cruise, and Contract Industries F&FI News Network


EW YORK — Fil Doux Textiles, a Brooklyn-based textile company producing mill-direct upholstery, is launching Pro-Tech Plus, a bleach cleanable, water-based ink and denim protectant, which is now available for its Otratex collections. Otratex with Pro-Tech Plus is a bleach cleanable, water-based protectant for a vinyl alternative that can stand up to industrial-grade cleaners. As part of an eco-friendly textile series, Pro-Tech Plus ensures the fabric will not erode when using bleach and meeting rigid standards. Designed for the hospitality, cruise, and contract industries, Otratex is

made with natural enzymes embedded in the material that creates enhanced degradability. Within 30 years, the material fully decomposes when placed in an anaerobic environment such as a landfill, returning to the natural elements that comprise it. The collection, which comes in over 270 natural and textured leather interpretations and is completely customizable, is now being treated with Fil Doux Textiles’ proprietary protectant, Pro-Tech Plus, which accommodates the intense cleaning demands and rigorous sanitizing requirements of hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and cruise ship industries. “We are constantly being inspired

by nature’s allure and authenticity, which is why we sought out to create a product that could protect our earth-friendly Otratex, all while maintaining its durability and luxury feel,” Leo Novik, CEO of Fil Doux Textiles, says in a statement. Otratex is manufactured in the company’s fully vertical, tariff-free mills located in Chile and Brazil, allowing for customization and competitive lead times. Like all Fil Doux Textiles’ products, the collection is produced using sustainable practices on an industrial scale—dye waters for fabrics are reused, production power is generated by wind and solar panels, and leftover fabrics are repurposed for packaging.

Leo Novik

For environmental sustainability, Fil Doux Textiles has partnered with a non-profit group, One Tree Planted, with a pledge to donate 1,000 trees to Brazilian Rainforests for every 1,000 yards of Otratex purchased. F&FI

George Leads Leslee Jee Textiles Charge Towards Jobber Business

Donghia Closes New York Showroom; Files for Bankruptcy

F&FI News Network

In debt for $10 million to $50 million to more than 1,000 creditors F&FI News Network


EW YORK — The Donghia showroom in New York has closed and the staff has departed, according to trade reports. Weeks following Donghia’s decision to close its showrooms and lay off a majority of its staff, the company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Connecticut District Court. Founded by Angelo Donghia in 1968, and later sold to the Rubelli Group, Donghia estimates that it is in debt for between $10 million and $50 million to more than 1,000 creditors. Nicolo Rubelli, who has been responsible for the Donghia operation, could not be reached for comment. It is likely Donghia will look for showroom space to sell its iconic brand in key cities. For several years now, Donghia, the Rubelli wholesale contract and residential division in the U.S., was undergoing a total reorganization. “The design department of Donghia has not disappeared but is being reorganized,” Andrea Rubelli, Nicolo’s brother, previously said. Nicolo and Andrea Rubelli were both looking into possible synergies between Donghia and its parent company, Rubelli. F&FI Nicolo Rubelli

to $10.95, he says. HARLOTTE, N.C.—Tariff and Leslee Jee uses a network of multicoronavirus disruptions to the line sales agents with their own U.S. furniture industry, especially dedicated salespeople in California. with uncertain Chinese upholstery The main targets have been fabric prices, has prompted converter residential upholstery and commercialLeslee Jee Textiles (Huntington Beach, task-seating manufacturers in the U.S., California) to increase its share of but jobbers are playing an increasingly the jobber business, important role as according to Scott customers, George George, vice president emphasizes. And that’s of sales. an area he has the “Diversity in markets strongest experience. will pay dividends in the The newest collection long run,” George says, a is Indian velvet in 18 veteran fabric man, who colors, George says. joined Leslee Jee Textiles “China still represents just over a year ago from a great value and we are Valdese Weavers. trying to be consistent Scott George Since joining the in our pricing in spite of company, he has seen 25% tariffs,” he explains. a move towards higher-priced, but Leslee Jee was started in 2009 by “better value” goods, for Jee from India Leslee Jee, previously design director and Italy. The company had been of Momentum contract textiles, and importing 100% Chinese fabric. Norman Zoref, Momentum president Still, 80%-90% percent of Leslee and chairman. Zoref continues in that Jee goods are from China. Most are position even though he retired last small scale jacquards in “a retail sea of April. beige,” he adds. His father was Lennie Zoref, a legend Jee has a performance fabric story, in veteran furniture fabric circles and but it is not branded and has achieved his grandson, Rob Zoref, is a salesman in the finishing process, George says. for Leslee Jee. F&FI There is also a “green product line.” The Leslee Jee line is priced from $4.95


Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 25


Letter From China F&FI News Network

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter came from a Chinese trading company owner, who did not want to be identified.”

“Purchase ethics reconsideration: When the U.S. and EU markets were haunted by the coronavirus, big home textiles buyers like IKEA just canceled its already confirmed purchase orders; some were using another tactful substitute “putting on hold,” but without a ‘due date.’ “I am wondering if the same ever happened to their EU or U.S. local suppliers and how did they react to this. “And such deeds are detrimental to the supply chain trust built. The consequences to be studied, remedies need to be made, self-discipline fair-play mechanism needs to be established. “Anti-bacterial fairy tale: PPEs will be forgotten after a pandemic is over. People are prone to rush forward to embrace the better tomorrow and immediately put aside nasty memories. Bedding will stick to natural 100% cotton with more frequent washings. “Drapes with anti-bacterial function, are you serious? When the people walking out the pandemic with much thinner wallets and bigger conscience to more deposit, who will pay for such excessive features? Or, as always at all times: ‘Welcome to extra features, but, free.’ A consensus could be made on this subject. “China + X formula: Hope the Ganges will save India. And good luck for countries of supply bases other than China. What if not? From the time being, China is the only producing base having walked out of the custody of the coronavirus. “The EU and U.S. are opening up, this means the demands for supplies. The COVID-19 is going to make China a universal target to blame, which will ruin the trust in the supply chain supporting China; U.S. Trump tariff will enhance the exclusion. “My perception is no matter how badly the world wants to walk away from China, it is still the most reliable source of sourcing and procuring; strategically, X will be planned, developed and applied, voluntarily or involuntarily, economically or politically. “But what on earth are the business world’s mind reading?” F&FI

26 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

Aydin Ups U.S. Presence With Highpoint Showroom and New Agent: “It’s About Service” First Turkish textile company to exhibit under own name F&FI News Network


IGH POINT, N.C. — Salman Chaudhry has returned to the U.S. after a few years in Dubai for a new endeavor: Help Aydin, the Turkish vertical mill, increase its U.S. upholstery sales. Aydin hired the textile veteran and has opened a new showroom. It has a five-year lease at 305 W. High Ave., fourth floor. It is the first Turkish textile company to exhibit under its own name, Chaudhry says. “I think everybody has to restrategize in the years to come,” he says. “If you’re doing what you were doing five years ago, you’re essentially, not just standing in place, but you’re actually heading back.” Chaudhry, who has worked at U.S. mills for more than 20 years, says Aydin has made major pivots in not only its fabrics, but in the way it will cater to the U.S. market. “The industry, as you know, is saturated with a lot of product,” he says. “Now the focus is on the furniture market and still focused Aydin CEO Ali Sami Aydin on the converter

business, but our plans are to really service this industry. “We’re really trying to bring to the table what others cannot, which is more about service and enhancing the experience of our customers.” He has also hired two seasoned U.S. salespeople. Chaudhry has worked at U.S. manufacturers for most of his career starting in the 1990s, such as American Silk Mill. In the past five years, he has been based in the Middle East, working in the hospitality industry. “What the hoteliers are looking for, working with procurement companies, is really trying to see things from a different perspective,” he says. “I decided to align with Aydin because they are a vertically integrated company. …This is a new Aydin from six months ago. “They’re also trying to service the residential market and focused on the furniture customers. The trends change very quickly. In contract, it’s a longer cycle to sell.” Chaudhry says he has a different perspective after living in Dubai with his wife and three children, who interacted with 18 different nationalities at their school. “There’s a lot we take for granted and you really need to live a few years outside of the U.S. to really realize the lives we have here,” he says, adding it costs about four times to live in Dubai than in the U.S. F&FI

Google, Apple Offers New Neutex App F&FI News Network


ünchberg, Germany ­— The NEUTEX APP from Neutex Home Deco GmbH is officially available in the App stores from Apple and Google. According to Joseph Wheeler, managing director of Neutex, “customers and business partners can now access the various collections at any time and practically anywhere.” He says the NEUTEX APP offers a high-resolution and detailed picture gallery with an overview of the latest fabric creations and “shows special collections such as our “Best of” or the flame-retardant “FR” collection.” Neutex says approved users will have full access and also be able to share product data and request samples. The App is available in 9 languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Neutex sent out an announcement of the App with a Quick Start Guide to help the user navigate it. Neutex says its App is intuitively designed to make navigation of the App simple and easy, saying “We hope you enjoy and reach out with your questions or comments.” F&FI

Don Greene Retires From Heritage Fabrics, But Not His Duties to the Family Business, A. Hoke Ltd. F&FI News Network


HARLOTTE, N.C. — When Don Greene retired as the executive vice president — and a part-owner — of Heritage Fabrics one year ago, he thought he was going to spend more time on the golf course. But his wife, Alma, and daughter, Elaine, had other plans for him as a consultant to another company, their family fabric business, A. Hoke Ltd. A Hoke Ltd. is a wholesale showroom with all of the upper-end fabric and furniture lines for the interior design trade with two locations; one in Charlotte, North Carolina and one in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I spent last summer at our mountain home in the Boone/Blowing Rock area working on my flower gardens and my golf game,” Greene says. “The gardens showed more improvement than my golf game.” Greene, and his co-owner, Wayne McNeely, purchased Heritage seven years ago. Today, Greene still continues there as a non-working partner and a director. “Wayne McNeely is the president and operat-

ing partner,” Greene says. “We did not replace my position. We moved some of my responsibilities to other employees.” Since Greene left Heritage, he has still been involved with his family business, A. Hoke Ltd. which he and his wife started in 1989, to expand the Robert Allen business. “We sell very, very little Robert Allen at A. Hoke today,” Greene says. “They have gone from the front row to the back room. We were fortunate to have added other jobbers years ago. “Robert Allen certainly is a story on how outsiders can destroy a business,” Greene says. “I was very fortunate as a young man to have joined RA/Ametex in 1981, just as they were starting to become the leaders of the jobbers and converters. After Bob Weiss and Allen Wyatt sold it to Masco, the ship slowing began leaking and now the music is playing as the lifeboats are pulling away.” In a letter to his customers when he left Heritage, Greene states: “After 50 years of working in the home furnishings industry, I have decided to retire to enjoy more time with the loves of my life; my wife, my daughter, son in law, my grandchildren

Don Greene’s daughter, Elaine Hougham Greene, (l-r) Don Greene, and his wife, Alma Hoke Greene

(who are growing up way too fast), my friends, my home in the North Carolina mountains, my gardens, and my love to improve my golf game (or enough so I can say I love it). “I have been blessed being involved with Heritage Fabrics over the past seven years with wonderful business partners who understand the quality and happiness of a healthy life, and who understand my desire to spend more time with the loves of my life.” Well, Don Greene, you’re still in the textiles game! F&FI

Panaz’s Shield Plus Tests Effective Against Coronavirus F&FI News Network


URNLEY, U.K. — Panaz Ltd., a contracthospitality-specialist wholesaler and converter, reports its Shield Plus Anti-Microbial Technology tests effective against the coronavirus (COVID-19). The tests were conducted by an independent laboratory. Panaz is a global supplier of antimicrobial fabrics for the healthcare market, where there’s a need to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in hospitals, care homes, and other facilities. Panaz has been manufacturing highperformance fabrics protected by Shield Plus AntiMicrobial Technology for several years, and Shield Plus is applied to numerous fabric collections, from hospital cubicle curtains to contract upholsteries. “Whilst we are hopeful that the threat posed by COVID-19 will soon pass, such events remind us of the vigilance those operating within the healthcare industry must have against the spread of new infections,” Panaz CEO Tony Attard says in a statement. “We are delighted to inform our customers that Panaz Shield Plus Anti-Microbial Technology is effective against the Coronavirus.” Shield Plus Anti-Microbial Technology literally attracts microbes (viruses, fungi and bacteria) and physically destroys them immediately on impact, according to the company. It has the broadest spectrum of effectiveness against bacteria,

including C-Diff Spore and viruses, including the coronavirus. Moreover, Shield Plus is entirely safe and nontoxic being water-based and free from heavy metals, formaldehyde, methanol, polychlorinated phenols or arsenic and it is exhaustively tested for cytotoxicity, according to the company. Attard set up the U.K.-based business in 1986 and has built up the company into one of Europe’s leading suppliers of decorative fabrics and wallcoverings for the hospitality, healthcare and corporate sectors. It employs 140 people. Panaz sells 50% domestically and the rest all over the world. It has a U.S. office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Last year, Rollie Attard was named the company’s COO. He says he’s been working to beef up the company’s salesforce as well as investing in technology, so that Panaz can respond faster to its customers, such as shorter lead times. He says the company has been growing at double digits. “Really working on including more tech in everything we do,” says Attard, who has a background in start-ups. “Using the right data to make the right decisions.” While Shield Plus has been out for a few years, Attard says the company has been working on more eco-friendly products, such as 100% recycled upholstery and drapery fabric.

He says the Allure Velvet Collection has been a bestseller. The matte velvet is flame retardant for curtains, upholstery and accessories. “Velvet has always been a massive area for us,” Attard says. He says his Panaz COO Rollie Attard background in sales has been beneficial in his COO role and that he has been learning more about the operational side. “It’s been great working with my father and my brother, Simon, working in new product development,” Attard says. “You can be really imaginative and, internally, we call it, thinking big, and I really enjoy that.” He adds the biggest challenge is “customer service, and expectations are ever increasing, justifiable so our challenge to be more flexible and satisfying all customers is what we aim to do all the time.” F&FI Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 27


Need Free Business Financial Planning During Coronavirus? Bru Textile Leaders and Others Spearhead New Website: RecovidNow F&FI News Network


extile business leaders and others want to assist businesses with ways to handle the

coronavirus crisis: the new RecovidNow.com website. “There is no commercial interest in this site, we just wanted to offer our experiences to help others get pre-

pared to weather the storm and come out the other side,” the group says in a statement. The new RecovidNow.com website offers businesses “tips and tools” for dealing with the coronavirus crisis. According to the group, users can find “tips and tools” that they can use “immediately to stabilize and repair the impact of the covid-19 crisis on their

business and organization.” At RecovidNow.com, users will find three toolkits, which will be released in three phases. Phase 1: “To help you through the most acute phase of this crisis a First Aid Kit has been assembled. The purpose of this kit is to gain control of this new and disruptive situation. “To get control you need to get a clear view on your

U.S. and European Textile Industry Pitches In During Coronavirus With Masks and Other Essentials F&FI News Network


Photo by F. Schumacher & Company

IAMI BEACH, Fla. – Major textile manufacturers have geared up production of masks and other essentials during the coronavirus pandemic, including Belgium’s Bru Textiles, and in the U.S., Kravet Inc., Wearbest Weavers, Culp, Fabricut, and others. Overall, officials say the industry has banded together to aid in filling the void of available equipment and will continue to offer their services to try and help fight the fast-spreading virus. Kravet in Bethpage, New York, has donated 1,000 yards of fabric to produce masks, according to the company. In southern New Jersey, a mid-size hospital was desperate for masks, so Joanne Carrocino, CEO of Cape Regional Medical Center, calls for help to board members Bill Wenzel of NorthCape in Alsip, Illinois, and Ellen Kravet of Kravet. Within a few hours, the team figured out the specifications of fabrics, the logistics of making the masks, and then having them all sewn by hand. Production began on March 23 in both the NorthCape warehouse and Kravet’s South Carolina facility. Officials estimate about 3,000 masks can be made per day. Additionally, Kravet joined efforts with outdoor furniture brand Woodard Furniture, which has converted its Michigan facility to manufacture masks. Kravet has donated 500 yards of fabric, along with fabric from textile company Schumacher.

Kravet employees sewing masks. 30 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

CULP SHIFTS OPERATIONS Culp Inc. in High Point, North Carolina, has shifted some of its operations to produce face masks as well as other fabrics used at healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and others. “Culp is fortunate to have the ability to leverage our production capabilities and help meet the critical demand for protective masks and other necessary supplies to support healthcare and critical infrastructure,” Culp CEO Iv Culp says in a statement.

A Kravet employee producing masks.

WEARBEST CHANGES GEARS Wearbest Weavers in Garfield, New Jersey, supplies fabrics to the healthcare industry using microbe and bacterial resistant upholstery. The company is working to produce personal protective equipment, or PPE, especially gowns, surgical masks, privacy curtains, and other necessary items. Wearbest officials are seeking U.S. partners that have workrooms with sewing capabilities. “As a U.S.-based manufacturer, we are proud to have the ability to contribute to the safety of the dedicated personnel fighting the global pandemic of COVID-19,” Greg Thomases, vice president of Wearbest parent company, Swavelle, says in a statement. EUROPEAN COMPANIES BAND TOGETHER Bru Textiles in Kontich, Belgium, one of the world’s largest furnishing fabric converters and distributors, has teamed up with others to produce masks, according to its LinkedIn statement. Together with ArteVelum in Belgium and Eisenkolb Window in the Netherlands, Bru officials are able to lasercut face masks, sew them, and distribute them to health care facilities. F&FI

Gary Neiman of Bru

financial situation, your external ecosystem (customers and suppliers) and your internal ecosystem (staff and operations) and create an action plan. The First Aid Kit gives you a step-by-step approach to tackle these subjects yourself and to get your company back on track. You can build and execute the plan with your management team, and if you do not have one, you can do it yourself,” the website reads. Jason and Gary Neiman, principals of Bru Textiles, brought together fellow entrepreneurs to build the RecovidNow project, including: • Jo De Ridder and Louis Cnudde of Press Play Matthieu De Winter and Sacha Krinstinsky of King of Hearts • Pieter-Jan Pieters and Robin Dohmen of OWOW “We are calling on all business leaders to spread these tools through your business ecosystems, so that even more companies and organizations will get the right tools to navigate through this crisis,” the group states, which can be found at its LinkedIn group: LinkedIn. com/company/recovidnow. Phase 2: Survival Kit: “An action plan to structurally deal with a post-corona economic crisis” will be launched in June 2020, according to the website. Phase 3: Rebuild and Growth Kit: “An action plan for business reinvention and growth after the crisis” will be launched in September 2020, according to the website. F&FI


Crypton Says New 99.9% Fluorine-Free Certified Formula Disinfects Bacteria, Fungus, and Mold New eco-friendly formula retains disinfectant properties F&FI News Network


LOOMFIELD, Mich. — Crypton, a leading provider of performance fabric for contract and residential, announces the refinement of their process for its core product, Crypton Fabric with moisture barrier, which possesses 0.1% or less total fluorine – tested and certified using test method AATCC189.

Crypton CEO Lance Keziah

While Crypton’s core product now utilizes an evolved formula, what has

not changed is the fabric’s ability to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria, fungus and mold. And, its trademarked moisture-barrier prevents moisture from penetrating to the cushion. Crypton Fabric disinfects with integrated moisture barrier and with Crypton Disinfectant and Deodorizer, which is registered with the EPA. “Our chemistry and philosophy have always focused on performance sustainability,” Crypton CEO Lance Keziah says in a statement. “This latest breakthrough is indicative of our ongoing evolution and continued dedication.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced banning imports of products that contain “persistent long-chain PFAS chemicals,” otherwise known as C8. Crypton officials say understanding what fabric is and is not is more important than ever, especially since Crypton is tested, certified, and verified, while generics are not. “Crypton’s intelligently evolved formula was informed by knowledge gained from Crypton’s C-Zero (fluorine-free) technology,” the Crypton release states. “Sharing formulations across technologies enabled Crypton to evolve its core product to not only boast less chemistry but better performance. “More performance for less means: less chemistry, more repellency, better stain resistance (oil- and waterbased stains) and higher durability, with a softer hand and still meeting

or exceeding the most stringent test standards set for the contract textile industry.” BINDS TO FIBER Crypton uses highly engineered, fabric-specific processes to permanently seal patented performance technology into every fiber; the permanent bind of Crypton chemistry guarantees safe use and consistent performance, officials say. It is not a topical solution. Crypton’s stain and moisture protection lasts the life of the fabric and can extend the useful life of case goods by up to 7 years, officials say. Officials say it’s important to extend the “useful life” because this means fewer costs to consumers and to the environment. “Reduction in replacement and repair costs, plus reduction of the use of non-renewable fossil fuels and natural resources – wood, water, energy, landfill waste, and carbon emissions – emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change,” the release states. “With Crypton you are ‘futureproofing’ your interior spaces,” says Michael Grigat, Crypton vice president of research and development. “We invest our time and resources in planned longevity, not disposable technology. “It is a longer-game approach, but by extending the useful life of fabric and furniture, you measurably reduce your environmental footprint overall.” F&FI

(continued from Page 24)

Boyteks Creates New Brand and competing in international markets with high quality and a broad range of products, according to the World Trade Organization. Turkey exports not only readymade garments, but it also exports fabrics to the world. European countries, including Italy, Russia, Germany, Romania, and Bulgaria, are the most important markets. Turkish textile exports grew by 2.5 % in 2017, according Boyteks showroom to the WTO.

32 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

Weavers officials have not only been expanding their new residential brand, Dag says, but giving a priority to “value-added” fabrics, such as flame retardant, recycled, and antimicrobial fabrics – now more important than ever with the coronavirus pandemic. Dag says the company’s strongest challenge is producing a large innovative product range, continuing its innovations and trends, and beautifying customers’ lives. F&FI

(continued from Page 16)

Regal About 60% of Regal business is with furniture manufacturers, while jobbers account for 40%. It also accommodates a new sublimation printing machine by Praktix and a Mamaki digital printer. “Our Chinese weaving partners are producing top quality fabrics for our furniture customers in the $5-$10 range and $15-$18 to the jobber with great delivery,” Kahan says. “They are tough to beat and will dominate this market for the future.” The expansion was also prompted by more product development and lines created by Sue Patrolia, design director, and Anne Hood, merchandising director. New lines include a 100 SKU collection of rayon-pile jacquard velvets with plains from India starting two seasons ago and 20 different base cloths for digital printing from China (polyester) and India (cotton). Turkey is also supplying Regal. “We are doing a great deal of printing in China but with the new Mamaki, we will be able to turn around prototypes and small yardage in no time supplemented by longer runs from our Chinese printing partners,” Kahan explains. Aside from the U.S. business, Regal does a fair amount of China to China business and he is seeing a shift for upholstered furniture manufacturers setting up in Vietnam, where he has already been on a tour. “The American import tariffs on the Chinese furniture production forced the shift to Vietnam case-goods production and upholstery is following that trend,” he says. F&FI

The Regal warehouse

Textile Veteran Leon A. Marsha Dies, 90 F&FI News Network


OLUMBIA, S.C. - Leon Anthony Marsha Jr. died on March 13 after a brief illness. In 1953, after returning from Korea, he joined the family textile business, L. A. Marsha Co. Inc., founded in 1929. The company was located in West

Columbia and incorporated in South Carolina. L. A. Marsha Co. Inc. was a specialist in woven upholstery fabrics but closed in 2015. Marsha formed a new company with Peter Barnes called Marsha Barnes, a broker-dealer textile business in Spartanburg, S.C.

Marsha also formed Marsha Investments, Inc. in West Colombia, S.C. in retirement. Marsha was most active in the business in the 1960s and it grew into an international distributor of textile and furniture products from U.S. suppliers. Marsha was born in

Herman Silbernberg, Silvera Founder, Dutch Textile Pioneer, 85 F&FI News Network


LMERE, Netherlands — Herman Silbernberg, one of the first Dutch home textile merchants, died Oct., 15, 2019. He was 85. Silbernberg overcame many obstacles in his life. After World War II, his family, as well as the family business, was completely destroyed by the German Nazi occupying forces. Born in 1934, Silbernberg survived the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide of European Jews, and the German Battle of the Bulge, or Ardennes Counteroffensive, by hiding out in the Ardennes. Afterward, he never found his parents and struggled after the war in a foster family. He had to come to terms that not only had his family been destroyed, but also the family business. Herman had to rebuild his life from the rubble. He started working as a truck driver for a wholesaling company in the Netherlands and climbed to the position of buyer. After a career with Lethem Vergeer, where he worked up to become sales director, he joined the firm Hart in the same position. After a few years there, he returned to Lethem as the purchasing director. Among other things, he was known for the brand of Sunside curtains. In 1969, Silbernberg started his own company, with wife, Yvonne, called Silvera, which now offers furniture and home fabrics, including upholstery, trimmings, and curtains. As one of the oldest sales agencies in the Netherlands since 1688, the Silbernberg family represents various brands of

Herman Silbernberg and his wife, Yvonne

high-quality interior fabrics. Nyenrode Business University in Amsterdam recognized him as a “ninth-generation-independent entrepreneur” within the framework of the family business. His son, Dennis, is the tenth generation. In the 1970s, Herman was one of the first European partners of Covington, and is still a Silvera partner today. In 1984, Herman got in touch with the Kravet family and started distribution in Europe with his son, Dennis. Silvera has grown to a market leader with its own collection. In 2008, the partnership of Kravet and Silvera amicably separated. Silvera has been a distributor of the Fabricut Group since 2008. Herman retired in 2006, but up until his last day on Oct. 15, 2019, he continued to council about the business. He is survived by his son, Dennis, and his wife, Meta. F&FI

Greenwood, South Carolina on July 31, 1930 to Leon A. Marsha, senior and Ruth Creech Marsha. At the age of two, his family moved to Columbia. After high school, Marsha attended The Citadel for two years before transferring to the University of Georgia, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Upon graduating in 1951, he received a commission through the United States Army ROTC and was called to active duty. Upon completion of basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, he married Natalie Louise Hull of Atlanta, Georgia. He was then stationed at Fort Jackson until his deployment to Korea as a member of the 17th Infantry Regiment (Heavy Mortar Company) 7th Infantry Division. In Korea, as a first lieutenant, he served his country with honor in combat, engaging in major battles, the last of which was Pork Chop Hill. He received the Purple Heart, Combat Infantrymen’s Award and other meritorious medals from the governments of the United States, Korea and the United Nations. In 1957, a group of Lebanese American men was organized by Danny Thomas to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This organization became known as the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC). As state director for ALSAC, Marsha headed up several teenage marches and a concert at the Carolina Coliseum to raise the funds to begin building the hospital and realizing Danny Thomas’s dream. As one of the original donors, L.A. Marsha’s name is on a donor wall at the hospital and the Marsha family continues to donate money to an endowment in the family name each year.

Textile veteran Leon Marsha

Marsha is survived by his wife of 68 years, Natalie Hull Marsha, their four children and spouses, Stephanie Marsha McCabe (Michael McCabe), Lee Marsha (Anne), Michael Marsha (Ginger), Cecelia Marsha Zimmerman (Steve Zimmerman); his ten grandchildren and their spouses, Allie Rosvold Carpenter (John), Katie Zimmerman Atkinson (Zack), Ainsley McCabe Hope (Chat), Natalie Zimmerman Salley (Tate), Sara Marsha Ellison (David), Julia Zimmerman Bowers (Claude), Taylor McCabe Allen (Josh), Daniel Lee Marsha, Mary Kathryn McWilliams (Robert), Stephanie Marsha Theodore (Nick) and his eighteen great-grandchildren. In Lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to: St. Joseph Catholic Church Organ Fund – 3512 Devine St. Columbia, S.C. 29205 St. Jude Children’s Research – Marsha Family Endowment – 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105-9959. Due to the current health pandemic, all services will be private or postponed out of concern for the health of loving friends who were planning to attend. There will be a Memorial Mass at a later date. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family. F&FI

Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 33


Gerald Puschel, 79, Former Chairman, F. Schumacher & Co., Dies F&FI News Network


REENWICH, Conn. — Gerald W. Puschel, former chairman of F. Schumacher & Co., a major fabric, wallcovering, and rug wholesaler, died at his home here on February 28 from complications of Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare brain disorder. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 6, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside, with a reception to follow at the Riverside Yacht Club. After graduating from Officers Candidate School, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy for three years serving two tours of active duty in Vietnam. He subsequently joined F. Schumacher & Co., as the fourth generation to work at the company, which was founded in 1889 by his great-great-uncle, Frederic Schumacher. Gerald retired from F. Schumacher & Co. as the board chairman in 2016.

He was the son of Walter and Francoise Puschel and was born in Montclair, N.J. in 1941. He grew up in Riverside, Connecticut, attend- Gerald ing Riverside School and Puschel Brunswick School. He attended St. Lawrence University and then Philadelphia School of Textiles and later received an MBA from Rutgers University. Gerald is survived by his wife of 39 years, Louise, and his two sons, Andrew who lives in San Francisco, and Stephen, who lives in New York. Stephen is a vice-president of F. Schumacher and a fifth-generation owner. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made (in Gerry’s memory) to support research to combat PSP and other movement disorders to: The Trustees of Columbia University/ Movement Disorders, Office of Development, Attn: M. Reals, 516 W. 168th Street, New York, NY, 10032, or email: mr3134@columbia.edu. F&FI

Cancer Takes Industry Great Tom Byrnes, 61 F&FI News Network


HARLOTTE, N.C. — Tom Byrnes, vice president of marketing at Springs Creative in Rock Hill, died on March 21 from cancer. Services will be held for only family due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was born Feb. 2, 1959. He raised two children as a single parent. He liked music, loved to cook, and travel. He is survived by his daughter, Riley, his son, Sean, and a brother, Joe. Byrnes was well-known in fabric circles due to his many years in the industry, including a 12-year career as executive vice president of marketing for Mastercraft Fabrics, at one time, the leading jacquard upholstery producer. “Tom was noted for his creative and interesting presentations as well as having a great sense of humor,” remembers Richard Zack, a colleague at Mastercraft. “He was one of the first to develop cut and sew programs in China,” according to Al Bolton, a long-time friend and principal of Fabrics International. Bolton is referring to the work done for Echo Yu, owner of Nice Link Home Furnishings in China. “Tom was one of the most gifted merchandisers in the furniture/fabric industry,” Bolton says. “He knew his product, fabric construction, and colors. He could paint a picture with a fabric presentation second to none. His knowledge of the customer made Springs

34 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020

a rapid success in digital printing and design. It would have taken Springs 15 years to do what Byrnes did for them in 16 months.” Tom Byrnes and Niko In September 2019, Byrnes was found to have “an aggressive form of liver cancer, specifically bile duct cancer,” according to his daughter, Riley Peterson. “He didn’t see it as anything but being a man with just another broken leg. “He fought and worked tirelessly to heal his body, which he would always say was just being uncooperative. When I say he fought, he fought hard, battling multiple infections alongside this horrible disease, but still never gave up.” One week before he died, his daughter said, “he was able to walk me down the aisle and to everyone’s surprise, dance with me to our favorite song. That will be a moment I will cherish forever.” Derick Close, owner of Springs, and a few friends are setting up scholarships. Donations can be made on the website Cholangiocarcinoma.org. F&FI

Laura Ashley U.K. Closes 70 Stores, Looks Toward China F&FI News Network


ONDON — Laura Ashley U.K., the home furnishings and fashion brand, will close 70 branches here, while it makes a move into China, according to trade reports. Kravet says it is closing out its exclusive collection in the U.S. “This is a sad time for Laura Ashley U.K. as we step in administration. Regrettably, our news means we are saying goodbye to some dear colleagues and communities,” a Laura Ashley Facebook post reads on March 23. Administration in the U.K. is similar to bankruptcy in the U.S., so it functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent companies and allows them to carry on running their business. The coronavirus pandemic has added to the financial problems of the British retailer, which was founded in 1953. The company said the store closures could affect 721 jobs, but that it would continue to sell its products online. It has its headquarters in London. The company’s annual revenue fell 31% in 2017, 7% in 2018, and 9% in 2019, when it had annual revenue to 232 million pounds, or about $285 million, according to Craft.co. Laura Ashley is owned by Malayan United Industries (MUI). In December 2019, MJI Executive Chairman Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow held a press conference in Malaysia. “(The company) is moving to Asia in a much bigger way,” Yeow said, according to a BBC.com article. “Once we get a significant foothold in digital retail in China, we can look to the physical stores rollout.” F&FI

Facebook post from Laura Ashley

Bert Rosenberg, Textile Agent, 88 F&FI News Network


YDNEY—Bert Rosenberg succumbed to the effects of pancreatic cancer on April 6. He was 88. Bert was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a month ago. He was born January 16, 1932 in Cape Town, South Africa. Textile stylist Addy Bois maintained a friendship with Bert that goes back to their time at Quaker Fabrics in Fall River, Massachusetts, about 15 years ago. “He was the Quaker Fabric sales manager for Australia and New Zealand,” Bois recalls. “He was an independent agent

Bert with his three sons Anton, Lance, and Justin Rosenberg (Photo courtesy of Nadine Sacks).

and his thriving business was called Lowsuma. “Bert was one of the most sincere, humorous, kind, and intelligent people I have known in my life. The customers he worked with all became his friends. He was well-liked and respected by all. He worked hard and lived life to the fullest. He especially loved his wife, Pauline, his weekly dinners with his children, traveling the world, and he was an amazing conversationalist.” Rosenberg is survived by his three sons, Anton, Lance, Justin, and several grandchildren. “Customer dinners with Bert were full of laughter and good cheer,” Bois says. “Bert was a fantastic athlete, competing in tennis tournaments as recently as August 2019 in Mexico at age 87! “Bert was the type of person who inspired people to be the best they can be in life. It was a

“Bert was one of the smartest, funniest, most delightful characters in our industry. he loved the textile world; he was one of the real pioneers in the Australian market. He had the energy and drive of a 20 year old, even in his advanced years—he pushed you to be your best in every way. Bert was a real renaissance man; he was a wonderful family man and a forever friend. I am so sad that he is gone. The world has lost one of the special ones.” —Deborah Newberger

privilege for me to know him as a coworker and friend.” Bert always attended Heimtextil as it was always around his birthday. He used to go skiing in Grindelwald, Switzerland, with a group of textile people, usually after Heimtextil. As a senior, he played tennis with the International Tennis Federation and played around the world at various tournaments. He also represented Australia in the Maccabi Games in Israel. F&FI

“Bert was a legend in the fabric business who I knew ever since I was a boy over 40 years ago. I was lucky enough to work with him for many of those years and learned so much from his superior textile knowledge, his incredible salesmanship and of course his witty humor and charm. Bert treated me like family and I loved him like family, he died at 88 years old and I will remember him forever.” Gary Neiman President, Bru Textiles

“Oh no my hero. Bless Bert. May he rest in peace. I worked with him for many years. What a gentleman. What a teacher . He was my mentor ...” ~Andrea Maharaj, sales agent South Africa

James Wong, Who Built Acacia Fabrics into Asian “Powerhouse,” Coronavirus Victim at 52 F&FI News Network

James Wong, one of the founders of Acacia Fabrics, a leading European fabric distributor in Southeast Asia, has died from the coronavirus, or COVID-19. He was 52. “It is with heavy hearts that we inform you that Group Managing Director of Acacia Fabrics James Wong has gone back home to the Lord on 27 March 2020 at 10:35am (GMT +8),” an Acacia Facebook post reads. “We stand before you today as a representative of a family in grief in mourning. We are all united in hearts, mind and spirit to pay our respects to James.

“The passage of time never really heals the tragic memory of such an incredible loss. A father. Brother. Husband. Son. Colleague. Business Partner. Mentor, and above all a friend. But we carry on because his light and love continue to guide us. His spirit of resilience and good humor continues to be our torch.” He is survived by his wife, Joy, his daughter, Jade, and his son, Johan. Gary Neiman, Bru Textiles owner, wrote the following in a LinkedIn post. “It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that our Malaysian partner, James Wong from Acacia, passed away this morning

after a very short battle against COVID-19. ...James was an incredible partner, friend, boss and brother, who we enjoyed for 24 years. He was one of the original founders of Acacia, who helped build this small Malaysian company into a huge Asian powerhouse. He was a true leader and always cared unselfishly about others.” Acacia Fabrics, founded in 1994, is a major distributor of European fabrics throughout Southeast Asia. Over the years, it has grown to be a respected household fabric brand, still working today with its original core team from 1994, according to the company.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it has regional offices and warehouses in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Acacia Fabrics manages three in-house brands (Acacia, Estelle, and Estelle Prestige) and distributes two other brand names (FR-One and UV Pro). There’s also the Fabric Library, sourced from several Asian countries, with dealerships all across Southeast Asia. “James has gone home now, guided by his faith, and light of God and those he loves,” the Acacia Facebook post reads. “We ache and grief his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, and the dreams

James Wong

he kept alive. A living example of an extraordinary man and only his strength has afforded us the strength to move forward. May God bless his soul and may he rest in eternal peace.” F&FI

Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 35


Design It

Dream About a Better World and

By Jennifer Castoldi

The aim is to stimulate the revival that is surely going to follow the pandemic and the lockdown, and to support your great responsibility of being one of the driving creative business forces of the new age. Yes, we may be entering an age of frugality, but that does not equate to bad design or cutting corners. It is time to be clever and disruptive. Some of the ingredients to future success include material innovation, digitial-textile value-chains, and inspriting surface design. Heimtextil 2021/22 Trends & Digital Innovation Globally, trade shows are having to reinvent the way they do business and balance an existence between virtual and physical. In order to avoid obsoletion, such events need to stay ahead of the game and support special features such as the Trend Space at Heimtextil and offset the tangible experience with digital innovation. Next year, the new Digital Innovation Lab will be premiered at Heimtextil in the Trend Space. It emphasizes the prospects and further market opportunities of a total digital textile value chain, from the design to the entirely virtual product used by the end consumer. The Future Materials Library will return to showcase a collection of curated, innovative materials with a sustainable foundation. The latest examples include a vegan wool alternative which is made from cellulose fibers sourced from pineapple leaves and a veneer made from the bracts of Mexican corn.



Sketches of Spain Sketches of Spain is an album by Miles Davis, recorded between November 1959 and March 1960. Music reviewers questioned if it was even jazz. Once again, Davis was striking out in a totally new direction. An entirely new direction is what is now needed in our industry on many fronts. This design style may have people question, “Is this even art?” The surface design seen here is beautiful in its raw form. Imagine the Galaxies Merriam-Webster defines escapism as the “habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine.” This design trend has become a form of escapism. If we are to dream of another world, a natural tie in aesthetic would be imagery that evokes the idea of other galaxies. Misty skies, star-encrusted heavens, bleeding colors like the aurora borealis, and the signs of the zodiac free us from our earth-bound selves. Magic, mystery, and hope can be found in the vast expanse of the multiverse. Sayonara Plain Jane Surface design, patterns, which are simple in appearance, an object, which is basic, not ornamental, these designs need not apply here. This aesthetic movement is all about being bold and daring. Excess patterns used in a sophisticated, yet over-the-top manner, that is the essence of this interior product selection. • Printed textures and interesting material combinations form the backdrop for complex geometric motifs. • Flower petals and leaves have patterns within patterns. • Naturally rough, embossed, or smooth velour, the material option is vast

Maisons du Monde

P &W (Pappert & Waszkiewicz, Planen & Einrichten)

Jannelli & Volpi

36 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020


3 Pineapple “wool” by Nathalie Spencer

4 Pineapple leather Piñatex


Rasch GmbH & Co.KG

P &W (Pappert & Waszkiewicz, Planen & Einrichten)

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.

ITA Cancels June 2020 Showtime Market

Next Showtime market remains as scheduled for November 15-18, 2020 F&FI News Network


IGH POINT, N.C. – Based on the effect of COVID-19 on the home furnishings industries and current business conditions, International Textile Alliance has canceled its spring Showtime market. Initially rescheduled to June 12-16, 2020, the spring Showtime market will no longer take place. The next Showtime market remains as scheduled for November 15-18, 2020. “Based on the input of our board and membership, it is clear that holding our Spring/Summer Showtime market in June will not be possible,” Kelly DiFoggio, president of ITA’s board of directors, and director of sales and marketing for Yarn & Loom, says in a statement. “The majority of our members have been severely impacted by this pandemic and do not have the staffing or financial resources for the product development, show setup and travel needed to make this a full, productive market.” During this time between Showtime markets, ITA is refocusing its efforts to deliver value to its members by developing online and multimedia tools. Should the furniture market occur June 12-14 in High Point, ITA will continue to support any members that want to show their product, including marketing and procurement of temporary space. Buyers that wish to view fabrics, leather and trimmings in June, July, and thereafter are encouraged to contact our members through the online directory at internationaltextilealliance.org. To provide feedback on the show cancellation or share ideas on how ITA can support members, contact Brian Casey, executive director (brian@internationaltextilealliance. org) or Carrie Dillon, assistant director (carrie@internationaltextilealliance.org). F&FI

Evteks 2020 Changes Dates to Aug. 25-29 F&FI News Network


STANBUL—The 26th running of Evteks (Istanbul International Home Textiles Exhibition) has new dates of August 25-29, 2020, according to Istanbul Trade Fairs, a CNR Expo CEO Ali Bulut during Evteks 2019. division of CNR Expo, the show organizer. The expo was postponed from March to August because of the coronavirus pandemic. Evteks has usually been held about two weeks after Proposte in Como, Italy, but this year, Evteks will be held four weeks prior to Proposte on Sept. 23-25, 2020. “As ITF, Istanbul Trade Fairs, we aim that the new date set will provide domestic textile manufacturers with a more healthy and efficient trade opportunity in the international competition,” officials say in a statement. F&FI

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Moves From June to Sept. 2-3 F&FI News Network


IAMI BEACH, Fla. — The Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America and Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo America changes from its June dates to Sept. 2-3, 2020. “Postponing the event from June to September we are confident that this global crisis will behind us and that we can come together as a community to discuss the methods and actions required which will protect our supply chains and the cruise industry as a whole,” CEO Toby Walters says in a statement. The event will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is located in Miami-Dade County, where officials have imposed travel restrictions. F&FI

Proposte 2020 Changes Dates: Sept. 23-25 F&FI News Network


ERNOBBIO, Italy – Proposte 2020, the furnishing fabrics and curtain event, is now Sept. 23-25. Originally set for April, organizers say they changed dates due to the coronavirus disrupting trade fairs worldwide, such as Salon del Mobile changing to June. Proposte President Piercarlo Viganò says organizers hoped to keep the original dates, but events have escalated. (continued on next page)

Decosit 2020 Canceled F&FI News Network


RUSSELS — Decosit 2020 has been canceled due to coronavirus disruptions, according to its website. “Considering the evolution related to the Corona COVID-19 virus and the uncertainty associated with it, Decosit has been rescheduled for September 2021,” the Decosit website (Decosit.Brussels) reads. Exact dates and more information on next year, the 2021 edition, will be decided soon. A redesigned Decosit textile fair was scheduled from Sept. 8-9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. Read more about the rebooted Decosit fair at https://www.fabricsandf u r n i s h i n g s . c o m /c o n tract-hospitality-news/ D e c o s i t -Te x t i l e - Fa i r Reboots-for-2020.html . F&FI

Heimtextil Colombia Launches April 2021 in Medellin F&FI News Network


EDELLIN, Colombia — A new textile trade expo called Heimtextil Columbia will launch April 27-29, 2021 here in Medellin. Heimtextil is the biggest international trade fair for home and contract textiles. The flagship fair is in Frankfurt and it also has chapters in Moscow, New Delhi, Tokyo, Shanghai, and New York. There will be 110 exhibitors, according to a company statement, including decorative fabrics, upholstery, wallcoverings, window treatments, bedding, rugs/carpets, digital print, fibers, yarn and chemicals, and hospitality (contract) business. Medellin already hosts fashion and textile tradeshows for Latin America and the city’s nickname is “the capital of Latin American fashion.” Inexmoda (inexmoda.org.co) is organizing the event, which can be found online at Heimtextilcolombia.com. F&FI Summer 2020 • www.FandFI.com • 37

F FI C A L E N D A R June


June 16—21, 2020 Salone del Mobile

September 23—25, 2020 Proposte

Milan, Italy

Villa Erba, Como, Italy



November 15-18, 2020 Showtime

August 24—26, 2020 Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles

High Point, North Carolina

National Exhibition & Convention Ctr Shanghai

August 25—29, 2020 Evteks Istanbul, Turkey

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

(continued from previous page)

Proposte Rescheduled “The situation has evolved on a day-by-day basis, both internally and internationally,” Vigano says in a March 5 statement. “The strong reduction in air traffic and the cancellations of flights to Italy ordered by some governments and airlines has led us to a forced choice. “Therefore, we have decided to postpone the event to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to visit our exhibition in full tranquility and continue their business as usual.” The Proposte location remains Villa Erba in Cernobbio. F&FI




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GM Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28-29

Ascent Decor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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

Aydin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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Covington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

PDF Systems, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

D’Decor Exports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3

Plastex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

D’Decor Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5

Sutlej. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-15

Dicitex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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38 • www.FandFI.com • Summer 2020


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