Fabrics & Furnishings International - Summer 2019 Issue

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Volume 29, Number 3

The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper




Largest Mill Owner Ajay Arora Sees Growth, Big Change Ahead Ajay Arora, D’Decor




New Tariff Stings US Textile Importers

Sirtori Expands Exports Guilio Sirtori with top-of-the-line Sirtori wool



Summer 2019

Chart segments year over year change in Chinese trade with the U.S. by direction. Calculations based on China General Customs Administration data.





How Eurotex Hit $50 Million Mark

Lira Decline Drives Turkish Exports

Eurotex Director Ugur Devletli & MD Hans Snelders

CNR Expo CEO Ali Bulut


12 Chantilal and Manish Shah, Deepak Nishar and Rohit Shah

How India’s Sarom Doubles Sales by 2025

Table of Contents

The Global Home & Contract Sourcing Newspaper

F&FI Summer 2019 | Vol. 29, No. 3 PUBLISHER & CEO Michael Schneider, Publisher/CEO Tel: +1.212.404.6936 Mbl: +1.917.399.7464 michael@fabricsandfurnishings.com


World’s Top 50 Mills We used a variety of sources to compile this latest F&FI ranking.

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


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


Proposte Management Dances to a Tarantella Beat, but Nobody Can Figure Out the Name of the Dance! In F&FI Editor Eric Schneider’s opinion, Proposte does not have to be this complicated.

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


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

Printer FRANCE Gerard Poirot Tel: +33-(0)787193575 gerard@fabricsandfurnishings.com




Sean McCaughan

Art Director

Roxanne Clapp, RoxC LLC

Lee Silberman, former CEO Robert Allen Duralee, Says Farewell The former CEO of RADG, the second largest American supplier of decorative fabric and furniture, steps out, as a new owner takes over.



APC & Express Air Freight

E.U. Legal Counsel Herman Nayaert INDIA Siddharth Vishwanath Tel: +91.97.42164757 sid@fabricsandfurnishings.com


21 Column: Covering The World | Meet Davide Goria!

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

22 People to Watch | Hamilton, Torri Lana owners, Agnetta 33 Contract & Hospitality News 38 Design | Nature Arrives Inside Via Textiles PHOTO GALLERIES| Milan (16); Evteks (17); Swadeshi.(23); J Queen New York (30); Jerry Mobley 60th Birthday Bash (32); Archie Tchernov 25th Anniversary (32); Hudson Yards (40); Proposte (44-46); Istanbul (47)

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

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

Subscriptions to Fabrics & Furnishings International are US$125 prepaid for four issues. Mail or fax orders (US Dollar, Check or International Postal Money Order for payment ONLY) to Fabrics & Furnishings International, 931 Manhattan Avenue, Suite 3, Brooklyn, NY 11222 U.S... Subscribe online at fandfi.com/subscribe Subscriptions in India Get & Gain Centre is the official subscription agent for Fabrics & Furnishings International in India. The price of a subscription in India is $250.00. Please contact GET AND GAIN CENTRE /SPACE AND TIME CENTRE ATTN;- MR. VASANT.S.JAIN 301,SAGAR SHOPPING CENTRE, 3RD FLOOR, OPP. BOMBAY BAZAR, 76,J.P, ROAD, ANDHERI ( WEST) MUMBAI – 400 058 INDIA. MOBILE NO. 9820720189/ 7303655501 Tel:- 0091 -22-26775822 / 26773888

CORRECTION: In the previous issue (Spring, 2019) of F&FI on Page 58, Antonis Stamatoulakis should have been identified as a Greek agent. Corrections – Address any factual errors to: Ray@FabricsAndFurnishings.com



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

©COPYRIGHT 2019 by Fabrics & Furnishings International.. All U.S. and International Rights Reserved.

Summer 2019


Mario Sitori Full Page


Sarom, Largest Indian Wholesaler, Plans Doubling Sales by 2025 Via 300,000-Square-Foot Warehouse F&FI News Network


UMBAI, INDIA — Sarom Fab Private, Ltd., is the largest fabric wholesaler in India today, with $18 million in sales for 2018 and 150 employees. It ranks #32 on the Fabric & Furnishings International Top 40 Jobbers List outside of North America. Sarom was founded by Manish Shah and his brother Rohit, with brother-in-law Deepak Nishar as a third partner. The business is growing 20 percent a year, Manish says, and he anticipates doubling the business “within five more

years because the Indian economy is very good.” Sarom caters to 5,000 sofa manufacturers and 1,000 retail accounts, both cuts and rolls, but he feels there are many more accounts Sarom is not yet doing business with. “We want to increase our accounts to 20,000 from 6,000 today. There is at least one retail shop in every Indian village. To service that market, we need a distributor in every state. Right now, we have distributors in 26 out of 30 states. We need more distributors, as many as 50 in total,” he says.

“We specialize in upholstery, although we have curtain fabrics too in our line. We sell four to five different base cloths and digitally print them. We have been selling chenille for five years, but now we are also selling leather looks and velvets. Our collection is priced from $2.25-$11 per meter. We fill the whole basket for the customer and want to have the best stock, service, and price available in the market. We have 150 running collections, but retailers in general cannot digest all of the books on the market today.”

Sarom is about to embark on its biggest venture yet, with the construction of a $50 million, 300,000-square-foot vertical warehouse in 2020 with semi-automated systems. “We will make immediate daily shipments from the receipt of order,” Manish says. “We will automate only those operations which are more expensive to do by hand, or would be faster by automating,” he says. Sarom produces its own sample books and recently launched a contract collection with 5,000 books. FR is not

important in India yet, but Sarom can use an FR finish on its goods if requested. Sarom was built on the foundation of a 40-year-old retail business established by Amarshibhai Shah, Manish’s father, and his uncle, Shantilal Shah. Shantilal is deeply involved in the financial end of the business, and Amarshibhai is also still involved in the business. While the seven retail stores in the retail wing of the family business still thrive today, the real growth story is the 15-year-old Sarom operation. F&FI

Mexican Artell Expands South with $12M in Annual Sales F&FI News Network


EXICO CITY — Artell, the Mexican fabric wholesaler that turns 40, is expanding into Central and South America this year, along with offering online sales and additional products for contractors. With $12 million in annual sales, the company made the F&FI Top 25 North American Jobbers List. “We see a very important growth opportunity for the next few years in the hospitality sector,” General Director Angel Perez Gomez says. “We started to open territory in South America, where we believe that we can be a good alternative thanks to our collections and infrastructure.”

Warehouse, Mexico City

Showroom México, City


Starting in 1979, company officials went through a tough time in Mexico because borders were closed to imports. But imports were eventually allowed, and now Artell produces its own collection, the Artell brand. There are now about 18 to 20 collections in a wide variety of textures for upholstery, tapestry, wallpaper as well as other collections for children, outdoor, and more sophisticated styles. The company’s main showroom is in the capital, along with retail branches across Mexico City and Guadalajara, which carry all its collections and services for contractors and consumers. While there are different discounts depending on the type of customer and volume of purchase, Artell’s collection ranges from $20 to $40 per square meter. Its high-end collections cost about $60 per square meter. “[Our main customers] in residential [are] mainly decoration offices, interior designers,

decoration shops, furniture manufacturers, upholsterers, and headrails,” Gomez says. “And we serve them through samples, and they are requesting the footage according to their needs. And as for contractors, medium or boutique hotels are our biggest concentration. In the spaces described above, it’s public areas, restaurants, and of course guest rooms.” Artell has 120 employees. Its 6,000-square-meter factory is in Mexico City, where the company sample lines for its two companies, the Artell Group, and Telas Bayon, its lower-end brand. Most collections are renewed every month or so, but others are renewed more frequently. The main 18 to 20 collections are stored with an existing inventory of about 200,000 square meters for quick delivery. “Our own collections are made in Mexico, but the vast majority we import,” Gomez says. “…For the last six or seven years approximately, there has been a marked trend for textures, and a much-decreased demand in general for prints, geometric drawings, etc. In the upholsterer market, we have encountered that change as well.


Angel Pérez Gómez

Enrique Javier del Rio Audibert

The demand for prints just started coming back recently, and now we are about to launch two new collections of printed fabrics and drawings again.” Artell is the exclusive distributor and representative of many European fabric brands, such as Güell-Lamadrid, Les Creations, Alhambra, Casamance, and CasaDeco, among others. “Our services also include confection services such as reupholstering, making curtains, cushions, etc., and especially consulting services in decoration that we offer for

free,” Gomez says. “This gives an added-value for the customer to feel comfortable when it comes to addressing all their basic needs. As part of this, we get in front of our retail customers in our own stores as well as with a strategic alliance through leased space with what we call corners, inside of department stores, like the very famous store in Mexico, El Palacio de Hierro.” F&FI

Exterior view of main offices

Guadalajara showroom

Interior view of main offices

Summer 2019



Ashley Wilde Buys Voyage Maison: $20-Million Converter, Soft-Home-Furnishings Manufacturer F&FI News Network


ONDON — Ashley Wilde Group has acquired Voyage Maison Ltd., a $20 million converter, from its founder Ian Dykes. The announcement of the purchase was made at the end of March by Ashley Brodin,

Ian Dykes

Managing Director of Ashley Wilde Group. Ashley Wilde has more than 60 years of history in the interiors market. “With the backing of such a stable and renowned parent company behind us, we will be able to invest in developing the Voyage brand to its full potential like never before,” says Linda Dykes, Operations Manager of Voyage and wife of Ian Dykes. “In the coming months we plan to radically enhance our customer offering and service levels while bringing new and exciting products to market,” she says. Brodin says “Ashley Wilde’s service levels are known to be excellent and our aim is for Voyage to be at the same level. It has been widely known for

a while that Voyage has had it struggles with servicing their customers. Basically customers will get their stock much quicker. Both Ian and his wife Linda are an important part of the company. It will continue to run as an independent company but under our umbrella,” Brodin says. “The main change that will be seen quite quickly is stability and service levels will improve. There is no doubt that Voyage has some of the most sought after products in our industry and with this new partnership they will now have the ability to service it correctly,” he adds. “Together we are confident that this collaboration will provide a strong and sustainable platform for Voyage.”

Talbert Joins Golding Fabrics F&FI News Network


INSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Julie Talbert has been named Merchandiser/Stylist for Golding Fabrics, a division of P/Kaufmann. Golding is a converter of upholstery fabrics for the furniture industry. She has been in that job for the past six months after leaving Greenhouse Fabrics, a jobber specialist in High Point, NC. She was Director of Product Development at Greenhouse for nearly five years, and prior to that she was a fabric sales specialist. Also, prior to Greenhouse, Talbert led design teams at Wilson Butler Architects and J. Brice Design, wellknown design firms in the hospitality field. She is a 2000 graduate of Wake Forest University Julie Talbert with a B.A. in communication and a B.F.A. in Interior Design from Harrington Institute of Interior Design as well. F&FI

As previously reported in F&FI, Voyage brand, based in Glasgow, Scotland was founded by Ian Dykes in 1998. Voyage has around 80 employees and exports 30 percent of its production to 30 countries. Dykes buys woven fabrics from Europe and Asia and jacquards from small commission weavers in Italy and digitally prints 16,000 meters a week in Glasgow as a converter. He also commission weaves linen base cloth in the UK and buys velvets from a Turkish mill. Voyage covers its own furniture frames with its own collections and also sells piecegoods to the likes of John Lewis in the UK as well as finished cushions, lampshades, and non-woven wallcoverings. It’s a complete coordinated home

furnishings and furniture collection presented in a thick catalog every year. “We have six designers on staff producing our original designs in watercolors. “We don’t buy designs on the outside, preferring to produce our own ranges,” Ian Dykes explains. F&FI

Simon Brodin

China Shuts Dye Houses, Cuts Fabric Subsidy Three Percent; Some Exporters Are Concerned F&FI News Network


ANGZHOU, China — Most Chinese fabric exporters are not overly concerned about the closing of China-based fabric dye houses due to new pollution requirements, but the government cutting subsidies causes concern. Hans Snelders, owner of Eurotex, a $50 million converter based in Bielefeld, Germany, says the dye houses that closed did not affect his converting operations in China because “we moved to the larger dye

houses a long time ago.” However, at least one U.S.-based, small importer complains that matching fabrics from one dye lot to another remains a problem in China due to the dye houses closures. “The issue of dye houses shutting down is not a very serious one in the fabric industry,” says Freeman Shen, the president of Delta Textile. “But the government-export-refund decline is really a problem for all exporting factories. More investment (continued on Page 46)

G.M. Syntex Hits Milestone in Just 20 Years: First Indian Textile Company at Proposte F&FI News Network


ERNOBBIO, Italy — G.M. Syntex, the family-run, upholstery mill started in 1999, achieved a unique distinction at Proposte: the first invited from India. “They didn’t know that a mill like us existed,” Dalbir Singh, the third-generation owner, says.


This year, 85 exhibitors showed their high-end, home-furnishing fabrics at Villa Erba, including 33 Italian companies and 52 from other countries. The Mumbai-based mill employs 1,500 people and exports 80-85 percent to Europe and 5-10 percent to the U.S.

Its residential fabrics of cotton, polyamide, jute, wool, linen, and polyester are designed and manufactured at the company compound, producing some 885,000 meters per month. “We want [to go] an extra mile to make it more beautiful,” Singh says. “It’s all made in one mill. …Everything is done


in-house.” Everything includes yarn processing, fabric dying, weaving, embroidery, and finishing. There are 24 designers, and two company brands: Pure Fine Fabric and The Pure Concept. Singh says, “This business runs on creativity.” F&FI

Dalbir Singh

Summer 2019



New Tariff Hike Hits US Textile Importers; Consumer Likely Pays China Loses Latest Battle, But Tariff War Continues By RAY PARKER


ASHINGTON – American textile officials hope the sudden 25 percent tariffs imposed on May 10, on about $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, will not derail production and sales. Richloom Fabrics Group COO Michael Saivetz has been involved in the issue since it began and testified about the new taxes last fall. “Richloom is obviously disappointed that an additional 15 percent tariff will be levied on many of our products,” Saivetz says on May 9. “We think the effect on business could be severe in certain market segments.” President Donald Trump’s administration began 10 percent tariffs on Sept. 24, 2018 on more than half of all Chinese exports to the United States, including upholstery, decorative fabrics, and other material.

President Trump said on May 5 that the previous 10 percent levied on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods were raised 25 percent on May 10. Consumers haven’t likely felt the 10 percent tariff since many textile producers took on the new costs, but that could change now that it’s 25 percent. Observers say U.S. textile companies will likely respond to increased tariffs by sourcing from other countries and by raising prices. “We hope that this is a shortlived increase in tariffs and more part of the government’s strategy to close a deal,” Saivetz says. “If not, this could mean major price increases to consumers and possible delays in production flow.” The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) appreciates the Trump administration’s action to crack down on unfair trade practices from China under Section 301 of

the 1974 Trade Act. However, the 25 percent tariff applies to textiles sold as inputs, such as yarn, but not those sold as finished goods, such as furniture. “NCTO also remains seriously concerned that some inputs critical to the competitiveness of U.S. textile manufacturers remain on the retaliation list and will now face a 25 percent tariff,” NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas says in a May 8 statement. “Duty increases on inputs alone, without addressing the growing problem of end-products, can raise the cost of U.S. textile manufacturers trying to compete with like Chinese products.” NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic-textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. The new tariffs are unlikely to be removed soon. Indeed, (continued on Page 49)

Fabricut Buys High-End Editeur Clarence House F&FI News Network


ULSA, Okla. — Fabricut, one of the largest American wholesalers, has bought highend editeur Clarence House, according to a source close to the negotiations, who did not want to be identified. Fabricut was the second largest company on the F&FI Top 25 North American Jobbers List and the acquisition could help it gain access into the upper end

David Finer

Summer 2019

of the decorative fabric industry. Robin Roberts started Clarence House in 1961. Famous for its hand-screen printing of fabrics and wallpapers, highstyle textures and hand-loomed brocades, Clarence House also offers velvets, damasks, silks, cotton, linens, sheers, trimmings and leathers. With headquarters in New

Bob Appelbaum


York, Clarence House maintains showrooms in sixteen regional American design centers, according to the company website. Other showrooms are in London, Greece, South Africa, Australia, and Canada. Founded in 1954, Fabricut is one of the largest distributors of home decorative fabrics and wholesale fabric. The company is estimated to have annual sales of $125 million. Fabricut and Clarence House officials could not be reached for comment. Robert Appelbaum, former President of Clarence House has been assigned other duties at P/Kaufmann. Appelbaum was seen in the lobby of the Villa Erba during Proposte in April along with a financial executive of P/Kaufmann. F&FI

www.FandFI.com 15


Milan Photo Gallery Milan Commemorates Da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius By RAY PARKER

Inside the palatial shopping center at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, there is a granite tile of the iconic bull, which visitors should spin around three times on the animal’s delicate anatomy for good luck. So many people do it, you can feel the divot in that exact spot.

There are several “discount malls” about an hour outside Milan. These Dolce and Gabbana shoes were marked down 200 euros and cost 425 euros.

Leonardo da Vinci likely lived in Milan from 1481-1499, where he created The Last Supper, among others. He died in 1519, so the 500th commemoration of his death. If you have a geek side, or are a Da Vinci fan, check out The World of Leonardo Museum [Leonardo3.net]. Amazing. There are working models of many of his machines taken fr om his notebooks, hands-on workshops suitable for children and adults as well as digitalized restorations of his paintings. You truly get a feel for the genius of this Renaissance master.

The Santa Maria delle Grazie church where The Last Supper was painted. Get online tickets early since they sell out weeks in advance. A limited number of visitors are allowed in the hermetically sealed room each day.

The Sforza Castle, begun in 1368, was the epicenter of one of the most lavish European courts under the Sforzas.

Judas – The Last Supper was refurbished, and technicians discovered that Judas was knocking over a salt holder – not seen in the mural today. Another touch of Da Vinci genius just recently discovered. Inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, or Galleria, it’s glass and steel vaults built in 1865, inspired similar monuments across Europe, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The digitally reconstructed The Last Supper, so that it appears as it would have 500 years ago. Inside the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper fresco, or mural, is painted in the monk’s dining hall. The door below Jesus leads to the kitchen.

The Duomo, or Milan Cathedral, officially began construction in 1386, and the entire building is made up of pink-hued-white marble. It was officially consecrated in 1418 but was not finished for centuries. Napoleon jumpstarted the final stages of construction in early 1800s.


Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard is the place where he grew his grapes for white wine, which have been genetically copied, and visitors can have a glass of it in the cafe. He was reportedly most proud of his wine making, which he did while working on The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie, just on the other side of the road.

Ray Parker at St Mark’s Campanile, the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. You can take a daytrip from Milan to Venice on a high-speed train that takes about 2.5 hours one way.

Narrow street in Venice full of visitors. www.FandFI.com

A boat taxi is the way to get around while in Venice.

Summer 2019



Evteks Photo Gallery

Teenager Sarp Bulut helped open Evteks 2019 on April 23, which is Children’s Day in Turkey.

Ali Bulut, (left to right) CEO of CNR Expo in Istanbul, Turkey, Pinar Tasdelen Engin, chairwoman of board at Uludag Textile Exporters’ Association in Bursa, Turkey, and Ali Sami Aydin, president of Uludag Textile Exporters’ Association.

Alex Kozsar (left) and Gina Kozsar, owners of Tudomi Interiors in Bucharest, Romania, and Ahmet Ozdemir, sales director at Trimland in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sinan Esen, (left to right) sales and marketing coordinator at Aydin in Istanbul, Turkey, Rachel Paley, fabric designer at Westbridge Furniture Designs in Flintshire, U.K., Tom Beacroft, sales director at MB Textiles in South Normanton, U.K., and Rhian Powell, fabrics designer at Westbridge Furniture Designs.

The Evteks Jazz Band playing Cole Porter classics in the design area.

Paul Errington, (left) agent at Errington Textiles in Bolton, U.K. and Engin Ocak, vice chairman of board at Guleser in Bursa, Turkey.

Yousef Kobari, (left to right) principal at Amro & Kobari Furniture Co. in Anman, Jordan, Nezir Duz, sales manager at Aydin in Istanbul, Turkey, Sinan Esen, sales and marketing coordinator at Aydin, and Yousef Amro, principal at Amro & Kobari Furniture Co.

Ersin Tukek, (foreground) sales at Flokser in Istanbul, Turkey, Fatih Altunyurt, director at Flokser, and Oksana Arbuzova, head manager of import department of upholstery fabrics, at UM-X in Moscow, Russia.

Ayca Kurtcan, (left to right) principal of Rekor in Bursa, Turkey, Samer Freij, development director at Sedar Global in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Selo Nahei, sales manager at Sedar Global.

Summer 2019


Berk Noyan, (left) president of Berteks in Bursa, Turkey and Cenk Kemahli, director at Jalpersan in Ankara, Turkey.

Mehmet Metin Keser, (left) area sales coordinator at Boyteks in Bursa, Turkey, and Dogan Potur, product category director at Istikbal in Kayseri, Turkey.

Evteks participants relax in the “playful room.”

www.FandFI.com 17


Mario Sirtori Expands Exports and Grows Against The Tide with Two New Van de Wiele Velvet Looms Added Sirtori Scion Guilio Holds an Open House at Family-owned Mill F&FI News Network


OSTAMASNAGA, Italy—“Today, we are the largest upholstery mill in Italy,” says Guilio Sirtori, general manager of Mario Sirtori. Sales are reportedly in the $35 million range and Sirtori says sales increased double digits in each of the last five years, an enviable position to be in. Sirtori was one of three important Proposte exhibitors who stayed home this year even though company founder, and Gilio’s father, Mario (now 88 and looking as trim

Guilio Sirtori, second generation family owner of Mario Sirtori, on the manufacturing floor in Costamasnaga

Guilio with the warping unit


and fit as ever) was one of the original founders of the exhibition. (The other two ‘truants’ were Limonta and EnzodegliAngiouni.) “Of course, we support Proposte, but this year it was impossible for us to prepare our exhibition stand after being tied up at Salone del Mobile with our furniture manufacturing customers in the weeks before. We only had one day in between events to get ready for Proposte and this was just impossible,” Guilio says. Instead, Mario Sirtori opened the doors of its beautiful showroom to its customers during Proposte, from April 8-19, and saw 50 buyers. “It cost us a lot less to do this than exhibit at Proposte, but if the dates work out we may be back at the Villa Erba next year, because we support the idea of the fair.” If you’ve never taken a factory tour of Mario Sirtori, you are missing out. The factory is so clean you could eat pasta off of the floor. That’s probably because the original Sirtori family apartment on the second level is still in use and part of the showroom/factory. Where does the home end and the factory begin? With a total of 75 looms on the 28,000-square-meter campus, all processes are conducted under one roof: warping, weaving, finishing—yarn forward because Sirtori buys 14,000 different yarns outside. Therefore, most of the production—about 70 percent— is yarn dyed with the balance piece dyed. Sirtori recently added two more Van de Wiele velvet looms for a total of 14, because cotton and viscose velvet is selling off the wall! The Sirtori line is priced from 12-17 euros and up to 30 euros for a wool boucle. There is also an outdoor line in polypropylene. Typically, there are 20-30 colors in each line, with a total of 45 velvet colorations. However, you won’t see

At the Mario Sirtori Showroom in Costamasnaga: Marina Kartashova, principal of 8 Marta, Moscow based furniture manufacturer, with Regina Gurman, the Russian fabric agent from the USA.

many designs being woven on the floor unless you consider plains, plains, and more plains to be designs. Of course, balancing color, texture, finish, and pattern is a tough job to get it right. However, that’s the way the market continues to head, according to Guilio. “Everywhere you look these days, modern is what buyers want in their furniture and this means plains in upholstery,” he says. “Maybe only 2 percent of the production is what you’d call a real design.”

Galina Abeldyaeva, of Mario Sirtori, Moscow with Davide Beselli, Mario Sirtori sales manager for Russia, and Marina Kartashova, principal of 8 Marta, considered one of the top furniture manufacturers in Russia.

Meta and Dennis Silbernberg, principals of Silvera International in Almere, The Netherlands with Laura Agostini, executive at Mario Sirtori.

Sirtori has been more successful than most in selling open-line items, but it still

produces custom fabrics for 30 percent of its production. F&FI

Lekow Leaves Ethan Allen F&FI News Network


ANBURY, Conn. — Anne Lekow, senior director, upholstery merchandising at Ethan Allen Interiors, has left the company and her replacement is not known. Ethan Allen had sales of $767 million in the 2018 fiscal year. According to Fabrics & Furnishings International [Winter, 2018/2019], it is one of the 28 largest buyers of upholstery fabric in the U.S. Although a spokesperson for the company said that Lekow no longer works for Ethan Allen, they would not confirm her position was filled. It is possible Lekow’s


post is vacant. well regarded by her upholShe had been in that posi- stery fabric suppliers, who tion since December 2014, were surprised she had left after joining the company in Ethan Allen. Lekow could 2013. Previously, she was not be reached for comment director of design & mer- about what her plans might chandising for Robert Allen be going forward although Group, in Hauppauge, N.Y., F&FI tried to reach her by a post she held for over six her email address. F&FI years. Her current activities are not known and she could not be reached for comment. Lekow was a regular attendee at Showtime in High Point, N.C., some international trade shows, and was Anne Lekow well known and

Summer 2019



Eurotex Brings Basic Upholstery Lines to Europe, Eyes $100 million in Sales Through Quick Service Dutchman Hans Snelders Finds a Home in Germany F&FI News Network


AKE COMO, Italy — After nearly 20 years in business, Eurotex is producing annual sales of $50 million, according to Hans Snelders, the 40-something dynamic founder of the Bielefeld, Germanybased wholesaler/converter. He sees $100 million sales looming in the future over the next ten years or less. Almost all the upholstery sold is imported from China and Eurotex officials say the Chinese quality is quite high for the price. Snelders, a Dutchman, came to Bielefeld in 2000 to start his business because he was prohibited from operating in Holland due to his agreement with his employer at the time when he was selling sofa fabrics. The rest is history. He put together a team of 26 multicultural sales reps to cover all of Europe. Eurotex is their main upholstery line even though they are independent sales reps. Snelders also hired a Turkish man named Ugur Devletli as a director. Devletli can speak for the company and looks out for his boss and all the others who work at Eurotex. With 63 employees, Eurotex operates out of a 10,000-square-meter warehouse in Bielefeld. The 2.8 million meters of fabric inventory is imported nearly 100 percent from China, China-toChina delivery, or by container to European markets with an automated-container-unloading system. Eurotex stocks 132 items, a total of 2,000 SKUs. Does that make Eurotex a wholesaler or a converter? Snelders says that definition is different in Europe than it is anywhere else. He says Eurotex is a wholesaler, even though it has four internal and two external designers putting the Eurotex touch on at least 80 percent of the Chinesemade fabrics, mostly plain sofa fabrics. That would certainly make Eurotex a converter.

Summer 2019


However, beginning this year, Eurotex will start up a cut order program online for small European re-upholsterers and upholstery companies with cut order fabrics sold at under 10 euros a meter, Snelders points out.

“We’ll offer 20 items in 20 colors to this market at 9.99 euros a meter,” he says.

He says he thinks this will be a big business for (continued on Page 46)

A collection of new products from Eurotex features Easy Clean

www.FandFI.com 19


Rodolph Owner Nugent Moves to East Coast, Develops Her Business to Suit Designers’ Needs F&FI News Network


OHEMIA, N.Y.— Rodolph, a high-end wholesaler has moved its warehouse and sampling operations from Sonoma California to Bohemia, N.Y., with the coast-to-coast move of owner Cynthia Nugent.

In doing so, Nugent has reviewed her business practices inside and outside the company to better reflect the changing buyer/designer landscape. “I moved from the wine country and its wonderful Sonoma lifestyle to New York,” the red headed Nugent exclaims.

The move gave her a chance to review every aspect of her business. For example, she says that “freight has become a significant issue. Our cost has risen 5 to 15 percent as a percentage of the fabric, and this translates into a bigger cost for the designer/customer. Fifty yards

of imported fabric can represent a $1,400 shipping cost once put on a pallet.” “We did a study which showed that a $6 shipping cost became a $20 cost per yard. We must find ways to make it economical for the interior designer to buy our fabric at Rodolph. As a result,

Cynthia Nugent with agent Elaine Taylor-Gordon at Franco Fabbri showroom in Como

we are asking the producers to pick the freight carrier because due to their volume, their shipping cost is less than ours!” “Today’s customer has changed. We see lots of IT people buying fabric. They don’t have the experience of dealing with the aesthetic consideration because we’re now in a consumable, throw-away society!” Nugent says it used to take one year to get her money back on a new collection. “Now it takes two years!” Over the past 40 years that Nugent has been in business, she has changed the original showrooms she worked with more than once. Of the 11 showrooms she works with today, she has only been with two of them since the beginning. All the rest are new. In another arena, Nugent says that design students don’t have the knowledge of textiles instead they tend to focus on glass, metal and wood in design schools. “Young people working in the design showrooms don’t know fabric, so it becomes the blind leading the blind.” Since entering the business, Nugent says she has learned “education of the designer falls on the fabric supplier. The fabric has to be engineered to the frame. The designer must know how much yardage they need; you assume the mills know about the repeat but you can still waste half the fabric on seam matching unless you figure it out carefully.” F&FI



Summer 2019



By Eric Schneider, Editor Emeritus

Meet Davide Goria! Enzo degli Angiuoni (EDA) has a 40-year-old CEO, Davide Goria, who has spent nearly the last two years turning the company around. He hopes to finish restructuring the company by September. Enzo, and his wife, Maria, still own the 25-year-old company in Garbagnate Monastero, 40 minutes from Lake Como. He’s president and she’s the creative director. “Our competition is not China or Turkey; it is the other European mills,” Goria says. “We really don’t have any competition in our business segments.” These segments include FR-polyester-based fabrics, TreviraCS for the editeurs, and more special yarns for contract. It’s the area receiving more attention than ever at EDA. “We’re looking for suppliers that save energy and water; who produce more sustainable and green products,” Goria says. The future of Angiouni lies in luxury brands and highend products. “We as a company will define the definition of luxury in the years ahead,” he says. Davide is that rare bird who understands high-end wool and cashmere textiles as a textile engineer and was also trained as an accountant. “We chose to open our factory to our customers this time instead of participating in Proposte,” he says. “Shows don’t give us a return on investment.”

Summer 2019


He’s already selling 95 percent of the editeurs out there. Many came to visit during Proposte, some 50 customers showed up. “Our core business is serving home textile editeurs and manufacturers,” he emphasizes. Yet, in the past two years, he created a new business for Angiuoni; the apparel fabric business, which is now 20 percent of the turnover and a high-end cashmere and wool-blanket business catering to retailers. The throws sell retail for $1,800. Highend hotels in Belgium and Italy have already started to feature the EDA Milano blankets. As a result of Goria’s efforts and with the help of his staff, Angiouni now turns in 10 percent EBITDA [Earnings Before Interest Taxes and Amortization] and is sustainable, he says. In the last two years, the company grew sales by 5 percent in 2017 and a sluggish 1.8 percent in 2018. Now, Goria expects a growth of 2-3 percent in what is a slower European economy. EDA exports 80 percent of its production. “Our customers want to translate our ideas and quality into custom upholstery,” he says. “The customer doesn’t want cheap plains from EDA. Our 100 percent wool velvets sell for as much as 70 euros a meter with 100-meter minimums, although we still make product from 6 to 35 euros a meter.”

Davide Goria

EDA spins, dyes, weaves, and finishes its own products. Only the digital printing is done in the Como area. The 40 dobby and jacquard looms with year 2000 vintage, and 13 velvet looms, serve the luxury market and most of the production is geared to custom products, which the customer demands and EDA’s ten designers bring to life. “We give the customer— namely editeurs and manufacturers--good service and we want to improve the relationship further by spending more time with them,” Goria says. He also notices that editeurs are selling more EDA product to furniture manufacturers Seven years ago, EDA consolidated two factories into one and everything is now planned carefully to get the best economies of purchasing and more efficient production, Goria adds. The best news is that the 80 people who still work for the company held their jobs in spite of the meltdown EDA experienced in sales over the last few years. Now, EDA appears to be stable and back on-track.

www.FandFI.com 21


PEOPLE TO WATCH W&I’s Peter Hamilton Wins Coveted Queens Award, but His Formula Three Engine Fails at Derek Bell Cup F&FI News Network


ELSON, LANCASHIRE, U.K. — Peter Hamilton, shareholder of Whyte & Ivory, a converter of blackout and drapery linings, is a regular competitor in U.K. and European historic racing events. As a trained engineer Hamilton drives cars that he restores and develops himself. W&I started at the kitchen table of husband and wife owners, Hamilton and Anne Collins, about ten years ago. Still, a team of only 10 employees, Hamilton says, W&I is shipping over 250,000-meters-per month to customers around the world, principally in North America and Europe, “selling only to editeur brands and wholesalers,” Hamilton states.

In April 2019, Hamilton raced in the Derek Bell Cup at the 77th Goodwood Members Meeting. “While qualifying went well around the glorious and famously fast daffodil ringed circuit,” he says, “my 1969 Tecno Historic Formula 3 suffered an engine failure at 10,000 rpm, forcing immediate retirement on lap five of the race.” On the course or off, Hamilton and his wife Anne Collins are nonstop! “Whyte & Ivory is only a $10 million business but [with] growth of 15-20 percent per year, was audited as a part of the Queens Award process,” Hamilton reports. “That means we do roughly $6 million of export split equally between the U.S. and EU,” he says. “We like China for black-

out and sheers and Pakistan primarily for the weaving side of linings; the U.K. for interlinings and niche products everywhere else.” Regarding China’s future in blackout production, Hamilton feels “there is too much capital invested in the coating lines in China and all the necessary weaving and dyeing of base fabrics is on the doorstep of the coaters.” Hamilton says he is stocking inventory of over 1 million meters in a recently trebled-warehouse capacity in the U.K. and in Hickory, N.C. Products include drapery linings, interlinings and blackouts, also FR sheers and FR decorative blackouts that are either stocked for general trade, or developed exclusively for individual editeur customers.

In late 2018, W&I launched its Revolution FR blackout fabric, a two-sided sandwich that is coated on one side with reversible blackout. “The business has seen consistent double-digit growth since incorporation, forging strong partnerships with major brand customers and with its supply chain, principally in

Asia, now with a buying office in China,” he says. W&I is The Queen’s Award winner 2019 (announced April, 23, 2019) in the International Trade category. “The award reflects significant export growth over three consecutive years. This award allows W&I to carry a special logotype on all marketing for the next five years,” he adds. F&FI

Peter Hamilton and Anne Collins

Torri Lana Finds New Life Outside the Founding Family F&FI News Network


ANDINO, Italy — Torri Lana, a 134-year old mill with roots in wool processing since the Middle Ages, is seeking a renewed existence under the watch of three boyhood friends. The company was sold by the Torri Family after being in continuous family hands for many years to Luca Cararra, who worked for the mill and his friends Massimo Belotti and Simone Visani.

The three were present at the recent Proposte, where Torri Lana had a stand. All three are involved in the textile business and hope to build the business from its current profitable base of $3 million in sales to something greater in the next five years. Veteran textile-seller Kelly Picard joined the trio in 2017 as the U.S. agent. Picard, who chooses to only represent upper-end

Torri Lana Owner Massimo Bellotti, U.S. Agent Kelly Picard and Luca Carrara. Not shown: Simone Visani. Luca and Simone are the other two owners.


suppliers, sees gold in Torri Lana’s $18-$24 prices, geared primarily to the furniture industry and a growing list of editeurs. Minimums are one piece for furniture and two pieces per color for editeurs. “We’re small in the USA right now but the business is growing,” Picard says. About 70 percent of the small production is exported. Some 40 percent is custom

One of the endless number of designs in the Torri Lana Archive


and the rest is open line. “We make the best upholstery in the world,” Visani says. This is an expression of the trio’s pride in what they do. There is no velvet in the line that is produced with 25 jacquard and four dobby looms.

Yarn spinning and development is internal but finishing is farmed outside. Everything in the collection is yarn dyed and not much finishing is required, according to Luca who is a yarn specialist. F&FI

Piero Agnetta is Grandpapa!


iero Agnetta was in Como during Proposte eating lunch and celebrating the birth of Alexander, his first grandchild. Piero represents ATA Tessuti, a small mill in Bulciago. Little Alex was underweight at birth March 2 but now he is more than eight pounds. Congrats grande Papa Piero!

Piero Agnetta

Piero Agnetta’s grandson, Alexander

Summer 2019



Swadeshi Photo Gallery Swadeshi Throws Il Giardino Party During Proposte Sunil Gupta, Principal of Swadeshi, the India fabric house, with Frederik Decoopman, Designer/ Manager of ARTE, the wall coverings specialist in Zonhoven, Belgium. 75% of ARTE business is with interior architects today.

Here’s Bob and Teresa Mayer, the owners of Mayer Fabrics, a contract fabric wholesaler based in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA). Looks like they are really enjoying the party!

By F&FI News Network

CERNOBBIO—U.S. agent Maria Kremer Garber was the smiling and vivacious hostess at the Swadeshi party at Il Giardino. She knows how to make everyone feel welcome and her friends turned out in droves for the event. The Gupta Brothers, owners of Swadeshi, were the hosts. Take a look at who showed up!

Maria Kremer Garber is a well known American agent with a passion for all things Italian. Here she is (left) with her friend, Mrs. Grazia Fumagalli, the widow of the late but great Elio Fumagalli, the founder of Imatex.

Here’s Rachel Doriss, chief designer with Pollack Fabrics, another contract specialist wholesaler in New York with her gal pal Maria Kremer.

(left to right) Joanna Hayley, senior designer of the Villa Nova division of Romo, one of the giants of UK wholesalers located in Nottingham, with Creative Director Rose McAfee and Director Felicity Mould.

Arantxa Costa, Octubre 595 S.L., Barcelona and Margarit Casamajor, agent for Italy and Belgium

Summer 2019


(left to right) Claudio Monaci, agent for Portugal and Spain, with Maria Kremer, American agent, Tim Pellerin, an artist who is also known as Danger Longhorn, and Sprezzatura Home designer Christine Rendino, of Houston, Texas. www.FandFI.com 23


A Day with Alessandro Carillo: Between Converter and Manufacturer OPINION: By F&FI Publisher MICHAEL SCHNEIDER APLES, Italy — Upon arrival to Angelo Carillo’s headquarters, you will find their mission statement prominently planted on the building, “Inspiring future with our passions and values.” This is a tall order, but after spending a day with Alessandro Carillo, brand manager, I believe they are achieving it.


In 1952, Angelo Carillo, together with his two brothers, started producing and selling textiles. They laid the foundation of what was to become the modern-day company in the Campania region of Italy. Angelo Carillo was originally known for their apparel fabrics, but pivoted when that production went elsewhere – mainly Asia. Alessandro is the third generation, who also works with his two brothers,

Giussepe (CEO) and Antonio (also brand manager). As I stepped into Angelo Carillo’s state-of-the-art office and warehouse, I was greeted by stunning bedding, upholstery, and drapery displays featuring their latest collections. Alessandro explained that he is in between a converter and manufacturer. They buy from mills, purchase yarns and produce their own designs. Angelo Carillo rents machines

The Angelo Carillo Team Makes Anything Possible!

to save on overhead and to be

Turkish Textile Producers Eye Exports as Lira Falls Against U.S. Dollar F&FI News Network


STANBUL — Turkish textiles have taken a hit as the lira has been devalued against the dollar, but officials across the spectrum have one response: export, export, export. This year at Evteks [April 23-27], many of the leading manufacturers had positive reports. They are already exporting in dollars or euros, but others took hits and will have to forge new paths. The lira dropped nearly 30 percent against the dollar last year, and about 10 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Even so, Evteks participants say Turkey has three main advantages compared to others such as India and China. The first is geographic since Istanbul planes can reach 35 countries in three hours or less. The second advantage is the country’s market position. Ali Bulut, CNR Expo CEO, says Turkey aims for the C-plus to B market. “We’re much better than [the] Chinese in terms of quality,” Bulut says, “and compared with Europe, we’re much more reasonable in terms of price.” The third advantage could be the mindset. Engin Ocak, vice chairman of the board at Guleser, says the lira devaluation happens


every seven years or so. “You just factor it in the business,” he says, shrugging his shoulders. Guleser exports 80 percent of its goods, and yet the company has not raised its prices, Ocak says. Five years ago, Guleser did $25 million in sales a year, while today they do about $35 million due to increased capacity. It has a yearly capacity of 4 million meters. Chinese Partnerships Other companies, such as Flokser, with many domestic customers, have had to restructure operations and diversify product offerings. Flokser has done this by teaming up with Chinese partners. Ercan Pesen, general manager at Flokser, says the company took a hit last year with a domestic contract over 10 months. During that time, their profit margin dropped 70 percent. “We want to increase [exports] abroad because the risks in Turkey continue,” Pesen says through a translator. He added it is all part of the global economy. Flokser exported 80 percent of its products a decade ago, but then the Chinese edged them out, so Flokser started more domestic business. Now, Flokser has teamed up with Chinese partners, in a

51 percent to 49 percent split, so that Flokser can change its lines for greater exports. Pesen says the Turks are learning from the Chinese, and as a result Flokser sales increased 30 percent with the new Chinese textiles. Diversify Products Although some manufacturers are facing obstacles because of the devalued lira, other companies, such as DCM’s Emre Dirik report business as usual. “It doesn’t affect us so much,” Sales Manager Dirik says. “We have 95 percent exports.” DCM employs 265 people and has annual sales of $50 million. It will launch its FR collection using Trevira during Heimtextil this year for the contract market. A handful of Evteks buyers echoed the same reasons for buying Turkish home textiles: good prices and production value for the medium- and high-end markets. Yousef Amro, principal of Amro & Kobari Furniture Co. in Amman, Jordan, says he can get the same prices from the Turks as the Chinese. “The color is very nice, a Jordanian color,” he says. Rachel Paley, with Westbridge Furniture Designs in the U.K., says she found the Turkish textiles, “innovative, [a] good variety, and good


price.” Her colleague, Rhian Powell, says she came to Istanbul to get a jump on the competition back home: “There are not many U.K.customers that came out and we want to get ahead.” F&FI

Turkish Textile Fast Facts for 2018 • In 2018, Turkish textile exports rose from $8.1 billion a year to $8.5 billion. • Turkish residential textile exports were $2.7 billion in 2018, and the sector is 4.5 percent of the global-residential-textile market. • Turkey is exporting more special collections to Europe and the U.S. as well as overall to the Middle East and the Far East. • The top five export countries for Turkish textiles are: Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Italy. • The top five product-categories for Turkish textiles are: towels, bed sheets, drapery, other home textiles, and other furnishing textiles. Source: Uludag Exporters Association.

more competitive. Currently, 80 percent of their sales are in Italy. However, increasing exports is their biggest priority going forward. How will they get there? “By using high-level brand designers and leveraging new company systems,” he explains. Those new company systems they installed 8-10 years ago consist of a barcode scanning system, whereby they know exactly where the goods are at any moment. Alessandro took me on a tour of their offices, introduced me to their employees, and walked me through their three warehouses consisting of 35,000 square meters. They have the inventory and the capability of shipping a roll in 24 hours. You could tell that their 90 employees are passionate about the work they do. Alessandro had numerous employees come down and explain how far the company has come in the recent years. I spoke with Salvatore Orlando, production manager, who has been there for 15 years. Salvatore told me the main change he has seen relates to increased organization and the attitude that their customers are treated like partners. The culmination of my visit to their offices was a group photo of everyone who makes Angelo Carillo possible. Then Alessandro told me I can’t come to Napoli without going to the coast for a delicious seafood lunch. So, we braved the traffic into downtown but the results were worth it. F&FI

Summer 2019


JJ Queen New York Queen New York Photo Gallery J. Queen New York Celebrates First Decade, While Co- Founder, Creative Director Jerry Mobley Has 60th Birthday LAKE COMO, Italy — Jerry Mobley, The J. in J. Queen New York— celebrated his 60th birthday in the hills overlooking Lake Como, Italy at Il Gato Nero Restaurant along with company founders and friends during Proposte on April 16. The food was superb and the music and dancing carried on until midnight. There was also an after party that went on until 4:00 a.m. but the old folks had to bail by 11:00 p.m. Ten years ago, starting from zero, Mobley and pal/ President Julie Brady took their street smarts and extensive design and customer knowledge in order to create what is said to be a $50 million business in ten years that is expected to double in the next decade. If you ever spent a few hours with the team members at J. Queen, then you know they are passionate about their business and also love to have fun with their customers. “We’re not stuffed shirts at J. Queen,” says CFO Tony Cassella, one of the original partners. The cut and sew, readymade bedding supplier recently added piece-goods to its goodie bag, a business administered by Sonia Bachleda, account executive.

J. Queen’s success with the main lead brand of J. Queen New York, other J. Queen lifestyle brands like Piper & Wright, Oscar/Oliver, 37 West, Queen Street, Royal Court, Studio 509 and J. by J. Queen New York have hit a positive chord with department stores, mass merchants, online and catalog retailers. J. Queen has focused on the top end of middle range products but it’s possible the company will look at other less expensive price points for other brands down the road in order to grow. While the bulk of the current lines are sourced in China, J. Queen is starting to source product in other countries like India, Italy and Turkey in order to diversify its offerings. Keep your eyes on Jerry and Julie and the whole J. Queen team! They are on a roll and their suppliers and customers are a big part of it. —ERIC SCHNEIDER

View of Lake Como from window of Il Gato Nero Restaurant

Fabiano Gori, principal of Bartolini Home in Prato, Italy with his associates Vanessa Robertiello and Lisa Vannelli

Betricia Quaramotto, who has been the owner of Il Gato Nero for the last four years with her husband Paolo. She works another job by day but the restaurant is her passion!

Giovanni Vai, of Chieri, Italy based converter VAY with associate Monica Allora and Julie Brady, president of J. Queen New York

The Five Founders of J. Queen New York. Top Row: J. Queen New York CFO Tony Cassella with Julie Brady, president (and the “Queen”) and birthday boy Jerry Mobley, the J. in J. Queen New York! Front row: Vanessa Piper and Kimberly Wright

Birthday boy Jerry Mobley, creative director of J. Queen New York; Nimish Aroraa, principal of Dicitex Fabrics, Mumbai and Julie Brady

Paolo and Betricia Quaramotto, Il Gato Nero Restaurant owners

Emanuele Pozzi, principal of Arturo Pozzi Tessitura, Barzago, Italy with Nimish Aroraa, owner of Dicitex in Mumbai, India (See more J. Queen Party pictures on page 34)



Summer 2019



Arben Kicks Off 25-Year Anniversary With Proposte Bling Blowout F&FI News Network


AKE COMO, Italy — Arben principal Archie Tchernov celebrated 25 years in business during Proposte with a few hundred textile friends. Named the 3D Bling-Bling party, the main celebration will be held in Moscow, where the company is based, during the Furniture Expo on Nov. 19. Here’s a look back at significant events of Arben International. • In 1994, Microfibres Inc. founded in Albany, N.Y. by Archie Tchernov and Beno Sternlicht with the purpose of supplying Russian furniture manufacturers with flocked upholstery fabrics produced by U.S.-based mills. • In 1998, Galleria Arben started as a sister company specializing in decorative fabrics for interior designers. • In 2000, Chinese office set up for quality control and service for Arben distribution as well as partners in the U.S. • In 2014, Russian ruble drops 200 percent over a threemonth period, Arben had to

reinvent itself or die, so sells furniture stores, among others. • In 25 years, Arben Group has started various ventures that relate to activities that all relate to residential, such as furniture retail chain stores, manufacturing tapestries and artificial leather, managing furniture malls, complex house developments, and social networking. Main pillars of the company still remain home textiles and commercial real estate management. Current goals include offering ready-made-solutions for home by way of creative distribution and marketing; expanding distribution from Russian-speaking countries to Eastern and Western Europe, introducing high-end, exclusive fabric and interior-design platforms worldwide with their base at Belgian weaving mill Algemene, and working with special yarn suppliers from Italy with the collaboration of exclusive weavers and brands from around the world. “The middle man is get-

ting cut out of the market,” Tchernov said in a 2017 interview with F&FI. “Robots will replace labor. Everything is done cheaper and directly. Images are getting easier to store. There are two worlds: before the internet and after the internet. We are getting as much information in a week as we got 200 years ago in a year!” He added: “Digital weaving is a possibility in order to get closer to the end-consumer in the same way it has worked with digital printing. In this way, I want to empower the consumer to use our Algemene archive with the fabricator of the end-product.” F&FI

Archie Tchernov

Italian Weaving Is Still All in the Family The Formicas Cut the Ham at Eurotessuti F&FI News Network


ONTOVA, Italy — The Formica family, Matteo (father) Claudio, (son) and Michela (daughter) plus 15 employees near Parma weave upholstery for 4 to 15 euros, with most of the business in the 5-10 euro range. There’s a Eurotessuti office in Shanghai, which means the company is buying some fabric in China, probably at the lower

end of their range. It’s called how to survive in the upholstery jungle out there. “About 90 percent of our business is still in Italy but we want to do more export,” says Mara Palazzi, the export manager and all around administrator. The 25-year old company sells product in Spain, Italy and China, but this was their first presentation during Proposte, across the street

Formica Family: Daughter Michela, father Claudio (owner) and son Matteo

Summer 2019


from Villa Erba. “We are targeting France, the UK, and Germany,” she says. Eurotessuti produces 65 collections a year, about 25 colors in each. The company just took on another warehouse, Pallazi says, and they are considering showing at Frankfurt. This family knows how to cut the ham! F&FI

Yuriy Poluektov, owner of Impex Furniture, Kiev, Ukraine with Mara Palazzi, export manager for Eurotessuti. Impex sells Italian made furniture to the Russian market and buys velours.

www.FandFI.com 31

Celebrations Celebrations

Jerry Mobley 60th Birthday Bash Giada Bernabe sang up a storm for Jerry!

Purchasing gurus Elvira Smirnova (left) and Olga Kolpina, Exterio, Moscow based design firm (right) of Galleria Arben, Moscow, with Sonia Bachleda, J. Queen’s account executive.

The Menu for the evening…several kinds of risotto

Giada Bernabe in action at Il Gato Nero Restaurant for Jerry Mobley’s 60th Birthday Bash in Como, Italy

Birthday Boy, Jerry Mobley

Delicious munchies served at Il Gato Nero before the Jerry Mobley 60th Birthday Party

Archie Tchernov 25th Anniversary at Galleria Arben Archie Tchernov with Sadi Turkun from Dina Vanelli, Turkey

Cem Genç from Designs&Colors, Elvira Smirnova-Galleria Arben, Laila Fishbacher, Archie Tchernov, Christian Fishbacher VI, Olga Martusevich, Galleria Arben Archie Tchernov, Elvira Smirnova (GM of Galleria Arben)



Regina Gurman Olga Martusevich (Galleria Arben) Elvira Smirnova (Galleria Arben, GM)

Summer 2019


Contract/HospitalityNews Coulisse Contract Window-Covering Sales Outpace Double-Digit Growth of Residential Business New Distribution Center to Support Contract and Residential Businesses F&FI News Network


IAMI—Coulisse Americas is continuing to increase its annual window-covering sales in the double digits, but contract business is growing at an even faster rate than residential, according to Jop Vos, managing director of Coulisse Americas. Coulisse is a major produc-

er of roller shades and other window coverings. “While contract sales are only 15 percent of overall sales, a new, wholly owned warehouse and distribution center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is (continued on Page 48)

Chris Hagan

Daniel Buxbaum

Julien Hardy

Jop Vos

Ajay Arora Sees Change Coming to D’Décor, the Largest Mill in the World, As it Continues to Expand F&FI News Network


UMBAI, India — Ajay Arora feels the world is doing all right when it comes to the business environment, but he is beginning to see a change in the way consumers and wholesalers buy fabric. “There’s a lot on offer in the market but we still see growth in the next three to five years,” Arora says, the owner of D’Décor, the largest home furnishings fabric mill in the world, and No. 1 on the “World 50 Mills” listing in this issue of F&FI. “Customers are looking for innovation. There are new customers out there. However, demand is not expanding. That’s because customers are spending money on experiences, specifically electronics. Consumers are not spending as much money on our category due to the ‘Amazonization’ of the world. Customers want lots of product choices in stock and delivery by tomorrow!” Arora sees more niches in the market that he wants to fill and to manage the product complexity through information technology.

Summer 2019


The company was started in 1990, riding on the shoulders of the Arora family’s apparel-fabric-manufacturing business. Ajay, and his brother, Sanjay, built the business and now he foresees the next generation of Arora children taking the business even further. “Business is getting more demanding; some will not be able to deal with that pressure,” Arora says. “The customer as well as the supplier will fall out of the race, so family continuity is a very important advantage.” “However, our management needs to get stronger to manage the growth. We intend to strengthen and deepen our management, and as we do this effectively, our competition will decline because every SKU is selling less in the market.” “Fashion remains more plain; you can’t innovate away from the trend. Beautiful product doesn’t guarantee success in the home fabrics business. “The consumer is more interested in solutions—not components. Right now, custom-made is more important.

This means more personalization by the sofa maker, wholesaler for the consumer. It’s all about solving problems for your customer.” “The internet or dot-com is still emerging worldwide. Right now, it is more attractive in the U.K. and U.S., while the rest of the world is still emerging.” D’Decor is growing at 7 percent in India. “Our brand and distribution in India is distinctive from being just a mill,” he adds. Arora feels there are four components to success in the fabric business as a mill. “Distribution, supply chain, innovation and relationships are most important,” he says. “We are a manufacturer. We are building on innovation, supply chain management, and distribution. We are forging tighter partnerships and will cement them further in the future.” Arora says that D’Décor has more of a partnership-building model than traditional customer/supplier relationships might normally embrace. “We’re willing to give what-

ever is needed in exchange for loyalty from the customer,” he says. “Our scale gives us the opportunity to make further investment in innovation for improvements in all that we do.” Arora sees arenas for future growth. D’Décor’s contract FR [fire resistant] is becoming more important and outdoor fabrics are also on the company’s radar. Both categories are expected to dramatically expand sales. “Of course, we need room for expansion as we continue to grow,” Arora says. “Different distribution channels have different challenges. Everyone requires better values and stronger relationships to succeed. We’re also pumping money in our brands for the domestic market.” Arora continues. “My job—as well as [my brother] Sanjay’s — is to expand the markets and expand the customer base. We need to sell more product to the top 40 customers who want more innovation and value.” F&FI

Ajay Arora

D’Décor Fast Facts • D’Décor has sales in the $225 million range with continuing growth expected. D’Décor markets its products under the name D’Décor Exports, which includes curtains, upholstery, blinds and rugs, and D’Décor Home Fabrics, for upholstery, curtains, bed and bath, wallpaper and outdoor fabrics. • D’Décor has 6,000 employees. They produce 15,00017,000 SKUs in each of five lines—upholstery, curtains, bedding, wall coverings, rugs and blinds. • D’Décor has six manufacturing locations in Tarapur, India, where it will soon be consolidating all weaving in one new building. Finishing is located in another building; plus, other separate buildings are devoted to embroidery and warehousing.

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Summer 2019


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Alain Duval-President Quebec City, Canada

$130 million

Duvaltex-Victor Innovatex/True North

Ali Aydin-General Manager Istanbul, Turkey

$140 million


Mike Shelton-President, CEO Valdese, NC

$150 million


David Swers CEO Glen Raven, NC

$175 million

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC

Ajay & Sanjay Arora Mumbai, India

$225 million


This is F&FI’s latest listing of the 50 largest upholstery/decorative fabric mills in the world. D’Décor, Mumbai, India again heads the list as the #1 sales volume leader in the world (see separate story about the Principal, Ajay Arora). This is the first time we have assigned an actual U.S. dollar value to each of the companies on the list. The sales volume figures are a combination of published figures. Some are public companies and others, which are privately owned, are required in some cases by their governments to supply sales figures on an annual basis. For the most part, the sales volume listed are estimates by the Editor Emeritus Eric Schneider. You may disagree with some of the figures, but after our extensive research there will likely be little disagreement about the 50 companies we list here. If we missed one, we hope to hear from you. Let us know if you feel you belong on the list! We did not include the Turkish voile makers on this listing, such as Zorluteks and Kucuculik. They are in a class of their own for window coverings. It is striking how the indoor/outdoor fabric mills, Glen Raven (who also purchased Sunbury Mills this past year) and Para, are gaining momentum in the upper echelon of the listing. I hope you find it interesting. —ERIC SCHNEIDER / eric@fabricsandfurnishings.com


Mario Sirtori

Guy de Kertanguy-President Leesville, SC

23. $25 million

J.B. Martin

Engin Ocak Bursa, Turkey

22. $25 million

Guleser Tekstil

Eduardo Aznar Valencia, Spain

21. $25 million

Aznar Textil

Nabil Tazi Casablanca, Morocco

20. $28 million


Remy Tac-Principal Oostrozebeke, Belgium

19. $30 million

Ter Molst

Klaus Rohleder-Principal Konradsreuth, Germany

18. $30 million


Guilio Sirtori-Principal Mumbai, India

17. $40 million

Randy Taylor-CEO Cologne, N.J.

41. $15 million


Shrikant Himatsingka-Managing Director & CEO | Karnataka, India

40. $18 million

Himatsingka Ltd.

Gianfranco Zamaroni-General Manager | Fino Mornasco, Italy

39. $18 million


Enzo Angiouni-President Garbagnate, Monastero, Italy

38. $18 million

Enzo degli Angiouni

C.S. Nopany-Mumbai, India-Owns American Silk Mills brand

37. $19 million


David Li, Principal Shanghai, China

36. $20 million

Orient West

Jochen Rieger-General Manager Munchberg, Germany

35. $20 million

Luca Ferrari-Principal Nole, Italy

34. $20 million

Erol Turkun Bursa, Turkey

16. $40 million

Mannifatura Tessile Di Nole

Davide Malagutti-Sales Manager Costamasnaga, Italy

33. $20 million



Kurniadi Tjandra-Principal Bandung, Indonesia

15. $40 million


WORLD’S TOP 50 MILLS These are the world’s 50 largest upholstery and decorative fabric mills, as ranked by sales volume in dollars. They account for $2.4 billion in sales.

Summer 2019


www.FandFI.com 37


Sean Gibbons-CEO Kings Mountain, NC

$100 million


Marco Parravicini Sovico, Italy

$100 million

Para Tempotest

Hasan Topbas-Kets-President Istanbul, Turkey

$100 million


Seyit Ali Koksal-General Manager Kayseri, Turkey

$100 million

$95 million

GM Fabrics

Fernando Serrano-USA (Ameritex Co.) Chile (Sur de Chile Textiles) and Colombia (J. Serrano Colombia) Vargem Grande Paulista, Brazil

Rafael Pascual Alicante, Spain-President

14. $40 million


Dalbir Singh-Principal Mumbai, India

13. $47 million

GM Syntex

Gurvinder Singh-Principal Mumbai, India

12. $50 million


Textil J. Serrano

Rajnish Aroraa-Principal Mumbai, India

10. $95 million






Wenlong Lu Hangzhou, China

32. $20 million


Franco Dinares-Principal Barcelona, Spain

31. $20 million


George Gao Hangzhou, China

30. $20 million


Riccardo Biagioni, Owner Prato, Italy

29. $20 million


Yak Wang Shengzhou City, China

28. $20 million


Stefano Morotti-General Manager Prato, Italy

27. $22 million


Karl Henderson, GM Waregem, Belgium

26. $23 million


Yang Lin Shan, Principal Hangzhou, China owns Z-Wovens

25. $25 million

Zongwhang Holding

Richard Oussoren Gemert, Holland

24. $25 million

Raymakers Velvet

Schlee Wood Bangkok, Thailand

50. $15 million

Satin Textiles

Luigi Proserpio, Principal Bulciago, Italy

49. $14 million


Jo De Munster Belgium

48. $15 million


Manish Kumar Bothra-Managing Director Bangalore, India

47. $15 million

Mulberry Silks Ltd.

Kaya Cinoglu-Principal Bursa, Turkey

46. $15 million


Guilia Fumagali Nibionno, Italy

45. $15 million


Burnd Kunt Marlesreuth, Germany

44. $15 million

Gebruder Munzert

Mayer Zeiler Keir Malachi, Israel

43. $15 million


Ilana Mackeliene–Commercial Director | Vilnius, Lithuania

42. $15 million



Nature Arrives Inside Via Textiles By Jennifer Castoldi

In an era where everything tends to move so fast, life is becoming more and more urbanized, and technology is everywhere. It is refreshing to see how culture, craftsmanship, and nature are taking center stage in the world of design. It is bringing us closer to our roots.


arming Textiles: Here is a new way of urban gardening and hybrid housing with interior textiles. These samples supporting research from The Swedish School of Textiles, show a jacquard double weave where seeds can be inserted into pocket weaves; once watered the seeds transform while interacting with the bindings and material.


ultural Fusion: In a recent interview Elizabeth Leriche spoke of her “Ethnic Arty” theme, “[It]celebrates the fusion of cultures, the blending of traditional savoir faire revisited by contemporary designers. These are diverse and, at times, opposing themes, which bear witness to the fact that we live in a society full of paradox where absolutely anything goes.”


pcycling and Material Resources: This fabric is made from an old pair of jeans and wood from the Swedish forest. The recycled cotton and cellulose are made into a pulp that is then spun into a yarn and knitted. The final result is digitally printed. This was worn by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, made by Smart Textiles through the project ‘Textiles back to Textiles’.


extiles Evolving with Time: These samples from Ph.D. student Riikka Talman at The Swedish School of Textiles look to explore the use of material and construction as a method to create textiles with the capability to change over time. Depending on their intended end use, the fabrics can be designed to wear out gradually or rapidly. The idea is to create a balance between the fabric’s lifespan and the material, where change is intrinsically a positive and not means for discarding the product.



Summer 2019




ndia for Export: Crafts are an enormous source of revenue for the people of India, second only to agriculture. They even have their own ministry. The craftspeople are entrepreneurially driven and they are fortunate to have a thriving ecosystem that supports their crafts. During the occasion of Ambiente there was a showcase on items that are handmade in India. The exhibition was robust with inspiration and chock full of diverse crafts highlighted on a number of product categories. Here you can witness items from governmental organizations, institutions of national importance, design-led enterprises, artisan-led cooperatives, marketing agencies, and certifying agencies, among others.


not to be Missed: Put technology aside and embrace the trend of the return handicrafts and skilled craftsmanship. An excellent example of this is the display staged at MissoniHome during Milan Design Week where the artist Alessandra Roveda hand-crocheted all of the items of the “Home Sweet Home� concept envisioned by Angela Missoni. Every single object in the space was enveloped in brightly-colored yarns: the telephone, chandelier, bedposts, bicycles, everything! This reinvented space put smiles on the faces of thousands of design week goers.

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 on global trends and key international design events. Hundreds of images and forwardthinking articles are presented on www.Trendease.com each month, additionally videos and podcasts are available on www.Trendease.TV.

Summer 2019


www.FandFI.com 39

Hudson Yards Photos Hudson Yards Related Builds World Class Architecture By Eric Schneider

New York—The Related Group has created 30 Hudson Yards on the back of an old railroad yard, a 28-acre Manhattan project. 30 Hudson Yards is reportedly the third-tallest building in New York and the site represents the largest land mass of any project in the USA. Related built the $25 billion Hudson Yards mega-project with Oxford Properties Group Inc. The development includes the ‘Shed,’ an art museum and the ‘Vessel’ a unique walkable structure. A great deal of infrastructure was required before this project could even be built. A platform first had to be constructed to support the project over the tracks. Everything else followed from that and today, the project is opened but still being improved. —ERIC SCHNEIDER




8 1) Soaring residential tower built over Hudson railroad yards on the Westside of Manhattan is theatre when it comes to architecture. 2) Entrance to the huge mall with Neiman Marcus as the anchor store.


3) Westside subway station with modern design to compliment the largest project in the USA by land area. 4) Another view of Hudson Yards looking West. 5) Related Group, the developer of Hudson Yards, integrated artwork throughout the project. Here is Rachel Feinstein’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ 6) Spring has just about arrived in New York. This walkway disappears into the Hudson River walk.


7) The Highline is an elevated park that was once a special rail line in the meatpacking district of New York. It wraps around the new Hudson Yards project. 8) This is called ‘The Shed.’ It is a museum facing a pedestrian mall at Hudson Yards. It is flanked by ‘Vessel’ an interesting walk up structure for the sound in body. People love it!



6 www.FandFI.com


9) Another view of ‘Vessel’ with 30 Hudson Yards, the address of the residential tower towering in the background.

Summer 2019





Summer 2019



Proposte Photo Gallery

Proposte Management Dances to a Tarantella Beat, but Nobody Can Figure Out the Name of the Dance! OPINION: By F&FI Editor ERIC SCHNEIDER For years, we have heard complaints from European mills who would like to gain entry to Proposte but for whatever reason are never able to. This year, Ala Regina was half empty with a lack of exhibitors showing there. One wonders why the show organizers don’t allow other worthy exhibitors to take up the space. No one can figure out what the rules of admission for the mills might be. It seems to be a big secret that no one really wants to talk about. This year, the Proposte game was further embellished by asking outside exhibitors not to open their stands before or after the hours that Villa Erba was opened or face the consequence of $20,000 fines! There were written notices passed around, and this irritated buyers who wanted to see the outside lines. All this did was make it impossible for many of the customers to spend enough time at Proposte, because they were too busy seeing important companies that show outside the exhibition itself in the little time allotted to them. So who is Proposte punishing? Are they punishing their own exhibitors, the buyers or the companies which are forced to show outside Villa Erba? Salone del Mobile has created “Fuori Salone,” which embraces all of the outside exhibitors in Milan who want to be part of the action. Why shouldn’t Proposte take a page out of the Salon del Mobile book and unite all of the companies who are opening outside Villa Erba with the companies inside? That would mean one happy family! There are 85 companies in Proposte today. Thirty-three are Italian and the balance is from other countries. Many feel Proposte is losing momentum due to its ridiculous rules of combat! Jobbers with six to eight designers in tow were not too happy with how the show was organized this year. Some spent more time outside the Villa Erba than in it. Others just cut down the number of people per company that went to Proposte this year. Sales agents also complained about the cost of being at Proposte and the little return they see by being there. There are over 100 companies outside the Villa Erba. Why not embrace them all and make it one big event instead of the strongarm style activity we saw this year? Some suspect it is the arrogance and ego of some of the founders of Proposte that makes for the ridiculous rule-making that we see guiding the fair. Let’s hope that the ‘Fathers of Proposte’ get the message and do the right thing for the fabrics industry.


Cornelius DeKort, owner of Reynaldo and Dekortex, Eindhoven, The Netherlands with daughter Celine and Rick Jongeneelen, Managing Director

Inside Villa Erba: Owen Puylaert (standing) with Kaya Cinoglu, owner of Marteks and Yvan Puylaert, owner of Puylaert Designs of the Time, Sent-Niklaas, Belgium

Nimish Arora of Dicitex, Mumbai mill; Jerry’s nephew, Jerry Mobley, designer, Julie Brady, President of J. Queen New York with Sonia Bachleda, J. Queen New York and Omar Al-Guthmi, Mohammed Al -Guthmi, Jeddah based wholesaler

George Metridis, principal of NeoMagic Ltd., Athens with Lemonia Kampoli, contract manager of Lemonia Kampoli, who has been with the company for 27 years! That’s Gianni Bartolini, owner of Tesca in the middle.

John Kearns, Hamilton Fabrics, High Point, NC (USA) with Marco Paravacinni, principal of Para Tempotest and Jeffrey Rocque, sales agent for Para in the USA

In the Villa Erba halls: Katie Williams and Craig DeLeo, the Turkish fabric import specialists, Fairfield, New Jersey (USA)

Aliyah with dad, Jason Asch, owner, Diamond Foam, Los Angeles with Charlotte Gougeon, Vanves, France agent to MTL (Jessup, PA), President Michael Hillenbrand on right Fabric wholesaler Ezequial Esrubilsky of Etamine, Buenos Aires, Argentina with Eduardo Aznar, principal of Aznar Textile, Valencia, Spain.

What’s Proposte without seeing Chris-Jacob Schminnes, president of JAB and Dennis Vrolijk the purchasing manager of JAB?

Extreme right-Michael Hillebrand, principal, MTL in Jessup, PA (USA) with Nord Ciniglia yarn supplier Matteo Scuri, sales manager. To the left is Massimo Moreschi and the big boss Luciano Martinelli. Nord Ciglia has an outdoor yarn that is said to be bulletproof! MTL has launched its outdoor fabric collection under the name Peristyle.

BayartVanoutryve-Tadl, Roubaix, France at Villa Erba with Laurent Mainaud general manager and customer Emmanuel Lelievre (Paris) (on right) www.FandFI.com

Summer 2019



Proposte Photo Gallery

Massimo Mosiello, (left to right) Proposte general manager, Roberto Luongo, general director of the Italian Trade Agency, and Proposte President Mauro Cavelli discuss changes to this year’s fair during a press conference.

Susan Billent, sales manager at Hield Brothers England, in West Yorkshire, England, and Adam Greco, principal at Grecodeco in New York.

Mario Mendo, (left to right) director at Mendo Diffusione in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, Chiara Tosa, architect at Interior & Colour Design in Valechha, Italy, and Jose Revert, export manager at Jover in Cocentaina, Spain.

Proposte Organizers Say Earlier April Dates Attract More Visitors

CERNOBBIO, Italy — Proposte organizers say the first day of the fair, which this year started a month earlier on April 15, attracted more visitors than previous years. Officials tried something new this year by linking Salon di Mobile, which ended April 14, with Proposte, which started on April 15, hoping to attract visitors from the Milan event. When asked if the new dates were a success, Proposte President Mauro Cavelli says, “Yes, absolutely, there was a 20 percent increase in visitors [on the first day] … we haven’t witnessed for years.” Proposte organizers held a press conference on Tuesday, April 16, to discuss the date controversy. Proposte is held in the exhibition center of Villa Erba in Cernobbio from April 15-17. Officials say they will release attendance figures at the end of the week. Earlier, when the new dates were announced, some observers were skeptical that visitors would attend both events, traveling about an hour from Milan to Cernobbio at Lake Como. Italian designer Massimiliano Forasassi, frustrated by the change of dates at his year’s Proposte as well as his difficulty in being allowed entry, writes about the tony trade show in a recent LinkedIn article. “This edition of [Proposte] 2019 is much discussed due to the too early dates and restrictions imposed by institutions and the organization, restrictions that place limits on external exhibitors with fines that can go from 8,000 to 20,000 euros in case of early opening,” Forasassi writes. Still, Massimo Mosiello, Proposte general manager, Roberto Luongo, general director of the Italian Trade Agency, and Proposte President Cavelli, say the fair strives to improve in several ways in the coming years: attracting more buyers from around the world, such as the U.S. and China; promoting eco-friendly products; and communicating better with Cernobbio officials outside of Villa Erba. Luongo says there were more companies from all over the world at this year’s fair, especially Chinese companies. “The Chinese furniture sector is developing in their country,” Luongo says. During the press conference, someone asked about the rumours of Proposte moving to another city, such as Milan or Florence. Proposte President Cavelli replies that people are free to talk, but that the new Proposte board would be looking into the outcomes of this year and making any changes in the coming weeks. Still, Cavelli signalled the fair would probably remain in its current location. He says, “This location [Cernobbio] is foundational.” Three major Italian mills dropped out of Proposte this year: Mario Sirtori, Enzo Angiuoni, and Limonta. With the loss of those three mills, the Proposte organizers sold the space to Stead McAlpin (UK), Acarca (Turkey), and GM Syntex, the first Indian mill to gain admission to what was always a European exhibition. Overall, there are 85 exhibitors this year including 33 Italian and 52 foreign. In the end, Proposte President Cavelli says Salon di Mobile brought more visitors to Proposte this year. “We hope we can maintain the strong link,” he says.

Summer 2019


Stefan Fessi, (left) managing director at Sonnhaus in Straubing,Germany, and Ramachandra Shastry, director at Ascent Décor in Bangalore, India.

Proposte entrance

Julia SeidelDengler, project manager of export division at Gebruder Munzert in NailaMarlesreuth, Germany, and Fabio Silva, CEO/ president of Calvin Fabrics in Central Point, Oregon.

Nishant Kumar Singh, (left) sales general manager at GM Syntex in Mumbai, India, and Joanne Prevost, design director at Master Fabrics in Montreal, Canada.

Massimo Ronzani, export area manager, of Aznar Textile in Valencia, Spain, and Spaska Schramme, general manager, of Sara 97 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Gustavo De Negri, (left) CEO of DeNegri in Piana di Monte Verna, Italy, and Quirijn Kolff, director at Del Prado Maison in Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Agent Vincent Kwan (left to right) of Hangzhou Galaxy Limited in Hangzhou, China, Jean Baudrand, consultant, in London, U.K., Robert Lachow, vice president at JB Martin in New York. www.FandFI.com 45


Villa Erba and Int’l Observatory

(continued from Page 14)

Dye Houses will leave this industry because of no profit. I already saw some factories were sold recently.” Freeman adds, “The lack of new items will continue because there is no profit to support the huge cost of new product development. Also, the knock-off issue is getting worse, especially when it happens in Vietnam upholstery factories. They knock off Chinese fabric designs almost 100 percent.” Others haven’t felt the closures affect business. “Regarding the dye-house issue, it is kind of settled,” Doris Deng, principal of Kentex Mills in Hangzhou. “We don’t feel any inconvenience right now. I 100 percent agree with what our government is doing with the pollution control. Some small and not qualified dyeing houses have been

Max Forasassi, principal of Forasassi mill in Prato, Italy with Susan North, design director of Jim Thompson with General Manager Chad Holman, Atlanta, Georgia (USA) Neil and Jennifer Nahoum, US agents for several mills

Michael Gittelson, principal of Morgan Fabrics, Los Angeles with Ajay Arora, principal, D’Decor, Mumbai

We spotted Vikram Tantia, managing director, Globe India Ltd., Calcutta and longtime buddy Adel Kalha, owner of Sami & Adel Kalha Co., Amman, Jordan wholesaler.


Olga Ershova, Marchenko Olga, director and Anastasia Patichenko— all three with Livena Lux, Moscow, Russia. Top row gents are Sanjay Arora, general manager, D’Decor Exports, Mumbai and Vishal Furla, principal of K. Dinesh and D’Costa, Mumbai

At International Observatory during Proposte at the Sheraton Grand Como: Dinesh Kandpal, GM Fabrics Export Manager with Direct Textile Imports Ltd. Principal Gary Marsh (Manchester, UK) and Trevor Helliwell, owner of Prestigious, the UK converting giant.

Freeman Shen

Doris Deng

closed down, but the good ones are still going on. We have no complaints about this.” She concludes. “However, we do have the tax cut from the government for helping business. VAT [short for Value-Added Tax] has been reduced from 16 percent to 13 percent. That means we pay 3 percent less for our VAT, so that we have 3 percent less tax refund accordingly. That is it.”F&FI

(continued from Page 19)

Eurotex Brings Basic Upholstery Lines to Europe Eurotex and will bypass consumers and designers. “Today, a wholesaler is also a converter,” he emphasizes. While the lines may have blurred between what is a wholesaler and a converter these days, some might not agree entirely with Snelders on this subject. Producing cut orders for customers would certainly make Eurotex a wholesaler as well as a converter. That would also qualify Eurotex to be on the F&FI list of large wholesalers outside the U.S. (See Spring 2019 issue). Eurotex would fit in the top 20 wholesalers in the world. Although most converters today would not sell cut order, in Europe it may be a bit different. “It’s not that Eurotex SKUs are radically different from what else is on offer,” Snelders says. “Eurotex sells service and we control the quality and that’s what differentiates us from our competition.” Eurotex offers 48-hour delivery from receipt of order, FOB Europe in a price range from 4.50 euros to 15 euros. “We are not leaving basic price points,” he says. “We are grading up our fabric offer very slowly. We are limited by what we can offer due to the number of yarns the Chinese bring to market.” He adds. “We offer basic goods, but we have


TreviraCS on request or inherently FR fabrics if required,” Snelders says. Eurotex sells directly to architects for the contract market, about 10-12 percent of the Eurotex business and growing. Recently, Eurotex completed a 25,000-meter order with Marriott Hotels just for cushion fabrics, he says. On the residential side of the business he notes that velvet is starting to sell big in Germany. while it is declining in Holland. “Holland and Scandinavia are leading indicators for trends,” he says. During the fair in Lake Como just outside the Villa Erba in a separate villa, Eurotex introduced 30 new products with “performance and outdoor products coming soon,” Snelders reports. F&FI

Ugur Devletli and Hans Snelders

Summer 2019



Istanbul Photo Gallery Istanbul Surprises

Istanbul exceeded all my expectations. The historical city of some 15 million felt very welcoming because of its people. The Turks I encountered had an almost American attitude -- very good customer service and glad to see visitors. One taxi driver took me to shops a few blocks from the Istanbul Mall, where I found items, such as a new suitcase, at less expensive prices. And I did not have a bad meal the entire week. An excellent dinner can be eaten for $10-$15. Finally, everyone should visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, a marvel of architecture built by the Romans 1,400 years ago. --Ray Parker

This sticker in a hotel drawer points the way to Mecca.

Inside the sultan’s palace is the receiving room where he would greet visitors. There are gifts from different countries such as a vase from China and a chandelier from France.

This is Hagia Sophia, built in 600 CE, and its huge dome that rises 18-stories high. It would be another 1,000 years before Western Europe accomplished the feat again. Inside Hagia Sophia, the Christian iconography was literally whitewashed when it was converted to a mosque. Luckily this preserved the art so we could see it today.

The Blue Mosque, built in 1616 and just south of the Hagia Sophia, is still being used for worship. Visitors must take off their shoes before entering.

A sitting room inside the sultan’s palace, with bright, ornate tilework and windows.

Inside Hagia Sophia, these darker columns were believed to have been taken from another sacred building by the Romans, who had to search for miles to find the granite.

Here is a balcony outside the sultan’s palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus Straight. In a city of some 15 million, there is no problem finding fun nightlife.

The Topkapi Palace Museum: Great view of the Bosporus Straight from here. This is where the sultan lived for generations, along with his family, and harem. They each had their own living complex. The distinctive architecture in areas surrounding Hagia Sophia. A visitor can’t leave Istanbul without taking home some Turkish Delight. This shop in the Grand Bazaar had about 50 different varieties. It seems like almost every major American company is in Istanbul, including this Dominoes Pizza.

The new Istanbul airport, which opened in April, 2019, is impressive and huge. It’s located 40 miles north of the old airport.

Summer 2019


The Grand Bazaar, which is a labyrinthine maze of over 4,000 shops makes for a new experience in shopping.

The Salted Chicken is a show since it comes out encrusted in thick salt and on fire. The chicken falls off the bone and the rice inside adds just the right touch. I had it at the Antakya Restaurant, near the Hagia Sophia. www.FandFI.com 47


Meet Christoph Stieger

Next Retails Soft Home Brands, Boosts UK Fabric Sales F&FI News Network

F&FI News Network


ORSCHERBERG, SWIZ — Christoph Stieger, President/CEO of Engelbert E. Stieger AG is proving that one man can make a difference in any business. As head of the 57-year old boutique weaving mill with 35 employees, Stieger produces unusual curtaini fabrics from 10 to 60 Euros and is a regular exhibitor at Proposte. The products often feature Lurex yarns and TreviraCS yarns for contract applications

L Christoph Steiger

as well as natural fibers. In fact, Trevira CS yarns are 80 percent of Stieger’s business. F&FI

ONDON — Next is giving the UK fabrics industry a big boost as it ramps up soft home furnishings sales to 7 percent of overall sales, according to trade reports. That translates to about $280 million in sales at retail, according to the public figures. The mega-retailer has both online [Next.co.uk] and UK brick and mortar stores, which

offer cut and sewn bedding, window treatments, cushions and other soft home items to the consumer. Next also features its own in-house home brands like Catherine Lansfield and Kylie Vanetti. Next is a major player in the sale of upholstery. Next has overall sales of all items including apparel in excess of $4.5 billion with over 500 stores in almost 40 countries.

(continued from Page 33)

Coulisse Contract expected to further support the contract sales growth as well as residential sales,” he says. “CoulisseContract.com is designed specifically for our contract/hospitality clients,” Vos says in reference to the new contract website. “Our U.S. and Canadian clients see the value in the complete Coulisse range. They want quick delivery from a local source. Our clients in the South American market take container loads from our headquarters in Enter, The Netherlands. Many of our customers have stopped worrying about their supply chain and have become exclusive with Coulisse components,” he adds. “Coulisse components are designed in Holland and are sourced worldwide depending on the best value we can find,” Vos says. “Our most price driven items are now sourced in Germany,” he reports. “We want to be the most efficient in all that we do. By January 2020, we will move to an ERP System by Microsoft Dynamics.” The new Ft. Lauderdale facility began operations in late 2018 and can reportedly deliver roller-shade components by FedEx or truck within 48 hours of receipt of order, according

to Vos. Vos hired Julien Hardy as operations manager. Hardy was previously with a third party Miami—based logistics company. Coulisse fabricator sales are managed by Daniel Buxbaum and Chris Hagen, who are both territory managers for the U.S., where the company currently has 100 fabricators. “Their sales range are from $1 million to $1 billion and we expect to grow as they grow with Coulisse components,” says Vos. “We ship 2,500 SKUs from our warehouse to the U.S. market. We have a complete range of products for fabricators including roller, Roman and solar shades; verticals, profiles, cassettes,and motors,” he says. F&FI

From left to right: Norka Haiek (Mrs. Vos) graduates Florida International University with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering Degree; Luan Vos (son); Jop Vos, Managing Director, Coulisse America; Alua Vos (daughter)


Claire Sollis, design director of Next, is responsible for the fabric selection and some UK sales agents are running around with big smiles on their faces due to the sizeable orders Next is placing with UK print converters. Sollis returned to Next in 2017, after spending 26 months at UK retailers Sainsbury’s and seven years at Dunelm starting in 2010. Prior to that, she worked at Next for 12 years before going back in 2017. Both Claire Sollis and Next officials were not available for comment, but everyone involved knows that Next is very pleased with the soft home sales results. F&FI Claire Sollis

Two Small Italian Textile Companies Thrive in Competitive Market F&FI News Network


ERNOBBIO, Italy — In a period of consolidations and mergers, two small Italian textile companies remain competitive: Fumagalli and L’Interno. Company officials say their strategy has remained the same for decades. They focus on a segment of the high-end market and dominate it. For Fumagalli, which was founded in 1963 by Carlo Fumagalli, that strategy is producing classic, modern, and fireproof jacquard fabrics in 140/280 widths. During Proposte, off a side street from the main fair, President Giuseppe Fumagalli says the company’s main customers remain mid-to-highend wholesalers and edıteurs. Open lines comprise 85 percent of their business, selling their lines for an average of 10 to 15 euros per meter. Most of their business is domestic, at 60 percent, while


other European countries comprıse the rest. They have 18 looms producing jacquards. There are 15 employees, a roster of 280 artists for designs, and average annual sales of 4 million euros. Customers return for decades, Fumagalli says: “If the customer wants something, we produce it.” For L’Interno, their business is also mainly domestic at 60 percent, and the rest ın Europe, primarily France. The

fabrics are plain chenille, viscose, and linen, at an average of 15 to 20 euros per meter. Franco Fabbri is the owner, who along with his son, Sabıo, has recently expanded ınto outdoor and upholstery. They employ 20 people and have annual sales of 8 to 10 million euros. Export Manager Chıara Turolla says the trend the past decade has been expanding outside Italy. F&FI

From left to right is Alice Fumagalli, principal at Fumagalli outside Milan, Italy, Giuseppe Fumagalli, president, and agent Elaine Taylor-Gordon.

Summer 2019


F FI M A RF K FI E TNE P LW A SC E (continued from Page 15)

New Tariff Hike Hits US Textile Producers the April data may give President Trump’s administration more confidence in pursuing a hawkish approach to negotiations. China’s exports to the U.S. only fell 13.2 percent year over year in April, but China’s imports fell 25.8 percent, according to a Panjiva.com report. However, the scale of exports means that there was a dollar decline in Chinese exports of $4.7 billion compared to a $3.5 billion slide in imports. In other words, the U.S. “won” the trade war in April by $1.2 billion on a net export basis which would suggest the Trump administration’s tariffs delivered their objective in April. China is the largest textile producing and exporting country in the world. In 2017, China’s textile exports were valued at approximately $110 billion, a figure that corresponds to 37.2 percent of the global market share, according to Panjiva. com. China has three main competitive advantages: many workers at low cost, reduced commercial barriers and a large supply of raw material. Top Five Textile Exporters Worldwide in 2017 1.China: $110 billion 2.European Union: $69 billion 3.India: $17 billion 4.United States: $14 billion 5.Turkey: $11 billion Source: Statista.com

Lee Silberman, former CEO Robert Allen Duralee, Says Farewell F&FI News Network


AUPPAUGE, N.Y. — Lee Silberman, the former CEO of RADG (Robert Allen Duralee Group), has sent out a farewell note to industry colleagues, confirming approval of the chapter-11-protection plan and proposed sale of RADG Holding. Brant Enderle, a Knoxville-based, real-estate developer, and manager of RADG Holdings is the new owner of RADG. Enderle was the only bidder for RADG and reportedly paid $19 million for the company. Here is Silberman’s letter: “On Monday, May 6, the bankruptcy court confirmed The Robert Allen Duralee Group’s chapter 11 plan and approved the proposed sale to RADG Holding LLC. The transaction closed that morning. “Consequently, I am writing to let you know that May 2 was my last day with the company. “After 40 years at this company, leaving is bittersweet. I am proud of the work that I have done and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to call Duralee and then Robert Allen Duralee, ‘my compa-

Summer 2019


ny’. During my tenure, much was achieved as we became leaders in the home furnishings industry. I leave with the consolation of knowing that, while the past months, in fact, the past few years, have been challenging, forging ahead was worth it as over 300 jobs have been saved. “For me, I look forward to having the time to pursue other interests that I have put on the back burner for the last 40 years. “I wish the new Company, its management, and its wonderful employees great success as they bring The Robert Allen Duralee Group into a new era. “Sincerely, Lee Silberman” F&FI

Lee Silberman

Brant Enderle

www.FandFI.com 49



June 2–5 June Showtime


High Point, NC, U.S.

18 - 20 June Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Miami Beach, FL, USA



28–31 August Intertextile Home Textiles

High Point North Carolina USA

National Exhibition & Convention Center, Shanghai, China

Shipping-Receiving-ContainerSampling-Cut Yardage Real Time Inventory Access


30 years Experience in Fabric Warehousing

10-12 September MoOD / Indigo

Easy entry into US Market Call Debbie @ 336-883-2660

Tour & Taxi Center, Brussels, Belgium

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

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

Advertiser Index For more information about one of our advertisers, see the page number listed:

Allbright. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27 Aqua Clean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Ateja. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42-43 Boyteks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11 Covington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Crestmont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 D’Decor Exports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5 D’Decor Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7 Dicitex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Express Air Freight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 GM Fabrics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34-35 Infinity Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 J. Serrano. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Kravet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Mario Sirtori . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 MoOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Morgan Fabrics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 PDF Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Rockland Mills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3 Tana Bana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Texind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Weavestar Fabrics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Whyte & Ivory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Zhejiang Huachen New Material. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24-25 50


Summer 2019


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