Quaker Goes Offshore
By Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, 6/27/2005 12:00:00 AM
Fall River, Mass. — —
Fall River, Mass. — Quaker Fabric will launch two new programs, both using offshore fabric production for the first time, this summer.
The introductions are velvets and flat-woven linen/cotton blends, according to Larry Liebenow, president and CEO.
In its quarterly financial report issued April 20, Liebenow said the company “would further expand our residential business by distributing certain imported fabrics that we don't have the equipment to make ourselves.”
At the time, he also pointed to an expansion of its new sueded products for the residential market “to compete with the faux suede products coming into the U.S.”
Both these objectives will be market-ready — the sueded products for Showtime next month, and the imported fabrics shortly thereafter during the summer.
“These are small programs sourced offshore. They are designed and copyrighted by Quaker,” Liebenow emphasized.
“The velvets are all-cotton in fine, rather than bulky yarns,” explained Bea Spires, vice president, design and merchandising. One is a “simple strie, the other a corduroy look, each in 20 colors.” Spires added, “We think they fill a void in the market.” The colors are “fresh and current,” and both constructions have a light backing. The price for each is $5.95.
In the linen/cotton collection, there are four patterns and one plain: as large plaid and stripe, a reduced version of each and a space-dyed chenille faced plain — “all with a light backing,” she said.
The plaids and stripes are in one “natural look” color; the plain in 18 linen vegetable-dyed colors, she added. The large plaid and stripe are $5.95; the smaller versions $6.95 and the plain will be between $5 and $5.50.
All are treated for stain and weatherproofing, Spires said.
The fabrics are being produced in China and Taiwan, Liebenow said. “To start, each collection is relatively modest in size, but represents new concepts and components not available to us in Fall River.”
In the domestically produced faux suedes, Quaker is moving toward a wool and felt direction, calling one new item Wool Suede, the other Felt Suede, and a third Grand Suede. The first two use the company's Marquessa olefin performance fibers and finishes. The Grand suede is made from the Ultra rayon construction. Each is offered in 30 colors. Wool Suede is $3.95, Felt Suede is $5.95 and Grand Suede is $8.95.
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