Natco grows Oriental rugs with Flemish deal
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 4/8/2002 12:00:00 AM
WEST WARWICK, RI —
Looking to enhance its domestic offering to complement a lineup of imported Oriental design rugs, Natco Products Corp. recently purchased a majority interest in Flemish Master Weavers in Sanford, ME.
The major acquisition is a Flemish Master Weavers state-of-the-art facility equipped with eight-frame Vanderweil looms. Under the same contract, Natco also bought a large adjacent piece of vacant land in hopes of expanding the site's manufacturing factory, Mark Ferullo, president of Natco's Central Oriental division, told Home Textiles Today. Neither the size of the facility nor adjacent lot was available at press time.
With the site in move-in condition, Ferullo said, Natco will "waste no time" moving in and starting production this week on a new line of domestically made, high-quality woven rugs featuring Oriental designs, Ferullo said.
Natco currently imports the same types of area rugs from Belgium, Spain, China and India.
"But now we want to become a domestic manufacturer and we thought this was the perfect opportunity to make that happen," Ferullo said. "It's a natural progression for us."
Domestically in its facility in Dalton, GA, Natco already makes window treatments, decorative pillows and juvenile nylon rugs, and the company also processes some broad looms to make bound area rugs and remnants. The company also owns and operates facilities in Boston, Cordell, OK, and here at the company's headquarters.
Ferullo said the company will continue importing Oriental design rugs, but the new U.S.-made line will complement and enhance those offerings.
"It's a benefit to have our own production process here that makes the qualities and colors we want to make for America instead of having to worry about worldwide production concerns," he said.
The new Oriental line made here will carry both higher and lower price points than the imported varieties, Ferullo added. Also, it will include some transitional and casual looks that are not part of the current roster.
"We'll also be making these rugs in some new constructions that we currently don't carry, but we are still in the developing stages of that plan and can't give any specifics about it," Ferullo said.
The existing imported line includes a range of construction, from 100 percent polypropylene promotional items through high-end 1.5-million-point machine made rugs.
Other area rug constructions Natco imports include hand-tufted rugs from China and India.
"Those will also complement our new offerings made at the new facility," Ferullo said.
With production of the new rugs set to begin immediately, Ferullo said the goal is to have as many as two new collections — each composed of eight patterns, with up to three colorways and four sizes per pattern — for launch in July at the next Atlanta International Area Rug Show.
"The area rug business has been doing very well over the past year, and we want to rely on our domestic production to help carry us," Ferullo said.
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