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Guilford pads mix with pillows

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, April 16, 2001

NEW YORK — The introduction of decorative pillows to its already extensive line of home textiles is designed to help keep Guilford Home Fashions in step with the rapidly expanding juvenile market.

The New York-based arm of Guilford Mills unveiled the whimsical line of approximately 20 different designs during spring market after six months of development. The young, hip designs featured on the pillows are accomplished through two different techniques.

The lenticular pillows feature three-dimensional designs ranging from flowers and butterflies to money and space aliens. The designs for the holographic pillows are just as diverse and eclectic but feature more graphic designs. All of the pillows are backed with a polyester/cotton in various colors which coordinate with the front design. Two different sizes are offered — a 12" x 16" holographic will carry as wholesale price point of $6.50, while a 18" x 18" lenticular pillow will be offered at an $11 wholesale price point.

"This line of pillows is so unique that placing this product anywhere is going to be a breeze," said Lynn Ostro, bedding design director, Guilford. "When I saw these fabrications, they made me realize they were really perfect for us to sell even though we aren't known as a decorative pillow source."

"They're fun and different, and that's what retailers are looking for right now," said Steve Castella, vp, design, Guilford, of the reasons behind the introduction. "We knew that if we had to display pillows, it had to be something special.

"They're bright, fun things, and those types of items are working well in the market right now," he added.

Castella also felt the pillows lent themselves to both brick-and-mortar retailers and catalogs.

Although the pillows will most likely be favored by a younger generation, Ostro said she believed the designs are fun and wide-ranging enough to attract buyers in their 30s.

"These are a terrific impulse buy," she said. "You can just picture someone seeing one of them and deciding on the spot to pick one up."

For now, Guilford will only manufacture pillows with the unique designs but may decide to expand to other areas such as piecework shower curtains.

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