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  • Jennifer Marks

Biederlack Fuels Fashion Blankets

For the first time in many years, Biederlack was back in the New York market with goods produced in its German factory and an eye toward carving out a space for fashion blankets in the better end of retail.

Biederlack's factory in Cumberland, Md., has long been a resource for novelty, sports-themed and regional motif blankets and throws for the mass market.

The new European collection represents the other end of the spectrum. The emphasis on fashion orients the blankets more toward the master bedroom, living room and great room. The line targets better moderate and up, with retails running from $40 to $80, depending upon the size and construction of the blanket.

"We're definitely not out there to compete with the Chinese guys," said export staffer Oliver Kabisch, export. "We've really taken this product upstairs in design and quality."

Constructions include jacquards woven with 180 picks for a dense, velvety hand as well as prints or combinations in a variety of fibers, including organic cotton. One textural line is constructed with cotton on one side of the blanket, wool on the other. Biederlack also uses effect yarns such as lurex in some of its designs.

Although home departments have been struggling for several quarters, Biederlack export director Bill Koch told HTT the company was convinced it was time to move, after a trip to the United States to survey the retail landscape. "After we saw the poor condition of the blanket department, we said: 'Let's give it a lift.'"

Merchandise is expected to begin drop-shipping next month, said Koch.

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