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Everything old is new again

While it wasn't a market notable for dramatic design and style changes, there were a number of notable product trends nonetheless.

First and foremost was the singular impact of quilts across the complete bedding landscape.

Just when industry pundits had just about written quilts off as one of the ultimate low-ball price items, consumers surprised most everyone by buying at the top of the line in quilts, thereby creating a whole new business opportunity for everyone, top to bottom.

When quilts are on every bed in lines like Donna Karan, as well as down at the bottom of the heap in one-price/all-size offerings that seem to get lower every week, they can't be ignored.

And the offerings in quilts this market added a new design dimension to the category in many lines, well beyond the classic wedding ring or ditsy pattern.

Come spring, expect to see quilts layered on as important elements for fashion bedding and packaged with their own bedding accessories, just like their comforter counterparts. And of course, there will continue to be the lowest-price-this-week/all-sizes promotions.

Moving along, the plethora of embroideries was amazing. Everyone seems to have had the same inspiration simultaneously. But the approaches to embroidery were as varied as could be imagined. Contemporary interpretations were especially creative. And some brought exciting new looks to top-of-bed as well as decorative pillows and curtains.

At long last, home textiles suppliers have begun to accept that kids are people. From time immemorial, kids sheets have been primarily muslin or the lowest possible count of high-blend polyester.

This market two major kids programs — Disney at WestPoint Stevens and the Reflections collection at CHF — feature all-cotton sheets in their extensive collections. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend.

And an item that rarely comes into conversation among home textiles mavens, the bedskirt, suddenly took on a new stylish life at a number of showrooms. In fact, the creativity and fashionableness of this typically plain Jane, strictly functional item stood out as something new to talk about.

Some were neatly tailored with clever pockets for glasses, magazines or whatever. Others were belle-of-the-ball types dripping with luxurious fringe, while others displayed inventive tailoring techniques, all far from the plain-Jane basics.

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