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Newport/Layton Touts "Made in the U.S.A." Statement

NEW YORK - Newport/Layton Home Fashions' message to retailers during the recent New York Home Fashions Market was a patriotic one.
     "We're touting our continued growth in our Made in the U.S.A. business, and we're emphasizing that message to our retail partners," said Corey Faul, president.
     Originally a domestic manufacturer of bedding and decorative pillows that this year celebrates its 55th anniversary, Newport/Layton's first began importing around 2000 and continued on that path through 2004 sold its quilting equipment and moved the bulk of its top-of-bed manufacturing offshore, mostly to China but also to India.
     "At the same time, our dec pillow business went from 90% cut-and-sewn in the U.S. down to 20% U.S., 80% overseas," he said.
     But in the past three years, the company has seen a shift favoring domestic manufacturing.
     Hindrances related to importing bedding and decorative pillows in recent years, he said, have included too-long lead times, inconsistent quality, and cost increases related to manufacturing.
     "But as costs continue rising in China, the gap has been narrowed with U.S. cutting-and-sewing manufacturing," Faul said.
     Then there are the hand-written and emailed letters sent to corporate headquarter in Portland, Ore.
     "There is a consumer movement going on for Made in the U.S.A. products," Faul noted. "We must receive 15 to 20 letters each month from people telling us how happy they are about buying a U.S.A.-made dec pillow. One lady even told us that price wasn't an issue. She liked the design of one of our pillows, and liked even more that it was made in the U.S.A., so she bought it."
     As the company returns to its home-manufacturing roots, 60% of its decorative pillow line is now made at Newport/Layton's 100,000-plus square-foot facility at headquarters. All of its U.S.- made goods carry a label saying so. The company is working with another U.S. mill based in Pennsylvania to produce some bedding products.
     Additionally, Newport/Layton recently hired 45 new factory workers to man its cutting and sewing operations, "and we're looking for more domestic manufacturing partners to develop more products for us here," Faul said.

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