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Textiles source Blumenthal to liquidate

Closes doors after more than 80 years

New Orleans — Textiles maker Blumenthal Print Works has been forced into liquidation by a U.S. bankruptcy judge and is closing its doors after more than 80 years of operations.

The closing affects about 30 people in the company's headquarters here and about 130 at Blumenthal's jacquard plant in Marion, S.C.

Blumenthal withdrew from the Showtime fabric show in High Point this week and posted a simple sign at its space in High Point's Market Square thanking customers for their years of patronage.

Blumenthal, which specialized in mattress ticking and upholstery fabrics, filed in October 2007 for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth W. Wagner ordered the liquidation at the behest of Whitney National Bank of New Orleans, the largest creditor, to whom Blumenthal owed about $20 million on a line of credit established in 2004.

President and ceo Harry Blumenthal Jr. loaned the company between $10 million and $13 million in personal money in an effort to keep it afloat, court papers said. Harry Blumenthal was the third generation to run the company and had been seeking financing from another source but was unsuccessful.

Whitney said the company was suffering "continuing enormous losses" and asked the bankruptcy judge to liquidate assets and give proceeds to the bank.

According to earlier court documents, the company has been suffering from a decline in orders, especially ticking for the bedding industry. Part of the reason is the advent of one-sided mattresses, which use 30% less ticking. The company also said it had been affected by imports from China, resulting in lower prices at retail.

By Gary Evans, senior editor of HTT sister publication Furniture Today.

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