Welspun Offers Wealth of New Styles

Carole Sloan, September 15, 2009

In a major refinement of its presentation at the upper end, Welspun is featuring both of its lines in this category — Christy and Graccioca — in a more open environment, as well as featuring key product categories for the lines.

The company’s Smart towel program, now in its fifth year, “is continuing its evolutionary process, this season emphasizing quick dry towels with new aesthetics,” said Bob Hamilton, director of marketing.

Back to school/college programs have been developed in the rug segment of the company as well as three levels of Drylon rugs that offer face and back stories.

In bedding, the Amy Butler collection of 400 count organic cotton/sustainable low impact dyes features two patterns in the same design family/color statement. The new duo features a bold graphic design with a floral motif in blue for the comforter, the companion design in the same coloring is a duvet.

Other bedding includes three new print designs in the Studio collection as well as jacquards with engineered designs, classic looks and florals.

In the Studio group, Fairmont is a reinvention of Americana vintage with a modern flair in a positive/negative coloring. The trim is a quarter-inch stripe used as welting and a narrow flange. A crochet pillow serves as an accent.

Engineered corners and a center graphic motif highlight Lillian, a bed that boasts a plethora of pillows, none matchy-matchy but individually embellished with teardrops, appliqués and embroideries in a variety of applications.

Within the bedding category, pleat detailing, sketchy floral motifs and graphic design influences are evident. Yellow and citrus green are key colors, mixed together or as accents with others.

Both Christy, which Hamilton calls the “affordable luxury” brand for the 15-to-30 age group, and Graccioca, the top end for the 30+ market targeted for the smaller market that “has been abandoned by most of the market even though it represents a big dollar opportunity,” now will be better serviced with the Columbus, Ohio facility that has a customer service heritage, Hamilton explained.

Christy features four categories in eco/sustainable products: eucalyptus, organic cotton, bamboo, and “new this season — hemp.” The latter offers a different visual and tactile impact, he explained.

In addition, the Christy line will feature its Renaissance core program and the Hotel collection.

In the towel division, Welspun has several major features. One is a new version of the classic towel wall that is ubiquitous at retail. The new linear horizontal presentation tells consumers a color and performance story, Hamilton said.

In Smart towels, consumer research revealed that “towels that don’t dry” are a major no-no. They also hate dobby borders, he added.

In response, the new Smart towel, a 16 pound weight, has a full terry dobby that increases the drying surface by 10%, has reinforced hems and is bleach safe. There are fashion coordinates to go with the 30-by-54 solid at $9.99.

In the Eco-lite, new towels are organic cotton and bamboo; each is an eight-color palette.

Back to school is an important feature with a collection of bath mats using contemporary text words as graphics in bright and basic colors. The rugs are rolled and bagged in a specially designed point of sale container. Retail is $9.99.

The Exotic collection of rugs includes a variety of fibers including banana leaf, soya, hemp and flax, all in velvet constructions. They range from $19.99 to $34.99.

Another introduction in rugs is Drylon, which features two-sided products in three constructions. The basic Drylon at $12.99 absorbs less than one percent of its weight. Drylon in a microfiber construction with a bulking feature has a special backing and is bleach proof and stain resistant; the top of the line at $29.99, Drylon Gemini, is non-yellowing and holds up to 40 washes.

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