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WestPoint Stevens Lights Up Market

WestPoint Stevens debuted a washable comforter that can twinkle with soft glowing lights and emit sound, an accent rug that can turn a bedside light on and off, and a dec pillow that can activate both by remote control.

The key to what WestPoint refers to as "disruptive technology" is a conductive ink that reacts to touch and is infused into the fabrics. WestPoint holds the worldwide exclusive for the technology in home textiles, executives said.

Although the company is launching the technology in a Cinderella line tied to Disney's release of the classic on DVD later this year, executives emphasized the application is not kid stuff. WestPoint is already anticipating next-generation uses — such as a bath towel one can touch before entering the shower that will warm itself by the time the shower ends.

In addition to exploring the technology's value in other product categories, WestPoint is considering its application in packaging.

“We used to say that the package is our silent salesman. It's no longer silent,” said Steve Hoffman, vice president of marketing services/licenses.

The small power pack is removable to allow washing, but WestPoint and its unnamed partner are working on washable power packs so no removal will be necessary.

The power can simply be switched off, or programmed to switch off at a certain time.

WestPoint also unveiled the inaugural Charisma program, the revival of now-defunct Pillowtex's top-tier brand.

Across the line, WestPoint emphasized the softness for which Charisma was known.

Sheeting includes a core solid line in nine colors and four sheet lines with fashion edges: the classic Charisma dot detail, a multi-mini-pleat, a double lace and a Lycocell and cotton sheet with satin trim.

Charisma blankets include a Lycocell/cotton in Charisma classic dot, a mercerized Egyptian cotton and a blend of cashmere and mercerized merino wool.

Bath accessories are fine bone china with 24-karat gold plating.

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