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Cecile Corral

Fashion Industries to ramp up rugs

Griffin, GA — Fashion Industries, based here, is paving the way to make rugs — its most fledgling division — into more than one-third of its business.

At the upcoming New York Home Textiles Show in October, Fashion Industries will expand its rug offerings to include a broad collection of natural fiber-made rugs — including sisal, seagrass and jute constructions — from India and China, as well as some printed rugs from Egypt.

In April, when the company first launched its rug division, skus included tufted handmade wool rugs from India and Chinese-made, machine-made wool rugs and petite-point hook rugs. The new collections will be added to the current roster of rugs.

"We've just started our rug business, but we'd like it to become 30 percent to 40 percent of our entire business," said Al Whiten, senior vp. "It's a big growth area, especially when you consider all of what's going on in flooring today. Inlay rugs are having less of a function, and area rugs are becoming more prevalent in home decor."

Fashion Industries, which has been in business for more than 100 years, also produces and imports table linens, kitchen textiles, decorative pillows and handmade quilts.

"A lot of the factories we work with and import goods from were getting into rugs, and for us it seemed like a natural extension," Whiten added. "Area rugs have been a good business for years, and we see it as only getting larger."

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