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ITG's Cone Jacquards Upgrades U.S. Looms

Based on its turnaround from the inception of International Textile Group (ITG), Cone Jacquards will purchase 16 Rapier single wide looms for its decorative fabrics business and install them in the United States.

“We've turned the corner financially; the business is seen as viable,” said Scott George, vp, sales and marketing for Cone Jacquards and sister division Burlington Contract, both units of ITG.

ITG was formed in March 2005 by Wilbur Ross to combine the assets of Burlington Industries and Cone Mills. Among the moves, he related, “was a rearrangement of the sales team.”

The Cone Jacquards business is now operating at two and a half shifts, George explained, “and we've seen a noticeable uptick in business since February in all segments – residential, hospitality, outdoor, Burlington contract panels and decorative jobbers.”

The new looms will replace the 16 old double-width looms that had been used for decorative bedding, a business that has gone off-shore.

In addition, the company is closing its Reidsville, N.C., manufacturing facility, which produces mattress tickings. It will relocate production to a former Burlington plant – the Williamsburg plant – now owned by Tietex Interiors in Burlington, N.C. Tietex bought the facility from ITG a year ago, and ITG is now leasing the facility back.

Along with relocating production, “We're moving most of the people and management into the facility,” George said. When Reidsville is vacated, ITG will look to sell it.

Looking ahead, according to the forecast need, some 50% to 60% of the mattress tickings will be produced in Turkey and China, with the balance at Burlington.

In other news, ITG's Burlington WorldWide division will invest more than $80 million to build a state-of-the-art cotton manufacturing and processing complex in DaNang, Vietnam. The complex will be a joint venture operation called Burlington Phong Phu Supply Chain City, 60% owned by a subsidiary of ITG and 40% owned by Phong Phu Corporation, one of the largest textiles and garment enterprises in Vietnam.

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