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Guilford reaches out to broaden lineup

Guilford Mills

Greensboro, NC

Ceo: John Emrich

GHF president: Herb Briggs

Principal businesses: bedding, window coverings

Extending its reach beyond its own vertical U.S. fabric production, Guilford Home Fabrics, a division of Guilford Mills, is reaching out to global resources for such trade-up fabrics as silks, jacquards, satins, voiles and organza as it trades up and broadens its product lines, said Herb Briggs, president, GHF.

"We're a vertical home fashions mill with domestic cut and sew, and draw on those fabrics from around which enable us to diversify our product offerings," said Briggs. "As the industry has shifted in its sourcing, so has Guilford, and we're now very well established in a number of countries," he added, including China, India, Colombia and Brazil. Not to mention Guilford's own new Mexican fabric manufacturing plant, opened in February. "We bring fabrics in from around the world and complete the manufacturing at our cut-and-sew plant in New York."

And that domestic cut-and-sew is a key asset, said Briggs. "We don't just bring the fabric in, we put our hands on it. We inspect it, we fill the comforters here, we fabricate the product here. We're not just bringing in a blind item, we're ensuring a quality product."

The idea, said Briggs, "is to create a healthy balance between domestic production and global sourcing. Currently, about 65 percent Guilford's fabrics are produced domestically. "We'd like to try for a 50/50 balance."

All of the fabric for the Jockey Home knit sheet program is now produced in Guilford's new Mexican plant.

John Emrich, ceo, sees the Mexican facility as "a long-term asset in the repositioning of Guilford. It gives us access to a huge free-trade zone that includes the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. It brings us closer to a huge new market for our products."

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