Quaker hire signals home slant

Carole Sloan, July 23, 2001

In a move that signals a major push into the home textiles world, Quaker Fabric has hired Rosemary Taft as designer for bedding, a new post.

Taft, who begins work at Quaker in August, has been design director for Chris Stone & Associates. "We're delighted to have her joining us, and she will work on other residential projects as well," said Larry Liebenow, president and ceo of the giant fabric mill, which had sales of $303 million in 2000. Taft will report to Bea Spires, vp, styling and design.

Quaker, Spires explained, already has significant home textiles business with several key customers in top of the bed as well as decorative pillows, mostly using standard-width fabrics.

The new effort opens the possibility of purchasing wide looms for top of the bed. "We have a lot we can do with standard-width goods," said Spires. "And there are a lot of issues in finishing wide-width goods. We're continuing developmental work."

Currently, Quaker has one wide-width loom, "and it's likely we will move in that direction," she said. "We haven't made that decision yet; it will be towards the end of the year as we develop our budgets for 2002."

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