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The day has come: 1,000 threads, 99 dollars

Charlotte, NC — Anyone who's wondering what will ultimately result from the pursuit of ever-escalating thread counts at ever-lower prices can stop guessing. The answer has arrived.

A year after Sferra Bros. sent jaws dropping with the debut of a 1,020-count sheet (retail $500), Melange Home has gone into production on a 1,000-count pima cotton sheet — promotionally priced to sell at $99 to $109 for a queen flat or fitted open stock sheet.

"Our feeling is that thread count has become a big-time rat race, and we don't want to get caught in the middle of it," said Scott Shafranek, national sales manager. "The 400s to 800s are already becoming a mid-tier thread count. We just skipped it and said let's go straight to 1,000. It's more important for us to get there first."

The two-ply sheet, part of the Plaza collection, will begin shipping mid-summer. It is being offered in white and ivory.

"It's a sexy thread count, and it's a sexy price," Shafranek said. "And we think the 600-to-800 range is going to get lost soon. Sheet sets are already out there at $100."

In other news, Melange also has signed its first licensing agreement, taking on the U.S. production and marketing rights for youth-oriented bedding line Bullzye. The colorful line is designed for the fashion-conscious teen and tween as well as the young, first-time homeowner, with colorful geometrics, animals and fanciful motifs such as fairies.

"We couldn't decide if we needed something name brand-oriented for this segment of the market or something design-oriented. This gives us the best of both worlds."

Within Melange's existing lines, Plaza also will introduce new jacquard programs, including a silk/cotton blend and a 400-count Egyptian cotton as well as some higher-end duvet programs. In addition, the company will expand upon its recently introduced silk bedding collection.

"We plan on going forward with the silk coverlet and blanket and will be introducing three new silk sheet programs for the upcoming show. All items are designed to mix and match and give the retailer a way to get a lot of bang for the buck," Shafranek said.

In the Essentials collection, Melange continues to expand its mini-duvet sets, part of its vintage collection. The company has added all-cotton, 220-count solids, new prints and embroidered sets retail from $60 to $70 for a full/queen duvet and shams. Based on the reaction, Melange will add comforter sets to the mix as well, he said.

In shower curtains, Melange is adding six new patterns to its pieced/embroidered nylons line. It has also gone into production on Plaza patterns as well as an embroidered three-stripe shower curtain and a toile print on duck cloth from its vintage print collection.

The company also is making the transition to its new New York showroom at 230 5th Ave. and will show both there in suite 1206 and at the New York Home Textiles Show at the Jacob Javits Center at the upcoming market.

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