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Arlee Expands Throw and Pillow Lines

Chinese Culture, Eco-Quality are Themes

A new bamboo-and-cotton blended throw and pillow collection represents a "very important" step for Arlee Home Fashions — the company's foray into environmentally friendly products.

Titled Song, after the Chinese Dynasty that spanned the 10th through 13th Centuries, these pieces are not only made of natural fibers but also meet environmental manufacturing standards, stressed Robert Panko, vp of product development.

"We use only bamboo from bamboo plantations, we use recycled polyester fill for the pillows, and the dying we use meets the environmental standards for clean water management, all of which is very important to us," he said.

Made in China, these throws and pillows come in six colors. Each item is made to sell separately.

Arlee's throw and pillow offerings are building in other ways for market.

In the decorative pillow category, Arlee is "adding miles" to its two-year-old Silk Road collection of faux silk pillow styles, Panko said.

Miles more specifically means more than 10 new looks that include crushed faux silk, textured stripes, plaids, solid and embellished styles with new trims.

The full line — existing and new versions — is also being dressed with new sewing details, including innovative braided treatments, new tailored work and other crafting.

Also in pillows, Arlee's core solid colored programs — hopsack, faux suede and micro-plus — have been expanded with new silhouettes and new cut-and-sew details for a fresh perspective on these tried-and-true top selling fabrications.

The throw category centers this market on more solid colored styles with more defined textured and thicker feels. Included in this are boucle-like heavy weights, quilting, embossed, tweed and other textured styles for "another level," Panko said. "We wanted to offer a cozy product. I love 'cozy' and 'throw' together in the same sentence. These throws — you pick them up and you just want to wrap yourself in them with their beautiful hand and beautiful look."

Promotional styles are getting a facelift in the soft window category this market, too. Panko said the 12-plus new offerings comprise European design-inspired jacquard panels with trimmed valances and matching braided cord tie-backs in the place of the old fabric tie-backs — "definitely an added value here with these braided cords."

Silk Road is also being expanded in this category with the same new faux silk looks and trims as in the decorative pillow line.

And thermal backing is being added to certain new soft windows. This not only helps darken bright rooms, Panko said, but also importantly helps with energy efficiency.

Finally, in table linens, Arlee is pushing its effort to cross-merchandise its table linens and chair pads.

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