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Mini-Market Roundup

Annual Event Shows Off Holiday, Back-to-School Offerings

New York It was holiday time in New York last week, as suppliers showcased their harvest and holiday wares at Mini-Market. Here are some highlights of the week's news.

Anchor Home is expanding its solid color kitchen textiles program with the addition of a cotton terry kitchen towel. The company has long offered its solid color program, made in a poly-cotton blend construction. But based on demand, it is adding the terry towel construction to the 11-piece coordinate set, which includes eight sizes of appliance covers, a pot holder, an oven mitt, chair pads, placemats and napkins.

Arlee has added its trademarked “Phyzx” micro-bead pillows to its holiday offerings. Included are prints, cotton jersey solids, micro-suede and micro-plush solids.

Aussino USA has entered the holiday towel business, spurred by the progress of its fancy towel program. About a dozen Christmas, six harvest and five Halloween patterns were shown in bath, hand and fingertip sizes or two-piece sets. In addition, four Christmas shower curtains were introduced, two of which featured festive patterns, the other two more subtle designs. The company also entered the beach towel category with five new prints in a 34-by-63-inch size. Aussino is currently working on a new solid color towel program with a unique construction to be available in five deep tones and five mid-tones by the April New York Home Textiles Market. Also on the agenda for April is a new tweener bedding line geared toward 11- to 16-year-olds with a range of looks — some prints, some pieced embellished looks to retail from $29.99 to $49.99 on a twin comforter set. A vacuum-packed, solid color, microfiber comforter in nine colors will also be offered for Back-to-School at $29.99 full.

Creative Home Furnishings introduced a continuation of its tweed pillow program with two new colors and more on the way for fall. Also important were Sassafras with its curly ribbon fringe in up to six colorways and Pebblecloth, a boucle look in new oversized floor cushions, knife edge and fringed looks paired with multicolor stripe. The company said metallics and opulent trims on contemporary patterns have also been trending in bedding and dec pillows. In its accessory-driven Echo pillow line, the company extended its tweed group with a houndstooth in black and white with a pop of red or browns and an accent of orange.

Divatex Home Fashions made a statement in throws and decorative pillows with a wall of microsuede and jacquard combinations near its entrance followed by an interior room devoted to chenille and boucle throws, jacquards, flannels, shearling throws and pillows and interesting faux fur combos. In bedding, the company showed new concepts in fiber reactive prints on duvets, comforters and sheeting in rich colorations, boucle looks, microsuede ensembles and duck constructions.

Ex-Cell Home Fashions and its sister Glenoit rugs division have consolidated into a single showroom space at 295 Fifth Ave. For several years Glenoit was located in the 9th floor, but has moved into Ex-Cell's space on the 6th floor. The bath rugs are now displayed alongside the shower curtain and bath accessory collections and the doormats and scatter rugs are in an adjacent room previously used to display free-standing shower curtains.

Foreston Trends is expanding its offerings in flat-woven kitchen towels and holiday table runners. The collection of kitchen towels, packaged in sets of four and five, has been increased by 30 percent. A five-pack is set to retail for $12.99. And its offering of runners, generally available only in flat-woven and dobby styles, has been built up to include every holiday pattern, or 30 skus.

At Hollander Home Fashions, the big story on the utility side is its Super Sides pillows, which currently feature four new intros in better constructions with new surface interests. The company is offering cleaner, more contemporary patterns, quilted looks with more upscale fabrics. In fun pillows, new constructions and shapes abounded. There's a new embossed faux fur in six colors, a long-haired fur puff in five colors, a suede corduroy and sherpa mini and Cuddle Roll, and a Micro Plush pillow. Fun shapes include cubes, hearts and possibly trapezoids with contrasting top and bottom colors. In addition, microfiber fills have been successful in mattress pads and should continue as the company focuses on down-alternatives. It offers microfiber fill in six different constructions as well as with different jacquards. A microfibertop featherbed was also among the new products along with reversible down throws and comforters in more urban palettes with eight color stories.

Melange Home has introduced two upscale patterns in its Textillery line. One features organdy ribbons pulled through the fabric, eyelash fringe, quilted velvet and a velvet ribbon border in rosewash and cocoa tones; the other is horizontally pieced in tones of green and brown chenille and wool accented by cable knits and ribbon bands. The company also continued to add $39.99 to $49.99 extensions to its bedding designs with several unique throws: a chunky acrylic look in three colors, a dot-like construction, a chenille basketweave, a chenille grid pattern and a loop checkerboard pattern. In Back-to-School, Melange has prints as comforter and sheet sets with mix and match concepts. A new program for the company is faux fur duvets and comforters. Melange is also doing microfiber-filled blankets, throws and comforters in solids and prints with eight-inch or 14-inch channel stitching. Goose down is another possibility the company is considering in the months before the April market. It will also be showing bath accessories that work back to bedding patterns in April.

Mohawk Home anted-up its seasonal offerings of kitchen rugs and door mats at last week's Mini-Market in response to “a tremendous increase in sales and sell-throughs in the category last year,” said Merle Johnson, vice president, marketing. The new line comprises 73 harvest and holiday designs in cushion comfort mats, 24 in rubber mats, 37 in synthetic coir mats, nine in coir mats, 26 in printed berber and 81 in the value decor synthetic coir mats — the latter representing the group's opening price point offering.

At the Nautica showroom, American Pacific previewed new body bolsters in solids and the hibiscus floral prints. In window, new fall looks included wide cabana stripes on fine file, wool herringbone panels, and wool solid panels. In partnership with Zorlu, a new crew print jersey sheet was introduced in garnet plus a new crew boat design in navy. There was also a new flannel duvet in orange or green paired with hibiscus floral accents.

Park B. Smith Ltd. placed a stronger emphasis on its kitchen textiles offerings at Mini-Market, doubling the category, and plans to expand it further for April. The new line comes in six designs — some of which are seasonal — and includes pot holders, oven mitts and aprons that coordinate with placemats and napkins. Wine bags will also be added to this mix in April.

Revere Mills, finding success in the fledgling cotton bath line it first added in October, introduced a full Back-to-School program that includes the category. The BTS bath rugs come in six bright colorways and three styles — a solid shaggy chenille, a cabana stripe reversible and a tufted stripe. Also for BTS, the company showed its new “Big Value Dorm Set” for bath. The packaged towel sets come in six solid colors and each includes three bath, two hand, six wash and one bath sheet.

Revman International has grown its Nicole Miller presentation, which it showed in three showrooms. One of the showrooms was devoted to bath. The new collection featured nine bed patterns with more comforters and quilted coverlets. Also a greater emphasis was placed on piecing, expanding the fabrications and attention to details and unusual accents. Meanwhile, about 15 new bath concepts were shown with four new looks for the Nicole Miller Signature collection. In Anne Klein, four apparel-inspired urban looks were introduced featuring print-infused sheeting and a layering in of richer colors than in previous seasons. Revman's new Echo line was all about color with a retro take on geometrics, prints and palettes. Five accessory-driven patterns were introduced, most in multiple colorways that changed the tone of the ensembles. Fun fur, knit and faux leather dec pillows completed the looks. In Laura Ashley Home, two new purple beds were unveiled — an overscale yarn-dyed plaid and a vintage floral look. Laura Ashley Lifestyles featured three new looks in a mix of traditional prints with special touches like ribbon embroidery as well as slub textures.

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