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Sroscill Upgrades Design Infrastructure

New York — Croscill has invested more than a half-million dollars in its design department, adding equipment and people to slash sampling turnaround time and to speed decision-making about which designs will go forward on what ground and in which color.

“We are looking for cross-pollination between our designers and among our core categories of bedding, bath and window. At the same time, we are pursuing a more customer-centric model,” said Doug Kahn, president and ceo.

The company has pulled experts from the finished product, printing and fabric designing areas of the industry to build out its design department, which now numbers 23 people.

The space given to design has doubled and now occupies more than one-third of Croscill's 36,000-sq.-ft. Manhattan office space.

“Because of the demand for exclusivity, we have to come up with good-looking product on a constant basis,” said Julie Brady, office of the president.

The headquarters is now equipped with four NedGraphics systems running the latest edition AVA design software, which manipulates engraving and does a strong job on water-color half-tone designs, according to Wayne Howard, Croscill's “King of CAD.”

Those stations are backed up by a large-format scanner that prints CAD samples “by 58 inches wide to infinity,” Howard said, so samples no longer have to be pieced to get an impression of, for example, how a repeat looks.

Three Mimaki printers churn out 63-inch CAD samples in continuous printing. Two of them run reactive dyes, which print on natural fiber grounds such as cotton duck and sateen. The third prints on synthetic fiber grounds, a boon to Croscill's window designers.

Two Epson 10,000 printers provide continuous paper printing up to 44 inches wide. And a buck press machine handles heat transfer designs on 40”-by-40” samples so that designs can be tested on various substrates.

“We can create three coordinates in an hour rather than sending it out and waiting days for it to come back,” said Howard.

Brady noted that all the functions now being handled by the department used to be outsourced to other companies, some of which no longer exist. But bringing the CAD design and strike-off jobs in-house also gives Croscill greater flexibility and creativity, she said.

“We are pushing the envelope. We're pushing the sourcing and the costing to find the right fabric at the right quality,” she said.

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