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Zorlu finds an 'easy' window appeal

Brent Felgner -- Home Textiles Today, May 5, 2003

Eye-popping prints so crisp and dimensional they begged touching were among the fashion bedding introductions at Zorlu USA during spring market. But they were only a small part of a much larger story that extended into the company's core soft window business where dozens of new designs and constructions made their entry, some forming inspiration for a further expansion of Zorlu's interests in shower curtains.

Design wasn't the only driver, however. Invention — a seemingly rare commodity in home fashions — also raised its head in the form of Easy Pleat, a forehead slapper kind of window product that delivers precisely what its name suggests and invites an "of course" kind of reaction.

It's an easy-to-achieve, variable pleat that will work with virtually any hardware with a simple pull of a string, something loosely akin to the string in the hood of a sweatshirt. Envisioned by design director Lorraine Ritter during a trip to Heimtex, the idea struck her while riding an escalator trying to reason the problem out.

"I said, 'There's got to be an easier way to get this look on a rod without having to change your hardware,'" she explained while demonstrating its broad versatility. "Having been in this business for awhile, when you're asking some poor guy to leave his football game to come and put up new hardware — and it's never one window — the first thing he says is, 'Take it back and tell them it's the wrong color.' Well, it's never the wrong color. It's just something he doesn't want to do, and who can blame him?"

Zorlu has also been featuring more of its fashion bedding business and this market introduced several new designs, among them Elegante, a taffeta with detailed embellishments and a soft, elegant hand in warm autumn colors.

"The whole idea was a softer, more comforting palette, times being what they are," Ritter said.

Countering the softer colors was Poppy, a bright print so vivid and dimensional it seemed to jump off the bed. The Bond Street collection, reminiscent of a menswear haberdashery feeling, included Houndstooth, featuring jacquard sheeting.

"What we've learned is that we have to do unusual things," said Ritter.

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