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Fabric makers enjoy traffic

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, January 15, 2001

FRANKFURT, GERMANY -Despite a very slow opening day, American fabric exhibitors at Heimtextil here last week were pleased with the subsequent recovery.

Results also were affected somewhat by location, with exhibitors on the floor housing high-end European editors reporting strong business on Wednesday, the opening day-in contrast with those on other floors.

"It isn't great, but we're pleasantly surprised," said Arnie Masarsky, export manager for Portfolio, who added, "Prints are starting to make their way back, but they are more decorative with brighter, fresher colors."

The Kravet division, Masarsky said, "is very pleased with traffic and with the Kravet Couture reception."

Larry Liebenow, president of Quaker, said, "We've written some pretty nice orders, and we've worked with quite a few potential customers."

Concord Home scored a big hit with its Pamela Ferrari collection, said Roger Burnim, vp. "We put our emphasis there as well as two other major collections and got a significant amount of program commitments."

Stewart Jervis, export manager, Crestmont, said, "Heimtex actually has been good for us. It's a more efficient way for us to do export. All the contracts start here. And traffic has been good for us."

Fabricut and its S. Harris division enjoyed the show. "It's been a marvelous show with lots of energy," said Harvey Nudelman, president.

Noting that it was his company's first year in their own space out of the U.S. Pavilion, Jeff Rubin, vp of Edgar Fabrics said, "We wrote a lot of business. It was very good."

Howard Sackelman, vp of Dukane, said, "We're competing with first-quality goods from China and Turkey versus our seconds."

"The main issue is price," Sackelman added. "The difference between seconds from the United States and Chinese first quality is getting narrower."

Although Wednesday was slow, "we are quite pleased. We will beat our 2000 figures," said Christiane Michaels, president, Waverly.

At Rockland, "business is very good. We saw a lot of existing customers and some new ones," said Mark Kresel, vice president.

Larry Brill, acting director, market expansion, OTEXA, U.S. Department of Commerce observed, "I'm cautiously optimistic about this being a very good show, especially in fabrics. The manufactured product exhibitors are not as busy. Traffic is down for them. It ranges from not so busy to busy."

Brill added, "For the Americans it probably is as good as it could be because of the dollar value. For those who exhibited it will prove to be a good decision. Those showing in the hotels will regret it."

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