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If anyone who worked the Home Textiles market and then went to High Point, NC, for the furniture-plus market, the impression had to be the same.

Neither was a "Wow" — and goodness knows whether wow days will ever be with us again. But the mood definitely was expansive — and positive for all product areas.

The energy level in High Point definitely paralleled the April home textiles market — and perhaps added a degree or more of excitement or involvement above the New York market.

While there was no real wow statement that had everyone on edge, there were a host of really neat, fashion-forward statements and opportunities for buyers and sellers to make objectives work.

What was clearly evident was the voice home textiles suppliers were expressing, especially in the bedding, decorative pillow, throw and rug arenas.

More and more furniture retailers are looking to the world of home textiles as an opportunity for layering on product that their customers typically don't identify with them.

From a trend standpoint, color was clearly the key.

For furniture folks it was not a time to be bashful. There was an abundance of color — a welcome departure from the beige, beige, beige of recent seasons.

Chenilles still held center court position and lots of them looked really fashion forward. The microfiber — or faux microfiber fabrics — moved that category forward. And prints definitely appeared to be staking out a place as an alternative to all the beige, beige, beige.

But leathers, which continue to inch up notch by notch in the furniture cover scenario, are gaining ground. It's an opportunity for the folks in the home textiles world to forge partnerships with those suppliers to bring related products like throws and pillow to this market.

And for those in the bedding and decorative pillow business, there's a gold mine out there. This month's High Point market showed them that potential more than ever.

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