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Cecile Corral

Venus upgrades with fitted sheet system

Bedding and bath supplier Venus Home Fashions has added a state-of-the-art fitted sheet system made by the Swedish company AKAB.

It is the first of its kind in the United States, said Steve Carrigan, vp of sales for the AKAB/Jensen USA offices, based in Fort Mill, SC.

Located at Venus' facility here, model number AK272 forms a hem and inserts the elastic onto the sheet. Fully automated, the machine allows customization of the fitted sheet with elastic all around, on the corners or only on the sides.

"Most American sheets today have a lycra bound," Carrigan said.

AK272 was created as an extension of the existing cut-and-sew AK310 model. The two machines together, paired with two conveyor machines made by a separate company, make up the fitted sheet system, which AKAB/Jensen sells for $800,000.

It is expensive" but well worth it, said Vivie Von Walstrom, executive vp, Venus. Because the machine, which is at the company's headquarters here, can produce up to 150,000 sheet sets per month, Venus can use it as a secondary source of income to make sheets for other suppliers.

"We are being approached by other suppliers to subcontract work for them," Von Walstrom said. "We are able to make 400 sheets in one hour. Before the most we could make was 50, usually only 20."

Aside from the fitted sheet system, Venus also recently purchased a flat sheet system and a pillow case system from AKAB.

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