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Loomcraft forms international div.

Loomcraft Textiles International, a converter of woven home furnishings fabrics, has been formed as a separate business division of Loomcraft Textiles.

Franco Nannucci, a long-time Italian textile executive, is serving as president of the new business in partnership with Ron Frankel, owner and ceo of the parent company. Nannucci most recently was director of sales for Mario Sitori of Italy and earlier was with his family's fabric business, Vellutex.

Nannucci, who has relocated here from Italy with his wife and child, remarked, "Ron and I have been talking about this for at least a year. We got to know each other by chance through an introduction by a former customer."

While acknowledging that the move from Italy to Greensboro is a dramatic change, he said, "I have the complete support of my wife and family. With the world so small, it won't be a problem. And from a business view I believe the United States can offer the opportunity to build this project."

The new division is radically different from the parent company, which specializes in automotive fabrics, closeouts and seconds. "The Loomcraft facility here ships 10 million yards of seconds and closeouts."

The new business is focused on wovens from Italy, Spain and Turkey. "And we've developed our own constructions and plan to buy most of each mill's production capacity," Nannucci explained.

Using his yarn business background, the new division will be "trying to offer a different look and will be emphasizing contemporary designs." European fabric fashion is heavily into the contemporary looks as seen on the leading furniture collections, he related, "and we feel that contemporary is increasing in the United States, moving east from the West Coast."

While the mix will emphasize the upper moderate to high-end contemporary, "we also will have the tapestries and other bread-and-butter fabrics as well as basics to support the line."

The initial offering includes a dozen different qualities and more than 250 skus. The only promotional fabric in the line is a microsuede at $3.95. Price points move up to plain chenilles at $3.95 to $5.95, chenille tapestries at $6.95, washed chenilles at $4.95, a machine washable plain cotton/steel fiber mix at $13.95 and a flocked chenille nylon with a world-wide exclusive distribution.

There also is a promotional item from China that is not being offered as a regular item, Nannucci said. "And we're still investigating doing work there."

The Vernon Hills, IL-based Loomcraft Textile is using its sales force for retailer accounts, and Nannucci is developing a sales force for furniture. "Jobbers I will handle personally from my past relationships," he said.

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