Week of May 7, 2001

ATME-I exhibitors, visitors
offer opinions on issue

By Devin Steele

GREENVILLE, SC — Consolidating the American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International (ATME-I) may be an easy sell for show organizers.

But convincing exhibitors and visitors to support the exhibition’s moving out of this area may take a little more arm twisting.

At least that’s the opinion gleaned from a majority of folks questioned on the show floor during the latest version of the event a couple of weeks ago.

Co-sponsors of the quadrennial show, Textile Hall Corporation and the American Textile Machinery Association (ATMA), are tangled up on the issue. While the two sides virtually agree that the two-part show needs to be merged, in response to waning attendance and the changing business environment, they diverge on the matter of location.

Combining the show would make holding the expo at the Palmetto Expo Center — its home for many years — difficult without the use of temporary structures, which some oppose. Moving the show to another venue remains an option, but many object to such a proposal for various reasons.

The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando reportedly is being strongly considered, at least by some ATMA officials, to host the next ATME-I.

In a touch of irony, given the fact that the ATME-I trade show may be leaving the Palmetto Expo Center in the future, a moving truck was spotted outside the facility just a few minutes after the 2001 show ended its five-day run.
Photo by Devin Steele

In the news ...

Week of May 7, 2001

Int'l. Dyeing Equipment
Ranks among survivors

By Bea Quirk

STANLEY, NC — Having recently celebrated its 30th year in business, International Dyeing Equipment, Inc. (IDE) is a survivor.

The company, based here, has survived the challenges of evolving from a one-man shop run out of founder Wayne Davis’ car into a multi-faceted firm with dozens of employees. It has survived changes in technology and changes in the marketplace. And it has survived the ups and downs of the textile industry, which has been its main client base.

Although the American textile industry is shrinking, the management and employees of IDE remain both optimistic and resolute.

"Our customer base is smaller, and the competition is greater," observed Butch Abernathy, who has been with IDE since 1983. "But there will always be mills here and there will be survivors. There always are."

(L-R) Tim Walker, Charles Reynolds and Paul Abernathy represent International Dyeing Equipment during the recent American Textile Machinery Exhibition-International trade show in Greenville, SC.

Other news briefs ...

Thomaston Mills up for sale

THOMASTON, GA — Thomaston Mills, which hasn’t turned an annual profit since 1996, is up for sale.

The 102-year-old company produces bedding products for the retail and institutional markets, as well as piece-dyed apparel fabrics for the sportswear and career apparel markets.

Thomaston said last week that it has engaged Equity Partners, Inc. to solicit offers for the company.

Fruit of the Loom buys Rieter machines

SPARTANBURG, SC — Rieter Corporation, a leading supplier of a broad range of textile machines, has sold a number of Rieter R 20 rotor spinning machines to Fruit of the Loom, Inc. for the modernization of its Leesburg, AL, plant.

The machines will be supported by new Rieter RSB D-30 drawframes.

C&A signs letter to acquire Joan Fabrics

TROY, MI — Collins & Aikman Corporation has signed a letter of intent to acquire the automotive fabric operations of Joan Fabrics, a leading supplier of bodycloth to the automotive industry, and all of the operating assets in Joan’s affiliated yarn dying operation, Western Avenue Dyers (WAD).