NCSU

Week of June 24, 2002

State-of-the-art nonwovens lab opens doors at NCSU

Dr. Marye Anne Fox, NC State chancellor, addresses those on hand for the grand opening of The Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center’s (NCRC) Partners Lab. Looking on are Charlie Moreland (L), vice chancellor of Research and Graduate Studies, and Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, director of the NCRC.
Photo by Roger Winstead

By Alfred Dockery

RALEIGH, NC — The Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center’s (NCRC) Partners Lab at North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles was officially opened late last month.

The new $12 million facility is the most comprehensive nonwovens textile lab in the world.

“This new facility shows the importance of the nonwovens industry, not only in North Carolina but in the world,” said Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi, director of the NCRC and a professor of textile technology at NC State.

In his remarks, Pourdeyhimi praised the National Science Foundation; the State of North Carolina; NCRC member companies; and academics from Auburn, Clemson, Cornell, Georgia Tech, TRI/Princeton, University of Georgia and University of Tennessee for making the NCRC Partners Lab a reality.

This high-tech lab specializes in two state-of-the-art processes: melt spinning and hydroentangling. In melt spinning, thermoplastic polymers are heated and extruded, then cooled to create fabrics. Hydroentangling uses water jets that press fibers into knotted webs that don’t need bonding materials.

The melt spinning facility is a multi-purpose installation, which incorporates technologies from J&M Laboratories and Hills Inc. The hydroentangling unit is an AquaJet 2000 made by Fleissner.

The event was well attended by the nonwovens and allied industries. Representatives of such companies as Albany International, Cotton Incorporated, DuPont, Fleissner, Freudenberg, Hills Inc., ICBT, INDA, Leggett and Platt and Polymber Group, Inc. came for the ribbon-cutting and dinner.

Freudenberg surprised the NCRC staff and its guests with a $100,000 check after dinner.

The NCRC points out that North Carolina alone has 29 nonwoven textiles companies, with more than $3 billion in annual sales. The United States leads the world in nonwoven fabric technology and production, with 550 companies and annual sales of $38 billion.

Examples of nonwovens include household wipes, suit interlinings, face masks, surgical gowns and filters. In the future, the NCRC staff said it believes that nonwovens will play an even greater role in fashion and upholstery.

With new technologies being developed, and with the help of the new NCRC Partners Lab, NC State said it hopes to be at the forefront of the effort to develop new nonwoven fabrics.

Planning for the new facility began three years ago, led by Dr. Subhash Batra, the founder of NCRC, and Pourdeyhimi. NCRC currently has 34 member companies and expects to extend the NCRC family to 50 companies in the next two years.

“NCRC is dedicated to helping the nonwovens industry develop innovative products, ideas and materials. This facility is tomorrow’s technology,” Pourdeyhimi said.

The evening ended with a tribute to Charlie Moreland, vice chancellor of Research and Graduate Studies. Moreland played a pivotal role in establishing the NCRC Partners Lab and is soon to retire.

AYSA

Week of June 24, 2002

CBTPA: Industry’s salvation?

AYSA MARKETING SEMINAR

PART 2

By Devin Steele

HARRISBURG, NC — Though the legislation is “fractured,” the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) offers the best chance for U.S. yarn spinners to compete with China and other low-cost manufacturing countries, according to Norman Gelber.

U.S. companies need to understand the law and learn to use it to their advantage, Gelber, president of Customs and Trade Services, Inc., Miami, FL, said during the American Yarn Spinners Association’s annual Marketing Seminar recently at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Club.

“I’m hearing about people closing mills in the U.S. every week and I shake my head every time,” said Gelber, whose company is a customs broker and freight forwarder. “I think that if everybody learns and really understands what is going on and embraces things such as CBTPA — find partners down there because it does have the word “Partnership” in it — you will be better off. I think that maybe that’s your salvation.”

The Caribbean Basin Initiative was established by the 1983 Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, allowing 24 countries in the Caribbean and Central America to have duty-free access for most products. The program was expanded with the 2000 enactment of CBTPA, which allowed for duty-free and quota-free treatment for apparel assembled in qualified beneficiary countries. The law stipulates that qualifying fabric must be knit or woven from U.S. yarn.

In his presentation, “CBTPA: What is Right for You, and What Needs to be Fixed?” Gelber pointed out highlights of the legislation and urged companies to work with lawmakers to smooth out the wrinkles in the measure.

His major gripe with the law, he said, is that, related to quotas, Customs probably doesn’t keep up with how much yarn is going out of the U.S. relative to what’s coming in as finished fabric.

“Have you all shipped enough yarn to the Caribbean and Central America to make all the garments that are coming in using regional fabrics from the Caribbean and Central America?” he asked. “Do all of you have any way to know where you’re shipping the yarn and whether that yarn ends up in those countries?”

Gelber posed these questions, he said, because he isn’t aware of a mechanism that U.S. Customs is following that tracks yarn out/fabric in numbers. “We need to make sure that U.S. yarn is being used by those companies down there instead of yarn from other countries such as China, Pakistan or India,” he said.

“That’s illegal and I’m not saying that they won’t get caught. But I am saying that there needs to be a very clear method of tracking.”

As such, Gelber urged yarn spinners to gather from the Census Department the total amount of yarn that is being exported to participating CBTPA countries, then obtain from U.S. Customs the total amount of fabric being imported from those countries.

“If you then do the math and it doesn’t match up, that’s the time to complain,” he said.

Gelber also encouraged attendees to develop a good relationship with federal politicians and educate them on the legislation so they will be more inclined to “correct several mistakes” in CBTPA.

“I think you should work with your Congressman to amend the CBTPA, to put something into the law that says that they will track the yarn that’s shipped offshore and match it up to the fabric that comes back from the Caribbean,” he said. “For whatever reason, they didn’t specify in the law that that has to be done. And if it’s not specified, it isn’t done.”

An unresolved issue of CBTPA relates to the dyeing, printing and finishing aspect of the bill, he noted. Though still up in the air, that issue was addressed in promises made by the White House and House leadership to textile-state legislators in December during the House vote on presidential trade promotion authority.

The promises included a pledge that legislation would be passed that would require textiles to be dyed, printed and finished in the U.S. in order to receive duty and quota breaks on shipments, under Caribbean Basin and Andean trade laws. That issue has since been approved by the House, reversing an earlier Customs ruling, and is awaiting debate in the Senate.

“Some of you may not care about where they finish the fabric, but I contend that the more of those processes we let them do offshore, the more opportunities they’ll have to hide things,” Gelber said.

The matter of 2005, when all quotas are dropped among WTO members, including China, is another reason Washington legislators should be included in industry representatives’ Rolodexes, he added.

“It’s in your best interest to spend the next couple of years working with your Congressmen to change 2005 to 2010 or 2015,” he said. “I maintain that 2005 is 2005 only because of complacency in the United States. I think the U.S. is powerful enough in the World Trade Organization that the World Trade Organization needs the U.S. And I think it’s in the U.S.’s best interest not to have what’s going to happen in 2005 happen in 2005. We can demand that it be changed to another year later.

“I maintain that if Congress today had a bill that said ‘we, the U.S., will not support 2005 because our economy can’t afford it, because it would hurt our neighbors to the South,’ then we would change it from 2005. The best way that all of your businesses will survive, the best way the U.S. economy can prosper, is to take a hard look at what year we’re going to let that happen. And let’s take a hard look at how we can compete with what’s going to come from it.

“You’re the people who would most benefit from that. You are also the people who have the most access to the Congress people who can change it.”

Gelber added that no one was doing the U.S. textile industry any favors by allowing China to enter the WTO in the first place, especially before a Free Trade of the Americas deal was struck.

“It helps the United States to have two-way trade,” he said. “My argument is that if you can make enough yarn to supply China, then why did we make a deal with them, to let them send their goods in quota free without saying that they have to use U.S. yarn or at least a percentage of U.S. yarn?”

And only through using such legislation as CBTPA will the U.S. textile industry be able to offset the impact of quota elimination, he reiterated.

“I think everybody here should be looking at getting your customers to be making their fabric in the lowest-cost countries and you should be helping them so that they can have more quota available to bring their goods in,” Gelber said. “That’s how you can compete with China in 2005 and beyond.”

Also addressing AYSA members were Mary Baesel Romano of the Small Business & Technology Development Center, who outlined services of the US Export-Import Bank; and John Silvia, chief economist of Wachovia Securities, who presenting, “Ingredients in Baking a Recovery.”

Textile News Index

Retirement

Week of June 24, 2002

INDA’s Wirtz plans to retire

CARY, NC — After more than 30 years in the nonwovens industry and six years as head of the industry’s leading trade association, Ted Wirtz has announced his retirement effective at the end of the year.

Wirtz has served as president of INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, since December 1996 when he replaced K. Wayne Hays. Under Wirtz’s stewardship, the association, based here, has doubled its membership and solidified its position as one of the most influential nonwovens trade association in the world.

“I take great pride in leaving INDA in even better shape than it was in when I arrived six years ago and I have confidence that the excellent board of directors, INDA staff and the new president will continue this momentum,” Wirtz said in announcing his retirement plans last week.

INDA has retained the executive recruiting firm Bruce Edwards & Associates, Durham, NC, to conduct the search for Wirtz’s replacement. A new president is expected to be in place by early next year.

Wirtz has been a part of the nonwovens industry for more than 30 years. He spent 22 years at nonwovens roll goods producer C.H. Dexter, Windsor Locks, CT, leaving in 1986 as director of business planning of the Specialty Materials Group. After working with well-known nonwovens industry consultant John Starr, Inc. for four years, Wirtz took over the helm of INDA in late 1996.

Wirtz has been instrumental in guiding INDA shortly after its relocation from New York City to North Carolina to its current position as an international trade association with more than 260 members and annual revenues in excess of $4 million. INDA now boasts as members all but three of the top 40 nonwovens producers in the world.

He has been credited with instituting the solid business practices that have made INDA a financially solid association. Last year INDA was honored by its peers at the American Society of Association Executives with two awards in its Gold Circle competition recognizing excellence within its member organizations.

“I give credit to Ted Wirtz for bringing INDA into the 21st century in terms of technology, business practices, strategic planning and global reach,” said INDA Chairman Lee Sullivan of Freudenberg Nonwovens. “Thanks to his efforts, INDA is ideally positioned for the many challenges our industry and our association will face in the future.”

Among INDA’s other accomplishments during Wirtz’s tenure are the development of the INDA Web site, www.inda.org, which has become recognized as one of the most advanced sites among associations; the expansion of the association’s legislative and international efforts through the investment in its Washington, DC office; increased communications with INDA members through an aggressive publishing and marketing initiative; and better international relations with nonwovens associations in Europe, Asia and South America.

“I have had the pleasure of working with a great staff at INDA and have complete confidence they will continue to build an association whose primary purpose remains the growth of the nonwovens industry and the success of INDA members,” Wirtz said.

“Upon joining INDA, I set a personal goal to connect better with the marketplace to amplify our association’s understanding of member needs. During the past six years, I have visited about 125 nonwoven industry companies in an effort to improve our link with the industry and broaden our members knowledge of INDA’s capabilities.”

Wirtz and his wife of 30 years, Jerry, plan to continue to live here.

Eastman’s Haile given award

CARY, NC — At INDA’s Annual Meeting in Orlando recently, Bill Haile of Eastman Chemical Co. was given the Chairman Award for outstanding volunteer service to INDA.

Haile has been heavily involved for years in numerous INDA activities, including chairing the Technical Advisory Board.

He was instrumental in developing and launching Eastman WD Size and other water dispersible copolyesters. He was a co-developer of the powder bonding adhesives and process, plus technology advancing work with polyester and copolyesters for melt blowing. He also played a key role in developing biodegradable polymers for fibers and nonwovens.

In 2000, Haile received the Eastman Chemical Company’s Chairman Recognition Award for his work in fibers and his business development of polyester polymers. He has also been the co-inventor for 13 U.S. patents and has presented more than 60 papers.

TECHTEXTIL

Week of June 24, 2002

FiberBuys.com a rare survivor of dot-com crash

TECHTEXTIL:

PART 6

By Devin Steele

ATLANTA — FiberBuys.com is one company that didn’t “dot-bomb” with many of the rest of the start-up, Internet-based firms.

The company is almost three years old — nearly ancient for Web-based businesses — and is continuing not only to endure, but to flourish, according to company officials.

“We’ve survived long enough now that people are coming to us wanting us to help them sell products, so we’re becoming recognized as a survivor in the industry,” said Charles Whitehead, who represented the company in its booth at the recent Techtextil North America show here.

As its name suggests, FiberBuys.com is an on-line resource for buyers and sellers of all types of fiber. At the site, users can exchange knowledge and complete product transactions, facilitated by FiberBuys.com staffers.

“We’ve been able to develop a model that’s very simple, where people can find product very quickly,” Whitehead said. “We have a motto: ‘Two clicks to buy.’ We’re working with very good selling partners, good companies that have good products — fiber-producing companies.”

FiberBuys.com, based in Colonial Heights, VA, was developed as a means of helping customers sell surplus or off-quality products, he said. “We do a very good job of that, allowing our customers to focus on their core business, which is their first-quality business,” he said.

Since its inception, the company has evolved into one that is also able to facilitate transactions of first-quality products, Whitehead added.

Currently, all manufacturers that sell through FiberBuys.com are domestic, although some have offshore facilities, Whitehead said. Its buyer base is primarily North America, but the company is getting new applications from others around the world, he added.

“We have a good membership base of buyers, with known credit history, so our buyers can have confidence that they will get payment for what they sell,” he said.

Other exhibitors

A Canada-based exhibitor, the Textile Human Resources Council (THRC), announced during TechTextil North America that, for the second time in as many years, it has received a top award from the Conference Board of Canada.

Textile Manufacturing Basics, a training program that consists of a CD-ROM and 200-page guide, was selected from among 20 entries and awarded the National Award for Learning Technologies in the Workplace. The award is presented to Canada businesses effectively using innovative, technology-enhanced learning in the workplace to raise employee skill levels.

Textile Manufacturing Basics was created as a result of a partnership of the THRC, Haffner Inc. of Granby, QC, and Human Resources Development of Canada. The program is organized into modules covering more than 90 percent of the processes found in textile manufacturing, including yarn-making, weaving, knitting, quality control and dyeing and finishing.

The training product has been sold in 26 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Revenue generated from the program is going toward the development of other e-learning products for the industry.

The THRC, a non-profit corporation with a private-sector board of directors, is collaborating with educational institutions, including NC State University, Leeds University and the Textile Technology Centre/Cégep de St. Hyacinthe, to develop textile manufacturing modules.

Among other exhibitors, Nic F.J. Henriks of Acordis Industrial Fibers said the show lived up to its billing.

“It’s very convenient in this environment, to meet with people,” said Henriks, sales and marketing manager of technical yarns for The Netherlands-based company. “Most people who you need to see are here. We got what we expected.”

Trade bill

Week of June 24, 2002

Trade bill rule passed

WASHINGTON — The House Rules Committee Wednesday approved a procedural motion to move into conference on a trade package that includes presidential trade negotiating authority.

At press time, the controversial rule to proceed was scheduled to have occurred on the House floor Thursday.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) said he expected approval of the motion, which would allow the House to begin negotiations in the Senate on the final trade bill. The rule, which would detail the initial House negotiating position for conferees, includes several trade bills: a House version of trade promotion authority (TPA), the Andean Trade Preferences Act, the Generalized System of Preferences and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act.

The House approved a TPA bill in December by one vote. In May, the Senate voted 66-30 to approve its version of the legislation, which included expanded federal aid for employees displaced by imports or offshore plant relocations.

In Wednesday’s Rules Committee meeting, a shouting match between members broke out on several occasions. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and trade subcommittee chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) were particularly vocal, accusing Thomas of violating regular House processes by bundling the bills and including new provisions members had not approved. Wrapping the bills together and adding new provisions not previously discussed in the House was necessary in order to strengthen the House position, Thomas said.

On the move

Week of June 24, 2002

Springs announces staffing changes

FORT MILL, SC — Springs Industries announced several staffing changes decisions in response to the recent acquisition of the Windows and Consumer Bedding Division of Burlington Industries.

Kathryn Welsh, currently Springs’ vice president of strategic planning, has accepted the position as vice president of merchandising, soft windows.

Reporting to Welsh will be Don Johnson as senior merchandising manager for soft windows. Most recently, Johnson was responsible for both sales and merchandising of soft windows for Burlington.

Reporting to Johnson will be Gary Kitchens, merchandising manager of soft windows. Kitchens directed the merchandising effort of the Springs soft windows business for the last four years.

A newly created position of manager of marketing and product development will be filled shortly.

In the sales organization, a number of Burlington employees have joined Springs. These include: Scott Blankshine, Jo Dell Grissom-Proctor, Denise Mehring, Chuck Ream, Mike Stewart and Joe Vale.

Additionally, Springs has retained a number of other Burlington employees in the operations area. These include Allen Best, master scheduler; Jim Dyson, product development manager; Terry Houston, group industrial engineer; Kelly Stinchfield, capacity manager; Billie Wells, industrial engineer; and Dennis Williamson, plant manager-Acambaro Plant.

Collins & Aikman appoints Stepp CFO

TROY, MI — Michael Stepp has been appointed chief financial officer of Collins & Aikman Corp.

Stepp, who has held the job on an interim basis since January 2, previously served as chief financial officer from 1995 to 1999.

Pittsfield names Lev to board of directors

PITTSFIELD, MA — Pittsfield Plastics Engineering, Inc. and Precision Spools, Inc. announced that Bruce Lev has joined the company’s board of directors with special responsibility for mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to his new appointment, Lev served as an advisor to Thomas Holmes, chairman of the board of Pittsfield Plastics Engineering, Inc. In this capacity, Lev completed a sale of a logistics company and was responsible for establishing Pittsfield Plastics’ five-year sales growth targets, the company said.

In addition, he has been instrumental in the design and execution of the company’s growth strategy in the South Atlantic region, Pittsfield added.

Lev serves as vice chairman of USCO Logistics, a supply-chain management company.

Prior to USCO, he was the executive vice president of corporate affairs at Micro Warehouse, a multi-billion-dollar supplier of computer parts and equipment.

From 1968-1994, Lev was a lawyer in private practice.

Lev received a juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CN.

Miyares, president of M&W, to retire

GREENVILLE, SC — Blas Miyares, president of Marshall and Williams Products, Inc., announced his retirement, effective June 28.

This date is in accordance with a pre-arranged timetable that was established two years ago when he joined the company.

Bill Milligan, group president of Tubular Textile Machinery Enterprises, Inc. and CEO of Marshall and Williams Products, Inc., will assume the duties of president.

The company will retain Miyares on an as-needed consultant basis for the next 2-1/2 years.

Prior to joining Marshall and Williams, Miyares was associated with Kusters Corporation for 20 years.

FULL SPIN AHEAD

Week of June 24, 2002

Jimtex starts up new yarn-manufacturing facility in Georgia

LINCOLNTON, GA—Jimtex Yarns said it has been successful in the startup of its new 200,000 square foot yarn spinning facility here.

According to company officials, production already significantly exceeds the former facility. The former plant, located in Woodruff, SC, was destroyed by fire in March 2001.

“We still have room to expand,” said Harry Matusow, marketing director. “Because this facility is three times the size of our former operation, we are able to fulfill more orders to better satisfy established customers and attract new customers.

“We are able to offer a stock yarn warehouse, which reduces waiting for product,” he added. “Our ‘quick-spin’ (quick ship) operation has been a real asset in improving our customer service.”

Many of Jimtex’s customers are looking for quick turnaround to fulfill late and urgent retail orders, Matusow said. Located in the U.S., Jimtex sales representatives boast that yarn can often be ordered and received within the same week, a “decided advantage over imports,” the company said.

Jimtex said it is the only U.S. manufacturer exclusively dedicated to producing recycled, open-end cotton blend yarns for apparel, upholstery and crafts. The cotton component is made from recycling pre-dyed cotton clippings, which are then blended with acrylic or polyester fiber.

“Our new plant has increased capacity in a broad spectrum of bleached and colored yarns,” said Matusow. “The demand for our low-cost, recycled yarn has always been high. We anticipate a jump in demand once the full impact of our lower prices is realized.”

To serve the anticipated increase in demand, Jimtex Yarns said it is actively seeking new suppliers of textile waste from all areas of industrial textile manufacturing.

“With our growth in production and demand, we will need vendor-partners on the supply side, as well as customer-partners,” said Martin Zeldin, company president. “We are proud of the variety of colors and textures our yarns create. We are equally proud of our ability to recycle textile wastes and save them from the landfill.”

An affiliate of Martex Fiber Southern Corporation, a Spartanburg, SC-based textile company specializing in textile recycling and textile waste removal, Jimtex was formed in 1998 to provide a low-cost alternative yarn.

Ground breaking

Week of June 24, 2002

American Textile breaks ground

DUQUESNE, PA — Groundbreaking ceremonies took place June 12 here on the site of a new $7 million corporate headquarters and distribution center for American Textile Company, a maker of private-label mattress and pillow covers.

“This is a milestone event in the 77-year history of American Textile Company and this positions us for another 70-plus years of growth and new product development,” said Reid Ruttenberg, company chairman. “We believe our new worldwide headquarters and distribution facility will put us in the position to better serve our customers. At the same time, we look forward to fulfilling our new role as a corporate citizen of the City of Duquesne.”

As a gesture of goodwill to the citizens and elected officials of Duquesne, Ruttenberg presented Mayor Krivacek with a check for $3,500, payable to the City of Duquesne Police Department, for the purchase of a new defibrillator, a life-saving device used by trained emergency personnel that aids heart attack victims by shocking a heart into a normal rhythm.

Ruttenberg said the 107,000-square-foot facility will be located on 7.5 acres of land in Riverplace City Center, site of the old USX Duquesne Works. The company will be one of the largest employers in the complex, with more than 100 employees, all of whom will be offered the opportunity to relocate from the company’s Lawrenceville, PA, and Sharpsburg, PA, facilities.

American Textile said it expects construction to be completed by March 2003 and that it will add a number of new warehouse positions in the next three to five years.

Joining Ruttenberg at the groundbreaking ceremony were Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey; Duquesne Mayor Phil Krivacek; Jack Ouellette, president and chief executive officer of American Textile; Frank Brooks Robinson, president, Regional Industrial Development Corp.; and other local elected officials and business leaders.

Fiscal notes

Week of June 24, 2002

Crown turns tide, profit for year

GONZALES, LA — Crown Crafts, Inc., reported net income of $2 million, or 10 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, its first annual profit since 1998.

For the same period last year, the company lost $45.4 million, or $5.28 per share.

Net sales were $23.7 million compared to $40.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2001.

For the year, net income before an extraordinary gain was $2 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $73.6 million, or $8.55 per share a year ago. Sales for the year fell to $117.6 million from $129.9 million.

Income reflected an extraordinary gain of $25 million resulting from forgiveness of indebtedness.

“This pivotal year marks the completion of our transition to a new, focused consumer products company concentrating on infant bedding, blankets, bibs and accessories, and on luxury hand-woven home decor,” said E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and CEO. “Fiscal 2002 was a very challenging year. We moved our corporate headquarters to Gonzales, LA, restructured our debt and re-engineered our company into a smaller one that outsources most of our manufacturing.”

Frisby expects flat revenues for year

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — Frisby Technologies, Inc. said it expects revenues for the year to be flat compared to 2001.

The company, which makes climate control materials, said during its annual stockholders meeting that it is in negotiations with certain stockholders for new debt financing to fund certain specific working capital needs. Frisby added that it is seeking additional financing to fund core strategic initiatives in the second half of the year.

Frisby also said it is exploring strategic initiatives to reduce production cost across the entire product range, particularly costs associated with its Thermasorb® thermal additives. If successful, the company said it expects that significant improvements in operating profit margin can be realized.

At the meeting, stockholders re-elected Greg Frisby, Jeffry Frisby, Duncan Russell, Robert C. Grayson, Robert E. Gregory, Alex Rosenzweig and Carlo Tunioli to its board.

Natural fibers

Week of June 24, 2002

Ads to target young women

NEW YORK — Cotton Incorporated has unveiled its first multi-magazine consumer print campaign and companion Web site as part of its ongoing effort to reach women ages 18 to 34.

The campaign, which will initially consist of six print ads, will break in a range of consumer magazines, beginning in the August issues, and will deliver more than 280 million total impressions during the initial four-month launch period.

“Cotton Incorporated is always looking for the best way to communicate with the consumer about the benefits of cotton,” says, J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO. “We’ve had great success with The Fabric of Our Lives™ TV commercials, and now we think we’ve discovered a strong way to translate that message to print.”

Although Cotton Incorporated has participated in advertorial programs with magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping and Reader’s Digest, the new campaign marks the beginning of a consistent effort to engage consumers in a more personal way, Worsham said. Magazines are an efficient vehicle to reach the important 18-34 female target audience, he added.

Many of life’s milestones take place within the 18-34 year span — first job, first apartment, marriage, first baby, first house — and each major event involves a heightened interest in new things and in purchasing textile products. The print ads depict all these transitions — and show the range of cotton items that go along with them.

Created by Mark Ryan of the Ryan Group and photographed by Gus Butera, the campaign calls attention to the importance of fabric content labels. Said Ric Hendee, Cotton Incorporated vice president, marketing services: “For cotton to maintain its more than 60 percent market share of apparel and home furnishing products at retail, we want to encourage people to look for products that are labeled 100 percent cotton.”

The ads also direct consumers to Cotton Incorporated’s new Web site, fabricofourlives.com, which will provide practical and fashion-oriented cotton textile information relevant to this life stage. All 10 magazines in which the ads appear will be contributing cotton-rich editorial content to this site. Articles cover a range of topics, such as creating a bed linens trousseau, maternity work wardrobes and denim must-haves.

The ads are scheduled to appear in American Baby, Child, Parenting, Country Home, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, InStyle, Lucky, Marie Claire and Redbook. Cotton Incorporated plans to spend about $2 million on consumer print advertising for 2002-2003. Three more ads are planned to be produced for 2003.

Design submissions being accepted

Cotton Incorporated is calling for submissions for its 21st annual Textile Designer Awards, which will take place Tuesday, September 17th at The American Craft Museum here.

The awards will recognize designers’ ability to add aesthetic creativity and functional effectiveness to 100 percent cotton and cotton-rich fabrics in apparel and home fabrics.

All fabrics submitted must be commercially available and received by Cotton Incorporated no later than Friday, July 19.

Submissions must include fabric sample, category, designer’s name, company affiliation, address and telephone number, and should be sent to Cotton Incorporated Textile Designer Awards, 6399 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513.

New variety introduced

SCOTT, MS — Textile mills have more options for solid fiber quality with the introduction of a new variety from Delta and Pine Land Company (DPL).

DP 555 BG/RR combines extremely high-yield potential, solid fiber quality history and Bollgard® and Roundup Ready® technologies in a stacked configuration.

“DP 555 BG/RR is a breakthrough in cotton genetics,” said Dr. Don Keim, D&PL cotton breeder for the lower Mid-South. ‘‘It is a complete package.

“This is the first of many new varieties coming out of our extensive worldwide breeding and testing programs that will combine the potential for both high yield and good fiber quality, plus the transgenic technologies farmers so widely desire.”

The new variety represents a step change for the industry, according to Jim Willeke, vice president of sales and marketing. “It is a whole new generation of product entering the marketplace today,” he said.

Editorial

Week of June 24, 2002

Calling all wallflowers ...

WHERE ARE all the media jezebels? You know, the ones who like to cake on the lipstick, paint their nails, tease their hair and bat their eyelashes, trying to grab the attention of the nearest textile scribbler? Used to, when companies were making money hand over fist, they were lining up like a contestants on “The Bachelor,” hoping for a rose from the trade press. But in the textile industry these days, they seemed to have metamorphosed from Britney Spears into Rosie O’Donnell. It’s like we turn on the lights and they scurry like roaches.

Case in point: For weeks, this publication has sent out a call for companies interested in having their safety, health and environmental programs featured in a forthcoming special edition spotlighting those issues. But so far, all that has trickled in are a handful of news blurbs. We’ve also contacted companies about visiting their plants, talking with employees about these subjects and snapping a few photos. But what we’ve heard in response is a common refrain: “Uh ... not this year. We want to keep things low key right now.”

Hello ... BOING! This isn’t CNN seeking an exclusive interview with Osama bin Laden. It’s a widely circulated publication trying to sniff out and report on positive news that reflects some of the things that make this United States manufacturing institution strong. Your safety, health and environmental initiatives are second to none, the envy of the world, and you want to keep it private? What are we missing here? Clue us in. Please.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE: For weeks, we’ve been on the prowl for a company to showcase in our annual Textile South edition — a model textile manufacturer that’s doing many things right during painstakingly challenging times. Yeah, we’ve found a few worthy candidates, but so far, none willing to invite us in and click their heels for us. If you’re getting asked to the dance, what’s the harm in primping a little bit?

Perhaps you’re afraid we’ll reveal your darkest secrets — that you’re thriving in a difficult environment only through the use of silicone, collagen and Botox, in a manner of speaking.

Perhaps, knowing that things can quickly turn in this fickle industry, you’re worried that media promotion will come across as swagger.

Perhaps such attention just makes you blush.

Whatever. But know this: We’re only here to help, to pin a corsage on you. Being well-intentioned, we believe that illuminating the good in your company has a useful purpose: To tell your hard-earned success stories and to demonstrate to your brethren and customers achievement can be obtained, regardless the circumstances.

In short, to put you on the catwalk.

THAT SAID, we want to send out one more invitation. We know swans are swimming among the ducklings out there. If you’re interested in preening your feathers a little bit, RSVP by sending us your good news or calling us to discuss your credentials related to either of these important editions. Time is running out.

Being confident enough to strut your stuff during these dark days earns plenty of brownie points with we media types. Otherwise, you may not hear from us when things are brighter.

We may have found a trophy catch by then.

Textile News Index