U.S. importers, manufacturers, fabricators and retailers of window coverings products are being urged by the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), New York, NY, to comply with the new ANSI/WCMA 100.1 safety standard.
The standard, adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA), calls for approved safety devices to eliminate, separate, shield or pull tight any looped cords on window coverings as well as four different warning tags or labels. The standard affects all horizontal, vertical and roll-up blinds; cellular, pleated, Roman and roller shades; and traverse drapery rods.
The WCSC urges all companies to review their product lines and inventory to verify that items manufactured after September 15, 1997, include an approved safety device as well as the required warning labels. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) has said it will begin monitoring window coverings products in 1998 to see if they are in compliance, although the window-cord safety standard is voluntary. CPSC has the authority to move against any product determined to be a "substantial hazard" to consumers. In such cases corrective actions usually result in the product's recall, repair, replacement, refund or design change.
Copies of the safety standard can be purchased for $12 from WCMA, 355 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10017; (212) 661-4261; fax: (212) 370-9047.
Newell Files Patent Infringement Suits
Newell Window Furnishings, Inc., and Kirsch, Inc. (a Newell company), Freeport, IL, have filed two patent infringement lawsuits in federal court in Rockford, IL.
One suit relates to Newell's work in size-in-store mini-blinds. The suite alleges that size-in-store mini-blind systems marketed by Springs Window Fashions Division Inc. and Monarch Window Fashions, Inc. infringe on Newell's patented methods. The other suit alleges that Springs has introduced products infringing on patented features of Kirsch's Accordia® cellular shades.
"We have substantial development and marketing investments that we believe must be protected from infringement," said Steve Thomas, president of Newell and Kirsch.
Associated Textile Converters Buys Lodovici-USA
Manifattura Lodovici & Co. SPA, Tregasio, Italy, has agreed in principle to sell the assets of its U.S. subsidiary, Lodovici-USA, to Associated Textile Coverters, Inc.
Associated Textile Converters, the parent company of Swavelle/Mill Creek Fabrics and Piermont Fabrics, intends to market Lodovici's novelty sheers through its Swavelle/Mill Creek Fabrics division. Associated Textile Converters also is forming a new company to be known as Lodovici-USA, LLC to market high-volume basic sheers as well as specialty fabrics for converters and large manufacturers.
Larry Robbins will continue in his position as president for Lodovici-USA LLC and maintain an office in Los Angeles, CA. David Thomases will join the company as executive vice president operating out of an office in New York, NY. Pamela DuVall will transfer to New York and continue as manager of operations.
New Workroom School Facility
The Professional Drapery Workroom School, Swannanoa, NC, has opened its new expanded classroom facility in preparation for this year's students.
The new school, built adjacent to its old facility, boasts a 5,000-square-foot floor plan. The expansion will accommodate the addition of several new classes including cornice board construction, installation and advanced level window treatment and slipcover classes. In addition, the new school building is separated into three classrooms to accommodate three different classes operating at the same time.
The Professional Drapery Workroom School is run by Cheryl Strickland, a well known industry speaker with 20 years experience in the window coverings industry; the publisher of Sew WHAT?, an international monthly newsletter for professional drapery workrooms; and author and regular columnist for Draperies & Window Coverings. Over the past two years in operation, the school has been attended by more than 200 students.
Hunter Douglas Garners Two Product Awards
The Luminette Privacy Sheers® from Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Broomfield, CO, has been honored with two recent product awards. The company was presented the APEX Award sponsored by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and Contract Design magazine and the Most Innovative New Colorado Products Award sponsored by The Denver Business Journal.
In the APEX Award 1997 competition, the Luminette sheers was chosen as the best new product in the specialties category. It was the only window treatment so honored from more than 250 total entries. Luminette was selected winner in the consumer products category of The Denver Business Journal's 1997 new products competition.
Decorating Den Holds Free Decorating Workshop
In January, Decorating Den Interiors, Montgomery Village, MD, was host for a free decorating workshop as part of the Vermont Maturity Expo held at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, VT.
The workshop demonstrated decorating tips and trends and provided information on "lifestyle decorating." Two established local interior decorator franchisees conducted the seminar. They were Gayle Erdman, Williston, VT, and Mary Kay Dempewolff, Middlebury, VT. Decorating Den has some 25 franchisees in New England.
In other news, Decorating Den has been selected to decorate the media room featured in currently running episodes of "This Old House," the Emmy Award-winning PBS television series. It also recently worked with Life magazine and architect Robert Stern to do the interior decorating for Life's Dream Home.
Duralee Ugrades Design Studio
Duralee Fabrics, Ltd., Bayshore, NY, has upgraded its design studio transforming it into what it calls one of the most technically sophisticated, state-of-the-art facilities.
The studio has integrated CAD technology with hand work to create an environment in which new designs may come to fruition with speed and efficiency. The technology applies to both woven and printed designs and is expected to keep the studio current with market demands from all sectors of the industry including furniture, export, contract, hospitality and residential.
Color and Fabric Trends Noted at Showtime-West
Members of the upholstery, bedding and furnishings industry were treated to a firsthand look at the fabric colors and trends projected through the year 2000 at the Showtime-West fabric show in Los Angeles, CA. The show was held in conjunction with the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers' (AWFS) Home & Commercial Furnishings Fair and was sponsored by AWFS and its chapter, The West Coast Furniture Fabric Club (WCFFC).
WCFFC sponsored two seminars: "Trends Watch 2000" presented by Rosemary Taft of Taft Studios, and "Home Fashion Selling Ideas-A Sense of Home" presented by Erika Easley of Cotton, Inc.
Taft said social changes will have a strong influence on color trends. "As Baby Boomers age they're choosing relaxing colors like blue, aqua, rust and brown. For those with a nostalgia for the '70s, gray, silver and khaki in natural fabrics are replacing beige for both apparel and home furnishings," she said. The most significant design direction lies with the elderly, the fastest growing segment of the population, Taft noted. Pale blues and greens designed in a variety of sheers, chenilles, fine weaves, voile and prints offer a serene, contemporary look, she said.
Easley identified three trends, which she called Plantation, Bright Outlook and Urban Canyon. The Plantation trend is identified by stripes, florals and geometrics on patterned sheers, jacquards and plush three-dimensional fabrics. Bright Outlook is just as it sounds: bright and cheerful with influences from the '50s and '60s. Urban Canyon is an upcoming trend in which the great outdoors move indoors using tent materials, camping and hiking gear and even patio furniture inside the house.