Stanley Fradin: Rockland Industries, Inc. is a Maryland corporation comprising two manufacturing plants, one in Baltimore, MD (the home office), the other in Bamberg, SC; three marketing divisions, Rockland Mills, Pastad Mills, and Roc-lon TLC; and an export division, Rockland International FSC, Inc. We also maintain a showroom in New York City, NY.
Rockland is involved in the finishing and selling of textile roll goods to various levels of trade for use as a component commodity sold to consumers of home furnishing products. Rockland Industries can trace its origin back to a simple bleachery operation begun in 1832. Present ownership became responsible in 1947 for its operation and growth into the industry-leading corporation it is today.
D&WC: What window coverings products did you handle initially? What products do you handle today?
Fradin: In 1963, Rockland developed and introduced Roc-lonŽ Rain-No-StainŽ, the first drapery lining with the unique features of water repellency, insulation, crease resistance and ultraviolet protection against sun deterioration and fading in a 100 percent cotton lining. This product became the focal point for our early advertising campaigns. Roc-lon Rain-No-Stain is the only drapery lining awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, further enhancing our credibility and visibility to the consumer.
Over the years, we developed many additional styles of specialized curtain and drapery linings to keep abreast of the demands set by the public. As America became more sophisticated in window covering products, there developed a need for drapery linings to be multi-functional and have more features. These features include wrinkle resistance, foam backings, colors and even decorator designs with or without flame retardancy.
Because of ever-tightening local government regulations and restrictions regarding public safety, our industry as a whole has had to address the problem of flame retardancy for drapery and window covering products. Here again Rockland Mills met the challenge with the development of Flame-Ban, an exclusive fire retardant treatment that meets or exceeds all federal, state and local fire codes.
We also are especially proud that Rockland Mills stressed energy efficiency at the window long before the 1973 oil crisis forced consumers to significantly change their attitudes toward conservation. Roc-lon ThermalsuedeŽ, a lining with a chemically bonded aerocellular acrylic foam backing, provided a measurable degree of insulation without being bulky and unmanageable. The U.S. Department of Energy cooperated with Rockland Mills in the presentation of television public service announcements exalting the energy efficient characteristics of our linings.
By this point in time, Rockland Mills and its product line had become well known and respected throughout the industry. As a result, a major hospitality chain approached us to develop a drapery lining for its hotels that would enable more creativity in decorating and also be easier to work with. The vinyl- and plastic-based products in use then did not provide the softness, drapability, cleanability and longevity required by the hospitality market. Rockland's revolutionary developments of aerocellular acrylic foam-backed blackout drapery linings and fabrics set the standard for the industry. The chain successfully installed and used the newly developed blackouts in its hotels in Los Angeles, CA; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Atlanta, GA.
Our most recent developments have been an extension of these functional blackout capabilities into decorative All-In-One[TM] products combining blackout, insulation, flame resistancy (when necessary) and fashionable prints and solid colors. These are our new Vanguard Uni-Group[TM] and DenimTone[TM] collections.
D&WC: Who are your customers? What parts of the country do you service?
Fradin: Our markets include jobbers and distributors, retail and department store chains, fabric and curtain shops, drapery workrooms, and hotel and motel contractors. Rockland Mills' products are sold throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and more than 65 other countries.
Rockland has merchandised its products in a variety of ways uncommon to the industry. Roc-lon has been and still is the only consumer-recognized brand name curtain and drapery lining available to the market, making our products readily identifiable to the consumer and trade alike. Special promotions, incentives and industry support such as industry trade and consumer magazine and newspaper co-op advertising for retailers and participation in the preparation and distribution of sample books have put the Roc-lon brand in front of tens of millions of consumers. This has helped make them aware of the many advantages to be had by using a Roc-lon drapery lining in what was once a no-name product area.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Fradin: We are a vertical operation. We own our own plants and machinery, which gives us a tremendous advantage in the areas of quality control, inventory and product development. Rockland has the only wide-width foaming lines in the world, allowing us to produce blackout fabrics up to 110 inches wide. We are the only lining manufacturer to selvedge trim its blackouts, reducing the labor necessary in the workroom during fabrication. And every yard of blackout lining produced by Rockland carries a Roc-lon logo that can be seen only under ultraviolet light for positive identification.
Much of Rockland's success in the international marketplace occurred because we are manufacturers as well as sellers. Due to the wide variations in climate, culture, customs and local needs throughout the countries we export to, it has been necessary for us to be very creative and accommodating to these diverse markets. This gives us the responsibility to produce special products, special colors and even special widths for these products. Rockland is in the unique position of being able to fulfill these specialized needs.
We also pride ourselves on our service. In May, 1992, the U.S. Department of Commerce honored Rockland Industries, Inc. by bestowing upon us the President's E Award for Export Expansion. This prestigious award was established by presidential order in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and was created to induce and give incentives to those companies that get involved in world trade to do so, and to do so in a meaningful way.
Since then, the international branch of the Rockland Mills Division has continued to expand in the global market. Three years later, Rockland was again honored with the E Star, the highest award given by our government for continued contributions to the export expansion program of the United States.
D&WC: What other home furnishings services do you offer?
Fradin: For three decades, Rockland has been helping people sleep sounder, sleep better and sleep longer by supplying hotels, medical institutions and dormitories with Roc-lon blackout linings to block out light, hush outside noise, provide privacy and improve energy efficiency.
Rockland recently has introduced its newly patented TLC (Total Light Control) System[TM], an affordable magnetic closure system available with Roc-lon blackout linings, Roc-lon All-In-One decorator blackout fabrics, and a retro-fit blackout liner to be hung behind existing draperies.
Even with your eyes closed, 20 percent of any available light source enters through the eyelids sending a wake-up signal to the brain. The public is being bombarded with news about the sleep deprivation epidemic and its devastating effect on health, safety, productivity and efficiency. Rockland is a proud sponsor of the National Sleep Foundation and its "Drive Alert, Arrive Alive" national campaign on drowsy driving. The Roc-lon TLC division has its own booth at the International Window Coverings Expo in Baltimore this month to demonstrate this system and provide information on the importance of total light control in all sleeping environments, residential as well as commercial.
Rockland Industries, Inc.
1601 Edison Hwy.
Baltimore, MD 21213
Web site: www.roc-lon.com