In the description of Sharon Anderson's qualifications, it states that she has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer. In those 20 years, surely there's another solution that she must have heard of regarding the article in the February 1999 issue of D&WC (Design Solutions, "Taking the Heat")
She comments that the problems included blocking the sun, repelling heat and making the apartment cool and energy efficient. Another problem was blocking out the light in the morning so the customer could sleep. Yet another problem was partial views to the outside because of the beautiful view. And lastly, the treatment had to be pretty and decorative.
I would state with clear conscious that the product used by the hospitality industry for almost three decades and by growing numbers of consumers for residential purchase would have been the perfect answer to all of the problems.
Blackout drapery linings produced by Rockland Mills under the brand name Roc-LonŽ Blackout have for years provided total light control when necessary and a high degree of increased insulation and energy conservation during both heating and air conditioning seasons. Because the lining can be used on a separate track by itself behind whatever drapery scheme the apartment owner might desire, the blackout linings could be opened manually or by motor at any time, day or night, to allow full or partial views of the outside and, at the same time, to retain all of the aesthetic qualities that anyone might desire or that anyone might be creative enough to produce. The same motorized units that can be set to open and shut hard window coverings can do the same with soft drapery treatments.
Someone with all of her experience certainly should have considered soft window treatments with the limitless array of color, design, texture, etc., and the combination of soft blackout drapery linings as an answer.
In all fairness, I'd be willing to debate with anyone, anywhere, anytime whether my solution might not be the better one than that which was printed in the magazine.
Stanley B. Fradin
Rockland Mills Division
IN THE BAG
How often do our customers and suppliers ponder the ever-increasing freight costs involved with doing business today? For sure it contributes significantly to our diminishing bottom lines.
How often do all of us receive and ship packages by national parcel delivery services? How often do we look at the bills generated by them and our suppliers? Do we really pay any attention at all? We most definitely should! Two cases in point follow:
For approximately 18 months, our company has had a battle with our parcel delivery service over "additional handling charges," which are billed back to us on a weekly basis. These charges total upwards of $48 a week over and above normal rate charges. Explanations have been difficult to obtain until recently, with a visit from an upper management person. Here is the story, the plastic shipping bags we use to send fabric, like every fabric jobber and converter in the country, was determined not to be an "outside container." Therefore, a $4 charge.
We strengthen cartons containing drapery rods with a one- by four-inch board strapped to it. That's considered a "wooden container." Therefore, a $4 charge.
According to this company's printed rates, printed every February when rates increase, additional handling is charged when "any article is not fully encased in an outside container, any article that is encased in an outside container made of metal or wood, any package that exceeds 60 inches in lengths."
Our industry, among every other in the country, is being overcharged for the interpretation of these regulations. Only the parcel service sets up these parameters. Only the parcel service interprets these parameters. Only its customers pay for these parameters and interpretations.
As a note, a major manufacturer of the plastic shipping bags so common in the textile industry has the same problems with its parcel delivery service. The few jobbers contacted have the same battles with their bills. For an average bolt of fabric shipped, the extra charges would increase costs 30 to 50 percent!
Perhaps it is time to question all these extra charges we face every day. Perhaps it is time that our industry magazine look into this situation and make everyone aware of what is going on. We are a relatively small company that averages 50 packages a day with our parcel service. Imagine one-half of our industry being back-charged for one-half of their packages shipped each week. You do the numbers.
Perhaps a survey of suppliers and customers would produce some surprising results!
Williamson Supply Co., Inc.