Chameleon

Is that the same sofa?

A white or neutral sofa can be a chameleon. With a neutral base sofa, you can easily change the mood of a room just by changing out the accent pieces. You can go bold and bright, coastal,  neutral, bohemian, etc. It’s easy to evolve your room with your mood or season when you have a "chameleon" sofa.

Check out the photos below of how a room's design and energy can be built around a white or neutral sofa: 

Where It Begins

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Fabric begins with yarn. There are all kinds of yarns; fat yarns, skinny yarns, flat yarns, fuzzy yarns, shiny yarns, dull yarns, boucle yarns and chenille yarns... I think you get the point there are MANY types of yarns! Different yarns are meant for different applications, which is why your shirt fabric looks different from your sofa fabric. There are many different choices of yarn fibers to use as well, such as natural and man made.

We made a choice to use polypropylene for Revolution Performance Fabrics because of it’s phenomenal attributes. Polypropylene is an upcycled fiber made from the byproducts of processing natural gas. It is counterintuitive to think that a man made fiber can be more environmentally friendly than a natural fiber, but it is! A man made fiber, such as polypropylene, uses less energy and water in the manufacturing process. Polypropylene also ranks higher on the Higg Index than any natural fiber such as cotton or bamboo. The other huge environmental benefit of using polypropylene fibers is that we can make the yarn ourselves or source it within 200 miles of our mill in Kings Mountain, NC. To learn more about polypropylene and our sustainable manufacturing initiatives, click here.

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Polypropylene is also a solution-dyed fiber, meaning that the color is added to the solution before it is extruded into fiber. The color cannot be taken out and it does not vary from batch to batch. Since the color cannot be taken out and it's inherent to the yarn, the fabric is very easy to clean. To see how easy Revolution is to clean, check out some of our cleaning videos here.

We have a large variety of polypropylene yarns in our tool box to create a variety of fabrics. I don’t mean to sound like Bubba Gump from Forest Gump describing all the different types of shrimp, but we really do have a lot of yarns to choose from! We can make fine tight fabric, soft fuzzy fabric, textured jacquard fabric, flat jacquard fabric... again, I think you got the point! 

We make a wide variety of fabrics with the many yarns available to us and then we get into design and color, but that is a whole other blog in itself!

To learn more about our yarns and the role they play in the fabric design process, watch episode 1 & 2 of "Design with Kathy" below.


You Got This!

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As I said in my last blog, I recently cleaned out my work space. That included an area where we save small rolls of fabric for various reasons; they may be in development, saved for customers or waiting to be tested in our lab. 

My fellow employees clamored to see if there was some fabric we were discarding that they could use in their home. I was inspired to write this blog from listening to their conversations. Most had no confidence in their ability to make something. 

I recently used our Revolution Performance Fabric pattern, Geometrics, to recover my dining room chairs. My parents purchased this set in the early 1960's so it was only appropriate to use a mid-century inspired design! This a popular design trend and there certainly isn't a  lack of places to find inspiration. MidCentury Magazine is a great source for ideas on designing in this style. 

When designing Geometrics, we chose a popular geometric design. It is a small scale and is asymmetrical, adding to it's modern flare. 

One of my favorite mid century sources on Instagram is Atomic Ranch Magazine, check out their account @theatomicranch

Recovering a dining room chair is usually pretty easy. Here are some steps that apply to most chairs:

- Remove the seat, it’s usually screwed on. 

- Remove the existing fabric, it’s usually stapled on.

- Lay a piece of fabric on a table slightly larger than seat, about 4 inches on all sides 

- Start from the middle and staple the fabric on the back. Make sure to pull the fabric tight and smooth. Do this step in the middle on all four sides. Work your way out to the corners. The corners are the trickiest part. You kind of have to pleat them. 

Then just reattach the seat and your done!

Click here for instructions from HGTV on how to recover a dining room chair. 

It was also perfect to use Revolution Performance Fabric for the chairs, because I don't have to worry about any spills or my cats taking a cat nap in a seat!

Next time you doubt yourself, remember "you got this!"

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The Path of Least Resistance

When STI introduced Revolution Performance Fabrics three years ago, by far the easiest path would have been to apply a PFC (Poly Fluorinated Chemical) finish. The combination of the inherent cleanability of polypropylene combined with a finish that “beads” water and other liquids would have been the simplest way to go. People associate liquids beading with performance fabric and it definitely creates a WOW factor when you see a demonstration. Frankly, in the beginning it was an uphill battle to sell a performance fabric that didn't repel liquids.

Another reason applying a PFC finish would have been the path of least resistance, is that very few people in general or even in the fabric business, have any idea that there are serious issues with PFCs. Why point out a problem that so few people know about?

The companies selling PFC treated products make claims like “absolutely zero risk”, “100% safe” and one even said the chemicals are as “safe as the fluoride in your toothpaste”! These are reputable people and companies making these claims so most people assume that they're telling the truth. 

That brings up another reason that treating our fabrics with PFCs would have been much easier. The people and companies selling treated fabrics aren't happy with me for spreading the message that PFCs warrant serious concern and are being investigated by scientists around the world for safety. I’ve been accused of “making stuff up” and a few choice words have even been thrown my way.

I am not a scientist, much less a chemist, and have never claimed to be. I’ve never made statements that are my opinion, I've only stated the facts. All I have done is point people to the research that has already been done and is ongoing by independent scientists all over the world.

Apparently, one of the things I “made up” is the Madrid Statement that was signed by several hundred of the worlds top scientists in 2015 (click here to read the list of signatories) calling for a number of actions related to all PFCs. Please note who signed the document and where they work; why in the world would we listen to the chemical companies who misled us for decades about the dangers of C8 and disregard the work of independent scientists? The answer is simple: there are no replacements that work as well as PFCs for stain resistance. The industry has spent decades trying to develop replacements that basically use silicone, wax, oil or some combination of the three, but I’m not aware of any that work as well as PFC; hence the extreme reluctance to stop using it.

So why did we decide to take an approach that is clearly more difficult? Quite simply, it is the right thing to do.

In 2000 we applied PFCs to our fabric when a customer requested it. When 3M pulled Scotchgard from the market in 2000 under pressure from the US Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA - read full story here), and all the US based producers of C8 agreed to phase out US production by 2015, the management team at STI decided we didn’t want to expose our workers, community and customers to these chemicals. Instead, we viewed the “short chain” replacements that were rushed to market after 2000 has basically the same chemistry, bonding Fluorine and Carbon. Scientists call replacing one toxin with a very similar chemical “regrettable substitution”. Contrary to industry claims, these were not thoroughly tested because the EPA doesn’t require them to be and there wasn’t enough time. Besides, the chemical companies are not even required to tell the EPA the names or formulas of these new chemicals under the shield of Confidential Business Information (CBI).

In 2012, two EPA scientists Mark Strynar and Andrew Lindstrom, went to the Cape Fear River in North Carolina looking for C8 near a Chemours plant. The scientists did not know what Chemours, a DuPont spinoff, had used to replace C8 and whether these new chemicals were entering the river, which is a source of drinking water for much of Southeast North Carolina. The scientists found 12 new PFCs in the river and had no idea what they were. It took a team of 10 scientists from 5 different institutions using a mass spectrometer more than a year to identify the chemicals. Stynar and Lindstrom wrote in response to Susan Lerner at The Intercept that “a new generation of replacement compounds is now out in the environment. These chemicals likely had the same chemical performance properties of the older generation of PFCs, like C8. This would also suggest that their toxicity and environmental persistence are likely to be similar as well." (source: Susan Lerner, The Intercept March 3, 2016 “A Chemical Shell Game”)

At the most recent High Point Market I saw several new performance brands that either use non-fluoridated treatments or use polypropylene like Revolution. I welcome these new brands and especially the growing awareness that there are serious concerns with the entire class of PFCs.

In the end, I am so glad that we chose the right path even though it has been more difficult. The short chain replacements are already spreading throughout the biosphere just like the legacy C8 pollution and they’ll be with us FOREVER!

By the way, production of C8 didn’t stop in 2015, it just moved to places like China and India. It is also NOT ILLEGAL to sell C8 on products in the United States currently. I find this very concerning, and we will continue to sound the alarm even if it makes us very unpopular with segments of the textile and chemical industries.

Susan Lerner’s series in The Intercept can be found online here. It is thoroughly researched and well documented. I highly recommend reading it if your interested in PFCs. She also has a recent op-ed in the New York Times about short chain replacements that you can read here.

The Green Science Policy Institute is a great source of information on PFCs and 5 other classes of chemicals of concern. I highly recommend reading “Fluorinated Chemicals: Myths vs. Facts” and watching their video on fluorinated chemicals. These are only two sources of information, but there are MANY more.

The fluorochemical industry has their version of reality online as well. I’ve read a lot of it, but frankly have a hard time trusting an industry that has done so much damage for decades with C8 in places like West Virginia ($671 million fine for DuPont, for more info read here and here) and Minnesota ($850 million fine for 3M, for more info read here and here). These chemicals have literally spread all over the world after only 70 years of production. Every person reading this blog has C8 in your blood, it will be there for years and you were never given a choice.

- Sean Gibbons, CEO of Revolution Performance Fabrics

Performance Fabrics: Performance Yarns or Chemical Treatments?

One of the most important properties of a performance fabric is that the fabric is cleanable. There are only two ways to achieve cleanability: start with a yarn that is inherently stain resistant or apply a stain repellent finish.

  Above:  Since Olefin contains no dye sites, even mustard and ketchup can't stain Revolution.

Above: Since Olefin contains no dye sites, even mustard and ketchup can't stain Revolution.

Solution dyed polypropylene, also called Olefin, is the only yarn for upholstery and couch fabric that is inherently stain resistant. Olefin cannot be dyed using traditional methods that use water because it has no “dye sites” and won’t stain. Olefin can’t be printed on or dyed in water like polyester, acrylic, nylon or natural fibers like cotton, rayon, hemp and bamboo. That’s why Revolution is one of very few fabrics that can stand up to permanent marker and mustard! To learn more about Olefin, click here

All Revolution fabrics are solution dyed, also known as “dope dying”. In this process, pigments are mixed in the liquid polymer and literally become part of the yarn. The other synthetic upholstery fibers like acrylic, polyester and nylon can also be solution dyed, but they are still stainable unless they are treated with stain repellent chemicals, most often Polyfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs). Cotton and acrylic are so easy to dye that you can literally dye them in your sink....the easier a fiber is to dye, the more stainable it is. Fibers like polyester and nylon require a lot of heat (energy) and pressure, but are still dyed in water.

  Above:  Revolution Chenille yarns

Above: Revolution Chenille yarns

Many companies suggest that their fabrics are cleanable because of solution dyed yarns. This is very misleading. Unless the fabric is Olefin, this claim is untrue, but the average person wouldn’t know that.

For example, a friend’s wife recently visited three furniture stores. At all three she was shown two very well known performance brands, Sunbrella™ and Crypton™. When she told the retail sales associates that she didn’t want those brands because they’re treated with PFC chemicals, all three sales associates said that wasn’t true and said the cleanability came from the yarn, not a treatment. This is totally false.

Sunbrella's website tells the consumer what to buy to “re-treat” the fabric when the original PFCs wear off. Crypton™ admits that they use a PFC C6 finish, but claim that their process makes it impossible to wear off. There’s no proof given as to why it won't wear off...I guess we’re supposed to take their word for it?

I’ve been in textiles for over 30 years, and spoken to several expert textile chemists....they all agree with me that textile finishes wear off over time and especially after cleaning. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) just released a report about PFC's that states, “hand to mouth transfer from surfaces treated with stain protectors, such as carpets, is thought to be the most significant source of exposure for infants and toddlers" (Green Science Policy Institute Newsletter, May 31, 2018). I don’t see why exposure to treated upholstery would be any different.

Other producers of PFC treated fabrics like Live Smart™ by Culp™, say that the chemicals completely permeate the fabric because they are applied to the yarn or the fabric is run through a “bath” and totally submerged. Both of these processes have been used for years and neither is new, innovative or going to stop the finish being released into the atmosphere through direct contact or breaking down over time into household dust.

As I noted in my last blog, "The Path of Least Resistance",  it was great to see several new PFC free fabrics introduced at the High Point Furniture Market in April. Milliken™ introduced Breathe, a “fluorine free, plant-based" product that makes natural fiber like cotton and linen and recycled polyester cleanable. The company insists this is not a treatment, but part of the yarn... huh!?

Any woman who has owned white jeans or anything linen, knows how prone these fibers are to staining. If it’s not a treatment, how’d it get there? Did they feed the chemicals to the cotton and flax plants? Is there some new GMO version of these plants? I seriously doubt it. Recycled polyester will also stain without treatment, so I have the same questions relative to that claim.

“Plant based” sounds like total greenwashing to me, because it really tells me nothing. Ethanol is plant based, but I don’t want it on my sofa. I also question what solvent is used since they DON’T claim the treatment (that isn’t a treatment) is water based; if it was, I feel certain they would tout it. There is no fluorine in the product, but have they simply made a “regrettable substitution” of other halogens like chlorine or bromine? I have no idea. Greenwashing like this is rampant in our industry, and I’m afraid it will be with us forever, just like PFCs.

Check out the organic yogurt section of your grocery store next time you’re there. Look at the bottom of a container. Every one will have the triangle with “5” inside it and PP. The material used to make the yogurt container is exactly what we use to make Revolution, because polypropylene is considered one of the safest types of plastics

I encourage people to fact check everything from independent sources. If you do, I believe you’ll at least think twice about buying treated fabrics and other products that claim to be “green,” but don’t give you any real information about what’s in them.

- Sean Gibbons, CEO of Revolution Performance Fabrics

*To learn more about how Revolution performance fabrics are made and the steps we take to lessen our impact on the environment, please watch the video below.

Clean Slate

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We just finished Showtime, a twice a year fabric show in High Point, North Carolina. We have tallied our requests for samples... we have listened to customer feedback... we know which styles were the most popular. This doesn’t always tell us 100% what is going to sell, but you know the consensus of which constructions, price points and looks that customers are responding to. We did write a few orders so that gives further information on preferred colors and combinations.

After Showtime is when we work on special projects with customers; such as color work, correlate patterns and merchandise collections of fabrics. We also start planning for our next line and try to build on the successes from the past line. We are working on new innovative developments that require new yarns and colors.

To find inspiration for the new line, we research trends in the home, browse shelter magazines, read blogs, search Pinterest and Instagram and shop retail stores. Visiting art studios is a great way to find inspiration as well. We need to know what we are shopping for, but it’s weird because you kinda know it when you see it! It’s your subconscious letting you know that doing your research pays off. 

This is the beginning of our December 2018 line. It’s time to clean off the walls and start fresh. Time for a clean slate... of course with a few successful formulas written back up!

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It's in the Bag!

We have a tradition of making a give-away for our fabric show, Showtime, out of our Revolution performance fabric. We’ve made tote bags and cosmetic bags. This year we have made a bag out of a circular jacquard. The original design was made for last Showtime and was inspired by the total eclipse. "Eclipse" was a larger pattern, about 24 inches with a repeat of 27 inches. We had a customer who wanted to buy the fabric, but needed the layout and scale altered to fit their needs. We made the adjustments to the size and half dropped the design. The re-engineered design is called “Phases”. We are offering it to all of our customers, but others may prefer the altered scale!

Showtime starts next weekend. We are working on all the preparations... making samples, setting up the showroom, double checking appointments, preparing check off sheets, etc.

This is an exciting tome for us. We love the synergy and collaboration of Showtime!

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Instagram Anniversary

Next week is our first anniversary of Brentwood Textiles being on Instagram. It has been better than expected to be a part of Instagram as a brand.

It has so many benefits:

- our customers can get a glimpse of new product introductions and our design sense

- we can show how our fabrics can be used

- we can be inspired by creativity all over the world and then share what we find!

- we can understand our customers brand better

The Instagram world is a free exchange of ideas mainly in a visual format. We find that when we go to markets and shows, borderline strangers can know you and have a good understanding of who we are as a brand and company just from our Instagram profile!

We also have forged some exciting new relationships with designers and influencers. These relationships can be mutually beneficial.

Here are some pictures of some of our more popular/favorite posts. They represent product, collaboration with designers and inspiration from others posts!

We would love for you to follow us, @brentwoodtextiles

Proposte 2018

It’s hard to know where to begin... I guess at the beginning! We recently went to Italy for the fabric show, Proposte.

It was my first time being in Italy and attending Proposte. When we arrived to Lake Como, the beauty of the area was inspirational and overwhelming. Adding to that, the creativity of the European mills was very inspiring; the colors, color combinations, pattern and texture was valuable. We found some new mills, met with existing suppliers and found some exciting new patterns we bought on the spot! Being in that environment got the creativity going. We have several projects started for our next line that we will introduce at December 2018 Showtime.

At the end of the show we met with friends who are also customers, which was so cool! We shared what we saw and found. The customers shared what fabric they bought. It was perfect synergy!

From Lake Como, I traveled to Milan. Oh my! I see now why it’s called the fashion capital of the world. There was inspiration everywhere! I could have spent several more days there because we didn’t have time to see everything on our list. The AirBnB we stayed in was right in the Brera design district. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! But, if you can’t tell, the inspiration from this trip will be with for a long time, if not forever.

To learn more about Proposte, visit their website: http://www.propostefair.it/?lang=en

Above: Photos of Lake Como, Italy

Above: Photos of Proposte location! (bottom left corner is a showroom)

Below: Photos from Milan!

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High Point Furniture Market Spring 2018

 The STI/Revolution Design team seeing some of their designs come to life in High Point!

The STI/Revolution Design team seeing some of their designs come to life in High Point!

This Spring's 2018 Furniture Market was a great success for Revolution fabrics! All of our customers showcased some beautiful pieces of furniture. It's always exciting to see our fabrics applied and hear the positive reactions that come from our customers' customers!

Some of the new trends we saw at this season's market included:

- Faux fur (plush white, fleece look)

- Bold greens 

- Color stories of orange and red (ranging from bold, pumpkin oranges to deep reds)

- Novelty (pillows, accent chairs and ottomans with cats, dogs, birds and even llamas!)

- Bright colored pillows on a beige or white sofa

- Global 

*Check out the photos below of a small selection of all the amazing Revolution we saw at High Point!

Scandinavian Country

This collection started with one original idea and piece of art. This artwork appealed to us because of the emerging trend of 'Scandinavian Country'. The artwork is also paying homage to the hot trend of using decorative tile. We pulled out small patterns from the collage to be allovers:

 Scandinavian Artwork

Scandinavian Artwork

- allover flower

- wedding ring pattern

And did some classics to round it out:

- check

- toss paisley

Lifestyle, relaxed casual, farmhouse, country are other buzz words to describe this collection. Today we are naming the patterns... that sounds easy but it can be difficult, because it can’t be a name that has already been used.

This collection can work as a bedding group or furniture collection.

 Scandinavian Country inspired design in Revolution Plus!

Scandinavian Country inspired design in Revolution Plus!

2018 Design Blogger's Conference

When Revolution was created in February 2015 by STI (Specialty Textiles, Inc.), it was only available for sale to furniture manufacturers. That all changed in January 2017 when Revolution launched it's online store, revolutionfabricbytheyard.com. Revolution was so well received in the furniture retail market, that customers began asking for furniture only covered in Revolution! Now, anyone who wants a PFC chemical free, easy to clean fabric that is made in the United States, can purchase Revolution whenever they want.

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Another huge component of Revolution's online store is their trade program. Interior designers who join Revolution's trade program receive trade pricing and receive a complimentary Revolution designer swatch box set. Revolution is great for all designers, because "life happens" in every home, but it is really great for designers whose main clientele is families or like many of us, people who are redecorating on a budget!

Revolution Performance Fabrics attended and was a sponsor at this year's Designer Blog Conference in Los Angeles, California. The conference has taken place for over five years and now has close to 400 attendees! The conference is specifically focused on the interests of interior designers, design bloggers and anyone who is using the web and blogger networks to grow their brand. There are seminars and break out sessions over the course of three days that discuss best practices and innovations in social media, blogging, e-commerce, digital branding, book publishing and more.

As an exhibiting sponsor, Revolution had a booth where interior designers and all conference attendees could come by to learn more about the product and of course, see the fabric for themselves! Cheryl Luckett, owner of Dwell by Cheryl and Design Ambassador for Revolution, attended the conference, as well as Jill Harrill (Marketing Strategist) and Emily Harry (Brand Ambassador). The Revolution team had the chance to meet some great people from the design community and learned a lot too. Revolution looks forward to participating in next year's Design Bloggers Conference!

To learn more about the Design Blogger's Conference, visit https://design-bloggers-conference.com/

  2018 Design Bloggers Conference

2018 Design Bloggers Conference

  The Revolution Performance Fabrics exhibit booth! Designers were able to see, feel and test the cleaning ability of the fabric for themselves!

The Revolution Performance Fabrics exhibit booth! Designers were able to see, feel and test the cleaning ability of the fabric for themselves!

  Universal Furniture, a valued Revolution customer, also sponsored at the DBC and used a Revolution sofa in their seating area!

Universal Furniture, a valued Revolution customer, also sponsored at the DBC and used a Revolution sofa in their seating area!

  Revolution design ambassador, Cheryl Luckett, ready to share her experiences and knowledge of Revolution! To learn more about Cheryl, visit https://www.revolutionfabricsbytheyard.com/pages/design-ambassador

Revolution design ambassador, Cheryl Luckett, ready to share her experiences and knowledge of Revolution! To learn more about Cheryl, visit https://www.revolutionfabricsbytheyard.com/pages/design-ambassador

  The Revolution team with the Savvy Giving team! Revolution is a proud new supporter of Savvy Giving.   Savvy Giving by Design™ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them. Revolution looks forward to providing the fabric for the Savvy Giving children's rooms! To learn more about Savvy Giving, visit:   https://savvygivingbydesign.org/

The Revolution team with the Savvy Giving team! Revolution is a proud new supporter of Savvy Giving. Savvy Giving by Design™ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them. Revolution looks forward to providing the fabric for the Savvy Giving children's rooms! To learn more about Savvy Giving, visit: https://savvygivingbydesign.org/

It Takes Two

 Photo: Brentwood on Precedent chairs!

Photo: Brentwood on Precedent chairs!

We love our partners! We got news yesterday that one of our partners was having better than expected success with one of our fabrics... they needed more FAST!

It is always exciting to see how our customers can take our fabric and turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture.

We are heading to Pre-Market next week in High Point, North Carolina to get a sneak peek at what our partners are working on.

We truly love what we do and our partners!

 Photo credit: MAYO FURNITURE

Photo credit: MAYO FURNITURE

 Photo Credit: MAYO FURNITURE

Photo Credit: MAYO FURNITURE

Plain and Simple

We weave a lot of plains and textures... I’m not sure how simple it is. It can be more difficult at times to come up with an awesome basecloth.

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First, it starts with the yarn. There are multiple yarn options:

- straight yarns... fine and coarse. The smaller yarns require more picks per inch.

- boucle yarns, fancy yarns... again be small or larger.

- chenille yarns... cut pile yarns in different sizes

You can use these yarns solid, pick and pick or mixed.

Second, you have to decide what warp you’re going to make it on. Like most mills we have certain set ups to choose from:

- number of ends

- dobby or jacquard loom

- size and color of yarn

Third, you have to design the weave. For the dobby loom, we have 12 harnesses so the weave in the horizontal direction repeats in twelve ends or less. There are no limitations with a jacquard since you control each end.

Lastly, you put it all together into a ticket that has all the specifications on how to weave it.

- which warp

- which weave or pattern

- which filling yarns

- which colors for all

- how many picks

- what finish

I haven’t even talked about price point, testing, width, drape ability, hand look... it goes on.

And, with all this I’m still over simplifying... so, as I said in the beginning not so plain and simple!

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Inspiring the Next Generation

The International Textile Alliance (ITA) is a non-profit business association that provides resources and opportunities to its members by promoting education, awareness, advocacy and technology within the textile industry. A key mission for ITA is to help grow and develop future leaders for the industry by creating opportunities for textile students from around the world.

The ITA Educational Foundation helps students find internships and provides them with resources that will help them advance their knowledge and career. Katherine Shoaf, Design Director at STI, is the Educational Foundation Committee Chair and helped to organize this year's tour. 

Every year, ITA hosts a three-day tour that gives the students an inside look at the textile industry from concept to consumer through visits to textile mills, design studios, upholstery manufacturers and printing facilities.

The students visited STI on the first day of their tour to get a firsthand look at a domestic textile mill! The students took a tour of all three plants and met with the design team to learn about their process. This was a great opportunity for STI to meet some future young professionals in the industry and encourage them to pursue a career in textiles!

 ITA Industry Tour Group! There were 22 students from schools across the country, such as: NC State, East Carolina University, Western Carolina, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Georgia and Philadelphia University. Also pictured is  Katherine Shoaf  from STI, and Catherine Morsell and Carrie Purgason from ITA.

ITA Industry Tour Group! There were 22 students from schools across the country, such as: NC State, East Carolina University, Western Carolina, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Georgia and Philadelphia University. Also pictured is Katherine Shoaf from STI, and Catherine Morsell and Carrie Purgason from ITA.

  Chris Dodds  and  Jacob Englert  explaining how the warping process works.

Chris Dodds and Jacob Englert explaining how the warping process works.

 Designer  Glen Read  sharing his experience on merchandising, how to put together a correlate package and where he finds inspiration!

Designer Glen Read sharing his experience on merchandising, how to put together a correlate package and where he finds inspiration!

 Brentwood Textiles designer,  Kathy Dotterer , sharing her experience and thoughts on textile design!

Brentwood Textiles designer, Kathy Dotterer, sharing her experience and thoughts on textile design!

  Jessica Dalton  leading her group through a tour of our new Plant 3!

Jessica Dalton leading her group through a tour of our new Plant 3!

 A group of students seeing firsthand how a loom works!

A group of students seeing firsthand how a loom works!

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Below: The students also visited Bennettsville Printing on their educational tour. Check out the photos below from Bennettsville!

Altogether Now!

We design and introduce products year round. We also work on projects with customers... we love that collaboration!

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That being said, we introduce two lines of fabric a year to the industry at a fabric show called “Showtime”.  Showtime is in High Point, NC in December and June. We typically introduce a variety of looks including plains, textures, small patterns, stripes, prints and jacquards. In those categories we have different style categories based on different trends. In the end, we usually end up with about 100 new styles every 6 months... and of course we carryover our best designs!

Some of our customers like to get our thoughts on how we would style a collection. It is cool to see how the different styles come together to give options to use on a sofa group. Here are some pictures of some of the collections we put together.

Altogether now... collections!

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Carolina Works!

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STI was recently contacted by local photographer, Tim Coffey, about participating in a photography project that celebrates North Carolina manufacturers. The project, called Carolina Works, features photos of the "people behind the product", because without them, there wouldn't be a product! 

Carolina Works is not limited to textile or furniture makers; the project features companies that make car parts, bottled water, decorative laminates, salad dressing and pickles... just to name a few!

Manufacturing is a rich part of the Tarheel state's history and we are proud to be a part of it. Check out the photos below of our awesome STI employees that participated in the Carolina Works project.

To learn more about Carolina Works and to view the full gallery of featured North Carolina manufacturers, visit their page: www.northcarolinaworks.blogspot.com or click here.

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Brian Adams CW.jpg
Julio Burgas CW.jpg
Kathy Dotterer CW.jpg
Katina Jones CW.jpg
Leslie McCraw CW.jpg
Thomas Berryann CW.jpg
Tyler Colyer CW.jpg
Yvette Calderon CW.jpg

Floor or Wall?

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We offer a variety of designs in chenille floor cloths made in Turkey. They are awesome! As rugs do, they add a pop of color or give foundation to the room. We now offer three sizes: small, medium and large. Some are colorful, while others are more muted tones.

We were looking for artwork to use in our showroom and we had the idea to use a floor cloth on the wall - it worked out perfectly! The texture of the abstract drawing with the vibrant colors works just like a painting, but with the added dimension of texture.

Another tip, you can use these floor cloths on any surface: hardwoods, tile and carpet. I’ve used them in the kitchen, great room, studio/office and bedroom. Next, I need one in my dining room since we have the large format. They also look great to layered! Have fun... use your imagination!

So, add a floor or “wall” cloth to a room to add a little more interest to that room.

 Above: Watercolor floor cloth hung in the Brentwood show room

Above: Watercolor floor cloth hung in the Brentwood show room

 Layered, patchwork floor cloths in the Brentwood show room in High Point, NC

Layered, patchwork floor cloths in the Brentwood show room in High Point, NC

 Watercolor inspired, beautiful floor cloth!

Watercolor inspired, beautiful floor cloth!

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