Milliken Millennium Sees $15-$20 Million Business in 5 Years

September 5, 1999

New York, NY - Within five years, Milliken & Company will be a $15-20 million contract fabric business, said
Paul Loadholdt, the marketing manager of Milliken & Company. Based in Spartanburg, S.C., the company recently introduced Jacquard Plus to its Millennium line for healthcare and hospitality markets.

Jacquard Plus is a 100 percent, solution-dyed nylon upholstery fabric. It boasts the ability to protect against bacteria and fungi, is resistant not only to stains and spills but also to the effects of cleaning and abrasion that occur over time, yet is strong enough to be cleaned with bleach, the makers said.

"A survey of 400 owners, purchasing directors, CEO's and facility managers drove the development of the Millennium collection. All of these people said they wanted the aesthetics which vinyls didn't offer as well as ease of maintenance and durability," said Loadholdt.

Millennium fabrics are said to come clean with waterbased or solvent base cleaners with no damage to the fabrics. Milliken offers a five year 'WearProof' warranty on the Millennium fabrics against wear and tear. And, the technology used in the making of Jacquard Plus enables the fabric to "preserve a true fabric hand," while offering a 'superior' form of stain protection. Jacquard Plus is rated at one million double rubs while Millennium prints are guaranteed 200,000 double rubs," said Loadholdt.

"With the aging population and the growth of senior living facilities, there is a competition to keep the occupancy of these facilities filled by the property owners. By offering better looking fabrics with high durability, the owners can make their facilities more attractive and highly competitive," said Loadholdt.

Culp Contract distributes the Millennium line, selling it to approximately 10 small distributors and directly to major OEM's like Herman Miller and Steelcase, Loadholdt explained.

Millennium fabrics feature a patented moisture barrier plus a printed or jacquard face. Milliken, a privately held vertical mill with an estimated $3 billion in sales, produces and weaves the Millennium fabrics. The collection features 1,000 different prints and hundreds of woven jacquard designs. Custom designs are available through distributors, Loadholdt said.

Millennium recently named Materialised, based in Australia, as its distributor for Australia/Asia. Struan Fabrics in the U.K. will distribute the lines in Europe.

The Millennium fabrics collections will be shown at Decosit in the Culp stand.

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