Sunbury Offers Microban® Finishes At Premium Price

June 19, 2003

CHICAGO – Sunbury Textile Mills has signed a licensing agreement with Microban to produce a line of upholstery fabrics with anti-stain and anti-microbial properties.

The deal was effective October 1 but not announced until this moment.

Synthetics Finishing Inc., (North Wales, Pa.) will finish the Sunbury fabrics with the Microban finish on an exclusive basis not available to any other customer.

Microban will be applied to upholstery for use in hospitality, medical, residential, office, restaurants and healthcare facilities. "The customer will specify Microban and will pay a premium for it," said Hank Truslow Jr., president of Sunbury. "Microban has broadest application of any performance product that we offer at Sunbury.

"We have a desire to be innovative at Sunbury beyond the typical textile company. Value comes from the performance of our fabrics." Microban's vice president of business development Kelly Warren said that his competitors have only one product but Microban can be formulated to retard mildew or bacteria or mold or a combination of all three with EPA approved additives. "This is a multimillion dollar business."

Truslow and Warren shared a booth showcasing the new Microban/Sunbury fabrics during Neocon in June.

Microban is a new name to home furnishings but it is 16 years old in the medical market. "It was first used as an additive to keep bandage wraps for cast material smelling fresh. We expanded the Microban line over the years to include a family of 12 different additives under the same umbrella." Microban has spent advertising dollars promoting the brand over the years and intends to step up the pitch with Sunbury. Sunbury expects to use a mobile presentation in the form of a truck for retail promotions around the country.

"Six years ago, we started to build the Microban brand with a focus on the home environment including textiles, plastics and liquids. We have other licensing agreements but this one with Sunbury is the only agreement we have in the home furnishings industry."

Sunbury owns the Microban brand in the home furnishings industry it was stressed for worldwide application.

Microban is said to stop the growth of bacteria mold and mildew. "It keeps products fresher between cleaning," said Warren. It is said to last for six dry cleanings in the case of upholstery but it was also pointed out that nobody dry-cleans upholstery.

Microban is said to stop stains and odors. Microban is engineered into the upholstery for a lifetime of use, they said.

Bill Henry is president of Microban Americas, a privately owned New York company. The owner is William Rubenstein and his son Andrew heads Microban International with offices in Canada, Mexico, London, France, and Bangkok.

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