Deventer, 27 February 2018
Below is a press release from Scott Fortunoff of Jaftex sent to the world last night. We are extremely happy that Coats found a new place for their designers and their brand FreeSpirit.
Last week was a rollercoaster for us all, but mainly for all the fabric lovers in the world. It looked like Coats was just closing down and that was what they told the whole world. Scott Fortunoff and his team recognized the huge value of the designers and brand and with his extreme high knowledge of retail, designing fabrics and managing a great company he stepped forward with his father and brothers.
I’m sure we will see changes, but all for the good. For now we just celebrate that FreeSpirit is alive, the designers are saved and we can keep bringing these great designs to all the retailers in Europe in the next coming years.
Thank you Robert, Greg, Scott, Keith and many others who were involved.
On behalf of our Rhinetex team,
Irene & Maarten
Press Release – FreeSpirit Fabrics
JAFTEX CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INTENT TO PURCHASE FREESPIRIT FABRICS
(Charlotte, NC) Today, the Jaftex Corporation, a fourth generation, family-owned textile company, announced its intent to acquire FreeSpirit Fabrics. The acquisition would expand on Jaftex’s portfolio that currently includes Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp., Fabric Editions and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.
The plan under the ownership of Robert, Greg and Scott Fortunoff is to ensure minimal disruption to the marketplace in terms of FreeSpirit’s current distribution and introduction of new lines. The “new” FreeSpirit will have a full presence at the Spring International Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon including artists Tula Pink and a premier schoolhouse by Anna Marie Horner and her new conservatory program.
“We are ecstatic to carry on the premier FreeSpirit brand,” said Scott Fortunoff (4th generation.) “Our intention is to maintain the ethos of the brand and its portfolio of well-recognized designers as well as the majority of the internal FreeSpirit team. We will continue to move forward with all of the existing marketing and sales efforts. We look forward to serving all of our retail partners with all of our brands, including FreeSpirit, for many years to come.”
Established in 2000, FreeSpirit brought vibrant, bold and large-scale designs from world-renowned licensed artists whose personalities equaled the brilliance of their fabric. Coats purchased the brand in 2007. Today, the global portfolio of artists includes the Kaffe Fassett Collective, Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, The Original Morris & Co., Dena Designs, Snow Leopard Studios, Jennifer Paganelli, Heather Bailey and many more talented artists.
“We could not be more thrilled to be working with a company that has a true entrepreneurial spirit,” said Kaffe Fassett. “We move forward, grateful that the Fortunoff family recognizes the excellence of our brand.”
“Uniquely, this acquisition brings us a proven brand with a plethora of well-loved designers. We look forward to bringing this together with minimal disruption to the retailers’ inventory of their favorite designer’s fabrics,” said Greg Fortunoff.
FreeSpirit is a brand under Westminster Fibers, Inc., which is part of Coats. It is one of the leading suppliers of high quality quilting fabrics and well known in the textile industry for its creative and unique fabric designs as well as talented and trend-setting artists. FreeSpirit offers retail stores some of the finest fabrics in the market that inspire sewing creativity and speaks to a new generation of sewing enthusiasts.
About Jaftex Corporation:
Jaftex Corporation is an 88 year-old, 4th generation, family owned business, based out of New York City. Jaftex has several well-known brands under its umbrella that include A.E. Nathan Co., Inc., Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & Fabric Editions. All of the companies under the Jaftex umbrella were acquired over the last 25 years.
Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in some 60 countries, Coats employs 19,000 people across six continents.
Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value-added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Performance Materials threads and yarns in areas such as automotive, composites and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online. Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange.
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Rhinetex bv is an 33 year-young, family owned business based in Deventer The Netherlands. We’re your specialist in lifestyle fabrics. As Rhinetex we bring creativity and innovation to the European lifestyle fabric industry. This, combined with great customer service are the ingredients on which we base our future growth and expansion. We offer a wide range of the best fabrics and notions for the creatives: handwork, patchwork and quilting, home decoration, lifestyle and more.
In the major part of Europe, Rhinetex has the exclusive rights to represent Moda: trendsetter and market leader in the world of patchwork and quilting and FreeSpirit: one of the biggest brands in the world. FreeSpirit offers a magnificent choice of designs made by young and enthusiastic designers. Next to Moda and FreeSpirit we represent from America: Windham Fabrics and In the Beginning. We offer must-have notions from Sewline, Clover, Superior Thread, Aurifil and more. Our wool is coming from West Yorkshire Spinners and last but not least we proudly represent HandiQuilter machines.