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Producers tout soft feel, state-of-the-art technology

As technology becomes more advanced, fiber companies continue to find new and innovative ways to develop softer feels while pro- viding increased performance and durability for an increasing number of applications.

Last year Mohawk purchased Wear-Dated. Now it is taking full advantage of its investment by introducing a spectrum of Wear-Dated products, including two new soft yarn technologies.

While all Wear-Dated products are inherently soft, Wear- Dated DuraSoft offers extra softness and even more durability, noted David Duncan, vice president of marketing for Mohawk Residential. “The ultra-plush thickness in this resilient, 100% premium nylon fiber provides additional com- fort without sacrificing performance attributes.

Wear-Dated’s new Soft- Touch with SoftFusion technology combines twist, heat and a proprietary process that delivers a supremely soft, plush fiber, he explained. “The process makes Wear-Dated SoftTouch the softest, soft nylon fiber in carpet.” Mohawk is also supporting the Wear-Dated introductions with new marketing materials, a new co-op program and retail sales associate incentives.

“What we’re really talking to our retail partners about lately is our marketing platform,” he said. “Basically, what kind of support systems can we provide them in-store to help connect them to the consumer, help train their retail sales associates, help them advertise and merchandise better.”

At Invista, where the theme has been, “real performance for real homes,” the company has recently launched a tabletop display. “Softness is also a key focus for us this year,” said Tony Morakis, director of residential marketing.

And while the company has a strong soft story, performance is also a key focus, according to Steve Griffith, vice president of residential flooring. “You can make anything soft, but you can’t make anything perform. With all the warranties out there, the performance story is the point of differentiation, which enables a consumer to make a value decision. That’s what we’re about.”

At Shaw, the mill has announced the creation of its new branded fiber “hierarchy” that structures its brands to demonstrate their respective benefits and warranty packages. The company’s three primary fiber brands—Anso, EverTouch nylon and ClearTouch PET—feature comprehensive warranties that reflect the quality and attributes of each fiber type.

“We’ve been trying to simplify and enhance our warranties to make them more dealer and consumer friendly,” said Mike Leary, director of external fiber sales/marketing. “The new structure also ensures our warranties align with and support our brands.”

As of January 1, Anso nylon warranties now include limited lifetime warranties for stain and soil resistance, an enhancement Leary said was made possible primarily as a result of the effectiveness of Shaw’s patented R2X stain and soil resistance system. An added feature to the stain warranty is a limited warranty against pet urine stains.

Shaw’s Anso carpets also now offer 20-year texture retention, abrasive wear, Quality Assurance and SoftBac Platinum warranties. Anso warranties are also distinct from Shaw’s other carpet warranties in that they are non-prorated, transferable, labor-inclusive, and include stairs and hallways.

EverTouch now also features limited lifetime warranties for stain and soil resistance, including the limited pet urine warranty. Warranties for texture retention, abrasive wear, Quality Assurance, and SoftBac Platinum are 15 years for EverTouch products.

ClearTouch styles carry a limited lifetime stain warranty, including pet urine coverage, and 15 years for soil resistance. Texture retention, abrasive wear, quality assurance, and SoftBac Platinum warranties are 10 years. Like the EverTouch warranties, Clear-Touch warranties are pro-rated and not transferable.

-Louis Iannaco