NEW UNIT AT TEXFI: In an effort to enter the better sportswear and dress markets, Texfi Industries Inc. has formed a new apparel fabrics segment, Texfi Collections.

The unit, part of Texfi's finished fabrics division, will be headed by John Brown. Brown reports to Andrew Parise Jr., president of Texfi's finished fabrics division.

Texfi Collections will feature primarily 100 percent rayon fabrics, and blends of rayon and wool and rayon and silk. Among the styles that are being featured are crepes, twills and high-twist cords.

"This will get us into some prime areas, places where we really haven't been before, such as the better branded business," said Parise. "It won't be a large business, but I expect it to add about 10 percent to the finished fabrics business."

Last year, Texfi's finished fabrics division contributed 60 percent of the company's overall sales of $311.2 million.

Brown, who joined Texfi June 1, was formerly president of Copensport, a manufacturer of women's sportswear fabrics and a division of Copen Associates, a converter in New York.

During his five years at Copen, Brown redirected the firm's business aimed at the better sportswear market. Prior to Copensport, Brown held various management positions at Burlington Industries, Channel and Lida.

In addition to Texfi Collections, other units in Texfi's finished fabrics division are Texfi Blends, which markets moderately priced apparel fabrics; Texfi Special T, which supplies home furnishings and high-tech fabrics, and Texfi Elastics, a narrow elastics business.

SHAMASH'S LINEN FOCUS: Shamash & Sons Inc., a $75 million international manufacturer and converter of primarily silk fabrics, is aiming to strengthen its linen and ramie business, forming a new division, JS Linens.

The division is headed by Mark Shelton, director. Shelton, who is also a vice president of Shamash, reports to Jeffrey White, Shamash's president. The division will offer solids, prints and yarn-dyes in five categories: all-flax linen; blends of linen and cotton; all ramie; blends of linen-like viscose and cotton, and blends of rayon and linen. JS is featuring linen from China, Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium and Ireland, with the finishing done in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Prices are between $3 and $11 per yard. The majority of the business, Shelton said, will be between $5 and $7.Linen and ramie, which currently comprise about 15 percent of Shamash's overall business, should hit about $20 million in sales by the end of 1995, White said.

"Linen can't be just an aside for us," White said, noting that 75 percent of the business will be aimed at women's wear accounts. "It's a strong market now, and we need to have it run almost as its own business."

JS, with its own space at 42 West 38th Street (Shamash is at 42 West 39th), has four salespeople "who will only be involved in linen and ramie sales," said Shelton.

This is Shelton's second tour of duty at Shamash. Ten years ago, he was a sales representative for the firm. For the past seven years, Shelton was market manager for Springs Industries' Ultrasuede division. He departed that post in March and returned to Shamash on June 15.

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