Innovation, fashion on display at record-breaking ISPA EXPO

ISPA EXPO 2014 view of the show floor

When we think of ISPA EXPO, we think of mattress manufacturing machinery, and there was plenty of that at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, March 26-29. In fact, the magazine’s July cover story will provide full details on machinery introductions and updates at this year’s show, so don’t miss it.

But more so than ever, ISPA EXPO 2014 was a really big fashion show. BedTimes staff spotted more fabric suppliers, more sumptuous knits, many tailored concept beds and fabulous cut-and-sewn covers, more sparkling mattress tapes, intricately sewn mattress handles and brilliant spools of threads. Even the aesthetics of foams and latex seemed to have grown more beautiful, textured and colorful—and then there were those kelly green machine parts. In short, this was the mattress industry’s biggest design show in history, and textiles were major scene-stealers.

Coming in July: The July issue of BedTimes will feature an in-depth cover story on the latest developments in the machinery world. Stay tuned for even more news on the machines that made their debut at ISPA EXPO 2014.

The International Sleep Products Association reported that this year’s show was one of the most successful in EXPO history. The nearly 3,300 attendees saw the very latest in machinery, components, services and technology from a record-setting 214 exhibitors from 23 countries in the vibrant city of New Orleans.

“I think our record-breaking numbers reflect the enthusiasm and optimism that’s been building throughout the mattress industry,” said ISPA President Ryan Trainer. “ISPA staff worked hard to make sure this EXPO provided something for everyone.”

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

ISPA Chairman and Restonic President Ron Passaglia, ISPA Senior Vice President Catherine Lyons and ISPA President Ryan Trainer cut the ribbon on the show floor on opening day.

ISPA Chairman and Restonic President Ron Passaglia, ISPA Senior Vice President Catherine Lyons and ISPA President Ryan Trainer cut the ribbon on opening day.

“The show is well-organized and the quality of the exhibits was excellent,” said Alvin Kaplan, vice president/principal of infant bedding company Just Born in White Plains, N.Y. “Attending EXPO is the most time-efficient way to see multiple suppliers and the latest trends. If you don’t go, you’re missing out on seeing all kinds of valuable resources.”

“I’ve never been more excited about an EXPO,” said Skip Naboicheck, vice president of manufacturer Gold Bond. “For us, it was one of the better shows.”

Manuel Lopez Castillejos, director general for Colchones Wendy/Serta in Guadalajara, Mexico, said he’s been coming to EXPO for 31 years.

ISPA EXPO 2014 show floor

Nearly 3,300 attendees saw the very latest in machinery, components, services and technology from a record-setting 214 exhibitors.

“Almost everything you see is new, from machinery to materials,” he said. “We get new ideas for designs, and it’s also an important opportunity to meet and socialize with old friends.”

Many exhibitors we spoke with—especially the myriad fabric suppliers—reported excellent traffic and interest from attendees.

“This has been a really good show for us with wonderful traffic,” said Camilla Franklin, product manager for AEC Narrow Fabrics.

“We are having a great show and we work with all of the vendors here,” said Paola Ramos, MFI International marketing director.

“We made quite a few new contacts at this show, especially companies from Mexico and South America,” said Sumya Diaz, sales manager for Estarreja, Portugal-based Maquinol Intelligent Machinery, which introduced a new automatic pillow injection line.

Fabrics at the forefront

This was a fabric buyer’s show; beautiful design elements in panels, borders and tapes were a show highlight.

High Point, N.C.-based ticking supplier Culp Inc. displayed panel and border fabrics as well as concept beds produced through its partnership with Chicago-based sewing operation A. Lava & Son. The cut-and-sew business, CLASS, stands for Culp Lava Applied Sewn Solutions.

“In mattress fabrics, bright whites are popular, as are cooler grays with bluish tints on the border,” said Steve Bond, Culp vice president of design and innovation. “Design is moving away from traditional, but not too far from it. And fabric stories, such as new yarns and finishes that promote a cooling effect, continue to be strong.”

In several sewn cover samples, Culp used lofty, three-dimensional “blister” knits from its Cumulus collection, some with subtle gradient color.

The humble border-closing mattress tape has come a long way.

“The tape is no longer just a closing product—it’s a trend that has escalated in the last three years,” said Franklin, of AEC Narrow Fabrics. “There is much more embellished product now and, often, tapes are used in mattress handles to dress up the bed and to brand it.”

As for color, gray is still strong with blues making inroads. Not just spa-like pale hues, Franklin says, but stronger, richer blues.

“Manufacturers are finding that tape is a good way to introduce some color if you’re not comfortable moving away from white fabrics,” said Franklin.

AEC debuted fashion-forward printed tapes in a wide range of colors, from the currently trendy gray to a growing blue palette and more feminine colors. Bits of sparkle were also added to several introductions to draw the attention of mattress shoppers.

Bo-Buck Mills

Bo-Buck Mills celebrated Mardi Gras with mattress tape.

Chesterfield, S.C.-based Bo-Buck Mills Inc. went all out with an eye-catching, Mardi Gras-inspired booth and displays. The tape supplier introduced a range of decorative tapes, both knitted and yarn-dyed wovens. Colors included the ever-popular gray along with trending colors such as blue-greens, navy, coppers and pinks, as well as purple in all shades, including those inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. The company also showcased herringbone and haute couture-inspired textures for added interest.

Jeff Miller, vice president of business development at BRK Group, a supplier of tapes, ticking and embroidery based in Pico Rivera, Calif., said his company has expanded its services to include an entire range of display items.

“We have gotten heavily into POP items, branded headboards, everything a mattress manufacturer needs—in addition to our sewing capabilities, such as finished handles that incorporate a fancy tape,” said Miller.

At knit supplier Innofa, a revolution is afoot. In addition to adding cut-and-sew capabilities, the Tilburg, Holland-based company (with U.S. headquarters in Eden, N.C.) launched the Co-Creative Cover collection, which has the look of a cut-and-sewn cover, but isn’t; it’s a one-piece, patent-pending engineered knit fabric.

“This is a fabric buyer’s dream,” said Lynn Pappas, Innofa designer. “You no longer have to source fabrics for borders, panels and tapes from a multitude of suppliers, but can create a complete, beautifully designed mattress cover, seamlessly.”

Johan Cleyman, Innofa USA managing director, added, “(Co-Creative Covers) have immense design possibilities. It’s a cover that stays in place and offers seamless design transitions that allow you to add corner elements on borders that transition to the top panel for added pop.”

Rock Hill, S.C.-based Springs Creative introduced new technology for its Airweb nonwoven and its Verge FR fabric that President Scott Frisch called “game changers,” providing new levels of performance at a relatively lower cost.

Airweb has been redesigned for the bedding industry to provide a support layer that allows maximum airflow when added to the overall mattress construction. Rigidity and flex are controlled by fiber diameter and design construction, which can vary depending on the needs of the mattress producer. In addition, Frisch said Airweb is an affordable alternative to spacer fabrics as it has a much simpler manufacturing method.

The company’s Verge FR border fabric requires no quilting or laminating because the fabric is inherently FR, is precut to a producer’s size needs, and can be printed, which creates enormous design potential in a simple-to-use product.

Textile supplier DesleeClama, with world headquarters in Zonnebeke, Belgium, and North American headquarters in Inman, S.C., displayed the new Identity collection on full-size panels in a swivel display at the center of its booth.

“We saw all of our targeted manufacturers at this show and the Identity collection with its creative textile designs was very well-received,” said Craig Dunlop, DesleeClama N.A. president. “We also introduced over 10 beautiful yarn colors into our collection to bolster our already broad depth of color.”

In addition, the textile supplier “had a terrific response to” the launch of Embrace, a one-piece knit program that incorporates separate panel and border designs into a single fabric to minimize manufacturers’ cut-and-sew requirements.

Fabric supplier Bekaert Textiles Group, with world headquarters in Waregem, Belgium, and U.S. headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., had a bustling showroom that featured the company’s full range of knits, wovens and engineered fabrics, as well as a special group of fabric collections designed especially for EXPO by each member of its design department.

Alamance, N.C.-based CT Nassau used EXPO as a chance to show the industry its new face, which Design Manager Rose Fleming described as “strong in innovation with a twist of Italian design flair.” The company showed bold, contemporary knit panels with a variety of looks.

Lava Textiles, with world headquarters in Wielsbeke, Belgium, and U.S. headquarters in Inman, S.C., featured High Definition knits with intricate patterns and fine detail made with micro-denier Tencel yarns on “finer gauge” knitting machines. The company also announced a new partnership with a U.S.-based upholstery fabric producer.

In addition to a new line of upholstery fabrics for bed borders, Gastonia, N.C.-based Creative Ticking introduced CoolBreezzz, a knit ticking with phase-change material. The company also featured Recoveree, a super-stretch knit using “quick recovery yarns” that launched in mid-2013, and a lofty, textural knit group with cashmere.

Introductions at full-line ticking supplier Duncan Ticking, based in Oklahoma City, included a new range of foil-printed mattress ticking. The booth also had a full complement of smile-inducing stuffed puppies and dogs in all shapes and sizes covered with the company’s latest ticking designs.

Montreal, Canada-based Maxime Knitting took advantage of EXPO’s setting in The Big Easy by developing a series of New Orleans-themed knit fabrics, each of which highlighted a particular feature. French Quarter Romance showed off the company’s organic cotton; Iron Lace was a Tencel story; and The Big Easy highlighted cooling with the company’s new Max Breeze PCM phase-change material.

“Knit fabrics, borders, tops, sides, bottoms—we’re dressing the whole bed,” said Designer Catherine Ellyson.

At Scarborough, Ontario-based Fine Cotton Factory, which has its roots in apparel, Business Development Manager Manny Tagger said that vibrant colors were the big trend this year. Lime greens, teal, different patterns and mixes of yarn blends, Tencels, micro-cottons, cashmere blends and animal prints were all on display.

“It’s bold, vibrant, different,” said Tagger. “For me, everything is funky, different, irregular. You want to stand out.”

Cut-and-sew steals the show

Many fabric suppliers promoted new cut-and-sew capabilities designed to fulfill mattress makers’ growing desire to offer high fashion while simplifying the mattress assembly process.

Fabric supplier Creative Ticking promoted its new sewn cover capabilities, Creative Cut and Sew, with an attractive display of carefully detailed finished covers, as well as a glitzy duvet fashioned from one of its lofty knits and adorned with faux diamond buttons.

Supreme Quilting, a supplier of sewn covers, kits, quilts and custom sewing in Etobicoke, Ontario, displayed a full slate of sewn cover styles. Most popular is the Natural collection, said President Steven Finkelstein. The organic cotton cover, which is available in blue plaid, an Oeko-Tex certified natural, dyed yarn, has a cheesecloth backing fabric. The only thing that isn’t “natural” is the zipper and Kevlar thread, he added.

The hottest trends in sewn covers are contrasting, angled fabric on the border corners, center panel motifs that highlight zoning—and competitive pricing, Finkelstein said.

Bekaert Textiles drew applause for its sewn cover display at the center of its exhibition space. The company showcased handsome, decorative cover designs, a result of the 2012 purchase of Riverside, Calif.-based cut-and-sew company Progressive Products Inc.

At MFI International, which provides manufacturing services in the U.S./Mexico border region, the cut-and-sewn cover display was impressive.

“We are being more innovative in our designs and in the manufacturability of products,” said Fatih Akben, MFI director of business development. “We also are seeing a big trend toward bringing manufacturing back from the Far East, where you’re in the same time zone and have shorter lead times.”

Enriquez Materials and Quilting Inc., which specializes in sewn covers, kits and quilts, and supplies a range of other mattress components, featured its sewn-cover capabilities at the show. The Commerce, Calif.-based company displayed a semicircle of zippered covers, most of which had the look of a traditional mattress, from quilted borders to tape-edges to pillow-tops.

“These sewn covers are the focus of our show,” said Jorge Sifuentes, Enriquez sales manager. “You can drop in a foam-encased spring unit or a foam core. We’ve also got an all-natural, zippered covered with organic cotton and Joma wool.”

Fabulous fibers, threads

Jones Fiber at ISPA EXPO 2014

Jones Fiber Products Inc. launched a lighter weight, more affordable FR barrier that uses silica fiber. Pictured from left, Wendy Hartsoe, account manager; Richard Ayers, managing director and chief financial officer; Kennie Oliver, president; and Doug Gillespie, western territory manager.

The fibers used in mattresses run the gamut from utilitarian—insulator pads of recycled-fiber—to the exotic—how about a camel-hair comfort layer? Mattress manufacturers had their pick of fibers at this show and there were even some interesting new FR barrier fabrics on display.

Insulator pad and FR supplier Jones Fiber Products Inc. unveiled a lighter weight, more affordable FR barrier that uses about 3% to 5% silica fiber in place of FR-inherent rayon to provide improved char strength, while driving down mattress manufacturers’ costs. The new barrier weighs just 0.5 ounces per square foot, as compared with 1 ounce per square foot of previous-generation barriers.

Enkev Fibers at ISPA EXPO 2014

Marc Doktor, commercial director for Enkev Group, showed off fibers produced at one of the company’s newly GOTS-certified facilities.

“It’s all about performance,” said Richard Ayers, Jones Fiber managing director and chief financial officer. “We have gotten ourselves into some fascinating (FR) science. It’s all about tensile strength, and we’ve invested heavily in research into new fibers that improve performance at lighter weights.”

Mattress manufacturers shopping for natural fibers had a number of choices at this show, including Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia-based Ko-Si, which made its second ISPA EXPO appearance, offering a range of plant fibers—from sea grass to sisal—and more exotic animal hair, including camel and cashmere.

With the tag line, “No GOTS, no glory,” Volendam, the Netherlands-based natural fiber supplier Enkev Group promoted a new collection of alpaca, flax and Merino wool fibers produced at its Havivank facility, which is now certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard.

Ron Rose, sales manager at recycled fiber supplier Leigh Fibers Inc., which has headquarters in Wellford, S.C., sees a trend toward partnering with his mattress industry customers.

“It’s a sign that business in the mattress industry is good and our customers—intermediate industry suppliers—want assurances that their supply streams are and will remain stable,” said Rose.

Martex Fiber, a textile recycler based in Charlotte, N.C., exhibited at EXPO for the first time. For more than 40 years the company has supplied post-industrial textile recycling services and recycled fiber sales to bedding and component manufacturers. Martex has a “No Fiber Left Behind” guarantee that all waste purchased will be recycled. Martex serves North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Mount Holly, N.C.-based American & Efird Inc. introduced a range of new colors in its FR thread for mattress production.

Durak, a specialist in sewing and embroidery threads, introduced a patented pre-wound bobbin that holds three times more thread than typical and feeds from the center. The new bobbin doesn’t rotate, which is an advantage for producers because the thread’s tension is more stable and requires fewer changes.

Carlstadt, N.J.- based Diamond Needle Corp. showcased its latest titanium needles, which the company said last three to five times longer than chrome, to help bedding producers overcome the challenges of sewing FR textiles.

Texas Pocket Springs' Martin Wolfson

Martin Wolfson, president of Texas Pocket Springs displays a glue-free, ultrasonically welded version of his company’s patented Quad-Coil wrapped coils.

Spring forward

Innerspring suppliers offered up their share of innovation at this show—from new types of pocket-spring welding, to taller and smaller coils, to far-out wooden springs.

At Texas Pocket Springs, which “had a steady stream of high-quality visitors,” according to Martin Wolfson, president of the Cleburne, Texas-based company, the news was an ultrasonically welded

pocket spring—using the company’s patented Quad-Coil construction—that is glue free.

“In a queen-size (pocket spring core), you use about 4 pounds of hot-melt adhesive,” said Wolfson. “With our GlueLess Pocket Springs you use none. In very warm or cold climates, hot melts can melt or they can crumble—the glue is the weakest part of the bed.”

Leggett & Platt's Mark Quinn and Mark Kinsley

Among the mattress component news at Leggett & Platt, as demonstrated by Mark Kinsley (left), staff vice president of marketing, and Mark Quinn, segment vice president of marketing, were the launches of NanoCoil mini microcoils and Quantum Edge support coils.

Industry supplier Leggett & Platt, with headquarters in Carthage, Mo., placed its focus on the comfort layers of the mattress. It uses Fine Wire Technology to produce the new NanoCoil, a mini micro-coil. A typical queen mattress using three layers of Leggett & Platt pocket springs will contain about 3,700 coils, said Mark Quinn, L&P segment vice president of marketing. Or, at a slightly higher price-point, mattress makers can add L&P’s new SomniGel buckling gel comfort layer to the top of the bed.

Leggett & Platt also promoted Quantum Edge wrapped coils as a replacement to foam encasements. The tall, narrow coils offer a more durable seat-edge than polyurethane foam and work better with adjustable bases than foam encasements.

VitalWood Bio-Textima

Hungarian supplier VitalWood/Bio-Textima made its EXPO debut with a unique line of wooden springs.

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based innerspring importer Supreme Springs, which has a distribution agreement with Turkish springs producer Boyçelik, announced it has added a warehouse on the West Coast, and is considering other sites in Chicago and Tennessee. According to founder and principal Isaac Jemal, the company tripled its business from 2012 to 2013 and is on track to triple it yet again by the end of 2014.

Hungarian supplier VitalWood/Bio-Textima made its EXPO debut with a unique line of wooden springs that are handmade from 100% natural compressed beech wood or oak. Commercial Director Gábor Vörös said that the wooden springs were first created to address a demand in Europe for “green” products, and that business is booming there. The company made its U.S. debut in Las Vegas this January, and Vörös said his product had garnered a lot of attention at ISPA EXPO.

“This show is very, very good for us,” he said. “We are very satisfied.”

Foam, latex and gel

Orsa Foam at ISPA EXPO 2014

Orsa Foam S.p.A. used eye-catching Plexiglass columns to showcase its range of foams, which include Breeze, a new, very open-cell foam that allows air to pass through the mattress with ease.

Suppliers of foams, latex and gel offered their share of innovation at this show.

Vita Talalay, part of the Vita Group, with headquarters in Maastricht, the Netherlands, added a far broader range of product grades—or comfort levels—to its Natural Talalay product, which launched at Interzum Cologne last May. The company now offers 100% natural Talalay latex with an indentation load deflection of from 9 ILD to 45 ILD.

Latex supplier Mountain Top Foam, with headquarters in Mountain Top, Pa., had a busy show. Attendees were drawn to the company’s display of undulating, sculpted latex toppers. Mountain Top uses an “eco-friendly” Dunlop continuous process to produce everything from synthetic latex to 100% natural latex toppers and cores.

Ed Wolff, Mountain Top’s director of manufacturing, said that many mattress makers are turning to its sculpted latex toppers, in place of memory foam, because of their durability and breathability.

Lavonia, Ga.-based latex supplier Latexco showcased its entry into the polyurethane foam category. Fom is a colorful specialty polyurethane foam collection that launched at Interzum Cologne 2013, and is suitable for cores and toppers. It is available in three formulations with varying densities and response times. One of the benefits of Fom, Latexco says, is its uniform density, which means the consumer will experience the same “flow and bounce” when sitting on a corner or lying down in the middle.

Industry supplier HSM, which supplies a complete range of mattress components, is doing all the work for mattress manufacturers with its new Perceptive Sleep system. The pre-built cores from the Hickory, N.C.-based company, are available in foam or foam and springs, and with or without an FR solution. The program has an all “Made in America” story and includes a complete mattress solution with customizable zippered cover. 

“In addition to choosing whether they want a customized bed build sub-system or a customized completed mattress, OEMs can choose from among one of three good, better, best foam mattress options,” said Brent Limer, HSM director of new business development.

The system’s Pro Foam mattress line includes 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch offerings, all made with high-density polyurethane base foams as well as a mixture of viscoelastic and viscoelastic gel foams.

Leggett & Platt entered the gel category with buckling SomniGel for mattress comfort layers. In 2012, L&P acquired the exclusive license from Alpine, Utah-based EdiZone for the use of buckling gel in mattress comfort layers. Buckling gel is said to provide pressure relief and improve airflow. The unique design uses hollow columns constructed of pure gel that buckle as weight is applied, redistributing the load to surrounding columns and relieving pressure points.

“There is a very crowded space with gel, and people are hungry for something unique,” said Segment Vice President of Marketing Mark Quinn.

Machinery on the main stage

Mattress manufacturing machinery is always the centerpiece of ISPA EXPO, and this show was no different. In addition to myriad new machines and machinery updates from the industry’s two major players, Atlanta Attachment and Leggett & Platt Global Systems Group, smaller exhibitors had plenty to share with show-goers.

At Atlanta Attachment, several machines were designed specifically for smaller manufacturers who often need more versatility.

“More and more, what our customer is looking for is flexibility,” said Warren Oxley, a design engineer for the Lawrenceville, Ga.-based company.

As usual, Atlanta Attachment showcased many new machines at EXPO—15 in all, including new laminating and packaging machines, as well as new and updated border equipment.

An impressive laminating and packaging machine from the company’s new partnership with C3 rolls a thin layer of adhesive onto the foam for even distribution and no saturation in any one area, which Oxley said saves on the cost of adhesives and also means the adhesive dries very quickly. The machine also compresses the mattress side-to-side without losing its integrity for easy packaging.

The company also showcased the 4500 border quilter, which features a 65-needle mini quilter for straight-line sewing, as well as two moving chain-stitch macines. The machine offers so many features that Oxley called it “the Cadillac of border quilters.”

Leggett & Platt, too, had an impressive display of 12 to 14 new machines at EXPO through its GSG division. Much of the new and updated equipment addressed the needs of foam bed manufacturing—from applying FR socks to adhesive application.

For example, the GMS 1050 stuffs heavy foam cores into FR socks and can be used with the GBC 1000C closer, which features a more consistent seal to satisfy FR requirements.

The GB-1 Glue Bridge multi-head, water-based adhesive system isn’t new, but the Gluebot robotic glue system from Gribetz is. And the company’s Paragon M+ High-Speed Multi-Needle Chainstitch Quilting machine got an upgrade called Wildstitch. It makes the super-fast quilter even faster.

And a new money-saving option on the Merello ME

105 mattress auto-packaging system automatically detects the product height and adjusts the seal-bar position for a better fit.

New exhibitor Meca Srl, a 50-year-old maker of sewing and quilting machines, based in Fagnano Olona, Italy, introduced the versatile, double chain-stitch quilter Inventio.

“This is the world premier of a new generation of quilting machine,” said Alberto Landoni, Meca chief executive officer. “It’s not better—it’s new and doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Inventio features the ability to work directly from material rolls to sew up to 13 borders in seven different border patterns at once—and to finish each border or panel edge, eliminating the overlock operation for borders and quilt-tops. The quilting machine also is capable of producing unique quilt patterns that can combine unusual quilt designs, including mixing straight lines with traditional quilt patterns.

The super-fast machine can produce up to 33,000 feet of finished border in a single shift and works with any fabric or pattern, Landoni added.

After-market machine parts supplier Jumpsource, with dual headquarters in Beverly, Mass., and Shanghai, China, promoted its custom parts manufacturing capabilities, as well as its first piece of finished equipment, a competitively priced tape-edge machine. The company also announced a partnership with W.W. Grainger Inc., a supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products. Among its many services, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Grainger offers KeepStock, an inventory management system for the stocking of indirect supplies.

At foam-cutting machinery maker Albrecht Bäumer GmbH & Co., with world headquarters in Freudenberg, Germany, the emphasis was on automation and updates to existing machinery.

“When it comes to operating software, DOS is over,” said Ron Pugaczewski, sales and key account manager for Bäumer of America, which is based in Towaco, N.J.

“We’ve upgraded electronics and software across the board.”

BeA Fasteners USA, the Ahrensburg, Germany-based company whose U.S. division is based in Greensboro, N.C., introduced fastening tools with automated options, as well as high-capacity, pre-lubricated magazines.

Quarrata Forniture, a machinery producer in Quarrata, Italy, came to EXPO with Sahara, a machine designed to quickly dry water-based adhesives so that mattresses can be immediately pressed, packed and rolled up for packing.

Specializing in custom-engineered foam cutting and dispensing equipment, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based ESCO Group (Edge-Sweets) introduced HTX precision foam slitting equipment for cutting viscoelastic and other high-resilience foams. The automated silicone applicator has two independently adjustable spray heads that apply an atomized spray of silicone to the entire length of both the top and bottom guide surfaces.

Family-owned machinery company Brighi Technologie Italia, based in Forlimpopoli, Italy, and a first-time EXPO exhibitor, brought an impressive fully automated pillow manufacturing and packaging machine that can make 4,000 pillows a shift.

“We are here from Italy for one goal: We want to be well known, and known as a serious company,” said Assistant Manager Alessio Brighi. “…We are a company made by people—good people, and good technicians, and that’s what we want people to know.”

Wright Global Graphic Solutions DomeTech

Wright Global Graphics launched Dometec point-of-sale solutions, which use eye-catching raised lettering or graphics in border treatments or POP.

‘Value-added’ features

Wright Global Graphics launched Dometec point-of-sale solutions, which uses eye-catching raised lettering or graphics in border treatments or POP. Bright silvers, golds and other metallic raised decals were featured for even more pop, but Dometec can be designed with any colors.

“When you make people look twice, you have more time to present your brand message,” said Vicki Fishman, vice president of marketing.

Automated Tag & Label

Automated Tag & Label showcased its Zebra printers, which allow mattress producers to print their own law labels as well as custom-cut law labels to size requirements.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based source Automated Tag & Label offered a new FR-inherent and tear-resistant nylon label fabric, along with Zebra printers that allow mattress producers to print their own law labels as well as custom-cut law labels to size requirements. The printers can stand alone, are expandable and can be easily integrated with other machinery.

Bed bases hit home run

From Knickerbocker’s blockbuster EmBrace metal frame to a plethora of new adjustables, mattress makers looking at support systems and bases had much to choose from.

Knickerbocker EmBrace

Knickerbocker showcased its wildly popular resin-encased, contemporary bed frame EmBrace.

Knickerbocker presented a pleasing display of its patented EmBrace bed frames. The decorative metal frames from the Carlstadt, N.J.-based supplier of support systems are resin encased and come in five colors—brown, black, gray, white and red.

The frame, which launched in 2012, is selling extremely well and appeals to all audiences, from consumers, to manufacturers, to retailers, said Joe

Hunt, Knickerbocker vice president of sales and marketing. “In fact,” he said, “Macy’s floors 90% of its mattress sets on EmBrace.”

The company also tested interest in snap-on LED under-bed lighting for EmBrace, which is meant as both a decorative element and a night light.

Transfer Master, a maker of adjustables based in Postville, Iowa, launched a new adjustable brand for the U.S., Supernal Sleep System, designed for individuals who need hospital features at home but do not want the hospital room look. With the tagline “Choose beauty over butt ugly,” the company drove home its message that this was something different. Founder and President Aaron Goldsmith also said he’s designed the remote for ease-of-use.

HSM Transitional Sleep System

HSM introduced the customizable Transitional Sleep System adjustable bases.

HSM introduced Transitional Sleep System adjustable bases, which included two models, the TS100 and the TS200. Both are “Made in America” and manufactured in HSM factories using HSM components. Customers can change the look of the product with multiple fabric, leg style and finish choices.

The Transitional Sleep System adjustable bases offer head/foot articulation, remote control and pre-set positions, including a Zero-G position.

The higher-end TS200 offers wireless remote control, a dual massage option, undercarriage LED lights and a wall/headboard flush design that keeps bed occupants in close proximity to nightstands, even when the head of the bed is raised.

“These are lifestyle products meant to accommodate changes to the way the bedroom is used,” said Rick Anthony, director of sales, HSM Bedding Solutions.


Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Ergomotion featured sound system, television and BluTooth technology that all connect directly to the bed, as well as iPhone controls, under-bed lighting, automatic lumbar support and USB plugs.

Leggett & Platt showcased its Custom Choice adjustable bed collection, which includes choices of three styles of legs and five color options of furniture-grade upholstery or four color options in microsuede fabrics. Options for iPhone or iPad control, USB ports and underbed lighting are also available.

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Ergomotion focused on customized programs for its customers. The company is “trying to make the bed a solution” by including sound system, television and BluTooth technology that all connect directly to the bed, as well as iPhone controls, underbed lighting, automatic lumbar support and USB plugs to facilitate all the above, said Gui Peres, Managing Director International Operations.

Custom8 Climat

Custom8 Climat test sensors can be added to each layer of a foam mattress.

Measured support

Heverlee, Belgium-based Custom8 introduced new diagnostic tools for mattress manufacturers. Idoshape technology measures indentation and deformation of mattress layers and CliMat measures temperature and moisture distribution. The company, which was founded in 2001, uses patented sensor-mat technology allowing research and development teams to obtain 3D measurements of a mattress’s deformation, as well as the thermodynamics of the bed.

Custom8 also offers DynaSleep, a modular system that can be incorporated into any type of finished bed to measure and adjust indentation, temperature, humidity and motion.

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