Coats Ceases Free Spirit Production

Kind of sad news here! Coats President of North American Crafts shared yesterday Coats’ decision to cease Free Spirit Fabric production effective immediately. My mind is boggled as I can’t figure out how fabrics by such talent as Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, and Denyse Schmidt aren’t bringing in great big boat loads of cash. I guess I just don’t have enough information to be able to fully understand. It just seemed to me like Every Body I know in the Quilt World was buying them up. Scary to think how something appeared fine, but in reality, was totally sinking!

Had their deficit been shared sooner, would we, the quilt community, have made an extra effort to support our favorite artists? We’ll never know.

I found the news here, but, will paste the Coats Prez letter below.

I wanted to make you aware that we are going to exit our Lifestyle Fabrics business.  This will take effect from Tuesday 1 May and includes our Westminster Fabrics/ Fibers, FreeSpirit brand and designers.

We have worked diligently for the past few years to make this a successful part of the Coats Craft business here in North America.  But I am sorry to say that, despite our best efforts, we have continued to struggle with an inherent weakness in the business model and have not been able to demonstrate a profit.

It also means we will be moving invoicing and customer service functions supporting the thread and yarn businesses from Greer, South Carolina to our Albany and Charlotte offices in North Carolina.  You will be provided with new contact details for this shortly and in the meantime your contact details for this will remain the same. 

We will continue to fulfil orders placed to date for delivery prior to Thursday 31 May and new orders for existing collections on a first come first service basis. We will not be producing new Westminster or FreeSpirit Fabrics from today onwards.

Coats is particularly proud of its long association supporting our customers and North America based crafters and alternative options have been considered extremely carefully.  We believe that through making these difficult decisions we will create an improved customer focused business for the future, from which you will benefit, and I hope you will continue to work with us. 

It is our intent to support you, our talented and dedicated artist, during this transition. 

Yours sincerely,

Stephanie Leichtweis

President, North American Crafts

Cc: Keith Howard

…and there you have it. Add to your stash now, and be sure to keep an eye on your favorite artists. They need support!

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