Dallas company Nextt, the marketing arm of Mumbai, India-based Alok Industries has received patent for a weaving process that combines polyester yarns with cotton to create a high-thread count fabric that is 30 to 40 percent cheaper than 100 percent cotton. The patent covers yarn and fabric made of at least 51 percent cotton.
The fabric is called Alpha Cotton, a trademarked name, and is used primarily for making sheets. It is already garnering annual sales of about $1 billion, which is expected to grow to more than $2 billion within the next two years.
Arun Agarwal, who founded Nextt in 2008, and serves as its CEO, receiving U.S. patent #9,131,790 B2 ensures that Nextt will continue as the leader in marketing Alpha Cotton and will also be able to work with the [Federal Trade Commission] to maintain the integrity of the brand, especially regarding its high thread count and luxurious feel.
Agarwal said that the idea for the textile came as they saw cotton prices rising. Adding that "necessity is the mother of invention," they decided to blend polyester and cotton, which he said creates a luxury, high thread count linen at an affordable price. Most of the cloth produced under the patent will be 55 percent cotton and 45 percent polyester.
Alpha Cotton also washes easier, dries faster and does not collect as much bacteria as traditional sheet fabrics.
Nextt sells 600 thread count sheets on average between $59.99 and $69.99 per set. The products are available at a variety of retailers including Dillardâ€™s, Bloomingdaleâ€™s, Kohlâ€™s, Belk and even Walmart.
Sales of Alpha Cotton are expected to reach $2 billion in the next two years. In anticipation of the patent award, Nextt already planned to expand its distribution space in Oak Lawn by 150,000 square feet and add 20 new workers, but with the additional forecasted sales, it plans to hire 20 to 50 additional workers and expand its space by 300,000 square feet. The company also has a showroom in New York City.
Alok Industries will be the lead manufacturer of the product. Alok is Indiaâ€™s largest integrated textile company and boasts revenues of more than $3.5 billion.
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