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Mill Store Feeds “Fabric-holic” Urge

A self-proclaimed “fabric-holic” Nada Cook was amazed when she stumbled onto the Belding Hausman Fabric Outlet Store Thursday. Cook is from Huntsville, Alabama, and as a retiree, she spends a lot of time traveling and immersing herself in her fabric obsession. During her stop in Lincolnton, she visited the fabric store, located in the Belding Hausman plant on N.C. 27 in Boger City. Hundreds of bolts of fabrics are propped up in the large room. Customers can browse through moiré, woven designs, antique satins, open weaves and a variety of designer fabrics. The fabrics sold at the store are traditional bedding and drapery material, Norma Muckenfuss, store manager, said. She describes it as “elegant.” The store opened in mid-July, and Muckenfuss has been there since the beginning. “We didn’t quite know what to expect,” Muckenfuss said. The fabric offered is made at the Belding Hausman, Inc. plant in Emporia, Virginia. It is all first-quality merchandise, which is something Muckenfuss is proud of. “We are truly a mill store,” she said. When Belding Hausman forms a contract with a company, Muckenfuss said, they agree to provide the company with a certain fabric over a definite number of years. Material is made for that number of years, and after those years are up, the design or color of that fabric may change. “After it is changed and the contract is up, we may have material left over,” Muckenfuss said. That is what is sold at the outlet. There is some current fabric available, but not much, Muckenfuss said. The yard and yards of fabric for sale are top-quality at a low price. That’s what shoppers want, Muckenfuss said. “I think there are very smart shoppers out there,” she said. “They’re looking for the best price for something that is the best quality.” No fabric costs more than $7 a yard, and on the store’s table of second quality fabric, prices run as low as $2 a yard. Customers who know what they want are not hesitant to travel somewhere else to get it, she said, and that’s why she expects success for the store. “Lincolnton is a perfect place for an outlet of any kind,” Muckenfuss said. It’s location between larger cities like Hickory and Charlotte make it an easy commute for fabric lovers.” “It’s not often you can do a whole room for this price,” Cook said, as she carried bundles of fabric out to her car.” And extra personal touches keep those customers coming back.