Decorative trim is back—and a little Georgia factory is leading the trend

Fringe Market has the high-end niche of passementerie cornered

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Fringe Market

Photograph by Jason Lagi

In the rarefied world of passementerie—the decorative fabric trim, tape, tassels, and cords that adorn draperies, furniture skirts, and more—Georgia’s Fringe Market has the high-end niche cornered.

The mill, which operates out of a small factory in Eatonton, east of Atlanta near Lake Oconee, is one of the only U.S. makers of fine trim, which is staging a comeback in decorating as a finishing detail. Launched by Dalton natives Melanie and Mark Cosby, Fringe Market specializes in trim made of natural fibers like Belgian linen, jute, and recycled cotton in an array of custom-dyed colors and patterns, like embroidered Greek keys, pom-poms, and handwoven tassels. The company now produces private-label trim for some of the biggest textile companies in the world, also selling by the yard directly to the trade and at retail stores like Lewis and Sheron. This is not your grandmother’s shiny golden drapery cords—these pieces are a sophisticated and modern take on the age-old embellishment.

“There were holes in the market,” says Mark Cosby, who has been in the trim business his entire life and has a degree in textile engineering. “No one was making high-end casual trim for decorators, so we decided to brand ourselves as such.”

Fringe Market
Melanie and Mark Cosby adapted machines to handle their intricate designs.

Photograph courtesy of Fringe Market

That was seven years ago, when Mark’s wife, Melanie, joined the business, bringing an eye for design. (Then, as now, a significant part of their business was industrial trim—think seatbelts, trim on tires, and the edging of carpets.) These days, they release a chic new style nearly every week, have created more than 50 collections in as many as 80 colors, and can create fully custom work. The shelves of the warehouse are stacked high in threads, from pale pinks to dark cobalt and plenty of neutral hues in natural fibers.

Fringe Market
Some machines are computerized, while others are mechanical and as much as a century old.

Photograph courtesy of Fringe Market

Fringe Market
Some are computerized, while others are mechanical and as much as a century old.

Photograph courtesy of Fringe Market

Because the Cosbys are creating pieces no one else is, Mark had to adapt and reengineer the machinery to handle the intricate designs. There is also a team who hand-ties tassels and fringe.

“It’s a dying art that you don’t see much in the U.S. anymore,” says Melanie. Meanwhile, business is taking off.

This article appears in our Winter 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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