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NY J86234

July 16, 2003

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 J86234


TARIFF NO.: 6302.31.5010

Ms. Jodi Gracey
Kohl’s Department Stores
N56 W17000 Ridgewood Drive
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

RE: The tariff classification of a pillowcase from Pakistan

Dear Ms. Gracey:

In your letter dated June 13, 2003 you requested a classification ruling.

You submitted a sample of a pillowcase. It is made from 100 percent cotton woven fabric that is neither printed nor napped. The pillowcase is folded and sewn along the bottom and one side with a slit opening along the fourth used to accommodate the insertion of the pillow. The open end has a 4-inch turned up hem secured by stitching. The hem features a decorative satin stitch. This stitch has occasionally been referred to as a bourdon stitch. Examination of the sample reveals that this decorative stitch is superimposed over a previous row of stitching. The pillowcase measures 21.5 x 30 inches

In your letter you refer to the stitch that initially created the hem as a basting stitch. A basting stitch is a temporary stitch used in the preparatory phase of sewing. Those long, loose stitches hold fabrics together until they can be sewn firmly by hand or machine. Basting stitches do not have the strength to sustain repeated use or to maintain a hem. The pre-stitching on the instant sample has approximately 10 stitches per inch. The stitching that holds the other seams on the pillowcase are also approximately 10 stitches per inch. The pre-stitch is a regular straight stitch that is strong enough to maintain the hem without any other stitching. It is not a basting stitch.

The pillowcase features a “satin stitch”. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 955576, dated June 1, 1994, Customs confronted the issue of whether bed linen containing decorative stitches should be classifiable in the subheading that provided for various embellishments including embroidery. One of the bed sheets therein possessed decorative stitching almost identical to the stitching on the subject merchandise. Although a satin stitch is commonly recognized as an embroidery stitch, it was noted in the ruling that the function or purpose of the stitching is a fundamental part of the definition of embroidery. Customs explained that "just because the stitch used may be considered a type of embroidery stitch does not mean that its use automatically creates embroidery." HRL 955576 further stated that in determining whether a decorative stitch constitutes embroidery, Customs will refer to three factors. The applicable criteria are as follow: 1. whether the stitching is ornamental, 2. whether the stitching creates or enhances a design or pattern, and 3. whether the stitching is superimposed upon a previously completed fabric or article or is stitching required to create or complete the fabric or article. Customs further maintains that the third factor focuses on the functionality and primary purpose of the stitching.

In the instant case, the pillowcase contains a stitch that has a decorative effect and would be considered ornamental. The satin stitch enhances the appearance of the submitted sample. The stitching is not required to complete the hem of the pillowcase as it is superimposed upon a previously completed seam. Recently, the issue of a decorative stitch superimposed on a completed hem was addressed in HRL 963601 dated February 15, 2000. In that ruling it was noted that when the decorative stitch was removed the hem did not fall apart. The hem on that item was sewn in place by a straight stitch. The decorative stitch was held to be embroidery.

Following HRL 963601, the stitching on the instant pillowcase is considered embroidery and it will be classifiable as “containing any embroidery.”

The applicable subheading for the pillowcase will be 6302.31.5010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: containing any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work: not napped pillowcases, other than bolster cases. The duty rate will be 21.2 percent ad valorem.

The pillowcase falls within textile category designation 360. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Pakistan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, which is available at our Web site at www.cbp.gov. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist John Hansen at 646-733-3043.


Robert B. Swierupski

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