Thomaston Mills' (Nasdaq: TMSTA) first fiscal quarter began on a slow note. Sales for the quarter were $36,633,000, down ten per cent from the year before, and the company's gross margin fell to $1,632,000 compared to $4,499,000 the year before. This yields a net loss for the quarter of $3,603,000 or $.55 per share.Our retail customers have slowed in taking out their orders, and this caused lower capacity utilisation in both consumer products and apparel fabrics. The company has performed well in on time delivery and quality, and this has helped build business for future shipment.In looking ahead, the company expects continued slowness at retail through the December quarter.