Alighting on Atlanta
By Andrea Lillo
It continues to be a colorful story for the rug category, and more bright hues will be welcomed at this month's Atlanta International Area Rug Market. Accompanying them are bold designs such as oversized patterns of paisleys, florals and damasks.
But on the opposite side, the neutral tones of brown and gray remain popular and proliferate. And for consumers who want to counter the chaotic world there will be additions of simple, subtle patterns as well, to add a calming effect.
At Sphinx by Oriental Weavers, five new collections will debut, as well as a number of line extensions. One of the new collections--Palermo--uses space-dyed and twisted nylon for a soft feel and has a palette of warm neutrals. Caspian, on the other hand, uses bold colors such as bright lime, indigo and Mediterranean hues in this indoor/outdoor polypropylene collection.
"Retailers are demanding high fashion and high-styled rugs at moderate price points and we believe that we have some great new products for them," said Andy Brumlow, vice president, product development, Oriental Weavers.
For consumers in a blue and eco-friendly mood, Loloi's new Runway collection hits both. Recycling vintage blue jeans and vintage denim shirts, the collection will include hand-stitched, supple denim rugs as well as Loloi's first launch outside the rug arena: beanbags, poufs, stools and pillows. "It's our first serious foray into accessories, and it's something we're going to continue to do going forward for certain collections," said Steven Loloi, principal.
Among Nourison's additions at market will be its Regal collection, with three new styles and colorways. Introduced in January, Regal has already become one of its top five collections and has a $1,299 price point for a 5.5-by-8.5. "Retailers will be looking for higher price points," said Joyce Lowe, executive director national rug sales. "Last year, everyone was looking for value price points but most retailers are finding that they do not do enough volume at the price points of $199 to $299 to maintain healthy margins."
The love of color continues at Safavieh. The new Blossom collection, for example, is a colorful take on the classic hooked rug, but is constructed of large handwoven loops instead of traditional hooking and targets young, fashion-driven consumers.
Safavieh will also introduce eight ikat designs in its collection with designer David Easton, and which were inspired by Ottoman Turkish ikat textiles. "Ikat textiles are cross-cultural. In the past few years they have become classic elements of eclectic design in everything from clothing to home decorating," said Arash Yaraghi, principal. After a year of research and testing, the company has developed a way to recreate the unique "tie and dye" yarn dyeing methods used to craft ikat textiles and the result is a special Sumak weave in wool.
In response to retailers' request for more colors, Ebisons Harounion Rugs will add hues to its Meadows collection, which won an award at January's America's Magnificent Carpets Awards. Handknotted of wool with silk accents, the collection will expand with light blue, red, orange, green and gray versions.
Kaleen will officially launch its Premier polyacrylic line, which includes patchwork, scroll and floral designs. At a promotional price point--a 5-by-8 will retail for $199--the line "is a real departure for us," said Joe Barkley, executive vice president, "and it's still handtufted." The company will also show Carriage, a tufted heavy loop style on a berber base.
"Rug retailers will be looking for immediate delivery goods for the fall season," said Steve Mazarakis, vice president, rug division, Linon Home Decor Products. The company will debut the Florence collection of wool, handtufted rugs with transitional styling, as well as add designs to such existing collections as Trio, Confetti, Milan and Corfu.