Bold Designer Looks Expand Beyond Flatweaves
By Andrea Lillo
More options are afoot for consumers who love the graphic designer look and colors that have proliferated in flatweaves, but perhaps crave a softer feel.
Flatweaves are selling well, as these rugs offer an affordable designer look, usually in only two colors per design. And now this style is migrating to other constructions, to offer consumers more options from which to choose.
In more traditional markets, it's harder to sell the flatweave construction, said Josh Roberts, vice president, sales and marketing, Jaipur. "People were asking for a flatweave look in a tufted construction," he said. "Customers love flatweaves but we wanted to give them another pile option," added Kavita Chaudhary, design director.
So Jaipur responded at market with its new City collection, which is handtufted of wool and art silk in India. One retailer saw it at market and said, "Give me all of it," said Roberts.
At Loloi Rugs, this look was seen in two new collections: Charlotte, a machine-made polyester line made in China, and Brighton, which is handtufted of wool in India. "We're always trying to do something that's distinctive, that has an edge to it," said Cyrus Loloi, company executive. "With Brighton, we saw an opportunity to add some texture and dimension to popular geometrics by constructing it with a high/low, cut and loop pile." Charlotte was probably one of the company's best sellers at market, he said. "People are loving the soft, microfiber feel."
These looks resonate with retailers and consumers because the designs are fresh and clean, said Steve Mazarakis, vice president, rug division, Linon Home Decor Products. "You are finding these designs in fabrics, accent upholstery chairs and many decorative pillows and ottomans. This makes these designs in rugs even more desirable." While Linon recently introduced its Salonika collection, which is a flatweave line made of New Zealand and Greek wool, his company also offers this look in other constructions, such as wool-hooked rugs and machine-made rugs.