By Andrea Lillo
Rug manufacturers at last month's Las Vegas Market kept the newness coming in 2010 with both product and category introductions.
Trends such as shags, customization and color continued, and so did the topic of price points, as both consumers and buyers remain cautious about spending.
"Everything is focused on price now," said Seth King, vice president, sales and marketing, Surya. "Before, that wasn't even a discussion. No one talked about price points at all, just about what they needed in the stores."
Steve Mazarakis, director, rug division, Linon Home Decor Products, said he's seen price points dip as low as $39 for a 5-by-8. "People are more value driven," he said. For its new Southern Living Home license with Southern Living magazine, however, the higher price points do well, he added. The new collection features traditional and transitional designs encompassing the relaxed Southern lifestyle.
Known for its area rugs and designer collections, Safavieh expanded into bath and accent rugs at market, as well as decorative pillows. New bath rug designs include sculpted cotton looks. Accent rugs, numbering about 60 SKUs, include round and flower shapes and other novelties and textures.
In addition, Safavieh showed samples of its new natural fiber sisal line backed with latex that will officially bow at High Point. A year in development, the new line will enable the company to incorporate curves, diamonds and other shapes in sisal, said Arash Yaraghi, principal, and is completely ecofriendly. "Designers appreciate the simplicity of the design of flatweaves, they're understated," he added.
Safavieh also showed new peshawar wool area rugs in art glass designs, which were sheared and in vibrant colorways.
Debuting to the U.S. market for the first time, Azra showed its vegetable-dyed hand-knotted wool line in a temporary booth at market. With an established retailer base in Europe and South America, Azra "wanted to bring its knowledge of quality, construction and style to the U.S. market," said Michael Sausman, vice president, sales and marketing. Made in Pakistan, the line offers about 50 designs, of which 60 percent are traditional and 40 percent are transitional/contemporary.
Among the introductions at Jaipur were Loft, a thick shag line in vibrant colors, and Europa, a new poly acrylic group. "We expanded our tufted and poly acrylic offerings," said Josh Roberts, vice president, sales and marketing. In addition, the new custom solid-color viscose collection called Luxe is available in 90 days, he added. "Speed is very important for designers and retailers."
Rizzy Rugs showed two new hand-knotted collections at market, which had 100 knots per inch. The Indo-Tibetan rugs included the Gold line, which mixes viscose with wool, and the Silver line, which was of wool only, said J.C. Lehnen, creative director. Dimensions was another group with a wool and viscose blend and had a loop cut pile with a hard twist yarn.
Based on its "extreme success" in poly acrylic, Kas launched the Athens line, which has some hard twist yarns "to add pop and dimension," said Wendy Reiss, key account manager. At $299 for a 5-by-8, the collection contains ten designs.
Known for its bold patterns, Company C came out with its first solid color rug collection in 10 colors. Called Spectrum, the line is part of the company's upcoming Paint collection, due this fall. "Due to overwhelming demand for solid rugs that coordinate with our very colorful, patterned designs, we chose to introduce the collection a bit sooner," said Christine Chapin, design and creative director. Inspired from the spectrum of colors found on an artist's palette, the group coordinates with the bedding, pillows, rugs and fabric in the collection.
For its new Persuasions line, United Weavers of America sought the opinions of almost 30 girls aged nine to 16. The cut and shag group has 28 designs in a 3-by-5 size. "This is the age when they start having sleepovers and their room becomes more important," said Diane Carleo, director, sales and marketing. In addition, these girls are decorating their rooms with accent rugs rather than larger sizes, she said. At $49.99 each, the company is promoting its concept "Don't Choose, Buy Both" to buy two designs at a time.