American Rug Craftsmen is Reborn
By Andrea Lillo
American Rug Craftsmen, a brand formerly absorbed by Mohawk Home in 1993, is back and tasked with a new mission: to target the middle market with its line of made-in-America products. Not only are the rugs made in the U.S., but so are the fibers used, including Mohawk's exclusive SmartStrand Triexta, the first time this fiber has been used in an area rug line.
Having soft launched at the recent Atlanta International Area Rug Market, American Rug Craftsmen will make its official launch at Las Vegas Market, where, as in Atlanta and High Point, it will share showroom space with Mohawk's Karastan division (#C-312 in Las Vegas).
"We have launched the American Rug Craftsmen line to satisfy the hunger for American-made products," said Brandon Culpepper, vice president of specialty sales for Mohawk. "Mohawk rugs are found in larger retailers and home centers, while Karastan rugs appeal to the high-end, designer market. American Rug Craftsmen products will interface with the middle part of the market--in terms of price, style and attitude. We expect this brand to catch on with design-conscious consumers."
The company felt that this was the perfect time to launch this new brand, Sally Smith, director of brand development, told HFN. "We feel the consumer is looking for American made products, serviced by American people. It's a completely new product line." And while all of the designs are new and original to American Rug Craftsmen, the designers did look at Studio by Karastan designs for inspiration, she added. Categories in the new line include woven, tufted, shag and printed.
At the winter markets, Mohawk is debuting ten collections and more than 250 designs under the American Rug Craftsmen label, the first woven rugs of which are made of soft SmartStrand Triexta fiber, which is the current fiber of choice within Mohawk's Floorings broadloom carpet assortment. The brand will also feature rugs made of nylon, polypropylene and PET.
The line will retail between $149-399 for a 5-by-8, but the fibers are "so soft, you feel like you're getting an expensive rug," Smith said.