By Andrea Lillo
More was more at last month's High Point Market. More color, more texture and more designer collections, as manufacturers looked to bring more added value to retailers.
Color continues its reign. Bolder colors, such as indigos, and trendy grays and browns were found all over. Shags have evolved, with new designs, fiber combinations or types, lengths of fibers, and other features.
Designers and manufacturers also paired up to debut new collections. Jaipur made a big splash at market with three new handmade licensed collections with iconic designer Raymond Waites. The classic style Waites is known for were found in the Uptown group, made of 8/8 handknotted wool with traditional-with-a-twist looks. Midtown consists of transitional and contemporary designs in handtufted wool and art silk, while Downtown has contemporary styles with subtle colors in 100-line Tibetan woven wool and silk. The collection "gives us looks we didn't have in our current line," said Josh Roberts, vice president, sales and marketing, Jaipur.
Jaipur also unveiled an upper tier of shags. "We had the good and better segment covered," Roberts said. "We wanted something more sophisticated." Styles include Dolce Vita, a thick shag that comes in both long- and short-fiber options; Grafik, which combines shag and tufted pile in bold, graphic designs; and Groove, a super-soft, deep pile shag carved in simple contemporary designs.
Shaw debuted its new license with Bob Timberlake, who is known for his realistic painting and is inspired by everyday Southern rural living. The collection of three initial designs -- Forest Ferns, Hearthside and Heritage Heriz -- is influenced by nature, wood and a traditional Persian rug design, respectively. Made of Shaw's exclusive Evertouch nylon, each design is offered in several colorways.
Momeni launched a new display unit, made of black metal with cherry wood accents. "We have so many collections, we wanted to make it as easy as possible" for retailers and consumers, said Ali Momeni, vice president of operations. The display can include samples from its area rug collections, its new broadloom collections, or both. Sample boards measure 14 by 20 inches for area rugs and 20 by 20 inches for broadloom and are completely detachable for easy review. The 1 Tier display holds 30 boards, while the 2 Tier, 60 boards.
Dreamweavers used leftover scraps from apparel to create its line, and at this market that included shearling and sneaker material, with dramatic results. "Everyone wants glamour in their life," said Jason Duren, spokesperson. Another new rug incorporated leftover tie scraps, so no two are the same.
Capel debuted its largest number of collections in years: 22. "There were so many things we wanted to do," said Tami Watras, vice-president, product and creative director. It also merchandised the showroom into the "Must-Cs," pulling together similar looks together under one title, such as Capel Color for its color story, Capel Cozy for textured pieces, and Capel Conscious for its green story. Its custom program is now pulled into what it is calling the Creative Concepts program, offering 120 fabrics and six bases. "We had an amazing market," she said. "All in all, I'd say retailers were still looking for something fresh and unique in terms of transitional design, new blues for color [such as indigo] and easy custom opportunities to help the consumer play designer."
The Rug Market showed a new naturals collection, which focuses on texture in neutral colors. The 11 designs are made of wool and wool/silk. The company also will launch a new sample program in early fall, where customers can buy 16 by 27 inch samples for $20 each, which will be credited to the purchase of the full-sized rug.
AMS Imports brought in its new Rain or Shine collection of indoor/outdoor fabric rugs from cmi. In four styles, 18 fabric and yarn combinations and 10 sizes, the collection can be delivered in 10 working days. "AMS introduced the Rain or Shine Collection as something new and innovative for the outdoor market, but they can be used indoors too," said Anne Schewe, owner and president. "It has been a real winner."