2015 Atlanta International Rug Market Review - Feb 2015

By Calista Sprague

Pantone’s Color of the Year is Marsala, a rich earthy red, and while it—and approximations of it—was very well represented at the market, blue was omnipresent, mentioned as a “hot” color by almost every manufacturer. Indigo seems to have caught on as a favorite hue, but grey-blue, teal and navy tones were everywhere as well and, more important, all caught the retailer’s eye. 

Red is a perennial favorite for area rugs, this year leaning more toward maroon, thanks to Pantone’s pick, and when paired with indigo, it creates an intensely rich combination—as seen in pieces from Oriental Weaver’s new Sedona collection, Capel’s Biltmore extensions and Karastan’s new Sovereign collection. 

Blues were often juxtaposed against their complementary oranges, especially tangerines and corals, hinting at an update of 1980s country blue and mauve. Whether or not the ’80s are coming back into vogue, colors have noticeably moved away from the 1970s greens and golds.

Another pervasive theme at the market centered on a new sheen found in many of the rugs that causes colors to deepen or lighten depending on how the light hits them. For rugs with one predominant color, the effect is particularly striking, such as the soft hues in Nourison’s Twilight collection and pieces in Oriental Weaver’s Richmond line. 

Manufacturers have been busy filling in gaps in their price points, especially near the bottom, most now offering rugs from $199 or $299 and up. Davenport, a new line from Mohawk’s American Rug Craftsmen, was developed to fill a void in the market at the $399 price point, for example, but the firm has also invested in new Axminster designs for the upper end of the market. 

For fibers, the use of viscose continues to expand, sometimes appearing as the sole fiber, as in Momeni’s Millennia collection, and sometimes in a blend, such as in Dalyn’s Antiquity collection. Oriental Weavers showed a triple-washed jute in the Tommy Bahama Ansley collection that was surprisingly soft and achieved the same color-changing sheen that is suddenly so popular.

Karastan has noticed activity at the upper end of the market that had been quiet for the past five or six years, so it revitalized its Axminster line with seven new designs, more than Karastan has introduced in 25 years. The Sovereign collection is made of New Zealand wool in Eden, North Carolina. The fibers are skein dyed and finished with Karastan’s Lustre-Wash to give the look of a hand knotted rug. Maharajah was the collection’s best seller at the show, in red and navy.

At a lower price point, Karastan pulled in fibers from its carpet lines. Pacifica is a new collection of rugs made of Everstrand, a soft recycled PET, retailing at $299 for a 5’x8’. The collection comes in 17 patterns in sunwashed colors like blues and corals, reminiscent of the 1980s. Some have traditional patterns, with the color washed out in the center. Others have more modern looks, but all are relaxed, created to evoke a California casual vibe.

A new collection called Davenport was introduced to Karastan’s sister brand, American Rug Craftsmen, to fill a gap in the $399 to $499 range. Unlike Karastan, any retailer can sell American Rug Craftsmen, and with 51 styles, Davenport offers something for just about everyone. The mainly traditional designs come in five sizes and are made from a blend of Smartstrand and Everstrand fibers in a woven construction. 

Karastan also introduced a new brand called String Theory consisting of imported rugs in a variety of fibers. The brand allows Karastan to add sisal, chenille, viscose and jute to its offerings.

Oriental Weavers (OW) introduced a new collection with the goal of capturing a look like nothing it had ever offered before. The result is Sedona, a collection inspired by the colors and patterns of the Southwest. Earthy blues, reds and golds mark the collection, but in more saturated hues than would be found in nature, and the fibers are space dyed for more visual affect. The 18 styles range from abstract to traditional, some that are obviously Southwestern, and others with a more subtle reference. The rugs are made in Dalton, Georgia of a nylon and polypropylene blend and retail at $299 for a 5’x8’. 

Richmond, a machine woven polypropylene line made in Egypt, offers 16 designs with traditional patterns in subdued and sometimes faded looks. Like Sedona, Richmond fills the $299 price point gap. It features cool neutrals with greys and indigos, all with a soft hand and rich sheen. OW reports that Richmond was one of the best received collections at the market.

In addition to the two new lines, Oriental Weavers added extensions to existing lines. Revival Revisited was introduced three years ago, and the overdyed look has been a strong seller, with the vibrant Teal outselling all other rugs in the entire company. This year the line has been updated with eight extensions, incorporating new colors (Magenta and Goldenrod). In addition to the bold overdyed looks, the collection includes more subtle options in grey with hints of teal or other brights. The line is machine woven polypropylene, made in the U.S., and a 5’x8’ sells for $199.

As the exclusive licensed Pantone partner in rugs, OW also extended the Colorscape line, which debuted last January, to highlight the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala. Optic is a handmade wool rug from India that incorporates the new color in a Moroccan motif.

Since last year, OW has also enjoyed a partnership with Tommy Bahama, introducing seven new collections in 2014. New for this year’s market, OW added Atrium with 12 polypropylene styles, hand hooked in China, that coordinate with Lexington’s furniture fabrics. Patterns range from oversized graphic palm leaves to ikats to traditional rug motifs in vibrant colors and neutrals. The Tommy Bahama line includes indoor and indoor-outdoor rugs that range from starting price points up to $899 for a 5’x8’. 

Momeni presented several new collections, at retail price points of $199 to $1,799. At the upper end, Artisan is a viscose collection, hand knotted in India. The five transitional patterns come in blues—from indigo to aqua—greys, yellowy green, soft gold and an earthy red. The soft, shimmering fibers are on trend and change with the light.

The new introduction called Millennia consists of rugs hand tufted in India. The collection includes nine styles with a mix of abstract patterns in neutral colors and ’80s inspired geometric patterns in bright colors. Millennia retails at $599.

The Newport collection consists of 12 much more traditional mid-century looks in blues, browns and greens. The rugs come in a variety of sizes and retail for $299. The Loft fills in the lower price points at $199 with polypropylene machine made rugs in abstract, concrete looks in ivory, blue, grey and multi.

Twilight is Nourison’s big 15-piece collection, new for the Atlanta market. The collection includes abstract designs with subtle shading and some traditional accents in greys and ivories. The powerloomed wool and viscose fibers are finished to look handmade with a rich sheen, and the rugs retail at $1,999. Twilight is also available in broadloom in mainly tonal patterns in 18 styles and colors.

In contrast, Gemstone is a contemporary collection in rich jewel tones—fiery golds and reds with deep purples against cooler blues and greens. The hand tufted wool and viscose rugs come in eight colors and six mainly abstract designs.

Capel showed a bevy of new introductions in Atlanta. The Biltmore collection, based on inspirations from designs collected by the Vanderbilts for the Biltmore estate in North Carolina, added three antiqued designs in four colors with the Legacy collection. All are 100% wool, hand knotted in India and come in deep blues, earthy reds and silvery greys. A 5’x8’ retails for $2,557. 

The new Carousel line incorporates reclaimed sari silk fabrics into bright, playful hand knotted rugs. Even the names are fun, with styles like Big Top, High Wire and Ring Leader and colors like Snow Cone, Taffy and Cotton Candy. The nine looks retail for $1,341 for a 5’x8’. 

Capel is marketing the new Berkeley line for families with children and pets. A low pile of wool and viscose has a soft hand and comes in six overdyed patterns of golds, blues and greens. A 5’x8’ retails for $637.

Dalyn introduced several new stock collections and four new custom collections. Colors range from bright tangerines and intense blues to neutrals, with patterns from large scale ikats to subtle abstracts. 

Aloft features a tufted polyacrylic cut pile construction with 11 designs and 22 colors in four sizes at $249 for a 5’x8’. Santiago is a hand loomed reversible jute with two designs in ten colors that retails for $299. Borgo and Antiquity are both made of a soft polypropylene with silk-like polyester accents that retail for $299. Borgo comes in five striated color combinations and Antiquity includes four designs and nine colors.

Dalyn’s custom program offers customers a chance to create their own rugs, choosing from a range of designs, shapes, sizes and colors within each collection. New this season, Venue is a wool rug with a plush pile, offered in 25 designs, 36 colors and six shapes that can be custom sized for $999 retail for a 5’x8’. A textural plush and loop wool collection called Reflections can also be custom ordered for $999. At a more moderate price point, Razzle is a customizable line featuring high luster Maladori yarn at $499 for a 5’x8’, and Manhattan offers a customizable polyacrylic plush pile at $499.

Copyright 2015 Floor Focus

Related Topics:Mohawk Industries, Karastan