The latest soft surface introductions are impressing consumers through beautiful patterns, unique colorways, and innovative technologies.
Inspiration in Artifacts
As Anderson Tuftex prepared to enter its third year as an established brand, a new design theme emerged for 2020: Artifact. Among found treasures, favorite pieces and curated keepsakes, the team found inspiration and incorporated it into the brand’s already expert craftsmanship and timeless design.
Three collections will be featured in 2020: Yin, Kindred and Terra. Each collection was once again curated to create different design aesthetics and offer consumers ideas on how they might mix and match different hardwoods and carpets in the home to create their corner of the world.
“Our designers this year were inspired by different artifacts and natural wonders of the world,” said Anderson Tuftex Director of Brand Strategy Katie Ford. “From the Great Wall of China to talking knots in Peru and the Parícutin Volcano in Mexico, they really invested time into research to make sure the products we launched this year captured the essence of each location or artifact.”
A couple of the collections include new carpet styles featuring Stainmaster PetProtect carpet continuing last year’s goal of providing consumers with more well-designed pet-friendly options. Three new hardwoods will also be introduced focusing on the latest color palette trends the Anderson Tuftex design team has seen in the market.
To meet consumer demand for more styles in this successful line, Karastan has launched Karaloom, an innovative technology that features precision-stitching that replicates the elegance of woven wool—at priced 30% lower than wool products.
“It truly looks like a woven wool,” said Brittany Stanley, senior design manager, Mohawk.
“At convention, when people saw it, they thought it was a wool product until they touched it. And then once they felt of it, they realized it wasn’t wool.”
KaraLoom will be offered in a variety of modern and traditional designs in both large and small-scale patterns. This collection will include a diverse color palette featuring both solid and tonal visuals.
“With Karaloom, we can offer a much broader color palette,” Stanley said. “Our wool products on average are offered in seven to 12 colors. And with Karaloom we have up to 20.”
Thanks to advancements in tufting and the creative genius of designers, there are so many options available in carpet today. Beautiful patterns, loops, and tip shears. And coloration options have increased with dye variants and solution dyed yarns. Product development teams have used this tool kit of yarns and tufting technology to create a tremendous assortment of styles, designs, and qualities to fit every taste.
“Today’s consumer is typically buying carpet room-by-room, not for the whole house,” according to Dan Phelan, vice president of marketing, Dixie. “When she was buying for the whole house, a solid color, neutral color cut pile was the preference. Today, most of the house is hard surface and only a few rooms are getting carpet, typically bedrooms and possibly a hallway or stair runner. This gives her flexibility in choosing different carpet styles for those areas. She is looking for something really nice to compliment her hard surfaces, such as a pretty pattern or loop.”
Phelan said he’s seeing a lot of activity in is the multi-color pattern category. “These can be true multi-color styles using solution dyed yarns, tonal colorations using dye variants, or unique striated looks from special yarn processing. And they can be large scale or small scale, geometric or abstract.”
Curated Patterns with an Organic Feel
Dream Weaver brought a new line of style and design-focused patterns, textures and colors into a standalone collection called DW Select. Comprised of 13 styles initially, these carpets have been hand-selected and vigorously tested. They feature a proprietary twistX technology, which is a patented manufacturing process that blends multiple fiber components to create longstanding wear ability and unique styling capabilities. The collection highlights the two main drivers for consumer purchases of residential carpet: style and performance.
Style, inspired by the natural landscape, styles bring textural nuances into the home. The tailored fabrication of the products offers timeless design elements coupled with functionality for the style conscious, yet active household.
“There are different ways you can provide value,” said Joe Young, soft surface category manger, Engineered Floors. “Some people want soft, some people want a low price. This is really our first venture into what I would say the style, design and performance world.”
Soft Surface with Antimicrobial Technology
The Modern Contours collection by Phenix is a sophisticated, fashion-forward line of carpet styles offered to the consumer at an affordable value. “This year, we really round out this collection with the addition of three beautiful new patterns: Warp, Weft and Elegance,” said Jason Surratt, senior vice president of product and design, Phenix. The collection offers coordinating patterns and textures that emulate the look of luxury fabrics, materials and knitting techniques with the goal of adding a vibrant couture look to any room. Modern Contours features Phenix’s SureSoftSD fiber as well as the lifetime protection of Microban antimicrobial technology. Phenix Flooring offers the only carpet with this antimicrobial technology, which protects against the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause stains and odors. On an unprotected surface, bacteria can double every 20 minutes. Surfaces with built-in Microban technology remain 99% cleaners from bacteria and odors than untreated surfaces, according to the company.