New eye-catching designs will mingle with the more traditional approaches as rug manufacturers from all over the world gather Jan. 20-23 for the Atlanta Area Rug Market. Manufacturers set to attend say displays on the show floor will demonstrate that even the most impressive technological advances in manufacturing have not crowded out the demand for hand woven, finely crafted product.
Indeed, while much of the discussion on the show floor in Atlanta will, as always, center on durable fibers, pricing trends and other business matters, veteran attendees assure that there will be ample reminders that this is still a highly fashion oriented business whose growth is fueled by creativity.
The nod to tradition is also evidenced by the inclusion of the National Oriental Rug Show which will offer attendees to the mart a convenient way to see the latest Oriental rug products and styles. (For more information on either exhibit, contact AmericasMart Atlanta at (800) ATL-MART or visit www.AmericasMart.com.)
What follows is a rundown of some of the notable introductions expected at the Mart.
Capel plans an extensive rollout this year highlighted by Antoinette, New Zealand wool rugs in French Country motifs, available in four colors and six sizes including 9'6" x 13'6".
Saskatchewan and Chenango are two new Dick Idol braids. Saskatchewan is a rugged wool/cotton blend featuring rustic hues and Chenango offers a 95 percent cotton/5 percent polyester construction with a deep, soft surface.
Elk Lodge and Chincoteague are flat weaves with rustic appeal. Stencil Square is a new collection of indoor/outdoor machine-woven rugs for licensee Colonial Williamsburg. In addition, Capel has added four new colors to its Sausalito line. These rugs feature Stainmaster micro-suede bordering a field of ribbed olefin sisal.
CMI (Colonial Mills Inc.) will unveil several new styles this year. Chestnut Knoll, in Black Satin, is a 65 percent nylon/35 percent polypropylene blend offering earthy colors, rustic overtones and black tint. Deerfield, in Seal Brown, incorporates rich, deep colors in a polypropylene fiber. Madison, in Dark Plum, is created from a 35 percent wool/65 percent polypropylene blend.
Other introductions include Elegance, in Ebony (a chenille rug constructed of polypropylene); Four Seasons, in Fifth Season (a blend of seasonal colors in a 50 percent cotton/50 percent polyester blend); and Cottage Comfort, in Keepsake (made from 50 percent cotton/50 percent polyester).
Sizes range from 2' x 3' to 12' x 15' and 22" x 34" to 11' x 14' for Keepsake and Fifth Season rugs. A full range of accessories is also available.
828 International's latest rug collection is Varashawar, Peshawar quality rugs hand-tufted in India. The style uses a blended hand-spun Ganzi wool fiber twisted to give the rugs a thicker hand and heavier texture. Oushak and Zigler patterns are included in this fully programmed collection with sizes ranging from runners to oversize. Suggested retail is $399 for a 5' by 8' rug.
Karastan will unveil its Artisan Collection of contemporary rugs, inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. The four styles - Skylight, Desert Landscape, Prairie Blocks and Geo Spheres - are characterized by basic geometric forms, restrained colors and earthen hues. Constructed of New Zealand wool, and woven and finished in Belgium, the Artisan Collection is available in rugs measuring 2'7" x 4'11"; 3'11" x 5'6"; 5'2" x 7'10" and 7'10" x 11'1".
Other introductions include the Empress Kirman and Ravello patterns to the Original Karastan Collection of New Zealand wool Axminster rugs, and the addition of Amagansett to the Vintage Road Collection.
Milliken Carpet & Rugs will expand the options in its Kashmiran collection of Oriental- and Persian-influenced wool rugs, with 10 new designs. Available in a wide range of colors and a total of 110 sizes, these new rugs are available in rectangles, ovals, squares and rounds, as well as a merchandising corner runner. Suggested retail for a 6' x 9' rug is $299.
Milliken will also add on to its Pastiche Collection, with a mix of vibrant colors and soft-fiber Stainmaster technology. In addition to rectangles, squares, rounds, runners and ovals, an octagon will also be available.
All rugs come with the Milliken Solution merchandising system, capable of displaying a 2'1" x 7'8" color runner in five colors, a 5'4" x 7'8" rug, and a point of purchase rug tag.
Nourison will feature its Ancestry Collection, with motifs inspired by select heirloom originals. The hand-knotting techniques are meant to reflect the methods of ancient rug-making, but with modern production enhancements, according to Nourison. The wool yarns are dyed with the subtleties of an antique palette. The rug is available in Brown, Light Gold, Red, Beige, Midnight and Gold.
Shaw Living will launch several new selections, including two additions to the Kathy Ireland collection. One will feature a new nylon yarn system and colorway, in approximately 24 traditional rugs. The second collection uses olefin yarn.
In addition, approximately 18 new rugs will be added to Shaw Living's Folkworks collection in a new olefin colorway. Designs have been adapted from authentic textiles in the Museum of International Folk Art's collection.
Finally, the company will unveil 13 new designs in its Exact Footage/Roll Runner program.
Sphinx by Oriental Weavers debuts its Marrakech and South America Collections. These rugs are both licensed products in the National Geographic Home Collection, which includes rugs, furniture, and home furnishings.
The Marrakech Collection rugs blend design influences from North Africa. The Medina Red pattern features a double-eagle design on a red field with orange and brown highlights.
The South America rugs offer deep, rich colors woven to reflect the native craftsmanship of the Andes Mountains. It includes the La Paz rug, made from New Zealand wool and emulating a pattern reminiscent of historical woven textile designs created by South American artisans.