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Bulletins from Atlanta Rug Market

Atlanta -- Here's a glimpse of some of the highlights today as the Atlanta International Area Rug Market kicks off:

-- Printed and tufted accent rug manufacturer Brumlow Home, based in Calhoun, Ga., is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a new business direction that points to area sizes, imports, and new manufacturing techniques.

After hiring Patrick Moyer and appointing him president in August, the company explored new product offerings that at this market have come to fruition. "We've stretched the capabilities of all of our equipment," explained Moyer, referring to Brumlow's printing and tufting machinery for its core line of domestically made scatter rugs. Moyer was formerly president of Dalton, Ga.-based Balta U.S.

Brumlow's printed area rug offerings have been expanded to include new looks created with cut-and-loop technology, tip sheering, delustered yarns, more transitional and textured styles, and a broader gamut of sizes from 21-inch-by-34-inch through 9-foot-by-12-foot.

The new Luna collection is a woven cut-and-loop group of 100% heat-set polypropylene rugs from Belgium. But unlike other such rugs in the marketplace that can employ two colors, Luna rugs feature four colors.

Transition is a collection of rugs that are tufted with nylon yarns. The Terrace collection represents Brumlow's entry into the outdoor rug category. Also new is the Super Shag solid-colored collection and the berber Mystique and Ovation collections, made of polypropylene and in a tip sheer construction.

Another new direction is importing, a first for the domestic manufacturer. "I traveled all over -- China, Europe, Asia -- to see where I could find unique items to offer our customers," Moyer said. The results include the hand-carved Ismir collection, which is woven in Turkey and comes in 20 designs. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $199.

The company is in the process of renovating its New York City showroom at 295 Fifth Ave. The new area rug sizes will now occupy half of the space and Brumlow's scatter size will make up the other half.

-- Sugar Valley, Ga.-based Karastan is taking its Axminster Shapura collection to a new generation that hits a more moderate price bracket. Priced at about 20% less than Shapura rugs, the new Sierra Mar collection is Wilton woven at the company's North Carolina facility. It comes in three designs -- Capri, Ventana, and Sedona. Colorways center on robin’s egg, maize, henna, and limestone. A Sierra Mar 6-by-9 is set to retail for $899, versus a same-size Shapura at $1,199.

-- Known for its contemporary design tilt, Sugar Valley, Ga.-based Mohawk Select this market is expanding into traditional looks for the first time with the addition of the Foundations collection to its line. It comes in four designs and is made in a heavy and thick olefin construction. It hits Mohawk Select's middle price point tier at $220 for a 6-by-9.

-- Veratex has added 90-line wool hook area rugs to its offerings this market. Designs are Jacobean inspired and focus on large-scale florals as well as some paisley patterns. These rugs employ an airbrushing technique for shading effects. Other introductions include new tufted cotton flannel rugs in large scale florals, and wool-and-viscose shag rugs.

-- Couristan, based in Fort Lee, N.J., recently expanded its Dalton, Ga. warehouse to about 280,000 square feet -- about twice the size of the original facility. It houses the company's expanded area rug and broadloom offerings.

In related news, Couristan debuts 124 rugs at this market -- the largest number of new products the company has ever shown at a single event. This includes handmade, power loomed, tufted, promotional to high-end products, and a new palette that centers on many metallic colors. Examples include: Vogue, a cut-and-loop pile; Botanics, a wool-and-silk dense pile; Vinyasa, a textured solid; and Woven Treasures, a 100% wool power-loomed space-dyed and vegetable-dyed and washed collection in six patterns.

-- Dalton, Ga.-based United Weavers of America has created its first shag collection. This 100% acrylic group is not solid colored -- it comes in 24 patterns. A 5-by-8 is set to retail for $249.

-- Milliken Rugs showed several new collections this market. It has created the next generation of its Stainmaster-branded Signature collection, which hits a more aggressive price point of $149 for a 6-by-9. Its predecessor retails for $219.

The company also took some of its most popular medallion designs from the Abbyson and Romany Vine collections and created open-field coordinate border patterns. And for the indoors/outdoors, Milliken has created a new non-skid backing it calls Odyssey. Weather proof, this backing employs a Milliken-made stain and fade resistant process.

828 International Trading Co. is showing a new collection titled Chairman, which is a tribute to the company's late founder and president, Jim Clardy. He passed away in April 2004 at the age of 50 from heart complications. The Chairman collection is a 60-count, 2.5 kg, 80% New Zealand wool and 20% Seridian wool grouping made in India.

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