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Mohawk to market artistic rugs

Cecile Corral, Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, March 26, 2001

SUGAR VALLEY, GA -Mohawk Home, based here, has forged a licensing agreement with Media Arts Group Inc. in San Jose, CA, to create several new collections of area rugs inspired by the painting of artist Thomas Kinkade.

New introductions will be shown at April market.

"Kinkade is a very spiritual painter. He's the painter of light," said Patrick Moyer, vp, marketing for Mohawk Home. "He's huge, he's enormously popular."

The new area rug line will coordinate with Kinkade's existing line of upholstery fabrics sold at La-Z Boy stores nationwide. Mohawk also expects to sell the rugs to other furniture stores. But under the licensing agreement, Mohawk will have restricted distribution of the product.

"Kinkade's got only upstairs distribution right now, and it's a price point that's a little higher than we typically do," Moyer explained, referring to the $299 to $499 price tags the new Kinkade rugs will garner.

Mohawk already manufacturers, through its Goodwin Weavers division, the Thomas Kinkade lines of woven throws, decorative pillows, wall tapestries and computer monitor covers.

"Right now, Kinkade throws are very big for us, and we don't even sell them at mass," Moyer said. "We sell them through more than 20,000 independent gift merchants around the country."

The new Kinkade rugs will be made in Mohawk's Calhoun, GA, plant. The construction will include border rugs with woven insets and rugs that are entirely woven.

"For the design, we'll pull an element from the painting, like a bridge or light post or rod-iron fence, and we'll coordinate it with the furniture," Moyer said. "We want to try to capture the essence and spirit of the artwork."

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