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Capel grows with felt, debuts doormats

Capel Rugs expanded both its Colonial Williamsburg line and its own group of rugs at the recent Home Textiles Market with the addition of a new material, felt, in addition to entering the doormat category.

Capel decided to add the felt construction because of its historic significance. "I was inspired by early American penny rugs," said Kea Capel, director of marketing and creative services. Capel added that those rugs were floor coverings fashioned from discarded wool and burlap pieces in the 18th century. "They have a lot of soul and spoke to the human touch, like braided rugs."

In both colonial and contemporary designs, the felt rugs are hand-pieced and -stitched. The styles in the Colonial Williamsburg collection, such as Paisley and Williamsburg Penny, are motifs taken from the foundation's textiles archives.

Capel also premiered about 12 designs of felt in its own line, in a variety of seasonal and whimsical looks. Some of the designs that garnered interest included Snowman, Witch and Lemon Lime, according to Capel.

Both groups of felt rugs are available in three sizes: 2' x 3', 30" x 50" and 3' x 5' (which will retail for $99). Several are in oval or square shapes, and others have details such as scallop or rickrack edging. "Some of our customers told us it was the most innovative thing they've seen at market in a long time," she said, adding that several of Capel's larger accounts have inquired about developing proprietary product.

Capel also added the doormat category this market. "Doormats are becoming a more aggressive category in scatter rugs, and it was time to get into it," she said.

A departure from the usual doormat designs, she said, seven new styles will be included for both the Colonial Williamsburg and Capel lines. The Capel looks are "really electric," she said, "very hip and edgy" with such colors as hot pink, orange and blue. They include an abstract Chinese farmhouse pattern called Chinese Toile, as well as one called Chinese Welcome.

The Colonial Williamsburg patterns include Compass Rose, Delft Ladybug and Fisherman Toile.

The doormats, with a poly tufted face, will retail for approximately $24.99.

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