Rug makers offer fresh goods to serious buyers  

Atlanta – Traffic remains slow again today, day three of the International Area Rug Market here – but suppliers insist the few department stores, furniture and rug dealers, catalogs and internet retailers that made appointments came through and filled out orders.

As one top executive of a major U.S. manufacturer noted on retailer attendance, “We may not have quantity this market, but we do have quality. Those who made appointments showed up and came to shop.”

Here are some of the new product highlights and other news stemming from the market:

* The Natura collection by Kas Rugs is the company's latest nod to the environment. The unbleached, unprocessed, un-dyed collection of 100% wool rugs comes in organic patterns. Positioned at the Kas mid-level price bracket, a 5-by-8 piece is set to retail for $399.

* United Weavers is doing its part to recycle with its new indoor/outdoor Patio collection. These rugs are made of pre-used synthetic yarns and have been treated for UV effects and are weather resistant. Its two-tone patterns -- spanning trellis and botanical looks through atypical contemporary designs -- are set to retail for $99 for a 5-by-8.

* Surya presented its three new licensed programs -- Bob Mackie, B. Smith and Cosmo/Seventeen magazine -- as well as expanded its Cabana Joe-branded program with new 100% polypropylene hand-hooked indoor/outdoor rugs.

Cosmo/Seventeen-branded rugs target the tween and teen markets with retro, colorful and whimsical patterns. Constructions include acrylic, mod-acrylic and printed nylon.

Bob Mackie rugs take their cue from the fashion designer's couture styles; the three collections are London, Moderne, and Nouveau.

Model and TV celebrity B. Smith's new rug program includes two collections -- Sag Harbour and Mosaic.

* Jaipur's new Pebble Beach collection is a fresh take on shag rugs. These sheared varieties are solid colored and constructed with low maintenance and comfort in mind. They come in 12 colors and are set to retail for $499. A new hemp line offers a natural fiber option.

For indoor/outdoor use, Jaipur is showing a new 100% polypropylene hooked collection called Frontera. The patterns are a far cry from typical coastal looks; the pieces feature large-scale corals, puppy feet, pears, architectural wrought iron patterns and others.

In other news, the company will on July 28 debut its 3,400-square-foot permanent showroom in Las Vegas, space C-824 at the World Market Center. Jaipur will also double its High Point showroom to 2,500 square feet in time for the October market.

* Kaleen Rugs brought a broad range of new programs to Atlanta. Its Paula Dean licensed program is being expanded soon, in time for the High Point Market in October.

* Nourison's new Harbour Ridge collection employs a combination cut-loop pile construction for a tweed-like textured solid look. The company is including its “blanket statement” with this line to allow retailers to use the overhang to display the breadth of colors available in each style. Hand-tufted in India of 100% wool, Harbour Ridge rugs come as runners through 8-by-11 sizes and are set to retail for $499.

Other highlights are the design additions to the existing and top selling collections Jaipur, Heritage Hall, Parallels and Nourison 2000.

* Central Oriental/Natco is taking a different approach with its domestic manufacturing. In an effort to be “flexible” with its color use, the company is “willing to take down our creel to offer more colors” to its middle- to higher-end offerings. One such collection is the new U.S.A.-made Dimensions, a 1.3 million point mechanically carved line in earth tones and contemporary looks.

The company also experimented with color in its space-dyed assortment and came up with the new Patina collection. It combines space-dyed and heat-set yarns for a new palette and color story.

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