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Fort Lee, NJ

Couristan, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year in the import area rug business, originally started out as a Persian rug importer but quickly expanded to include Oriental rugs from China.

Today, Spain, Belgium, China, India and Pakistan are all countries where Couristan is importing its 80 lines of power-loom and handmade area rugs. The company works closely with independent mills overseas.

Most of Couristan's product-70 percent-is power-loom machine-made rugs made of wool, polypropylene and blends. The power-loom rugs primarily come from India, China and Pakistan.

The remaining 30 percent comprises handmade pieces, which come mainly from Belgium and Spain. Using advanced technology, Couristan is producing special lines of handmades of a higher quality that sell at a lower cost than they typically would retail. "We do not discuss our techniques for doing this because of competition," said Larry Mahurter, dir. of advertising and sales promotion.