NeoCon 2012: carpet mills showcase design and innovation

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Chicago—More than 700 manufacturers showcased an array of products and resources here as NeoCon boasted three days of innovations and resources for commercial interiors.

In usual fashion, the flooring industry did not disappoint the nearly 41,000 design professionals who attended this year’s show, as manufacturers from all categories of the commercial industry debuted the latest and greatest in products and services.

Due to space limitations, products have been divided into soft and hard surfaces with this issue being devoted to the carpet side. FCNews will highlight the hard surfaces introductions in the next issue.

When it comes to the carpet industry, Mark Falanga, president and CEO of MMPI, owner/operator of the Merchandise Mart and NeoCon, said, “The designs coming out of the category are extraordinary. Carpet is becoming a canvas to create art.”

The following is a look at what some of the top mills had to offer.


Bentley Prince Street

With a non-traditional pattern and varied color line, the mill showcased Illuminated Linen. Available in broadloom and three carpet tile sizes as well as area rugs, the collection is inspired by the California fashion houses of the 1940s and 1950s and is ideal for corporate, government, hospitality and retail settings, noted Anthony Minite, president.

“Whether you’re looking to add warmth or soften hard surfaces, this product will outperform and outshine the competition,” he said. “Our design team has created a carpet product that captures the natural luster and crisp freshness of linen and, just like the fabric, will also exceed expectations with its strength and durability.”

Made with exclusive Invista yarns, the design showcases nodes of depth and texture, representing the natural essence of linen. Custom colors are available for 50 square yards and above.


Embracing man’s connection with the natural elements and the intersection of natural and man-made materials, was the inspiration behind the company’s Urban Retreat collection, explained David Oakey, Interface’s lead designer.

The line combines opposite worlds to inspire beautiful, functional and coexisting spaces and is available on six continents around the world. The collection’s nine styles are sorted into pattern studies ranging from refined textures to broad, organic forms.

Oakey linked the line in part to biophilia and related global trends. “Research shows the percentage of people who prefer living in urban environments has risen significantly. This is supported by the increasing numbers of individuals and businesses who have migrated to the hearts of cities in recent years. As our cities are invigorated, we are seeing more evidence of biophilia. Urban Retreat builds on this trend by offering a series of designs inspired by the natural world.”




By combining both science and design, the mill unveiled the modular ColorWash collection during NeoCon with a range that company officials said explores various subtle and large-scale gradiations of color and pattern, creating an endless, monolithic aesthetic but still demonstrates the functionality and convenience of a modular tile.

The line features 40 standard colors ranging from bright, clear vibrant shades to sophisticated, subtle neutrals. Two distinct designs define the collection: Matter, a vapor-like organic with subtle movement and fluidity, and Medium, a linear expression from broad strokes of nuanced color changes.

ColorWash is produced by Milliken’s new proprietary high-resolution digital print technology.


Emerging rural and urban trends, the company connects interiors with a softer approach to geometrics in its Play of Light collection highlighting light and dark motifs.

With the moniker, “rurban,” the modular line interprets geometrics and shadows mimicking the nature of light and how it can be reflected, refracted and filtered through various surfaces. Ideally for corporate environments, Play of Light is made with environmentally friendly SmartStrand Contract with DuPont Sorona, a fully recyclable and rapidly renewable bio-based flooring solution made with 37% renewably sourced polymer.



For DyeLab, Reesie Duncan, creative director, said the collection color was drawn from nature and merged with texture and technique, creating palettes from natural dyes derived from madder root, indigo and cochineal.

The DyeLab technique claimed a Best of NeoCon award in Modular Carpet, the 11th such award for the company in as many years. Touting the use of ancient wash and dye techniques with fabric that is woven, twisted, bundled, dipped and dyed, the outcome tends to be unpredictable with no two tiles being exactly the same.

“This fiber exploration led us to a range of textural nuances, delicate lusters and heavy gauge matte filaments,” Duncan said. “The process repurposes lost practices with modern technology resulting in inspiration and unpredictability.”



With a packed showroom throughout the entire NeoCon show, the company’s market experience was kicked off on a high note with a Best of NeoCon Gold in Broadloom.

Awarded to Tandus for its Needle Tech Collection, it consists of four styles designed using the mill’s Flooring’s Dynex SD Lustre, a high-luster fiber used in conjunction with Dynex SD.

The line uses high and low lusters to project a craft-like, handmade construction found in needlepoint and crochet, but without compromise to performance, explained Terry Mowers, chief creative officer. “We are able to utilize high and low luster solution-dyed fibers giving the 100% loop construction the look of luxurious cut loop. These varying levels of luster create color and definition and a textural look of a handcrafted broadloom.”

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