December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Issue 14
By Ken Ryan
For many years the Atlanta International Area Rug market at AmericasMart has been the premier venue for new rug offerings, with the January show serving as the launch pad for that year’s introductions.
However, success brings competition and some executives say the Atlanta show (Jan. 11-14) may have lost a bit of its momentum with the ascent of the World Market in late January in Las Vegas, just after Surfaces, and the High Point home furnishings show in the fall.
“Up until last market Atlanta has been the premier rug market,” said Blake Dennard, senior vice president at Kaleen Rugs, who said attendance fell precipitously at the July 2016 show. “We are hoping it comes back in January. We don’t want to go in with a negative attitude. We hope for a recovery because traditionally Atlanta is our premier rug market of the year and we have made a big commitment to the show.”
The Atlanta rug market coincides with the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, scheduled Jan. 10-17 at AmericasMart. The integration of home furnishings with decorative accessories including rugs has been a growing trend in recent years. Chelsea Peabody, strategic and media relations manager at AmericaMart Atlanta, said show attendees will see a continued integration of rugs with home décor and home accents collections this year. To achieve that goal, organizers relocated the area rug “temporaries” area to Building 1, Floor 7 where home products are shown.
The Market at AmericasMart is a mix of permanent showrooms and a temporary trade show. During the January market there are 1,500 showrooms plus more than 3,000 temporaries. “The reimagined temporaries presentation encourages rug retailers to explore the home décor collection and home buyers to source trendsetting rug merchandise,” Peabody said.
The leading rug purveyors use the Atlanta Area Rug Market to showcase new trends in design and manufacturing. Highlights this year include new-to-market collections from leaders including Karastan, Nourison, Oriental Weavers, Momeni, Couristan and Loloi, which launched its ED BY Ellen DeGeneres collection in January.
Sam Presnell, owner of The Rug Gallery in Cincinnati, has a shopping list in hand when he attends Atlanta. “We will be looking for the next new thing and believe more saturation and young colors will lead the way. I also wish we had better selections in wool machine woven and hope we can find some new fresh things there. Machine made is our No. 1 best-selling type of rug. Atlanta is the best market to cover this type of merchandise and we will see a lot of new intros in a very efficient way.”
Color and design will be featured prominently in new introductions, according to organizers and attendees.
Kaleen will be introducing five new collections, led by its successful indoor/outdoor portfolio, and new shags. “Shags continue to do well pretty much wherever we put them up,” Dennard said. At press time, Kaleen was still finalizing the names for its new introductions.
In 2017, Karastan will follow up on its successful Spice Market collection in rugs with two news collections—Intrigue and Sovereign. Intrigue’s modern and transitional rugs are woven of Mohawk’s EverStrand yarn, a premium polyester produced from up to 100% recycled content from plastic bottles. EverStrand is known for its soft touch, durability and stain resistance.
New from Karastan is Wile Multicolor, which blends neutral colors of cream, taupe and gold balanced with bolder hues of sapphire, aquamarine, citron, garnet, tobacco and spice.
Hypnotize Multicolor includes bold blocks of color and streams of space-dyed striations to create a hypnotic effect. Karastan said the rug collection is equally suited for spaces with competing colors or neutrals in need of a jolt of vibrant energy.
Captivate Indigo is described as a “blue blur” of abstract artistry and a modern muse in fresh hues of indigo, pale green, gray, aqua, black and neutral beige. From the Sovereign collection Marquis is a transitional companion piece woven with New Zealand worsted wool to achieve an heirloom quality that is distinguishably exclusive to Karastan.
American Rug Craftsman, a Mohawk brand, is introducing Destinations, a collection of authentically American styles—coastal, lodge and Southwest looks—in contemporary colors. As with Karastan’s introductions, Destinations is crafted with EverStrand, providing the rugs with the durability to withstand the rigors of high traffic areas.
Oriental Weavers said it is introducing 100 new rugs among eight collections in 2017. Among its signature launches will be Vintage Soul, where “modern classic styling meets vintage soul,” and Boho Luxe, distinguished by deep jewel tones of sapphire, ruby and amethyst weaved alongside turquoise, gold and copper.
Peabody said the big trend in rugs is floral patterns ranging from abstract to botanical prints. “Textured rugs are also trending with some designs incorporating multiple techniques to create a sophisticated textural effect.”
The Atlanta market isn’t only about a trade show. Retail buyers and exhibitors will have the opportunity to support communities in need during the event including the second annual Home for Hope day of giving that supports City of Hope and the annual Party on Peachtree, the single-largest event benefitting Gift For Life and Young Gift Executives.