Carpet innovation is all about color these days. From sample color walls intended to demystify the shopping experience, to technology that allows for dozens of colors to be created, to new fiber blends that produce vast ranges of color, mills pushed color enhancements at Surfaces.
Here’s a sampling of what took place:
A/T announced “phase one” introductions for 2023 that emphasize more versatile color variations to allow Shaw designers to expand on what is possible in soft surface style and design.
Specifically, A/T’s Signature collection features six new styles, including four new Pet Perfect options, all with varying colors and designs. The Studio collection, meanwhile, offers four new styles and a “rejuvenated” take on other popular A/T styles. “The shifts in color bring depth, enhances dimension and adds a strong sense of character to each style,” said Jacob Daly, A/T’s senior marketing manager. “Each style is 100% unique and is an authentic transformation from traditional aesthetics.”
The Dixie Group
Twenty years after Dixie Home was founded, TDG celebrated the brand’s 20th anniversary by renaming it DH Floors. A highlight at the show was Elements from DH Floors, made of Durasilk polyester fiber. “For us this is a more aggressive approach back into polyester but we’re doing it by putting our personality into it,” said Jared Coffin, VP of product management. “Call it affordable fashion—we want our style and design DNA on this.”
In addition, TDG continues to support its high-end Masland and Fabrica brands with EnVision nylon products and will again invest in its 1866 by Masland and Décor by Fabrica high-end decorative programs.
Creating durable, next-generation carpet with its PureColor High-Definition Color Technology was all the rage at the EF booth. “This is a transformational product for us,” James Lesslie, COO, said of the proprietary process that can blend colors and textures. “Remember when you had your old color TV and then flat screen came out? Remember the difference? It’s like that.”
The tandem of Melvin Silvers, president of sales and product development, and Joe Young, director of residential product development, collaborated on the development and launch. “Tremendous credit to Melvin and Joe on this,” Lesslie noted. “Melvin was the inspiration and Joe was the perspiration—it was a team effort.”
The high-def technology is not easily replicated. The investment alone—in the tens of millions of dollars—would be cost-prohibitive for many mills. As Lesslie noted, “It’s not an easy ticket to get in this game.”
Higher ticket items were getting written at the Marquis booth, notably Enchanting City, a 67-ounce weight broadloom that leverages an enhanced graphics machine to achieve better needle control, producing a more luxurious product. “Enchanting City has a great hand and consumers are still buying with their hands,” said Chet Graham, president.
Doing double duty, the executive has spent considerable time the last year with the relaunch of the Gulistan brand, which was acquired in the Lonesome Oak deal more than a year ago. Gulistan figures to be prominently featured in 2023 with new solution-dyed nylon offerings. Many of the same dealers will stock both Marquis and Gulistan, Graham explained. “Having both brands will give dealers an alternative from the big mills. Gulistan has given us great credibility in the market; it has a good name as a premium brand.”
SmartStrand Color Wall commanded the most attention at the Mohawk booth. The new Color Wall Destination was engineered to provide a compelling selling experience that allows consumers to confidently select color and comfort across a range of price points. A QR code takes users to the SmartStrand landing page and explains the SmartStrand story to allow consumers to confidently select color and comfort across a range of price points. “It’s been a hit—and so far has exceeded our goals,” said Jamie Welborn, senior vice president of residential carpet product development.
Although the vast majority of new carpet products were shown previously at Edge, Mohawk did display a few products for the Surfaces crowd—including Vitalize I, II from Ever- Strand (SD BCF carpet), and Memory Lane I, II featuring UltrasSound++ (Xtra technology). “This is all due to feedback obtained at Edge,” Welborn said. “We worked quickly to get it out.”
The “rediscovery” of the Anso Colorwall was Exhibit A as company officials announced plans to update the merchandising system with new colors and styles—all featuring SoftBac padding with LifeGuard Spill-Proof Technology. A standout at the show was Canvas Comfort with Blue backing. “It’s a home run—different colors, plushness, performance story,” said JulieBeth Fisher, director of brand marketing.
Shaw introduced 10 new styles of its Pet Perfect+ line including the “show-stopper” Shady Stroll. “Just from the design of it, it’s a very organic pattern and safe,” Fisher said.
In his most recent position, Drew Hash served as vice president of hard surface category and product at Shaw Industries. But he made it clear that as president of Southwind, soft surface would have its place at the head of the table. “We’re going to keep building carpet,” Hash told FCNews. “Carpet is a category we love; not everyone is talking about carpet, but it is more than a third of the overall business in flooring.”
Hash may be new to Southwind, but he is very familiar with the executive team, having worked with CEO Jason Delves and Randy Lovelace previously. They are joined by carpet guru Larry Morris. For those he hadn’t previously worked with, Hash made appointments to meet with every staffer. “We’ve got a really good team. There is a deep passion for this business within the walls of Southwind. They want the company to win, to succeed.”
The Stanton Rug Company dis- play, which made its debut at the CCA Global convention, is positioned as a go-to resource for quick-ship stocked area rugs in sizes ranging from 6 x 9 to 10 x 14. “This curated selection of SKUs are proven sellers offering high style and quality at an exceptional value,” said Christine Zampaglione, senior director of marketing.
Shipped within two to three days, all rugs offer a hand-serged finish and are stocked in the company’s Calhoun, Ga., facility. The rotating display holds 104 samples of stocked rugs, and each SKU is stocked in multiple sizes offering hundreds of options.
Overall, Stanton introduced 85 new soft surface products at Surfaces, including Pixel, which won a Best of Surfaces in the Style & Design category.
Tarkett Home’s new fiber brand, Cloud 9, boasts a blend of com- fort, performance and value. “It’s a perfect combination of luxury, comfort, not losing durability—and yet still have an affordable price point,” said Jason Surratt, president.
Cloud 9 is a solution-dyed polyester yarn that provides a natural resistance to staining and fading without compromising on softness. The collection includes 11 new products.