Natural, neutral, sustainable: Rug makers meet key consumer desires


Selections from designer Thom Filicia’s collection for Feizy offer a range of charcoal hues as well as one with more coppery tones.

HIGH POINT – Rug makers brought a wide array of rug designs to High Point Market last month, with a focus on attainable and sustainable designs; natural, neutral colorways as well as bursts of bright color; tons of texture and a wave of new licensees along with extensions from existing ones.

Creams, tans and beiges remain dominant, echoing the neutral colorways seen in furniture and other categories. Surya is highlighting basics, neutrals and natural colors —which work well in layered looks— in its Foundations catalog. Jaipur Living is offering a selection of neutrals in its Au Naturale new product grouping, “inspired by the best nature has to offer,” as well as a range of highly textured wool designs in off-white, cream and tan.

Feizy featured gray, charcoal, beige and ivory in its new Alford collection by designer Thom Filicia, and more gray and cream in Filicia’s Lennon, Redford and Vancouver collections. Neutrals and soft color palettes are also part of Loloi’s new collection with Amber Lewis, principal designer of the Los Angeles-based Amber Interiors Design Studio.
Designer Hilary Farr’s new Sterling Impressions collection for Kaleen, which is inspired by intricate book jacket designs from an earlier era, features tones of gray and white in an abstract, swirling pattern with hints of color in the background. The machine-made pattern incorporates recycled water bottles in its construction.

Color always has its place, however, and the market was not devoid of options in that regard. Notable among them were a sunset- hued addition to Nourison’s Prismatic line and brightly colored options in Jaipur’s Manchacha line, which re-uses thousands of pounds of leftover wool scraps.

“I think everyone is gravitating to bright and colorful,” said Kim Weling, social media and public relations specialist for Nourison, during market. Among the color and design trends she noted were pastels, Art Deco designs and what she termed “Cali Cool” looks with a coastal, beachy vibe in blue and green colorways as well as soft colors.

Surya highlighted plaids as an upcoming trend, pairing them with pinstripe bedding and waffle-weave quilts. And Karastan prominently displayed a black and white plaid rug design from its new Bobby Berk collection in its High Point showroom.

Texture, which can add dimension to neutrals and coziness to any rug, was also a seemingly essential component of most new rug collections, conveyed through hi-low constructions; fiber mixes like viscose with wool; chunky weaves; shags and other techniques.

Easy-care and affordable options were also a selling point for many rug manufacturers at market. Nourison has a new line of machine-washable rugs designed by Nicole Curtis, the host of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict” show. The Persian-inspired collection has a distressed vintage look and is available in several color options. Fellow HGTV star Tamara Day, host of “Bargain Mansions” and the mother of four children, stressed the livability of her new rug collection with Kaleen that will debut in January at the Las Vegas Market. Feizy introduced Zander, a collection inspired by silk rugs but made of wool, which is easier to care for than silk and more affordable. It also introduced Voss, which is also based on silk rug designs, but is screen-printed polyester chenille, which translates the intense colors of silk dye well, yet is easy to care for and suitable for high-traffic areas.

Outdoor rug options, which by their nature are easy-care, have started to display more sophisticated designs akin to their indoor cousins, such as Feizy’s new Wendover collection, which uses PET yarns in a hand-knotted Oushak design that could pass for wool. Performance-driven options were also highlighted, such as Harounian’s new collections and constructions in Sunbrella and PET yarns.

Sustainability was the driving force behind Farr’s other market introduction for Kaleen, called Just Jute. The collection is made from 70% jute, which is a renewable fiber (the remainder is a mix of cotton or wool) with a hi-low weave that adds dimension and texture. Jute does not take dye in a consistent way, so every rug is unique, Farr said.

Affordability is also a key selling point for some rug manufacturers. Berk’s new collection for Karastan is a good-better-best assortment of 16 rugs suitable for layering, ranging from machine-made polyester to hand-woven and hand-tufted wool. Berk, one of the stars of the Netflix series “Queer Eye,” is well-known among younger consumers, and he had their interests in mind when designing the collection. “I chose to work with Karastan because I like to do good and work with those who are also doing good,” he said. “I wanted to create beautiful rugs at attainable price points and to span the gamut of modern and traditional.”

On the other end of the price spectrum is the luxury segment, which Surya is targeting with its new 372-page catalog, whose signature designs and exclusive introductions reflect the rich colors, textures and design aesthetic of each pattern. The assortment includes hand-woven designs, natural fiber and jute selections, plenty of textured options, and large selections in the hide and leather, solid and border, and performance categories. —Erica Crawford contributed to this story.


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