• Thomas Lester

Thinking outside of the rectangle

Different materials, constructions and ideas gaining ground in rug industry

In terms of shape, material and construction, the rug business has suffered from a lack of diversity over the years. The industry has long been dominated by rectangular rugs, made of wool or synthetics, in standard sizes. But now, savvy rug producers are pushing the design envelope, and many rugs have been granted a fresh approach in terms of materials, shape, construction or appearance - adding a new level of excitement to the showroom floor.

     One of the top selling points for flat-weaves is that they're reversible - essentially two rugs in one with the same pattern on both sides. About a year and a half ago, KAS Rugs decided to build on that model.
During the summer 2012 Atlanta market, the Somerset, N.J.-based rug manufacturer introduced the Serafina Collection, which featured dhurrie rugs with different patterns on each side.
     "The idea behind it was to take the popularity of flat-weaves and combine that with a very useful two sided option," explained Wendy Reiss, vice president of key accounts for KAS. "Of course, in order to do that, we had to think through durability and fashion. The rug itself has a nice thickness to it with a reinforced border stitch. It feels substantial. It is also soft, which unlike many dhurries, is a nice plus."
     Designs on the 100% wool rugs include florals, geometrics and nautical designs.
     Reiss said now that economic indicators are ticking upward, it feels good to flex a little creative muscle now and again.
"Honestly, we really pride ourselves on being fashion-forward and innovators. It is nice that the market is bouncing back a bit as it allows us to put those creative hats on and do what we love to do - create great designs and constructions," Reiss said.

     In the winter of 2012, officials with F.J. Kashanian were traveling overseas when they observed a material called sari silk that can be hand-woven into rugs. The sari silk's most pronounced quality is its vibrant colors. Jonathan Kashanian, vice president of the company, noted that retailers were requesting more and more color when they decided to come to market with the rugs.
     "Ultimately, they really make a statement in the office or home in colors that have never been seen a floor before - or even furniture or fabric," Kashanian said.
     With the success of the sari silk rugs to its credit, Kashanian said the company is trying to replicate the rugs' vivid colors in rugs using other materials.
     "Wool generally doesn't get so bright and shiny. However we have introduced our Sari Wool Collection which has become the closest of any wool rugs to emulate the style and brightness of sari silk rugs while still keeping the rugs classy and usable by the consumer," he said.

LesterThomas Lester | Assistant Editor, Home Accents Today

Thomas Lester is an assistant editor of Home Accents Today and Furniture Today. A veteran journalist and storyteller, Lester will bring the stories behind the partnerships, product innovations and personalities in the home accents and furniture industries to life in this blog.

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