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During the second day of the semi-annual Atlanta Rug Show, it became clear that while price is still an issue, color is king. Today_s news:
- Calhoun, Ga.-based Jaipur Rugs debuted its new Raymond Waites collection for the first time here, following its original launch at High Point market in April. Sectioned into three groups, the designer licensed collection comes in three constructions and style stories. At the top of the echelon is the collection_s Uptown grouping, which comprises hand-knotted high-end constructions featuring updated traditional looks in unexpectedly welcome color palettes and combinations; Midtown, which at the mid range spans tufted varieties; and Downtown, a grouping of Tibetan weave contemporarily-styled rugs targeting a younger customer.
- Momeni Inc., said it is giving shoppers a chance to walk away from ""boring browns"" and tired transitional looks that have long been prevalent in the marketplace with its new and affordable collection of traditional-inspired rugs, Vintage. The company drew inspiration from Old World prayer rugs and the one-of-a-kind patchwork styles made by stitching together pieces of old rugs and came up with its own version that can retail for ,599 versus the ,10,000 originals. Marlys Giordano, director of marketing and product development, explained to HTT that she has been developing Vintage for the past nine months.
""For so long, people have been buying neutrals and transitionals because they are safe in this kind of economy and they can sell for ,299,"" she said. ""But now people are getting bored of all the browns and tans. People want to come home and be happy, and I think these rugs help do that.""
But because shoppers continue to be price conscious, Giordano needed to come up with a viable ticket. Her first try at Vintage resulted in ,799 rugs. ""The economy is still not ready for that,"" she said. ""So we redeveloped it and came up with a ,599.""
Made of 100% New Zealand wool, Vintage collection rugs and made on an eight-color loom in Egypt. These rugs feature the same color effect of their more costly overdyed Turkish chobi counterparts, and compensate in the stitching detailing and antique look with special techniques that Momeni employed in creating its new rugs -- including hand-sheering, color variety, and finishing,"" Giordano noted.
Of the 12 designs currently in Vintage, two are ikats and the others include solids and patchworks.
For the January rug show, Momeni will add about 10 new designs.
- Central Oriental, sister company to Natco and based in West Warwick, R.I., just ramped up its capacity with the purchase of a new loom - the company_s eighth. Last summer the company bought its seventh loom.
""Our factories are very busy, and we_re doing very well,"" Jim Thompson, vp of sales, told HTT. ""We continue to expand our U.S.-made offerings, while sprinkling in some imports that we can_t do oursleves,"" such as hand-carved and some shag styles from Turkey and elsewhere overseas.
Central Oriental brought several new and expanded collections to market. Among them is the Fusion collection, which employs a chenille-and-polypropylene blended construction that ismade domestcially. It is set to retail for ,149 for a 5-by-8.
Also new is the Stone Creek collection, which is made in a one-million-point construction with drop stitching. These rugs are priced to sell for ,299.
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