DIVERSE GROUP OF EXHIBITORS TESTS THE WATER AT FIRST DOMOTEX USA
The first Domotex USA, held last week at the Georgia World Congress Center, is scheduled to return in early February, 2020.
ATLANTA -- The inaugural Domotex USA debuted at the Georgia World Congress Center here from Feb. 28 through March 2 with an international mix of hard surface flooring, area rugs, carpeting and related products.
Exhibitors and attendees within the area rug sector were mostly encouraged by the show, with a prevailing wait-and-see stance to see if the American version of the German-based international fair becomes an essential stop on the industry's trade-show circuit.
Raymond Bianchi, VP for Hannover Fairs USA, addresses attendees and exhibitors on opening day of Domotex USA.
"Our goal is to be the global solution to floor coverings around the world," said Raymond Bianchi, vice president, events & business development for Hannover Fairs USA. Bianchi said that Atlanta was chosen as the setting for Domotex USA because of its proximity to the many producers located nearby in Dalton, Ga., and the city's convenient access to the Southeastern USA.
Currently Hannover Fair's Domotex show produced in Germany is the largest flooring show in the world, and the Turkey and Shanghai versions are also significant in size. North America is home to another debut in October 2019 when Domotex Mexico launches in Mexico City. Hannover Fairs is also looking at Australia and Brazil as potential markets for a Domotex show.
The Domotex teams from Germany and Mexico: Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Mehtap Raue, Pamela Velazco, Bernd Rohde, and Eugenio Carrillo.
Bianchi said he was pleased with both the exhibitor and attendance numbers. "We were really happy to convince thousands of people to come to a new trade show," he said. Area rugs comprised around 21 percent of the exhibitors, with soft surface exhibitors making up around 45 percent of the show floor.
Domotex aims to differentiate itself from other flooring shows in the U.S. by focusing solely on the flooring industry and not including stone and tile or construction exhibitors in its mix. "Our goal is to focus on flooring retailers, architects, designers, and builders," said Bianchi.
Sam Presnell of The Rug Gallery in Cincinnati, a member of CCA Global's International Design Guild, talks about the program's benefits to dealers stopping by the CCA booth.
The focus on retailers extended to CCA Global Partners, the nation's largest flooring cooperative, which had its own exhibit space aimed at attracting new dealers. Indeed, members, which include leading retail gallery owners, were actually on hand staffing the booth and assigned to specific time slots.
"We're excited about Domotex being in Atlanta," said Keith Spano, president of CGA Global Partners' Flooring America/Flooring Canada, IDG and Floor Trader groups. "It's an East Coast show; it's easy to get to. I've been to Domotex in Hannover and Shanghai, and I think a lot of attendees are hoping to see the same stuff as you'd see [at those shows] but in a more convenient location.
Spano told RugNews.com it's been about 15 years since the organization has exhibited at a trade show. "This is an opportunity to promote our membership," he said, noting that having retailer members present is a new endeavor for the organization. "Retailers want to speak with other retailers; they want to speak to our members, who are in the trenches every day."
The real Dale Miller of Austin Fine Floors (left) stands ready to tout IDG membership amid signage and videos detailing the advantages experienced by CCA dealers.
Next year, Domotex USA moves earlier in the calendar: the dates are scheduled for February 5-7, 2020, even closer to Surfaces (Jan 27-30, 2020) which overlaps with Las Vegas Market, Jan 26 - Jan 30, 2020.
While many of the Dalton-area companies' displayed area rug programs spun off from their broadloom offerings, several of the following U.S.-based exhibitors at Domotex showcased a well-edited selection of their newest rugs.
AMERICAN COVER DESIGN
A machine-made Renaissance collection rug from American Cover.
The Renaissance collection is one of the recent highlights from American Cover Design, according to Jose Vargas. The collection features an abstract distressed look in warm hues, including rust, orange and beige, with blue and grey accents. The rug is machine-woven of polypropylene.
Anderson Tuftex's new Unleashed collection made with PetProtect finish.
The focal point in this carpet and wood flooring company's booth was Unleashed, a collection of carpeting and coordinating flooring, designed specifically for households with pets. The carpets, which can all be made into custom-sized area rugs, are made with the company's PetProtect finish. Not only stain-resistant, PetProtect carpeting and rugs have a chemical ion that repels pet hair, making it easy to remove, as well as a backing designed to withstand scratching.
"When people hear pet-friendly, they think ugly," said Amelia Tritico, brand and innovation design manager. But, she continued, not so with Unleashed, which includes tone-on-tone designs of diamonds, stripes, marled looks, and grids, among others. The neutrals are designed to complement either cool or warm-toned white oak flooring within the line.
BESPOKE TIBETAN CARPETS
A show-stopping abstract design from Bespoke Tibetan Carpets.
Bespoke Tibetan takes a unique approach to the design of its rugs, said Tsewang Lama, managing director: "We start with the wool and the dyeing method," he said. "We let that influence the design." Tibetan wool is known for being lanolin-rich and very resilient. "Over time, the rug just gets better." Known for its custom work, Bespoke's looks are often abstract with beautiful, subtle colors.
BRINK & CAMPMAN
Brink & Campman debuts Marble, part of its Rocks collection, shown below in detail.
This Netherlands-based company has had a presence in the U.S. as a supplier to American brands, but is now moving away from wholesale accounts to build up its own brand recognition. Brink & Campman also offers products under the licensed brands of Wedgwood Home and the Australian designer Florence Broadhurst.
At Domotex, new designs were added to the company's flagship Rocks collection. Made of heavily textured felted New Zealand yarn, the collection is a new take on shags and loop piles. In the multicolored Marble design, the thick, felted yarn is hand-woven in a loop pile, and a thinner, contrasting yarn is threaded through to hold the loops down. Cobble is a version with a similar construction, but in a solid color.
Dixie Group's Fabrica brand showcased its three-tiered rug program.
The company's Fabrica division launched a line of imported rugs in 2017 which has only grown since then. Today its rug program includes three tiers: a standard program, a custom program, and a line that's fabricated from broadloom. "We're servicing higher-end retailers and the design industry," said Jarred Coffin, vice president, product management.
"We can manipulate patterns, colors, and any size or shape; it's a natural extension for us since we've had a custom program for years." Depending on the product, fibers include wool, wool/linen blends, high-luster nylon, and bamboo, and patterns range from solid neutrals to abstracts to more traditional looks. "We're creating broadloom products that look and feel more like a rug than a carpet," Coffin said.
The two-million-point Ruby collection by Dynamic Rugs.
Dynamic Rugs is aiming for the stars with its new Ruby collection. While most of the company's area rug offerings sit at the $249 price point, Ruby is decidedly high end with a ticket of $1,129. It closely replicates the look of artisan-made rugs, said Anoosha Rouhanian, corporate counsel and business development, thanks to the weave density of 2 million points. Made in Turkey of viscose and acrylic, the rugs have traditional washed-out patterns with distressed, semi-erased effects.
The Dynamic Rugs Couture collection features marbleized abstract designs.
Couture is another highlight from Dynamic Rugs. It has a high-low texture in polyester and heat-set polypropylene that accentuates the abstract, tone on tone designs that have a marbleized appearance. Other new items include bold floral patterns and oversized leaves in the Avenue collection, and new colorways in the company's popular Quartz line, including rose gold, lavender, and soft blue.
KABUL CARPET EXPORT CENTER
Alex Zahir, Rob Leahy and Stephen Landrigan of KCEC highlight the quality of Afghan carpets at their Domotex USA booth.
Working as a liaison between carpet and rug makers in Afghanistan and American wholesalers, KCEC aims to bring the quality and tradition of Afghan rugs to the American market, noted Stephen Landrigan, contractor relations director."There's a quality you get in Afghan carpets that you just can't get in India," he said. "Afghan wool is tougher and more durable, and the artisans have a very tight weave."
American manufacturers or retailers can provide specs and direction for colors and patterns, and KCEC will match the request with an Afghan mill to create samples for approval, and then facilitates the production of the rugs once approved. The organization also helps the Afghan suppliers provide high-quality packing and shipping to ensure that the rugs reach their destination in good condition. Currently KCEC is working closely with around 40 rug makers in the country, but has identified around 200 possible producers, so there's plenty of opportunity for growth. The organization hopes its efforts will help bolster the country's beleaguered economy. "Afghan rugs cost a little more, but the quality is better, and we're aiming for higher-end partners," said Landrigan.
LOUIS DE POORTERE
De Poortere Deco unveils a warm new color palette for 2019 above and Lurex inflected designs below.
New designs joined the company's signature Deco line of cotton chenille rugs, including a hexagonal pattern and a wide herringbone pattern, which utilized Lurex yarn for shiny accents.
"In the U.S., contemporary styles tend to edge out the classic a bit," noted Mark West, North American Operations Director. "But we're seeing a resurgence now in classic designs." He said the company is trialing different weights and color schemes to see what will work well with an American audience. For instance, abstract helix and diamond patterns in a classic Wilton weave and muted colors.
Mod-Arte reports a good response to the Mirage collection's abstract designs.
A new furniture and rug company out of Istanbul, with a distribution center in New Jersey, Mod-Arte is seeking wholesale accounts to carry its products. The company's Mirage collection was getting a lot of buzz at Domotex. Machine-made of polypropylene and polyester, Mirage features abstract designs in a high-low effect weave, executed in colorways that include blues, beige, and brick red.
Moroccan style continues to inspire Mod-Arte's Fez collection.
Meanwhile, Fez is a striking collection with a Moroccan theme. A pure white ground is the backdrop for a bold, colorful pattern. "One of our specialties is the number of colors we use in a single rug," said Sachin Grover, co-owner of Mod-Arte. Many of the rugs have 16 different colors, giving patterns lots of dimension and interest.
Natco showcases its Made in America Adore collection.
One of the newest offerings from Natco is the Adore collection. Made of polypropylene with a soft hand, it represents for the company a better-quality product with a United States origin, said Mark Ferullo, executive vice president. Patterns within the line include traditional and transitional offerings in neutral greys with accents of mustard and gold, among other subtle colors. The designs consist of center medallions and William Morris-type patterns, a look that's frequently requested, according to Ferullo. It's priced at $199 for a 5x8.
Ohio by Natco Home offers a range of looks from tribal to geometric.
Ohio, meanwhile, has a construction that falls between a low pile and a shag. Patterns include tribal looks, painterly abstracts, and geometric designs like concentric diamonds. While Ohio sells for around $199 for a 5x8, there's a step-down version that features bold rust-colored accents and a slightly lower price point. "This collection is great for furniture stores," noted Ferullo.
Pointex shows its rubber backed cut-to-fit carpet to U.S. retailers for the first time.
Known for its floor coverings designed for events, Italian company Pointex is looking to broach American retailers with an innovative product: rubber-backed carpet sold on a roll that can be cut to fit and used directly on the floor, with no finishing or additional backing or padding necessary.
Domotex was the first time the company presented its line in the U.S. The options included tone-on-tone patterns in bright jewel tones like ruby and teal, as well as more subtle neutrals. Antonio Orpheu, sales representative for ALMA spa, manufacturer of Pointex, said American retailers would probably prefer to buy already cut pieces rather than cut the rugs in-house.
The cut and loop pile of Stanton's Splendour broadloom shown in Smitten and Grove designs.
At Stanton, area rugs can be fabricated upon request from the company's many wall-to-wall offerings, and many of the recent introductions have been designed to have the look and feel of area rugs. Made of hand-loomed nylon, Splendour Smitten creates a rug with a super-soft hand to it, with the benefits of wearability and cleanability, said Adam Feldberg, product development manager.
Meanwhile, the Marvelous collection is made of poly/silk and the company's Royaltron polypropylene fiber. It has a hand-knotted Tibetan look and patterns include painterly abstracts in neutral palettes. Finally, Tinsley Tweed is in the company's high-end offerings. Made of wool and poly silk, it has a raised grid pattern reminiscent of menswear.
From Stanton's Crescent collection, from top to bottom, are the Tinsley Tweed, Esquire, and Ashton designs.