Issue Date: 2018 JUNE, Posted On: 6/1/2018

06012018 ICFF Exclusive: Area Rugs Steal the Show, Part 2
By Carol Tisch & Lisa Vincenti

NEW YORK -- Area rug makers made their mark -- and most impressive showing to date -- at the 30th installment of contemporary furnishings fair ICFF, which counted some 38 rug vendors among its coterie of luxe brands.

The astounding figure, at least a dozen higher than a year ago, included a broad swath of bespoke area rug ateliers that ranged from established New York area sources, to young upstarts, international players keen to tap the American market, and domestic brands wanting to up their exposure.
Despite the increased competition for attention, most exhibitors, especially 2018's newcomers, reported brisk business, perhaps because they were fresh to the show and bringing with them unusual stories and unseen area rug designs. Yet many returning exhibitors also noted strong traffic, and some even closed sales and wrote orders. 
Below, in Part 2 of the area rug industry's most sweeping survey of ICFF 2018, RugNews.com marches from luxe Tibetan rug maker New Moon to award-winning Woven Concepts. And, in case you missed it, our Part 1 report visited young Spanish atelier Abbatte through flatweave maestro Nasiri Carpets.

Sisters Josephine and Erika Kurtz of New Moon Rugs showcased its range of sophisticated (and fun) looks, including the quirky Bohemia design from its Menagerie collection on the floor. 

Delaware hand-knot area rug maker New Moon Rugs returns to ICFF after exhibiting three years ago. The company showcased its fine, Nepali crafted Tibetan rugs, with attendees enjoying the unexpected playfulness of the jungle-inspired Bohemia, where creatures including elephants tromp across a field crafted of  blend of Tibetan wool, Chinese silk and natural nettle fibers. New Moon also offered a preview of its Kumo collection, which will be fully unveiled at the Rug Show at Javits in late summer,  Kumo is a range of Japanese-inspired designs that cull inspiration from the art of Shibori and block printing.  

"Its been a good show ... Sunday was really busy," Erika Kurtz told RugNews.com. "We see mostly designers and architects, many from New York, but also some from our neck of the woods. We also saw some West Coast clients who tried ICFF out for the first time." 


New Moon Rugs used ICFF as an opportunity to preview its Kumo collection of Japanese -inspired designs, which will launch at The Rug Show at Javits in August. Shown, Shibori


Now Carpets debuts its Ko collection rugs by Francesc Rife, made of up to 45 different colors. 

Spanish area rug maker Now Carpets returns to ICFF with its new KO collection by designer Francesc Rife. KO design KO01 was named a finalist in the annual NYCxDesign Award in the Residential Flooring category. In addition the company also debuted a line of furnishings created in collaboration with Stone Designs that merge Now area rugs and furniture to create a new typology, including its Context shelving units with a background of carpet -- an ICFF showstopper. 

A Now Carpets' collaboration with Stone Designs creates a new furniture typology that incorporates area rugs, lighting elements and furniture. Shown, Context shelves 


Orley Shabahang's Sheeva Shabahang introduces the atelier's latest designs including its new high pile shag called Vista. 

For its third ICFF event, Orley Shabahang, a maker of hand-crafted designs introduces ICFF shoppers to its new Shag collection and adds to its popular Architecture range with a Kuba cloth inspired design. "Our new Shag series gives us a chance to play with texture and pile height -- we wanted to branch out," said Sheeva Shabahang, adding "the show has definitely been busy. It's exciting and it opens up opportunities for us to work with wholesalers." 

New York rug atelier Orley Shabahang revamps its booth design and showcases a Kuba cloth inspired design from the Architecture collection, rear wall left, and the graphic Vista shag, right. 


Chris Corrado and Tai Coombs of Brooklyn's Pieces by An Aesthetic Pursuit debuts the young label at ICFF. 

Pieces by An Aesthetic Pursuit headed to ICFF for the first time to show off its new 2018 collection of furnishings and area rugs. The Brooklyn-based creative agency debuted its first home collection Pieces, in 2017, including several area rug designs. This year, the studio releases Key One. "For 2018 we take a  very directional, graphic approach," said co-founder Tai Coombs with it latest bold geometric area rugs and home furnishings. Rugs are hand-tufted in India of wool or a wool-viscose blend. 

An Pieces, Aesthetic Pursuit debuts at ICFF with its second collection of hand-tufted area rugs called Key One. 


Renowned New York antique dealer Richard Afkari debuts at ICFF to introduce his growing assortment of custom rugs. 

Richard Afkari, a rug dealer known for his collection of antique rugs, expanded his reach about three years ago with the introduction of custom rugs crafted on the company's own hand looms in Northern India, Afkari told RugNews.com at the show. For ICFF, Afkari highlihgted the company's growing assortment of bespoke desings. On display at his stand were his newest Swedish-inspired kilims --"flatweaves are very in demand and everybody wants them." Also being requested are solids and grays with the company's new Plaine Elegente designs in wool, silk and cotton, fitting the bill. 

Richard Afkari continues to grow its custom area rug assortment and introduced these almost solid from the Plaine Elegente collection. 


Rug & Kilim showcases its bespoke and custom capabilities at ICFF including these wool and silk renditions. 

New York showroom Rug & Kilim heads to ICFF for the first time to highlight its custom area rug capabilities. The atelier, located on 59th Street, displayed a range of contemporary looks from the stunning Suprema, a carved design of pure silk, to a vibrant reworked in orange traditional design. "We have 150 different designs each with its own color way and a three month lead time and crafted with up to 12 fibers in a weave," Cyrus Nazmiyal said, who added that Rug & Killim was getting a lot of hospitality requests during the show. 

Rug & Kilim's Jill Fisher, left, shows first-time ICFF attendees Katja Lauterbach, an interior designer with Atlanta's Duett Design, and designer Ilona Karneyenka, Orange & Orange Interior Design, Cumming, Georgia, through its custom line. 


S&H Rugs showcased a selection of its latest programmed silk with oxidized wool rugs that recasts Mamluk, sickle-leaf, cypress tree and Saroouk designs

S&H Rugs returns to ICFF showcasing its latest take on the classics, which included new tribal and traditional styles reworked in today's most popular palettes of blue and gray (read more). The New Jersey rug maker didn't leave its most contemporary designs behind. In fact, those proved to be some of the most sought-after looks at the show. For example, a new high-low silver ombre design (SH40618) was a market hit with custom orders already being placed, said S&H's Maria Vasquez, adding that the company's vibrant abstract Peacock design also grabbed the attention of shoppers. "Traffic has been much better this year."

S&H Rugs' silver ombre design (SH40618) of silk with oxidized wool was a hit at ICFF.

Nicole Samad introduces ICFF shoppers to the latest bespoke and programmed looks from area rug dealer Samad.

Samad, based in New Jersey, participates in ICFF for the third time and showcased its more contemporary and modern designs. For show shoppers, the company displayed the latest fresco-like addition to the modern Leonardo collection. It also presented a new Shibori collection design, based on the ancient Japanese dye technique and also Mystique in mood color way on the floor. Mystique in Mood, with its subtle gradient shades, was a hit with ICFF attendees for its transitional styling and thick not. "I have met with a lot of designers I don't know, with many from the New York-New Jersey area -- even some California designers," Nicole Samad said.

Samad adds to its Shibori collection with Mito crafted of high-quality wool and dyed to deep saturated indigo.


Scandecor's mother-daughter team Marjatta and Alexandra Rautionmaa bring their crafted in Finland sustainable area rugs to ICFF again.

Mother-daughter team Marjatta and Alexandra Rautionmaa of Scandecor returns to ICFF to introduce the new flat-woven Kascades collection of rugs, crafted from paper yarns. The 100 percent biodegradable Kascades, like all Scandecor rugs, is hand woven at Scandecor's family owned mill in Finland. The New York boutique also showcased its Litchfield collection, hand-crafted of high-quality New Zealand wool. This densely woven range feels soft under foot and keeps its shape due to an innovative eco-friendly backing that is part of all Scandecor rugs.

Scandecor's minimalist Scandinavian inflected area rugs are woven at a family owned mill in Finland.


London-based Shore Rugs founders  Gil Muller, left, and Louie Rigano return to ICFF with their hand-crafted in the U.K. high-performance mats.

Young U.K. studio Shore Rugs, which earned the 2017 ICFF Editors' Award for Material Innovation (read story), introduced its new Fine Weave line of hand-woven mats. With a thinner profile of .5" compared to the chunkier original styles, the latest rugs are designed to more easily pair with furniture. The company's made-to-order comfort and wellness mats are hand woven of 100 percent silicone material that is super soft and cushioning.

2017 ICFF Editors' Award winner Shore Rugs returns with its new 0.5" (12mm) Fine Weave lines of mats.


Sugo Cork Rugs co-founders Sónia Andrade and Susana Godinho introduces attendees to their unique eco-friendly cork rugs.

The fledgling Sugo Cork Rugs premiered its experimental rugs made with cork, an eco-friendly and sustainable material, at ICFF. Crafted in Portugal, where the studio is based, the innovative hand-woven designs marry cork's natural flexibility with more traditional materials such as cotton and wool to create rugs with a textural look and tactile feel. "People are visiting us and paying attention to our work because it is sustainable," said company co-founder and designer Susana Godinho. "Designers care -- and they want something new." Godinho said the company has already shipped some rugs because of the show.

Newcomer Sugo Cork Rugs, based in Portugal, brings its unusual cork woven designs to the U.S.


Surkoya's founder Alexandra "Sasha" Surkoya debuts her new Miami art rug label.

One-year-old art rug atelier Surkoya premiers it vibrantly colored limited edition area rugs to ICFF shoppers. The Miami gallery offers rugs based on the original art work of a curated selection of artists. Rugs can either in a high-resolution limited edition printed version or hand knotted. "What's unique with our printed designs is that they can be printed on unusual materials like a shaggy soft polyester or wool," said artist and founder Alexandra "Sasha"Surkoya, who said that her printed rugs are created on an advanced printer with over 3,000 colors. Surkoya who has also done restoration work -- and "can't leave history behind" -- created a Surkoya collection based on historic tile work as well.

The one-year-old Surkoya recasts original art works for the floor in either limited edition printed rugs or hand-knotted custom ones.


Designer Catherine Lillian Harvey of Lillian MiHA in Maryland, poses with Craig Bosket of Tibetano in front of one of the new abstract patterns from a collaboration with Toronto studio Crush Wrks.

Tibetano showcased a broad assortment of contemporary designs at ICFF 2018. Trending color combinations and plenty of textures drew crowds to the company's stand. In fact, a high-low shearling, with a modern all-over geometric design, proved a show-stopper among attendees. Also popular at the New Jersey studio's booth was an abstract design, Cosmic City in lime, created in collaboration with Toronto studio Crush Wrks.

Tibetano's textural designs captured the attention of show shoppers, including the high-low Gloss design, center, crafted of shearling.


Toronto's W Studio founder Alan Pourvakil takes a break with RugNews.com in front of Scrumptious -- one of his top sellers.

W Studio debuted its hand-knotted creations at ICFF and traffic was booming, said Alan Pourvakil, founder of the Toronto decorative area rug maker, who debuted his most popular custom designs to American audiences. "We have met with so many potential clients, maybe because we are new or we are offering rugs nobody else has." W Studio introduced its new colorful gradient stripe Spectrum collection, hand-woven in Nepal of premium wool. Pourvakil also brought with him his top performers, including Manarola, made of 70 percent silk and 30 percent wool, and the watercolor-inspired Scrumptious, crafted of Tibetan hand-spun wool. "If you can sell these rugs to Canadians, you can sell to anyone," he joked of his notoriously pragmatic clientele.

W Studio, based in Toronto, introduces ICFF audiences to its most popular area rug designs.


GoodWeave's Cara Hagan and Scott Welker catch up with Michael Mandapati of Warp & Weft, which introduced its first indoor outdoor rugs at ICFF. Behind them are Radex and Sequence 0 by Yabu Pushelberg.

Warp & Weft takes its collaboration with Yabu Pushelbeg outdoors, introducing a series of hand-woven and hand-tufted rugs in luxury polypropylene. Partners George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg continue the Grid collection's leitmotif of deconstructed geometry and softened city street topography in the new performance rugs crafted in Thailand such as Sequence 0, which follows the hand-knotted wool, silk and hemp Sequence design introduced at the AD Design show in March.

Machine-tufted of polypropylene with over-tuft squares in a contrast color, Sequence 0 by Yabu Pushelberg for Warp & Weft gives a high-design perspective on performance rugs.


Partners in the family business, brothers Daniel, right, and Juan Granados introduce their new metallic-inflected rugs.

Bogota, Columbia-based Watay, which means "to knot" or "unite" in the Quechua language, returns to ICFF for a second time. The company showcases its weaving acumen and its modern twist on this traditional Columbian weaving area rug technique. "We always have the classic natural fibers but now we are adding fashion with metallics," said Juan Granados, a partner in this family business. "We have been in business for more than 20 years." He added that natural sisal is being paired with industrial metals, such as tin and copper, for an updated, unexpected finish.

Watay's newest designs pairs natural sisal with industrial metals for an updated, unexpected finish.


U.K. designer Wendy Morrison, far right, and Gregor Morrison returns to ICFF to introduce her first hand-knotted area rugs to Yuese Zheng, with furniture retailer Whiz Home, Providence, Rhode Island.

"We did ICFF four years ago when we debuted our hand-tufteds and now we are back with our first hand-knotteds," Scottish designer Wendy Morrison told RugNews.com. Morrison's chinoiserie style encompassing flora and fauna has become quite fashionable and her global fan base has grown to reflect that, added Gregor Morrison, director. The designer returned to ICFF to introduce American's to her hand-knots because Morrison said she expected the appetite for these higher-quality rugs to be greater here.

U.K. designer Wendy Morrison heads across the pond to introduce her first hand-knotted area rugs. Shown, Phoenix.


Behrooz Hakimian sits atop Woven Concepts' best-seller at ICFF -- the Cooper Vega wool and natural silk rug.

Black is back and a big draw at Woven Concepts' stand was the Cooper Vega rug, made in India of wool and natural silk, $117 per square foot, and part of the company's popular, award-winning Odyssey collection.Owner Behrooz Hakimian said show shoppers were specifically interested in the on point abstract design as fashion's next progression from gray. He also showed us a secret cache of finely knotted Persian antique reproductions crafted of cocoon silk with 400 knots, which he only presented only to select designers.

So finely knotted, the reverse of these new Woven Concepts silk reproduction designs is impeccable.

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