Event attendance and exhibitor quality and quantity was very good this year which is great to see considering the global economic climate. There was lots of buying and selling. One would get the impression that the industry is as healthy as ever.
There are a few things that stood out this year, so here is a little re-cap.
The floor was a buzz with the announcement of lifting the US embargo on Iranian imports with the ratification of the Iranian nuclear deal.
India, Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to dominate the manufacturing scene by a long shot.
Some of the specific trends:
- Use of Viscose continues to grow – The use of less expensive materials (viscose, aka bamboo silk, aka art silk) is everywhere. A very inexpensive alternative to real silk but these rugs don’t come without potential problems. Especially when it comes to cleaning.
- Kilims had a big presence – a lot of new stuff coming out with good dyes and more vibrant colours. Many of the dealers divulged that consumers are turning to Kilims as a way to purchase a hand-woven product without resorting to inferior materials such as viscose.
- Big drop off of second life and over-dyed – which is great for the industry because it was such a poor product and is plagued with colour run and foundation problems. However, sari silk highlights are still quite prevalent.
- The transitional and modern designs dominated the show and the presence of antique classic rugs continues to decline.
- Iranian products – A few Iranian exhibitors producing some over-the-top exceptional pieces showing that Iran still is the leader in detailed design and traditional materials but also sits at the top of the price list.
- Machine made manufacturing process is really turning it up with better colours and resolutions around 2M points/m2. A trained eye is having to take a second look at some of these pieces. Mostly copying the traditional and transitional designs for a fraction of the cost.
All in all a great show. Hanover is a great host for the event and things ran very well.