Textiles: Carnegie

At a time when people are searching for positive vibrations, the Rockville Centre, N.Y.-based textile house Carnegie introduces Bright Side, a collection intended to lift spirits with color and pattern. Any number of manufacturers respond to economic slowdowns with value-based collections intended to help attract and retain customers through lean times. But with Bright Side, Carnegie has taken a decidedly more emotional approach to its recession-time offerings. "The pops of color in the collection make you feel better," says executive vice president of creative for Carnegie Mary Holt, who explains that the collection was inspired by the idea of fond memories, simple pleasures, comfort, constancy, whimsy, and simplicity, intertwined with excerpts from nature.

"Design firms have to do a better job for their clients now," says Holt. "For us that bodes well, because we have always had high-performance products with good stories to tell." Thus, Bright Side's six patterns—ranging from large, medium, and small scale to textures and solids with complex color schemes—definitely have an optimistic appeal that Carnegie believes people will pick up on, but they also are grounded in something quite meaningful: the entire collection is constructed with 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester. According to Carnegie president Cliff Goldman, the construction story is important not just because it speaks to environmental responsibility—which has long been a top priority of the company—but also because it has been achieved with optimal color saturation. He says, "Up until now we haven't been able to achieve a lot of bright colors with 100 percent post-consumer recycled fibers. That part of the supply chain has not come to [the commercial textile] side of the industry until recently." Carnegie worked closely with suppliers to overcome this challenge.

Addressing functionality, the other factor that is top of mind with designers right now, Bright Sides' six patterns are finished with the Cradle-to-Cradle-certified Nanotex stain resistance and use an antimony-free, 100 percent polyester Durablock barrier. The combination of the post consumer recycled content with a sustainable polyester barrier ensures superior performance and ease of maintenance now, and recyclability in the future. All patterns are certified to between 50,000 and 100,00 double rubs on the Wyzenbeek test method and are designed to be appropriate for all interior upholstery applications, including high-traffic areas and those that require a moisture barrier.

All this notwithstanding, aesthetics are the first thing designers look for when specifying textiles, and a look that "feels good" may be more important than ever in these uncertain times. "People are looking for fun accents now, and these bright colors grounded in neutrals make the collection easy to use," says Holt. "Designers can definitely have fun with it." NeoCon® Space No. 1123A  www.carnegiefabrics.com

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