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Emser Tile collections bring color, movement to the wall

Emser Tile LogoLos Angeles—Emser Tile has introduced two glazed ceramic wall tile collections, Ombre and Craft, inspired by the subtle shifts and movement of color.

Ombre is an avant-garde expression of a classic subway tile. The series creates a luminous effect on the wall fading from a bright center to a darkened edge. Available in a 6 x 12-inch size, Ombre includes four tinted neutrals—White, Ivory, Silver and Taup—and two saturated accent colors—Graphite and Blue—to transform residential and commercial interiors, from compelling shower walls to contemporary fireplace facades.

Craft is a crisp, contemporary approach to wall design. Craft is an intriguing statement tile in a 3 x 12-inch size. Classic neutrals take on an undulating glossy finish for a refreshing complement to any décor in residential and commercial environments. Shadow and light are reflected across horizontal panels to encourage movement along a surface, making this collection especially suited for large accent walls.

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Gold Rush: Shaw Floors' 2018 Color of the Year

LivingRoom1_V_NoRug_Landmark MapleDalton—Gold Rush was recently declared Shaw Floors’ 2018 Color of the Year. The warm neutral celebrates the return of gold to the home after grays and other cool palettes have owned the design spotlight for years.

“Gold Rush speaks to the past: familiar, comforting, peaceful,” said Debbie Houston, creative director at Shaw Floors. “Yet when used in unexpected ways, Gold Rush manages to feel new and modern. There’s a yearning for warmer hues and we see that coming to life as touches of gold and brass accents return in popularity. Gold Rush brings energy to a room, creating a range of emotions from warmth to excitement, from serious to playful.”

The color, style and design team at Shaw Floors, which tracks trends year-round through global expeditions and continuous research, noted how small dashes of warmth can refresh a room and create a whole new look. Equally, when Gold Rush is used as the dominant color, it highlights rich texture and creates an elegant stamp of personal style.

This marks the fifth year that Shaw Floors has declared a Color of the Year. Previous years’ colors were Lush (2017), White Hot (2016), Lady in Gray (2015) and English Royal Navy (2014). Houston said the colors Shaw Floors has selected build on one another and layer together nicely in the home.

“Gold Rush pairs beautifully with navy as a glamorous pop and lush green as an elegant punctuation. Irresistible against white, Gold Rush also complements cool grays,” Houston said.

Watch Now: Shaw Floors reveals 2018 Color of the Year

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Al's Column: Optimizing color in your website design

April 24/May 1, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 23

By Phil Kenyon


Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 3.49.34 PMYou’ve probably spent months with your creative agency figuring out how to make your website more appealing to your customer base. No doubt you have researched how to make your site easy to navigate, and you’re gauging traffic and gathering as much useful information as you can to figure out how to convert interest into actual sales. However, it’s likely you’re missing one of the most important drivers in reaching out to potential customers— choosing the right color.

How you arrange and display your products into groups today is likely a result of how your website is designed. It often has nothing to do with what the customer needs, or how she expects the products to be organized within color families. Some of the most important decisions your customer has to make are often presented to her in some random or perfunctory order.

In our three-dimensional world, the shopping experience is different. A customer enters a store or showroom and is literally surrounded by color. They have reds in front of them, purples to the left, yellows to the right, grays above and whites below. The customer is enveloped by color and is led through the selection process by the intelligent organization of the products within the showroom.

Your website, however, is a two-dimensional experience. It’s also the new shop window to the world. Can you imagine your favorite department store just throwing a random pile of goods in the window? And yet, that is exactly what many companies do every single day on the most highly trafficked and powerful tool connecting them with professional and retail consumers.

When you try to translate three-dimensional color selections (i.e., your products) onto a two-dimensional plane (your website) to replicate the showroom experience, you are faced with challenges that you probably never had to deal with previously.

In selecting various colors for their websites, most business owners begin with a “color wheel.” (Google it and you will find countless diagrams.) While this is a simple aid to convey the basic concept of primary and tertiary color, it is not very helpful when you are trying to narrow down the selection process. In truth, not much useful information is readily available to help with color selection; you either have that gift or you don’t.

The color and aesthetic of the products retailers sell is paramount. There are rules and methods that should be followed when organizing and displaying each product range. Color selection is not just subjective; it’s science. It requires benchmarking and analysis tools for optimization as well as statistical data to remove every possible element of chance, providing the best and most informed experience for your customers.

When seeking vendors to help you with website development, be sure to choose a company that can provide photorealistic rendering of the various products you carry. These images should allow customers to virtually “try on” any product. More importantly, make sure the vendor you choose can provide insight into the right type of color and balance related to the online presentation of your products.


Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 10.16.55 AMPhil Kenyon is vice president, color solutions, at Chameleon Power, which specializes in visualization software for the home improvement industry. Since the early ’90s, he has worked with numerous multinational companies on their online marketing initiatives.





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Carpet: Weighing the merits of common dye methods

April 10/17, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 22

By Ken Ryan


As most flooring dealers know, there are two ways that fibers are colored, and each method produces different characteristics. One way to color fibers is to dip them in a vat of dye after they are extruded. This method, proponents say, yields bright colors and allows manufacturers to create smaller quantities of dyed fibers. In this method, known as piece dyed or yarn dyed, the dye penetrates just the outer surface of the fiber. (Think of a radish: the interior is white, but the exterior is red.)

The other way to dye fibers is to add the color to the liquid fiber solution before the fibers are extruded. This allows the dye to be mixed into the solution thoroughly, bringing the color all the way through the fiber once it is extruded. In this method, known as solution-dyed, the color goes all the way through the fiber. If piece-dyed is a radish, solution-dyed is a carrot.

Some companies are strictly solution-dyed mills, while others have needs for both methods. “We like the flexibility to do both,” said Todd van der Kruik, vice president of design, Bentley. “Many companies have moved to solution dyed because of the cost, but for companies who want the differentiation and the new looks, we like to keep piece dyed in our line to give designers more options.”

Brad Christensen, vice president, soft surface category, Shaw Floors, can attest. “We produce both solution-dyed and piece-dyed nylon and PET products and fully recognize the advantages of both.”

Seth Arnold, vice president of residential marketing for Mohawk, said dye methods are about creating a color and aesthetic. As such, Mohawk may use solution dyed as an accent yarn along with piece dyed to achieve the color variation its customers want. “We can achieve more color ranges and better performance with piece dyed. We will pay for color blending techniques that attracts customers and helps retailers upsell.”

Executives identified the advantages and disadvantages of solution dyed and piece dyed, and the role technology is playing in this process or coloration.

Solution dyed:

With solution dyed the color is part of the yarn, making it resistant to discoloration from bleach and other harsh chemicals. Further, with the increasingly Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.23.49 AMpopular multicolor visuals, solution-dyed products allow for more color contrast between the base color and accent colors.

For primary colors like black, yellow, green, red and blue—where precise color matching is not required—solution-dyed yarns are recommended. Solution-dyed yarns are also ideal for use in producing bonded polyester and nylon sewing threads for both indoor and outdoor applications. With this method, experts say, there is little possibility of dye bleeding and UV fading.

Susan Curtis, senior vice president, product development, Phenix, said solution-dyed carpets can be developed that are colorful and complex “through the combining of individual yarns to create unique multis and intricate patterns. Also, solution-dyed yarns are inherently stain resistant and colorfast and deliver high performance.”

Engineered Floors built its story around the purported “superiority” of solution-dyed carpet fiber, first with PureColor, the PET fiber it originally created in 2010, and then later PureColor nylon in 2014. “Solution-dyed fiber has proven to be the future of carpet production, and we believe our PureColor technology will lead the way,” said Mike Sanderson, vice president of product marketing.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.22.01 AMPiece dyed:
The primary advantage with piece dyed is the seemingly unlimited range of color options available as well as better service due to the ability to quickly dye already tufted carpet. As Christensen explained: “Piece-dyed carpet also bulks during the dyeing process, resulting in a softer, fuller hand, and the carpet is washed to remove extrusion lubrication, which can leave an oily, soil-attracting residue.”

Bentley uses a piece-dye process called ColorCast, which allows it to manufacture vast amounts of carpet in a continuous process. “If we need a specific color to match a project for a designer, piece dyed allows you to do that,” van der Kruik said. “We can build complex combinations of various dye levels, luster types and textural looks that are unique and not available with solution dyed. It is a huge advantage over solution dyed—you can do some cool things with it.”

Solution dyed:

The primary disadvantage of solution-dyed fibers, executives say, is the reduced color selection compared to other fibers. Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.22.10 AM“With solution dyed you have to be very committed to that one color,” Arnold said. “With no differentiation it limits the customer’s choice. With piece dyed consumers can be looking at 30-60 colors vs. a solution dyed that offers 16 colors, all very close in tone. It’s like the old Ford [Model T] method: ‘You can have any color you want as long as it is black.’”

Another drawback to solution-dyed fibers is customers may have to wait longer for their carpet. This is because manufacturers don’t always keep large inventories of solution-dyed carpets. From a business perspective, it makes much more sense for the manufacturer to keep a big inventory of greige goods, which can then be dyed into any color the consumer chooses.

Piece dyed:
Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 11.23.56 AMPiece dyed is more labor intensive and since there are more chemicals and additives used in the process, it is not deemed as environmentally friendly as solution dyed.

Curtis said another drawback is the limitation of working with only one or two colors in a dyebath and only being able to achieve tonal variations of that color. “Managing undyed carpet and dying to order can offset this disadvantage. Piece dyed products due to their dyeability can stain more easily than solution dyed products.”

Piece dyed is also a more costly process, which is a factor in mills opting for the solution-dyed process. However, some executives do not see the cost as necessarily a negative. “Piece dye has some impact on the total cost of goods, but there are ways to set up manufacturing [to minimize the costs],” Arnold said. “In the end it is not a cost decision—it goes back to trying to provide consumers with the color palette that offers the best selling product they desire.”

Technology’s role
Carpet continues to be made using better raw materials and manufacturing technologies, and that evolution includes dye process as well. Greater efficiencies in color blends will allow mills to create additional depth in style and color, according to Rodney Mauter, executive vice president of marketing for Lexmark. “The extrusion process continues to improve with advancements in spinnerets and raw materials.”

Shaw’s CleanStart scouring process is an example of technological advancements that have significantly improved the performance of solution-dyed products. Even though its newer extrusion equipment uses less lubrication, CleanStart ensures the proper removal of the spin finish that is responsible for leftover extrusion residue.

Engineered Floors’ PureColor Nylon relies on cationic technology to effectively reduce the number of microscopic dye sites that occur during fiber extrusion. By reducing the number of sites, stain resistance of the fiber can be greatly improved.

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Susan Curtis joins the Mohawk Group

DALTON—The Mohawk Group announced Susan Curtis recently joined the organization, as  senior director of color and design. Curtis is a highly respected textile designer with more than 20 years experience in the commercial flooring industry. As the head of the commercial design team, Curtis will work to conceive, cultivate and launch new product offerings. Continue reading Susan Curtis joins the Mohawk Group