Retro Axminster carpet makes a comeback in Kiwi homes - Flooring NZ
Retro Axminster carpet makes a comeback in Kiwi homes

Retro Axminster carpet makes a comeback in Kiwi homes

Pattern is back in fashion as retro Axminster carpets experience a resurgence on the floors of Kiwi homes.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

While they’re not quite the loud and proud floral favourites of the 60s, 70s and 80s, Brintons’ latest Zillman Range of retro designs is proving an exciting contemporary alternative to the plain carpets that have been so popular over the past 30 years.

Managing Director of Floorpride in Christchurch, Alastair Murcott says, it is very early days yet, but we are due for a change of direction.

“Traditionally Axminster carpets, an 80/20 blend of wool and nylon in big, bold, floral designs and Persians have been used mostly in commercial settings—in hospitality, airports, casinos or traditional character homes. Axminster is a woven carpet with a weft and a warp that makes it very durable, which is perfect for heavy traffic areas,” says Alastair.

Zillman carpet in Pebble Herringbone

He explains that in the 1970s, the advent of tufted carpet, where tufts are inserted into a pre-woven backing, saw production limited to plain and geometric styles. However, they were much faster to produce and therefore cheaper, which is why Axminster fell out of fashion in domestic settings.

“Recently,” adds Alastair, “there’s been a big surge in demand, especially at the higher end of the domestic market for textured carpets. We’ve also seen a big retro comeback. People are after something different and more creative. The Axminster carpets have that added sophistication. A number of homeowners have come into our store lately looking for the old Axminster classics, like Summer Bouquet and Red Piazza.”

What’s exciting about the Zillman range, he says, is it’s bringing fashion back into carpets in the domestic setting. Beautiful patterns of classical dots, herringbones, plaids and tartans are subtle and sophisticated in soft beige and grey tones.

While, the range is pitched at the higher end of the market, greater production efficiencies make the pricing of this latest Axminster less than some of the premium wool, plain tufted carpets.

Zillman carpet in Nickel Palazzo

Floorpride is proud to be the exclusive supplier of the Zillman Range in the Canterbury region. Alastair is pleased to see the return of the high-quality Axminster as coincidentally, it used to be made by Feltex in their Riccarton factory in Christchurch, but they shut down a decade ago.

“It’s a very labour-intensive process, which made it uneconomical back then.”

Brintons, the company that manufactures the Zillman range today, is a very traditional company that has been around for 200 years. Although the original factory was established in 1820 at the home of Axminister in Kidderminster, Worcestershire in the UK, they have now expanded with facilities around the world.

In the 1950s they invented the 80/20 wool-nylon blend that is now the global standard for Axminster. The blend combines the comfort of wool with the strength and durability of nylon, which makes it perform well.

Brintons selected Floorpride as an Axminster retailer because they are a specialist retail flooring installation business. Brintons has exceptionally high standards and only partner with installation professionals who are certified in the proper procedures for installing woven carpet.

Zillman Carpet in Nickle Basketweave

Floorpride does a lot of design-driven domestic work as well as installation for the big home construction chains.

“We do a lot of different flooring but as far as carpet goes, we employ our own installers and we train them well. It takes a lot of skill to lay an Axminster carpet,” explains Alastair.

“We have just celebrated 20 years of business and we’re passionate about carpet with the ability to install it well. The flooring industry is very competitive. Often, it’s price driven. But a lot of our customers buy on trust. There’s a lot of trust in seeing a business on the same site for so long.

“And they know that we do things the right way.”

Zillman Carpet in Pebble Plaid
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