Chances are you’ve seen them at major retailers like Wayfair, Lowes, and the Vermont Country Store catalog – colorful braided rugs that lend timeless warmth and pattern to any room. What you might not realize is that they’re 100 percent made in the USA, and to put an even finer point on it, they’re made right here in Lincoln by the aptly named Rhody Rug. Scott Weldon, president, is passionate about bringing jobs to the community and generating a high-quality made-in-the-USA product. Founded in 1987, Rhody Rug offers a variety of braided items, such as chair pads, trivets, and baskets, but they specialize in heirloom-quality indoor/outdoor rugs. Rhody Rug owns their entire process, including their special made-in-house filler.
“There’s two types of yarn,” explains Weldon as he shows off various spools that will soon become multi-toned braided rugs, “[naturalized] polypropylene nylon and wool.” The yarn is brought in from Georgia, and from there everything is done inside the walls of the Lincoln facility. Their exclusive polypropylene is praised for its lower price point, and due to the naturalization process, its soft finish.
But what really matters is what’s inside. Weldon proudly shows off the exclusively developed machinery designed to produce their own filler, a more porous material as opposed to the paper-like material used by competitors. This filler is the secret to each rug’s lay-flat guarantee and durability. The filler makes the poly more durable and indoor/outdoor safe, meaning all the rugs made of the material can be easily cleaned off with a garden hose.
The yarn goes through a series of machines and processes wherein it transforms to braided strands, and then the seamsters create the final product. “They’re like artists,” explains Weldon. The seamsters operate a series of foot pedals to spin the rug over an expansive air hockey-style table that allows them to easily move and manipulate the rugs. The completed rugs will then endure a series of at least three quality checks before they are packed and shipped to their final destinations.
Rhody Rug produces about 1,500-2,000 rugs per week, but it is the careful attention to detail with every rug that sets them apart from other manufacturers. The durable rugs are available in a variety of colors and styles in both traditional colors and classic patterns, but they’re also continuously working on new designs. Weldon shares that new collections set to launch this spring feature space dyed yarn, a technique where multiple colors repeat on a single yarn, resulting in a seamless transition between color variants.
Also on deck are new lines, designed to perfectly accent their respective decorative styles. The Vineyard Collection employs a Cape Cod-inspired palette of washed pastels perfect for a beach house; the Farmhouse Collection pairs perfectly with the neutral tones of modern farmhouse style. Additionally, rugs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some are even available in solid colors. Rhody Rug is exploring new channels and plans to offer direct-to-consumer purchase options in the near future. For now, visitors to the Lincoln showroom can have the hands-on experience of picking out their own Rhody-made rug. Learn more at RhodyRug.com
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