Carpets & Rugs 101
Carpets come in all shapes and sizes. Whether woven, tufted, or needle felt, carpets have a way of beautifying any floor or surface. Some countries hang carpeted rugs for decoration, other countries use carpet and rugs to soften hard surfaces and add variety to a room.
How do you use your carpet?
Over the years, the look, feel, and use of carpets and rugs (interchangeable words in some cultures) has evolved. While some carpet enthusiasts believe the term “carpet” refers to wall-to-wall floor covering, others believe that “carpet” refers to any mat or floor covering laid on the floor for decoration and comfort.
When it comes to carpets, there are styles aplenty. What style would best fit you and the interiors of your home?
- Tufted – A combination of woven hessian weave and backing material, tufted carpets are often sheared to create different textures.
- Knotted – A structural covering dependent on various knots, knotted carpets (such as shag carpets) come in and out of style from year to year.
- Woven – Produced on a loom and the most expensive to produce, woven carpet combines cut and loop carpeting to create intricate patterns.
- Needle felt – Comprised of various synthetic fibres, needle felt carpets are most often used in commercial, high-traffic areas.
- Embroidered – Intricately designed and stitched to a cloth, embroidered carpets were originally found in the homes of royals.
Regardless of your style preferences, you can use a number of different carpet types throughout each room in your home.
Carpet and rugs come with an interesting history. Since appearing in Aladdin (a tale dating back to ancient folklore), the “Magic Carpet” has gained popularity and attention. Imagine having a carpet that could transport you through the air. Although many cultures looked at rugs and carpets as magical products, other cultures saw the art of rug and carpet making as something that could weave cultures together.
The first rugs, weaved by Nomad tribes around 3000 BC, functioned as floor mats on Earth’s cold surface. Comprised of sheep, goat, and camel hair, these rugs kept the feet of Nomad hunters and families warm. A few thousand years later, the oldest carpet known to mankind was made. Referred to as the “rug of Pazyryk,” this carpet had 300 knots per inch.
Fast-forward a few centuries and mention of carpets and rugs begin to pop up in art and literature. Take Agamemnon, the Greek mythological figure, for example. In the classic tale of Agamemnon, the unknown author makes mention of rugs. After that, it didn’t take long for rugs and carpet to become a universal symbol of power and luxury.
After a few thousand years, people began to take carpet-making more seriously. While there were a number of cultures eager to manufacture rugs at breakneck speeds to boost the economy, other cultures saw rug-making as a spiritual art form.
By the 15th century, owning an Oriental rug could elevate someone’s status and be a cause for celebration. During this time, rug-making began to flourish and many people encrusted rugs with jewels and other fine material.
In the 18th century, rug and carpet-making become an easier trade. Instead of being paid per rug, workers received wages based on hourly work. People also started using rugs for an array of purposes, including cupboard carpets, window carpets, foot carpets, and table carpets. At the turn of the century, rug and carpet makers began using synthetic dyes to color rugs. Around this time, Asia also began to mass produce machine-made rugs.
In today’s world, most buildings have either wall-to-wall carpets or decorative rugs on the floor. Instead of making rugs ourselves, we buy rugs from faraway places (usually India or China) and use them for various interior design projects.
Despite the universality of rugs, adorning our space with a rug designed to match our style still helps us personalize our space and make it stand out from the rest. We go to great lengths to protect our rugs and carpet against every day wear and tear.
Today, if a rug gets damaged, you can have it repaired at a minimal cost. Like rugs of old, modern rugs and carpets fall prey to water, moth, pet, and sun damage. And unlike rugs of old, modern rugs also face new challenges, including chemical and vacuum damage. Lucky for us, businesses devote their specialised services to the care and maintenance of luxury rugs.
When’s the last time you had your rug or carpet serviced? Now that you understand the thought, care, and art that went into making your rug the fine product that it is today, you might consider giving it a healthy dose of TLC to ensure it comfortably rests on the floor of your home for decades to come. Call the professionals in your area today.