• Carpet - origin, material, and the history of the modern carpet

  • Not all area rugs are created equally. This statement might be surprising but area rugs are made from many different types of textile materials, natural materials and various types of backings that separate one rug from another. In this article we’ll look at the history and different types of construction used in area rugs and maybe even help you find the one that’s right for you and your family.

    Creating rugs is a long tradition that dates back to early civilization. Many early rugs would have been sourced from animal skins and used on the ground. As nomadic people began to settle into various regions like the Middle East and Asia these people began to strive towards domestic activities such as farming, animal herding and agriculture which began to give these people the means to acquire wool, silk and other natural fibers which they can then weave into clothing, fishing nets and even rugs for their homes.

    Carpet weaving as a true art form can be traced back to 5th century B.C. in eastern Russia where archeologists uncovered a burial chamber in the Pazyryk Valley of Siberia which is located near the outer Mongolian border. This rug had been frozen in ice and was in remarkably good condition considering it was over 2,500 years old. The bible also speaks about rugs in the Old Testament as being precious artifacts in King Solomon’s temple. Of course Asian civilizations such as the Chinese and Indians are also considered to be some of the oldest weavers of area rugs dating back as far as 531 A.D.  Rug weaving is an ancient tradition that continues today still using many of the old world techniques in creating beautiful, colorful rugs.

    Today area rugs are made from two types of materials. Natural materials would be from animal and plant fibers. These would include wool which typically comes from sheep. One of the best natural properties of wool is that it is dust mite resistant which can help people with allergies caused due to dust mites. Cotton is another natural fiber that easily absorbs color in dyes which allows a wide variety of colors in area rug design. Jute which is from fiber plants comes mainly from India and China. Jute is great for making durable yarns and fabric due because of the strength and firmness of the fibers. Silk is a natural fiber that is included in many high-end rugs both Oriental and Persian. Carpet - origin, material, and the history of the modern carpet

    Synthetic materials are man made materials that are created. Acrylic is a synthetic material that can be blended with other fibers to create an area rug that looks like wool. Nylon is another synthetic material used in rug making. It is both stain and soil resistant. Polypropylene and olefin are petroleum-based fiber products that come from propylene and ethylene gases. These are strong fibers that are mildew resistant, quick drying and keep their color.

    During the 18th and 19th centuries European countries began producing their own rugs and by World War II these countries developed machines allowing them to create an entirely new industry of lower cost machine made rugs. High quality, hand made rugs are still being made throughout the Orient today however and many in the rug industry recognize these as being an important part of area rug manufacturing. Hand made rugs are still able to be produced at a low cost in Asian countries with such a high quality due to the generational teachings of master weavers throughout the Orient making these rugs much sought after.

    In this article we’ve examined a little of the history of area rugs, their origins and where the industry is today. We also talked about natural materials and synthetic materials used in area rugs and some of the benefits offered by these materials. Area rugs have been around for centuries and have been growing in popularity so much so that you can find a rug in most homes today. Each rug has a history and origin of its own and next time you’re shopping for a rug, be curious and find out what its made from and where it was made. You might be buying history handed down through generations.
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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Phil Pendleton is an author for several online websites. He invites you to visit LifeStyles Furniture for more information about area rugs and New Zealand wool rugs. LifeStyles Furniture offers a large selection of in-stock  area rugs both modern and traditional.
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