Rugs have been part of society for many centuries and started as a form of protection. Shepherds used to knot wool into heavy cloth in order to protect them from the elements whilst they were watching their herd. Over the centuries, however, it changed into a beautiful art form. Today we have rugs made from different patterns and materials, and the artisanal skill of hand-woven rugs is busy dying out.
In the tradition of Islam, rugs became popular during religious ceremonies. Muslims would use rugs as prayer mats, much like they do today. During the spread of Islam, rug-making went all over Eastern Europe and even reached Spain. Soon more people started practicing the art of rug-making and it grew to become a luxury. Owners of oriental, handmade carpets are still considered to have a high-valued art piece in their homes.
The commercial carpet industry found its roots in England and towns like Ax Minster and Wilton became known for the rugs that were produced there. Ax Minster carpets soon became one of the most popular carpets and they are characterized with heavy backings made from jute or cotton. Many hotel chains still use Ax Minster carpets today.
In the 1800s, an American man, Erastus Bigelow, invented the loom which made carpet production so much easier. He started creating the Wilton carpets and for many years they were only available in 27-inch sizes. The marvel of these rugs was that they strips were sewn together so neatly that you could barely notice the seams. These carpets dominated the scene until the 1940s when tufted carpets started being produced.
Tufted carpets are made out of three layers and this is still a popular type of carpet today. These rugs are typically manufactured as what is known as ‘white goods’ and they only are they dyed to the desired color. To create a certain pattern or effect, different types of fibers are used and the fibers react differently to the dye, giving it the desired effect.
Taking a look through our inventory is like stepping back in time, Rug Resources has one of the biggest inventories of handmade antique and vintage rugs in all of Southern California! Take a look!