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Carpet 21/09/2023

A brief history of carpets and rugs (featuring seven fun facts)

Carpets and rugs are among history's most highly traded goods. They have been serving as practical floor coverings. Discover more about the history of carpets.

A brief history of carpets and rugs (featuring seven fun facts)

Did you know carpets and rugs have existed for over two thousand years?

Through this blog post, let’s shed some light on the history of carpets and discover some of the most interesting facts about your carpets.

History of carpets and rug

The word ‘carpet’ comes from an Italian word ‘carpita’ – meaning ‘plucked’. Traditional carpets were made from knotted wool spun or woven from goats or sheep. They were used as a covering for floors, tables or even walls.

Despite all this, the carpet has a much deeper and longer past. The origin probably dates back to the Neolithic age – around the Caspian Sea or Central Asia.

The nomadic tribes of the region needed some protection from the cold climate. So, they devised an idea to create something transportable, artistic and functional than the sheepskin coverings. As a result, the first carpet or rug came to life.

Interesting facts about carpets and rugs

Carpets were first manufactured to protect floors from dirt and dust. Over the years, they have evolved into something much more than that: something aesthetic and artistic that can elevate the look of an area. Below, we’ve rounded up some fun facts that will help you appreciate your floor rugs in Melbourne:

1. Ancient Egyptians created the first known rugs

The first evidence of rugs and carpets known to humans dates back to 4,000 B.C. Historians reveal that ancient Egyptians used carpets as floor coverings. They would weave colourful carpet fibres together to create intricate patterns that were unique and spiritual. They would often place these coverings in tombs or other sacred places.

2. The Pazyryk Carpet is the world’s oldest surviving carpet

The Pazyryk Carpet, the oldest carpet in the world, dates back to the 5th Century B.C. First discovered in the tomb of a Scythian prince in the Pazyryk Valley of Siberia in the late 1940s, the rug is more than 2,500 years old yet still exhibits an extraordinary level of sophistication in its craftsmanship.

3. The most expensive carpet ever costs $33.7 million

The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet is a 17th Century Antique Persian Carpet that fetched a staggering $33.7 million at a Sotheby’s auction 2013. The carpet was previously owned by an industrialist and senator, who later donated it to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 1925.

4. The world’s largest carpet was the size of a football ground

The world’s largest hand-woven carpet was woven in the heart of Iran and took almost 1.5 years to be fully incorporated. Its size equals an entire football ground – around 6,000 square metres. However, some parts had to be removed to fit onto the floor of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

5. Carpets and rugs were seen as a sign of wealth

While carpets provide warmth and comfort, they are also used to indicate wealth in many cultures. The more intricate the pattern and design were, the more prestigious the carpet was. Wealthy people like emperors and Aristocrats often adorn their homes with handmade carpets and rugs that display their wealth for all to see.

6. Carpets were used as a way of communication

In ancient cultures in Iran, Armenia, Egypt and India, carpets and rugs were often used to communicate. For instance, oriental rugs adorned with religious symbols and patterns that convey certain messages or specific themes.

7. Carpets and rugs were industrialised in the USA

Thanks to the industrialisation of the carpet industry that first happened in the USA in 1791, expensive carpets and rugs became easy to replicate. William Sprague set up a carpet mill in Philadelphia during that time. Later, in 1839, power looms were invented, so mass production of carpets and rugs became an ongoing thing.

So, these are some fun facts about your carpets and floor. We hope that you find this trivia exciting and it makes you appreciate carpet.

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