The earliest proven use of a hand-knit rug was found imbedded in the frozen tundra of Siberia. It had been frozen and kept in pristine condition for 25 centuries. Now that is a customer guarantee that is hard to find these days.
The King of Persia
The King of Persia, some 550 years before BC, also bragged with a tailor-made rug with the fashion sense of a gangster rapper from the west coast, as its wool base was sprinkled with threads of silk, pieces of gold and silver, and even of gemstones. The sceneries depicted in this mythical rug, was as detailed and as stunning to a captivated audience as any 3D blockbuster movie made today.
Coming To Europe
The first oriental rugs to hit the shores of the European continent were brought as loot taken by war veteran crusaders. But typically to the reaction caused by these awe-inspiring pieces of art, they were considered too precious by European warlords to have dirty little children’s feet trampling all over the expensive material, so they hung them on display on the walls of their castles instead, treating them with as much respect as any painting would meet. In Spain, the earliest signs of continentally domestic production for the European market has been found, heavy influenced by Islamic civilization and tradition, even with some typically Turkish motifs just pirate copied right off.
The manufacturing process and knowledge then slowly seeped into the southern parts of France, and with their proud foundation in domestic culture they took the complicated sewing techniques to heart and started producing their own. Both in terms of place as in style, as French rugs bore motifs of conquering French armies raking in the sweepstakes in their frequent appearances on the battlefield. England came to mount the challenge of France, not only when it came to one on one battle and who was supposed to be the leader of the free world, but also when it came to introducing their own versions in the versatile industry of luxury carpets. They countered their French counterparts with making grand designs with the English troops claiming the flag on top of the hill.
In 1791 the business of manufacturing rugs first saw the light of day in USA, with Philadelphia and New England being the first hot spots for up-scale industry. Then New Jersey Company Beattie Manufacturer picked up the glove.
There is always more than meets the eye, and the fascinating history of area rugs is just further proof that underlines that statement.