Long before the term “wall-to-wall” was invented, area rugs graced the floors of human dwellings. The original area rugs may have been lion skins — and they may have done double duty as beds, but it was an area rug, just the same.
Later on, our ancestors learned to weave rushes and grasses to make mats. Once we started domesticating sheep, we learned to spin their wool into yarns and weave them.
Some time before 2000 BC, the nomadic tribes of Asia began making rugs in great numbers. The Mongols gave us pile rugs, but the Persians turned rug making into an art form. European rug weaving probably started about 1000 AD in Spain. Intrepid explorer Marco Polo influenced rug making with his discoveries of new materials and techniques in China in the late 1200s. As civilization has marched forward, there’s likely been a good rug underfoot.
Area rugs are tremendously versatile. With the appropriate pad, area rugs work on any type of flooring and in any room. The results are magical. Area rugs offer unlimited combinations of color, texture, pattern and placement. They are the only flooring product that you can easily install, then pick up and move!
Today’s area rugs are most often machine-made with sophisticated design patterns on computerized looms that can imitate the more intricate handmade rugs — but at greatly reduced costs. They are generally made out of wool, silk, (or a blend of wool/silk), olefin (polypropylene) or nylon —occasionally cotton, and even bamboo.
Wool and silk antique and modern area rugs rule the high end of the market. More moderately priced rugs are manufactured from heat-set olefin, which looks like wool and cleans easily.
Are you looking for an investment, a family heirloom, a practical room addition or a fun accessory? Whatever your need or intention, you simply can’t go wrong with an area rug.
Source: World Floor Covering Association