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history of carpet

Carpet might seem like a fairly modern invention, the history of carpet actually extends back thousands of years. Originating in Central Asia in the years B.C., carpet became popular throughout the rest of Asia and Europe over the next several centuries. Artisans introduced the art of carpet–weaving to other countries as traders brought over Turkish carpets, creating and satisfying a demand that hasn't let up since.

Carpet Floor Products

How Were Carpets Used

Carpets were primarily used to decorate walls or tables until Persian rugs became popular in Europe in the early 17th century. A few hundred years later, the United States carpet industry came into being when William Sprague started the first woven carpet mill in Pennsylvania in 1791. The local industry saw a dramatic rise with the 1839 invention of the power loom, a machine invented by Erastus Bigelow to weave carpets. This loom caused carpet production to double within the first year of its existence, and by 1850, production tripled. Bigelow introduced the first broadloom carpet in 1877, increasing production even further.

Modern Carpet

The next boom in the carpet industry occurred in the mid–1950's. Polyester was introduced in 1947, and acrylics like polypropylene–olefin came within the next few decades. The time between saw wool and manmade fibers like nylon and rayon begin to dominate the market. By then, tufted carpet – the carpet you know and likely use today – had overtaken woven carpet in popularity. Prior to the 1950's, only cotton had been used for tufted carpets. The introduction of bulk continuous filament nylon yarns revolutionized the industry, creating a low–cost, durable product that still looked and felt luxurious.

Tufted carpet has kept its dominance over the market in years since. These days, carpet is a $9 billion industry, remaining in high demand as new homes are built and new carpets installed all over the world. You already know, use, and love carpet. Why not choose it for your home?

Image of Carpet Types