National Karastan Month Sale 2014
In time for the National Karastan Month Sale, here are some fun facts about area rugs in general, and Karastan rugs, in particular:
- Pile rugs were invented by the Mongols, approximately 2000 years ago.
- Persian rugs were the first to have actual designs and patterns, and are the precursor of the modern “oriental” rug.
- European rug weaving began in approximately 1000 AD in Spain.
- Marco Polo influenced rug weaving after his trip to China by bringing back new materials and weaving techniques.
- Prior to the invention of Marshall Field’s loom in 1928, machine woven rugs were simple and patternless. This loom opened up the possibility of intricately patterned rugs that would be available to the public, not just the fortunate few who could afford a hand-made rug.
- The first Karastan came off the loom at 2:02 PM, April 8, 1928.
- Karastan rugs appeared at two World’s Fairs–1933-34 in Chicago, and the 1939-40 World Trade Fair in New York.
- Over 5 million people walked on the Karastan rug in Chicago, so there were footprints, ground-in food stains, and spills on the rug. One half of the rug was cleaned, while the other half was left as it was, to show how well the rugs held up to cleaning. The rug has been left in that condition, and still shows one side incredibly filthy, with the other returned to its original vibrant colors.
- The first Karastan area rugs were sold at Wanamaker’s Department Store in New York in 1928.
- Karastan area rugs were referred to as “mystery rugs” because the manufacturing process was so advanced, and the quality of the rugs rivaled those that were handmade.