The Evolution of Rugs
01-13-2011 / By:
Rugs and carpets date back almost further than does history itself. Our primate ancestors had been using materials to bring warmth to the hearth and home for generations before the idea of history came to be. Ostensibly, the original rugs were simple skins and woven reeds, and non-decorative. But the idea of decoration and art also came into existence before recorded history did, and suddenly these items had both utility and aesthetic value.
And once agriculture was invented, materials could be harvested to create floor rugs made of textiles. Suddenly, aesthetic characteristics became much more variable, and more creativity could emerge. Weave patterns were developed, blending of materials became common practice. Around this time, pigmentation came onto the scene. It is generally thought that red was one of the first pigments to be available to early settlements, and perhaps ochre (deep yellow).
As purples and, most advanced, blues became possible, what we now consider antique rugs became incredibly varied, sought after pieces of art instead of just furnishings. As civilizations become more complex and production and commerce and trade began to emerge, these items became hot commodities almost instantly. As time went forward, technique advanced. Geometric patterns turned to lush scenes, curves and twists became more intricate, stories were told. Persian rugs, especially, emerged as the top-of-the-line, but rugs were honored in all the major empires and civilizations throughout history.
In fact, antique rugs are one of the oldest forms of creation, along with body decoration and cave paintings. Having an antique rug in your home can bring a glorious sense of history to your home. You are placing an item in your home that is the result of thousands of years of evolution, imbued with tradition, but that are still essentially the same as their earliest form. Not many items in your home can say that.