Carpeting is everywhere: at the airport, around the office, and in many St. Petersburg homes. Carpet is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget there was once a time when carpeting was a rarity. Here is a quick look at the history of carpeting.
The first carpet originated around two thousand BC in northern Iran or Armenia, though there is evidence that wool was being produced in this region as early as the seventh millennium.
This is the height of the classical period of Greek civilization; Sparta fights Athens with a looming threat of a Persian invasion. Around this time, Armenians produced the oldest surviving carpet in existence—the Pazyryk Carpet. It was discovered in Siberia in 1949, most likely at an ancient burial site.
The first carpet mill opened in the United States soon after the founding of our nation. Situated in Philadelphia, William Sprague’s factory manufactured woven carpets for wealthy residents of the city of brotherly love.
Erastus Bigelow transformed the carpet industry when he invented the power loom. This invention doubled the amount of carpeting a loom could produce.
Carpets historically have been woven by hand or on a loom. Today, we manufacture most carpeting by injecting a backing material with pile, or strands of yarn. This newer process is called tufting, and most carpets today are tufted carpets. In the early twentieth century, Catherine Evans Whitener, a young woman from Dalton, Georgia, invented the tufted carpet, forever changing the carpet industry.
After the Second World War, advances in manufacturing techniques allowed for the production of synthetic carpets. Nylon was the first invented, quickly followed by polyester. This made carpeting affordable for most middle class Americans. Many homeowners would replace their hardwood floors, which were quickly going out of style, with carpeting.
Today, Dalton, Georgia remains the center of the American carpet industry. In fact, ninety percent of American tufted carpets are produced within sixty-five miles of Dalton.
For more information about carpets, the flooring experts at Floor Coverings International of St. Petersburg are here to help. It’s our mission to help St. Petersburg homeowners meet their design goals. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Photo © sakdam