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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Carpet

The technique of weaving carpets is thought to have originated in Persia in ancient times, and spread to Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Anatolia, where characteristic forms developed as folk art and in court workshops.

Excavation of royal graves, dating from the 5th to the 3rd century BC, at Pazyryk, in the Altai Mountains of Southern Siberia, have uncovered the oldest known examples of knotting. The finds include a superb carpet with a woollen pile, knotted with the Ghiordes, or Turkish, knot (Hermitage). The carpet, probably of Persian origin, measures 6  61/2 feet (1.8  2.0 metres). The central field has a checkerboard design with a floral star pattern in each square. Of the two wide borders, the inner one shows a frieze of elk, the outer one a frieze of horsemen.

Cleopatra, once wrapped herself up in a carpet as a gift for Julius Caesar. When he unrolled it, he found the beautiful Egyptian queen.

In Western Europe the replacement of carpets and matting for rushes in the first half of the seventeenth century meant that there were fewer fleas in middle class homes, which thus diminished the chance of the richer classes catching the flea-borne plague. Good carpets were by now being made in England or imported from Turkey and Persia.

English carpet maker Thomas Whitty devised his specialized method of creating luxury carpets in 1755. Impressed by a Turkish carpet he saw at Cheapside Market in London, he spent months working on one of similar quality. They are known worldwide as Axminsters after the Devon town where he had his business.


When the fifth President of the United States, James Monroe (1753-1831), disembarked from a riverboat in Georgetown, South Carolina and his welcoming party greeted him with a red carpet. This was one of the earliest reported instances of a ceremonial red carpet.

Melville Bissell had a china shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was allergic to the dusty straw scattered on the floor after unpacking china from crates. So, he invented the first carpet sweeper in 1876 to clean up the mess and protect his sinuses..

In 1901 the British engineer Hubert Booth patented an electrically powered machine, which he demonstrated extracting dust from carpets by suction; he called it a 'vacuum cleaner'. The machine was mounted on a horse-drawn wagon, and equipped with a long tube for access into buildings.

Percy Shaw, the inventor of the cat’s eye, lived in a house without any carpets. He thought that carpets harbor unpleasant smells.

The length of the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre where the Academy Awards are held is about 500 feet. The width is thirty-three feet.

98% of British homes have carpeted floors. In Italy, only 2% do.

Sources Encyclopedia Britannica, Europress Encyclopedia 

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