Posted: September 23, 2014

Sometimes, you just have an inexplicable need for some random rug trivia. Time for a few fun facts about rugs!    


  • The term “carpet” derives from the Latin word carpere, which means “to pluck,” probably because carpets were made from unraveled “plucked” fabric. “Carpet” has the same Latin root as carpe diem, which literally means, “pluck/seize the day”.
  • The phrase “to sweep under the carpet” in its figurative sense was first recorded in 1963.
  • To make a carpet brighter, sprinkle salt onto the carpet and let it stand for an hour before vacuuming it up. Salt is also effective in removing muddy footprints.
  • The vacuum cleaner is based on Edmund Heming’s 1699 invention of a street-sweeping machine.
  •  Vacuum cleaners in the early 20th century were large, powered by coal, and required three people to operate them. Other early vacuums cleaners had to be parked outside a building and had long hoses that went through the windows. Yet another early version of the vacuum was installed in the house cellar and connected to a network of pipes that led to each room in the house.
  • Red carpets traditionally marked the ceremonial and formal routes of leaders and politicians. The first reference to a “red carpet” is Agamemnon (458 B.C.) by Aeschylus.
  • The American floor covering industry argues that the difference between a “rug” (related to the words “rag” and “rough”) and a “carpet” is strictly a matter of size. Any piece smaller than 40 square feet is considered a rug while anything larger is a carpet. According to the American carpet industry, then, the “flying carpet” or “magic carpet” is technically a rug.
  • The borders of some oriental carpets were seen to protect those sitting within its magic confines.
  • Although it is not known when the first carpets were produced, they were most likely being made centuries before Christ, probably by nomads in the heart of Central Asia as an attempt to insulate their tents. Over the centuries, carpet weaving was carried across Asia and into the Middle East by invading armies, traders, and migrating nomads.
  •  The highest amount ever paid for a carpet was the ‘Vase Carpet’ for sale at Sotheby’s. It was a mid-17th century piece from Southeast Persia which was sold for a record price of $9.6 million.