Floor coverings are both useful and decorative. Especially area rugs!
Area rugs have been used since time began, when cave-women (with good taste) placed pelts on the ground in their various abodes. Through the years, in all cultures, covering the floor moved from necessity to adornment. In Middle Eastern tribes to this day, carpets represent wealth and history, with different areas weaving patterns that reflect their everyday life, their history and even current events. Motifs include dancers, flowers, bird tracks... an endless array of symbols that create patterns.
In Persia, nomadic people weave their rugs to match the stars and the galaxy to create maps for their travels and to record their past. These rugs were durable, were not only used as maps but also used as beds. These rugs were at times presented to a bride that was leaving the tribe! Rugs were also used to protect children from snakes in the desert because of the texture and the smell of wool.
Current trends in area rugs run the gamut from plain sisal weaves to intricate modern Orientals. Trending are softer, blurred palettes in both neutrals and bold colors. Fibers include wool, of course, with silk added for sheen and durability. Viscose, bamboo and linen are well represented, along with many perennial cotton choices.
Silk saris are recycled in an intensive process which involves bleaching, shredding, carding and spinning into "yarns" which are woven into beautifully textured carpets that have all the qualities desirable in floor covering: beauty, durability, uniqueness, and personal expression!
Antique Orientals, which are past their prime or outdated in color or design, are now being recycled in the most interesting way! The fibers are ground down, they are distressed, sometimes bleached and overdyed to create beautiful and unique rugs that fit today's decor. Sometimes they look graphic, sometimes they are shadowy, ghostly reincarnations. But they are singularly beautiful.
Newly manufactured rugs also may hearken back to traditional techniques, but with a fresh take on very subdued patterns within stunning hand woven color.
So many rugs. So little time.