The Wonder Rug-Karastan

Running River Rug Cleaners® know how to clean it all. So many of you come to us to ask about your Karistan and of course we are excited to tell you what we know!

The Karastan ‘Wonder Rug’ wowed tens of thousands of visitors at two World’s Fairs. Consumers at that time quicklyKarastan Wonder Rug learned that the Karastan name means quality, beauty, and durability. In a North Carolina mill during the 1920’s, Marshall Field & Co. created an exciting and innovative product – machine-made oriental design rugs of high quality at realistic prices.

They played a big part in introducing American households to the very concept of walking in comfort, we provided the impetus for mass appeal by introducing yet another innovation in 1948: our Kara-Loc® method of weaving. Much like hand knotted as they are tightly woven, why? Pressure washing the cotton foundation makes it shrink and cling to the wool knots.

Initially limited to the production of plain velvet and twist styles, Kara-loc eventually produced an explosion of fashion innovations, including multi-colored designs, along with cut-and-loop effects at least 15 years ahead of the rest of the industry. The innovative method made possible the production of high-styled, quality carpets at prices affordable to average consumers.

The year American retailer and textile manufacturer Marshall Field built a loom capable of recreating the detailed craftsmanship of a hand-woven rug. From the moment the first Karastan came off the loom (2:02 p.m., April 8, 1928), our name became synonymous with elegant machine-made rugs that rivaled their handmade counterparts.

So far advanced was the new manufacturing process that the trade press referred to our rugs as “Mystery Rugs.” To share the “mystery” of these rugs with the public, Karastan created a large version of its Kerman pattern for the 1933-34 World’s Fairs in Chicago. The Karistan Kerman named after Kerman, which is both a city and a province located in south central Iran, Kerman has been a major center for the production of high quality carpets since at least the 15th century. In the 18th century, some authors considered the carpets from the province of Kerman, especially at Siftan, to be the finest of all Persian carpets partly because of the high quality of the wool from the region known as Carmania wool. Kerman rugs are prized by collectors for a myriad of reasons, which includes but it not limited to: a wide range of designs, a broad pallet, utilization of natural dyes and fibers, immense tensile strength and abrasion resistance, and expert color combinations. No two Kerman rugs are precisely alike, but these general characteristics typify this enduringly popular style.

Instead of putting it on display so visitors could simply admire its beauty, Karastan did the unthinkable. They invited the world to walk on it. And so the world did. More than 5 million people left their footprints, spills and ground-in food stains all over the rug. Then it was time for cleanup. We cleaned half the rug so people could see how well our rugs recover. The rug still exists in the same state today—one side almost unrecognizably filthy, the other returned to its original beauty and luster.To prove that the demonstration was no fluke, we did it again. This time more than 9 million visitors walked on our rugs at the New York World’s Trade Fair of 1939-40. It’s no wonder our rugs became known as “The Wonder Rugs of America.(karastan.com).

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