What Type Of Rugs Go With Gray And Gold Furniture Shaker Rugs – A Brief History

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Shaker Rugs – A Brief History

The Shakers, a sect founded in England in 1747 and taken the the United States around 1774 by Anne Lee, is known for the robust simplicity of its furniture and other artifacts. Their work has come to epitomize the manufacture of high quality products, designed so that the form perfectly serves the function of each piece. Living in isolated communities, the Shakers raised flax for textiles and sheep for wool and flannel.

As with every aspect of their lives, including the respect for property and details and care of interior furnishings, the design and manufacture of Shaker rugs and carpets were governed by the Millennial Laws of 1821, which were revised in 1845.

The Millennial Laws also stated that ‘the carpets in one room should be as alike as can consistently be provided, and these the deaconesses should provide’. Specific mention is made of the patterns that could be used for floor coverings.

Carpets are admissible, but they ought to be used with discretion and made plain. Mother Lucy says two colors are sufficient for one carpet. Make one strip of red and one of grey, another of butternut and grey.

It is thought that these rugs were probably the plain woven carpets made using rag or rag and wool combination in the weft.

They made most of the popular shapes, but with some characteristic features that identify their rugs as Shaker. The hooked rugs, for example, have rows of braiding bordering the  central hooked section, and the backs may be finished with narrow shaker woven tape. They also made ravel-knit rugs, which are characterized by a long, shaggy pile, with the texture of unraveled knitted goods.

Hard-wearing, practical floor coverings, such as braided, rag and fluff rugs, were made by Shaker communities and sold in their stores. Plush rugs were advertised in a catalog of Shaker goods dating from 1870. They sold at 70 cents a square foot and were available in blue, white, yellow, gold and maroon and in any size. Also supplied were pillows and footstools to match.

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