While more commonly associated with the styles of the 1960’s and 70’s, shag carpeting has actually been used as a flooring material throughout history. Believed to originate from the ancient world, shag carpet made its way into modern times and came to define an American era. The deep pile and cushioned material of shag carpeting rose to popularity during the age of disco and hippies, and while it fell out of style for a bit, it’s currently making a comeback in updated versions such as frieze carpets. At Floor Coverings International, our flooring experts want to help you choose the perfect type of flooring for you and your home.
Starting out as long, deep piled rugs, shag carpeting draws its origins from the ‘Flokati’ rugs of Ancient Greece, which were constructed from long strands of woven goat hair. Shag carpet is made up of looped yarn, raised up to create a deep pile that is soft when walked upon and comfortable to sit on. The long fibers give it its characteristically “shaggy” look, explaining how the carpet got its name. These carpets were popular across the Middle East, particularly in places like Turkey and Central Asia, where they were used to decorate the palaces of royalty.
The use of shag carpet rose quickly through the 1960s and 1970s, when it came to be associated with the abundant, free-love aesthetic of hippies and beatniks. The popularity of the style began to wane in the 1980’s though, as shags were seen as dated and passé. Shag carpet has begun to make a comeback in recent years, with a classier twist on the classic rug. Unlike shag carpet flooring in the mid-twentieth century, modern shags feature less garish colors, coming in more neutral white, ivory, or cream hues. The style, reinvented with the more upscale branding of ‘frieze,’ is popular once again because it creates plush, cushy flooring for household members to walk or lounge on.
The maintenance of shag carpet can require a bit more work than hardwood or tile flooring. Shag rugs must be vacuumed once a week, as well as deep cleaned frequently. To deep clean a shag carpet, take the hose of your vacuum to suck up the dirt and grime in the corners and under the furniture. About every three to six months, clean your carpet with a steam cleaner, allowing the carpet to be shampooed without flooding and ruining the room.
Photo Credit: Svetlana Lukienko
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