Rugs have a primal appeal. In fact, I have seen the calming influence that rugs can have on a family that has moved to a new city as they lay out their rugs and place the furniture around them. Wool rugs date back to the earliest days of civilization when hunters became herders. Rather than constantly hunting for food and hides for warmth, peoples around the world domesticated animals. Shearing the sheep, they were able to make pile fabrics for clothing and eventually for rugs. This took place about 10,000 years ago and rugs have changed little since.
The oldest known rug is 2,500 years old and is on display in St Petersburg, Russia. It was found in 1949 held captive by Siberian ice in the tomb of a nomad king buried in 500 BC. A very fine rug, (shown left, below), it was made exactly the same way rugs are made today. There’s a replica of this rug, which is known as the Pazyryk rug, on the wall at Fine Rugs of Charleston.