“Hope is the magic carpet that transports us from the present moment into the realm of infinite possibilities.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.
The carpet was probably first produced around the 3rd or 2nd millennium BC around the Caspian Sea or the Armenian Highland. The Armenian carpets were famous with people who traveled to Artsakh for their richness in color, diversity and their beautiful depictions of dragons and eagles.
The oldest found carpet is the Pazyryk carpet and has a knot density of 360.000 knots per square meter, higher than most of the modern day carpets. It is probably made in Persia around 400 BC.
Around the 16th century de art of tapestry developed technically as well as artistically in both Persia and India. From this period dates the Ardabil carpet that was possibly woven by Maqsud in 1539 AD in the city of Kashan in Persia. This carpet has a knot density of 518.000 knots per square meter.
Oriental carpets made their introduction in Europe after the Crusades in the 11th century where they were mostly used on walls and tables. They were considered too precious to cover the floor, except in royal settings.
Hispano-Moresque carpets are the earliest examples of significant production of European carpets, with manufacturing starting around the 14th century. During the Moorish period carpets were made in Alcaraz in southern Spain.
In the US large scale carpet production didn’t start until the 18th century when in 1791 William Sprague opened a carpet mill in Philadelphia. Erastus Bigelow then changed the carpet industry in 1839 with the invention of the power loom that doubled carpet production in the first year after its creation and tripled it by 1850. In the 1930´s Glen Looper invented the mechanized tufting machine, originally for bedspreads, but now adapted so that yarn could be tufted into muslin without tearing the fabric. The manufacturing of woven wool carpets in the northeast shifted to tufted synthetic carpets in Dalton, Georgia. Nowadays, Dalton is known as the Carpet Capital of the World, with over 90% of the carpet in the world produced in the Dalton area.
1. a heavy fabric cover for a floor
2. a thick covering : a thick layer of something (source: Merriam Webster).
The English carpet comes from Old French carpite, heavy decorated cloth/carpet, from Medieval Latin or Old Italian carpita, thick woolen cloth, probably from Latin carpere, to card/pluck (probably so called because it was made from unraveled, shredded, plucked fabric), from PIE *kerp-, to gather/pluck/harvest (source: Etymonline.com).
Dutch tapijt and Italian tappetto originate from the Persian تافته, tafta, woven, from Proto Indian taxta, woven/work. Compare: textile.
Spanish alfombra, like many Spanish words starting with al, comes from Arabic al-hanbal, carpet, a cover made from various pieces of leather.
Carpet in other languages:
Spanish: el alfombra (f)
Italian: il tappeto