A ramble through domestic history in the 20th Century
These are primarily designs for small feature rugs for the bedside or in front of the fire. They are mostly rugs to be handmade at home often from a prepacked kit.
This book was published in 1948, but the pictures inside date from work beginning in 1932 with primary schoolgirls. Seen here holding up their own handiwork. A lovely example of the blending of classic floral shapes with the geometric styles of art deco design.
1933Showing a classic early 20th Century use of area rugs in the days before fitted carpets were commonplace – along with textile designs of the era, again showing the blending of florals and art deco geometrics.
Colour plate from Modern Home magazine – how to style a modern living room with a stylish home-made rug. A lovely example of the kind of vibrant colours it’s often easy to forget were all the rage in this era, because so many contemporary images are in black and white.
Another picture that probably dates from earlier than the print of the book I own – quite possibly a 1930s shot. Note the use of animal prints in this geometric rug – another fashionable type of pattern in the art deco era.
“Real” carpets sneak in to my rug page…
Back to proper rugs…
Another example of the bold abstract style of pattern.
1950s – undated but likely to date to this decade
These are images from rug kit catalogues showing the kind of kits one could send off for to make at home. Interesting to note that you will very rarely find cutting edge design in these kind of kits. These are “safe” designs rather than the kind of thing one would find in interiors books – and of course more indicative of the kind of thing the ordinary person would have in their house than the latest designer pieces.
1955This one is described as a candlewick rug. A phrase that I associate mainly with cut thread tufty bedspreads but in this case seems to indicate just that it is a crochet rug made in candlewick cotton.
These two are described as “modern rugs” and indeed seem to foreshadow the use of textures that was to become fashionable in the 60s and 70s.
Some modern designs available in kit form.
The Rya rug was a real 70s classic – it’s a specific type of knotting techique, but the look is all about the super long pile and so doesn’t lend itself to highly detailed patterns, so tends to be this kind of blocky patterns or, more often, just blends of many colours.
The use of texture as pattern always seems a splendidly 70s look to me, this is when it was at its peak, but as we’ve seen above, it took a while to develop.
Lions and children seemed to be a common pairing in the 70s – must look into quite what that was all about. And the graphic style of the image in this rug is also typical of the era.