European Carpets








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European Carpets

In 1608, King Henry IV of France  established weavers in the Louvre.  About 20 years later an old soap works, the Savonnerie, near Paris, was  converted to carpet weaving,   and its name remains attached  to one of the finest types of handmade carpet,  now made at the Gobelin tapestry factory.  Tapestries for walls and floors were made 
at Aubusson at an early date.
In 1685 the revocation of the Edict of Nantes  scattered skilled Protestant carpet makers  over Europe. Centers of weaving were  established in England, first at  Kidderminster (1735) and later at  Wilton and Axminster. Cheaper, more easily  manufactured floor covering soon  came into demand, and the making of  ingrain, or reversible, carpets began  at Kidderminster. The weavers of  Flanders had made a loom that produced  a pile by looping the worsted warp  threads, and this loom, although guarded,  was copied by a Kidderminster weaver;  soon many looms in England were  making Brussels carpet. Axminster was  England's headquarters for imitation  Oriental, or tufted-pile, carpet.
Until about 1840 all carpets were made on  handlooms with such devices and  improvements as could be operated  by hand or foot power; then  Erastus Bigelow's power loom (first used in 1841),  which made it possible for carpets to be  mass produced, revolutionized the  industry. Although handmade rugs  are still produced in some countries, e.g.,  Turkey, carpet manufacturing has  become a highly mechanized industry,  notably in the United States, Great Britain,  Canada, Belgium, and Japan.

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