Since the 1960’s the popular floor covering was wall to wall carpeting – often in very poor taste. But now, thankfully, the orange shag carpeting of 1966 has taken its place in history to be replaced with ceramic tile and laminate flooring.
Although these replacements are a major visual improvement, the one thing that horrendous carpet protected against is again assailing us with these new flooring materials: cold floors. Enter the old stand-by – the rectangular braided rug.
This rug makes a distinctive style statement and depending on its configuration and dimensions, can be practical as either a hallway runner, a sitting mat in front of the fireplace, or as a foot rest between the sofa and the coffee table.
History of the Rectangular Braided Rug
Braided rugs are reputed to be the first types that covered the floors of early American homes. Adding warmth and color to the coldest and poorest of floors they were almost always made by the women-folk of the home which gave the young gals an opportunity to acquire a new homemaking skill while at the same time blessing the home with a brand new fashion element, all at the same time.
Today the braided rugs offered for sale are typically made of new materials such as cotton or wool, but braided rugs of yesteryear were more likely to have been put together of old britches, bed clothes, or coats. The task of making them imparted a useful skill to the young girls and helped add a bit of money to the family’s coffers.
But more recently, these braided rugs are experiencing a kind of new life, since people enjoy the classic look and texture of these braided rugs in houses that are decorated in countryish and folksy themes.
In the end of the twentieth century, homeowners helped to stimulate this resurgence. Folks find comfort knowing that these kinds of rugs are reminiscent of a simple, laid back era.
Nowadays, pre-made rugs can be found for sale in almost all furniture or household store, from trendy furnishings vendors to discount mega-stores. You can pick one up at a department store or even at a garage sale here and there.
Although these braided rugs look quite a bit like their predecessors, they will not stand as much use as their antique cousins and don’t expect them to wear as long either.
Care of Rectangular Braided Rugs
As you would expect, braided rugs should be vacuumed just as often as regular carpet, or, they can be taken out in the yard, hung over the clothesline and whacked with a broom, letting the breeze carry away the dust. This is the way Grandma used to do it and it stills works. It gets a good airing out too.
Another advantage of these rugs are their mobility. If you have a spill on yours, clean it up immediately and then lift or roll it up and clean the floor underneath it. Again, take it outside and let it air dry.
With the proper care and maintenance, your rectangular braided rug should prove a sound investment and last you for years.
photo by Lazy_Lightning -CreativeCommons Attribution