Ingrain Rugs became popular in the nineteenth century. Adapted from the initial production that began in Kidderminster, England, Ingrain carpets remained popular until pile carpets became more available and affordable in the later nineteenth century. Designs were generally made in bold, richly colored reciprocal geometric patterns. Their production largely disappeared after 1920.
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Though Ingrain rugs are still being produced in small numbers today in the United States, they were most popular in the 1800’s, and were produced in both Europe and the USA.
The Ingrain is a somewhat coarsely textured, brightly colored rug made from fibers, such as wool, that have been dyed prior to the weaving of the rug. Using weft and warp techniques, this is a flat woven kilim like rug with no pile. The designs are usually complex and beautiful, and the way in which it is woven makes the rug reversible, with the colors of the design inverted on the other side. Also known as an example of flat weaving, Ingrain rugs were most often woven on a jacquard loom. Invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard, this loom simplified the textile-weaving procedure and allowed for many middle class American homes to use Ingrain rugs.
Each middle class home had an antique rug in at least one room, and usually a hallway or stair runner to complement the home. Some of the most common factories where Ingrain rugs were woven were in England, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The fabric weaving styles to make the rugs are also sometimes referred to as double- or triple-ply because of the wrap and weft. Damask and Venetian rugs are close relatives of Ingrain.
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View our current collection of American antique Ingrain rugs below: