Floor coverings have come a long way

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The choices of floor coverings are quite diverse if you look back into the history of dwellings.

In the days of the pioneers, the homes had nothing but dirt floors. These were sometimes covered with grasses, rushes or reeds. You can imagine the effect wet weather had on those floors.

The choices of floor coverings are quite diverse if you look back into the history of dwellings.

In the days of the pioneers, the homes had nothing but dirt floors. These were sometimes covered with grasses, rushes or reeds. You can imagine the effect wet weather had on those floors.

Sand floors. When floors began to be laid with plain sawn boards, the ladies would scatter sand, about an inch deep, and a geometric design was drawn in the sand.

However after walking on the floor, the design was obliterated. But temporarily it was a bit of decoration in a usual dim, under-decorated interior.

The sand also would absorb any fluids dropped and aided in sweeping dirt. Years ago, stores and shops had red sawdust placed on floors before sweeping – same idea.

Next came the sailcloth floors, sometimes painted to appear attractive, usually with a geometric design.

The first painted floor cloths were imported around 1700, These of course were affordable only by the well-to-do. The less fortunate painted the wood resembling floor-cloth.

Then carpets. Next came the carpets, throw rugs and hooked rugs. Many were not, intended for floor coverings, rather as bedcoverings, table cloths, hung next to chimneys and window coverings.

The first homemade rugs were merely sections of cloth pieces stitched together onto homemade linen, similar to tied quilts.

Braided rugs also were made about this same time, but were not as popular probably due to the narrow strip separating and the dirt that filtered through creating the necessity of removing the rug entirely and cleaning underneath.

Fancy carpets. In the early 1900s, the Oriental rug began to be placed in the parlor or sitting room. This room was only for guests such as the preacher on Sundays when they came to dinner.

Today, carpeting is often in all the rooms except in the bathroom because dampness, and the kitchen due to spills.

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