We tend to view shaggy rugs as a fairly recent resurrection because of their association with the zany loud colours and outlandish fluffy retro designs produced back in the swinging sixties and seventies. In fact the original shag piles were Rya Rugs developed in Scandinavia long before Ikea were even dreamt of. Viking traders introduced weaving from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to Scandinavia over 1000 years ago. The first Rya's were produced in Norway 15th century and were plain in design, although the method of weaving was based upon the Persian hand knotting technique they were made as warm fluffy bed covers. Over the centuries Rya developed more intricate in design and were used by noblemen as floor covering and by commoners in weddings as prayer mats. In the mid 20th century Scandinavian carpet manufactures produced expensive Rya style's in innovative designs, the sixties simply saw the rebirth of a worldwide fashion statement for your floor, the modern shag pile soft rug.
In 21st century Europe developments in Wilton weaving techniques and new yarn developments allow longer pile quantities to be produced even faster, while more efficient container shipments from China, India and the Far East mean that a hand made shaggy rug can transported cheaper. The benefit is the consumer can now enjoy the comfort and sophistication of a new deep pile luxury texture at a lower prices.
In the Orient and India hand carpet weavers and tufters are producing more interesting designs by using a combination of yarns that create interesting and innovative textures. Combining chunky deep piles with thick soft fluffy materials, thick and thin yarns to make a silky shiny sheen that make the surface pile glisten giving a vibrant elegant look. The combinations available to maker of a handmade rug are endless which is why long pile rugs are still the UK's favorite choice.