In a North Carolina mill during the 1920s, Marshall Field & Co. created something exciting and innovative –machine-made oriental designed rugs with high quality at realistic prices. These elegant new rugs, almost impossible to distinguish from imported originals, were introduced by Wanamaker’s New York department store in 1928, and the Karastan brand was born. From the moment the first Karastan rug came off the loom (at 2:02 p.m. on April 8, 1928 to be exact), the name became synonymous with elegant machine-made rugs that rivaled their handmade counterparts. Nearly a century later, Karastan continues to uphold that same legacy.
"We've always really gone after Persian and traditional designs that speak to the Karastan customer," said Tracy Pruitt, the company's vice president of design. "And we take that and try to make that more relevant for today's market."
Karastan produced a rug that literally “floored” 3 million viewers at the World’s Fair in 1933 in Chicago. Karastan created a large version of its top-selling pattern, Kirman. It was put on display and visitors were allowed to walk on it. More than 5 million people left their footprints and fair stains all over the rug. Half the rug was cleaned so people could see how well the rug recovered. The Wonder Rug continues to inspire, and was even on display at an event in 2014.
As a leader in the carpet and rug industry, Karastan holds a position of environmental responsibility that it takes seriously. Efforts to use sustainable materials, preserve natural resources, and repurpose excess are ongoing as the company strives to develop responsible solutions and plans ahead to optimize environmental stewardship. Karastan aggressively researches, develops and employs new ways to preserve the planet and produce products that improve the health and comfort in the home.
Weaving plays an important environmental role, since woven carpets and rugs last twice as long as those that are tufted. Increasing longevity by 200% reduces energy consumption by 50% and keeps woven products out of landfills 14- 21 years beyond conventional floor coverings. Rugs woven on Karastan’s Axminster looms integrate a cotton foundation and wool pile with a woven-through-the-back construction that's so durable it can be passed on for generations—out of landfills.
While the world has evolved since Karastan was founded in 1928, one thing remains the same, and that's the enduring, uncompromising commitment to quality. From design to finishing and packaging, more than 30 skillful craftsmen care for each Karastan rug. Rugs are manufactured in Eden, NC, which is also the home of Karastan's most celebrated treasure – its employees. Karastan has upheld a legacy of timeless quality and beautiful design. The brand continues to serve and delight by striving to uphold these priorities.