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Rug making is one of the great ancient crafts. Rugs were certainly in use by early Neolithic times (New Stone Age, starting around 7000BC) using fleece from the growing practice of keeping herds of sheep and goats. A rug thought to be some 2,500 years old was unearthed in 1949 by Russian archaeologists excavating a tomb in the cold Siberian wastelands of southern Russia. (Known as the Pazyryck rug, it is the oldest in the world, and can be seen in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.) The craft must have been already old by the time this rug was made, yet the techniques are essentially the same as those used in making traditional rugs today. In recent decades, tastes in interior design have shifted from fitted carpets to hard flooring such as waxed or polished floorboards, ceramic tiles and laminates. Where carpets are maintained, they are often of a plain natural fibre such as Coir or Jute. These floors are seen as more natural, easier to clean and less likely to attract dust. The overwhelming use of central heating around the home has also reduced the attractions of thick pile fitted carpets. Rugs have therefore gained renewed popularity in offering a softer, warmer and more colourful addition to a hard floor.

Various articles taken from WikiPedia and re-used under the GNU Free Documentation License

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