The word “carpet” comes from the Latin word “carpere,” to pluck, from the plucking or shearing of the wool from the sheep. The earliest use of carpets in Europe was for table and bed covers, the first being made in Venice; and it was not until early in 1700 that they were manufactured in England and then only for the rich. They were considered articles of great luxury, hence the term “Carpet Knight” for one who enjoyed ease and luxury and had not known the hardships of battle. In the Orient, with the exception of some large rugs made for the palaces of Shahs, Sultans, rich Pashas, or mosques, there were orijinally no rugs of the size to be used as a carpet in the Western meaning of the word. The antique rugs come in sizes three by six and four by seven, etc.,- what we call hearth rug sizes, or the long, narrow strips known as runners. Prayer rugs were of various dimensions but generally small for private use or for use in the mosques. To meet the demand of Western buyers, factories have recently been established in Persia and Turkey where carpets of all sizes are made. In Persian carpets the Muskabads, Ghorevans, and Khorrasans are the cheaper grades though excellent in quality and very durable, especially the Muskabads and Ghorevans. The Tabriz, Kirman and Kirmanshas are the finest Persian rugs made in carpet sizes.
Turkish rugs in carpet sizes generally go under the name of Smyrna rugs, although the typical red, blue, and green Smyrna rug with its long,heavy pile, which is principally used in America in hotel lobbies and reading rooms, is only one of an infinite variety of rugs that are shipped from Smyrna, Sparta, Oushaks, and a great variety of rugs under as great a variety of names are made in the outlying towns and districts of Smyrna. No rugs are made in the city itself, but the firms who own and control the output of these rug factories have their warehouses and offices in Smyrna. The best wool and vegetable dyes are used in the manufacture of these carpets, and one can have them made to order in any sizes. Most exquisite reproductins of old Persian patterns can be ordered with the certainty in the majority of cases of most satisfactory results. With one exception the manufacturers of these Turkish rugs in and around Smyrna have lately combined to form a Syndicate. This Company (The Oriental Manufacturer’s Limited) was formed in 1907 and began operations in 1908. It is the amalgamation of six firms engaged in the carpet trade, five of which were established in the Smyrna region and sixth in London. It was capitalized at two million dollars. Through this combination of interest and capital the carpet industry has been reintroduced in the districts of Asia Minor where it was formerly carried on but had ceased to exist, if not entirely, at least as a regular industry. By a more careful selection of the wool used in the manufacture and by the employment of none but the most solid dyes they are able to reproduce in artistic colouring and weaving the finest designs of Persia, India, and Anatolia. The spinning and dyeing of the yarns by the company in its own factories ensures the best quality of yarn and the most permanent and pure dyes. They own and control at present four to five thousand looms in about thirty villages and towns in Asia Minor. They employ twenty to twentyfive thousand women and children who weave the rugs and a large number of men who attend to the washing of the wool and the spinning and dyeing of the yarn. In some of these factories carpets and rugs are woven equal to the Persian makes in fineness of texture and even surpassing them as regards colour, and their carpets have a deservedly high plac in the foremost ranks of Oriental textile fabrics. At Harput, in the Province of Mamouret-ut-Aziz, the girls in the American Orphanage under the direction of an expert andd conscientious superintendent are making rugs of great merit. The dyes employed are vegetable and strictly fast, the wool is of the best quality, and one can have any design copied in almost any size.