The Rich Origin of the Iconic Shag Rug

V137 Silky - 63a Cobalt Shag Rug

Made with 100% Draylon Tufted yarn, this custom made shag rug not only boasts of durability but also of elegant aesthetics. With its refreshing cobalt blue hue, this shag rug can surely bring an extra amp to your interior color palette. It can be used as a statement piece in a minimalist modern living room or a complementing home decor for a contemporary themed bedroom.

A true icon of the 1960's culture and fashion, shags rugs continue to make its mark in the interior design scene even after almost 70 years, proving to be one of the best home decors with undying staying power.

Join us as we take a look into the origin of shag rugs and carpets and what makes them worthy of a spot in your home.

What are Shag Rugs or Shag Carpeting?

Known for its "shaggy" texture and appearance, the most distinct characteristic of shag rugs is its deep and thick pile - which is achieved through the use of long strands of yarn and cut loops that are stitched onto a backing material. It is set apart from the rest of carpet and rug types because unlike flat weaves, shag rugs have a very soft and fluffy texture which is ultra comfortable to walk or even sit on. Some even say that shag rugs are kind of comparable to the feel of luscious animal fur.

V123 Sherry M-52 Cream Shag Rug

Taking a closer look on the material composition and weaving technique of shag rugs, we can see that the distinct thick pile is achieved by stitching cut loops of yarn together, producing a "shaggy" texture. The deep pile gives it an ultra soft texture which is very comfortable to the touch and works best in giving warmth to cold flooring materials like tiles, concrete or natural stone. The shag rug above features polyester fibers in a soft cream color - a perfect complement to any color scheme and interior style.

A Brief History of Shag Rugs and Carpets

Although shag rugs rose to popularity during the 1960's and 1970's in America, its origin traces back to Ancient Greece. Shag rugs and carpeting was prominently used in Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in Turkey. The earliest shag rugs and carpets were made from goat hair and unlike other traditional rugs which were mostly used as a symbol of opulence in the ancient world, shag rugs were a common feature in the floors of all sorts of home - catering to both the wealthy and  modest households.

V137 Sherry Majestic Shag Rug

Another closer look on the material composition and weaving technique of shag rugs - the long fibers are stitched onto a backing material to create a more durable product. This rug features a mixture of polyester fibers, giving a softer feel, more depth and a more dimensional aesthetic. 

Flokati Rugs : The Mother of all Shag Rugs and Carpeting

Shag rugs and carpeting draw its inspiration from the popular "Flokati" rugs which graced the floors of palaces in Ancient Greece. Traditionally, Flokati rugs were made by hand weaving long strands of goat hair to produce a deep and luscious pile carpet. After weaving, the finished product is then placed in cold water, usually in a river to give it a "fluff" and a more shaggy texture. The first Flokati rugs have a natural off white color, however they can be dyed to achieve a more attractive spectrum of colors.

Because of their distinct texture and thickness, Flokati rugs were typically used not only as a floor covering but as a material for people to sit on comfortably in the ground. It is also one of the most effective ways to give warmth during the colder seasons and to protect the feet from the ground.

VR3 Sherry Stratus- Cloud  Shag Rug

With its pristine creamy, ivory color and its very soft, plushy texture, this shag rug reminds us of the "clouds" (hence the name). The perfect accessory to your bedroom, this shag rug will give you maximum feels of comfort once you get out of bed and step on it every morning. It can also be used to add depth or layer textures in a minimalist living room that is dominated by sleek and smooth white surfaces.

An Icon of American Culture

Despite its rich history, shag rugs and carpeting made its way to popularity during the 1960's and 70's were discos, beatniks and hippies were a thing. This era was "all about the shag" and was obsessed with fluffy and fashionable -- so "shags" and "shaggy" did not only make its mark in home design, but was a fad even in hairstyles and dances.

Shag rugs became one of the most iconic symbols of American culture and was for a time, a staple item in most households. In fact, shag rugs were featured in a lot of the sets of favorite tv shows in this era - take the "Brady Bunch" and "Charlie's Angels" for example.  Shag rugs became a well known favorite fashion statement because of its unconventional appearance, texture and extreme comfort. Unlike the traditional off white color it originated from, shag rugs of the 60's and 70's were mass produced in more flashy hues to fit into the free and lively aesthetics of mainstream society. It was a time when ostentatious greens, quintessential oranges and vibrant reds were the "in thing".

It was also during this time when wall to wall carpeting was beginning to make its mark in the interior design scene so consequently, people were drawn to experimentation - trying out new finishes for their homes and putting prime on comfort.

However, during the 1980's, the popularity of shag rugs and carpeting started to dwindle down. What was once considered the hottest, trending home decor became outdated and a fashion passe'. However, it isn't surprising that once again, shag rugs are recently picking up steam and making its mark for the second time in Interior Design.

VR123 Sherry Shimmer - 9705 Twilight Shag Rug

An edgier take on the classic shag rug, this unique piece features an elegant black color mixed a few strands of shades of gray to give it more dimension. Unlike the conventional garish colors of the old shag rugs, this version offers a more modern look. Perfect for adding contrast to contemporary living room settings and can be used as a focal point for any area of the home.

The Birth of the New Shag Rug

As mentioned, shag rugs are making a comeback but with a new, modern twist. Aesthetics for the shag rug drastically changed over the years. Gone are the the flashy shag rugs of the 60's and 70's and here comes the classier, reinvented version. If the iconic shag rug was made in vibrant colors,modern shag rugs are leaned towards a more neutral color palette, which is mostly whites, cream, ivory, shades of gray, browns and black - a perfect fit to the minimalist aesthetic and contemporary interior scheme. However, one thing that remains is its distinct plush and cushiony texture that we all love.

Nowadays, shag rugs also come in different versions. Manufactured as simple "noodle rugs" to a more high end version of the frieze carpet. The materials used in production are also more diverse - coming in a wide range of natural fibers such as wool, silk and leather to synthetic fibers like acrylic, polyester, etc. These new materials along with improved manufacturing and production techniques paved a way for more durable, softer and thicker shag rugs which can last for years.

And true enough, the resurgence of shag rugs is one of the best things you can explore for your home. With its unique aesthetics, unmatched comfort and ultimate style, shag rugs will never fall short of giving that extra wow factor in your home.

Pilly Pul01 Seed Shag Rug

A different version of the shagrug, this product has a shorter pile compared to the previously featured ones. It has a lush surface that is composed of dense layers of cord like piles made with 100% polyester fibers. Although in a plain solid color, its texture gives it a more dimensional aesthetic effect. Aside from its softness and comfort, the best thing about this rug is its versatility and ability to both blend and contrast with most interior color schemes and styles.

If you want to bring home a piece of nostalgia or simply enjoy the soft, plushy feel of a shag carpet, work only with a trusted rug supplier like The Rug Warehouse. Our extensive collection of high quality Shag Rugs and Carpets feature a wide bevy of styles which can fit any home. Please visit the Rug Warehouse website to know more about our vast rug collections or drop by our  Los Angeles showroom to view our outstanding collection of hand-knotted rugs. Our expert professionals are more than happy to assist you in choosing an exceptional hand knotted rug for your home.