It’s #ThriftScoreThursday everyone and today I wanted to share my diamond in the rough, and when I say rough, I mean really rough. While hunting for chairs I ran across this pile of rugs in a pretty gritty thrift/consignment store not too far from my house. I normally shy away from thrift store rugs just because you never know where they’ve been and cleaning them can be expensive. But every now and then I run across a really nice quality rug that I know, even with the cost of a professional cleaning, is a really good deal.
So when I ran across this pile and spied the tightly knotted pink and blue rug on top I had to check it out. I was excited to see it had the original tags on it with all the information I needed to get a better idea of what I was buying. The labels are sewn on rather than glued and the company label is woven rather than printed like newer rugs from this company. I am guessing they are 50’s era from this and the back story that they came out of the seller’s great aunts house but that is only a guess.
So I went home and did some research and this is the interesting story I found.
In 1928, history was made as American retailer and textile manufacturer Marshall Field built a loom capable of recreating the detailed craftsmanship and luxurious look of a hand-woven rug. From the moment the first Karastan rug came off the loom (2:02 p.m., April 8, 1928 to be exact), our name became synonymous with elegant machine-made rugs that rivaled their handmade counterparts.
So far advanced was Marshall Field’s new manufacturing process that the trade press referred to the first Karastan rugs as “Mystery Rugs.” To share the “mystery” of these rugs with the public, Karastan created a large version of its Kirman pattern for the 1933-34 World’s Fair in Chicago. But instead of putting it on display so visitors could simply admire its beauty, Karastan did the unthinkable. We invited the world to walk on it. And so the world did!
More than 5 million people left their footprints, spills and ground-in food stains all over the rug. Then it was time for cleanup. We cleaned half the rug so people could see how well our rugs recover. The rug still exists in the same state today- one side almost unrecognizably filthy, while the other has been returned to its original beauty and luster.
To prove that the demonstration was no fluke, we did it again. This time more than 9 million visitors walked on our rugs at the New York World’s Trade Fair of 1939-40 before half the rug was returned to its original condition. Thus the public was baffled again and our rugs became known as “The Wonder Rugs of America”.
I wasn’t any farther ahead on dating the rugs but this story got me excited. After heading back for a second look I decided to make the purchase in hopes of achieving the same results with my cleaning, although I admit mine was not nearly as filthy.
With the help of my discerning assistant who was willing to lug rugs on his lunch break of course.
But before I was done there was one more surprise…At the bottom of the pile was a second identical rug. Everyone knows you get a better deal if you buy them both, so I did!
Here they are laid out at the cleaners. They were pretty impressed with my thrift store find of two beautiful 9’x12′ rugs for just $175 each.
On a side note, I also wrote to Karastan who still manufactures rugs today to see if they could give me some background on my purchase. They were more than willing and are checking their archives to see if they can date the rugs. I’ll update you if I find anything out.
Now let’s see what you guys have been shopping for.
But first, if you are new here, let me explain just what #ThriftScoreThursday is. We want you to participate! Hit up your local thrift stores, craigslist, yard sales, estate sales, side of the road, anything! Thrifty doesn’t necessarily mean from a thrift store. We want to see your good deals, wacky finds and treasures and how you style them in your home.
Don’t feel like you need to save those finds for Thursdays! Yes, features are shared on our blogs once a month and Instagram weekly on Thursdays, but we’re all checking in on (and using!) the hashtag all week long. So, when you see/find it, feel free to share it! And we love it when you tag your friends to play along, too!
The first Thursday of each month, Brynne from The Gathered Home, Cassie from Cassie Bustamante and I will pick our favorite thrift scores to feature. So please note that by linking up with #ThriftScoreThursday, you are giving us permission to share your finds via social media or on our blogs.
Check out fabulous finds…
Even though jmwearing has taken it slow thrifting over the holidays doesn’t mean she doesn’t have some amazing finds to share. Her guest bedroom features some of her favorite thrift finds – the bird leg pot, elephant rattan basket, metal bust and mid century modern end tables. Pretty fabulous!
theeventmaker finally found time to finish her Chinese Chippendale update with help of #amyhoward lacquer and that bad-ass classic animal print velvet. Love that velvet and am twice as jealous since she has another matching chair -gorgeous x 2!
nostalgic.moon.vintage is getting ready for spring already with thrift store finds that have her planning picnics, road trips, and beautiful photography.
If mixing old and new pieces is your style shopjanery ‘ s find will be right up your alley. She found this massive vintage mirror at a run down Salvation Army store literally a day after I deciding she needed a large mirror for a dark living room. With a $35 price tag, it was a classic case of “buy now, measure later,” looks like it was a perfect fit! Photo by: laurametzlerphoto
How about this pink velvet sofa from gypsyyaya definitely an epic piece and I think I might need one just like this to go with my new rugs!
Or this live edge coffee table clairedesignsthings shared that her fiancé and his roommate at the time found it on craigslist from a guy who referred to frisbee golf as “golf” and regular golf as “ball golf.” I love a table with a story to go along!
Amazed as always!
Now don’t forget to stop by and see what my co-hosts have been up to this month…