Axminster area rugs and carpet started being made around 1775 by Thomas Whitty in Axminster, Devon, England. The Axminster rugs were made to look like the more expensive hand knotted rugs of the time. Thomas Whitty succeeded very well with duplicating the intricacy of hand knotted area rugs. They are machine woven by a power loom with a wool fiber on a cotton and jute foundation. The unique thing about the Axminster weaving process is that up to 16 colours can be used. No other machine loom can use that many colours per pattern/design.
Axminster carpet is considered top of the line. It can be found in many homes of Royalty, fine hotels and casinos, theaters and cruise ships. It may look tacky when we see it in a theater or on a cruise ship, but it is very durable and is expensive. Okay I just went through ten different websites that claimed to sell Axminster carpet and area rugs and only found one that had any pricing. It was in British pounds and most of the carpet was between 20 and 40 pounds a foot. I believe to get Canadian dollars we pretty much double that number and for US dollars add a few more dollars onto the Canadian amount. With the durability of the Axminster carpet it is worth it because you wouldn't have to replace it every 5-10 years.
In my two years here at Luv-A-Rug cleaners in Victoria BC, I have seen many Axminster area rugs come for cleaning and repair and most of them have been the same kind of pattern and colours. That was until yesterday and today.
Yesterday I had a lady call and tell me that her husband was bringing in a rug for us to clean. When he gets here to drop off the rug he tell me that he doesn't really like the rug, at all! It was his wife's mothers rug and she wanted it cleaned so she could use it. He really didn't see any value in the rug so when I was about to tell him the cleaning cost I said, " Your Sentimental value of the rug is now....." He laughed and said that he had to ask this wife if she was okay with the cleaning cost. Of course she was okay with it because of her sentimental value in the area rug. Not much will out do sentimental value. I am not sure if the cost of this rug was $179.00, but if it was that was a pretty great price for a 9'x12' wool Axminster area rug. My favorite part of the rug, besides that fact that the husband is so against it, is the teal accents.
This was another thing that I liked about this rug. The tag says that this rug is for light to medium domestic use. I wish that area rugs made today had that kind of label then maybe there would be a lot less area rugs being thrown away due to the fact that they are too stained to use. Certain rugs shouldn't be used in the kitchen or in high use areas, Axminsters are not in that category.
Thanks for reading, RugloverMary, your local Victoria BC, Canada, Axminster area rug lover!
PS, a side note, my boss Dusty Roberts had a private tour of this rugs manufactures factory (Brintons) in Kiddaminster England just last year!