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About Us

About Karastan

The Karastan ‘Wonder Rug’ wowed tens of thousands of visitors at two World’s Fairs. Consumers quickly learned that the Karastan name means quality, beauty, and durability.

In a North Carolina mill during the 1920’s, Marshall Field & Co. created an exciting and innovative product – machine-made oriental design rugs of high quality at realistic prices. These elegant new rugs, almost impossible to distinguish from imported originals, were introduced by Wanamaker’s New York department store in 1928, and the Karastan brand was born.

Wonder Rug

Carpet Story

Not only did we play a big part in introducing American households to the very concept of walking in comfort, we provided the impetus for mass appeal by introducing yet another innovation in 1948: our Kara-Loc® method of weaving.

Initially limited to the production of plain velvet and twist styles, Kara-loc eventually produced an explosion of fashion innovations, including multi-colored designs, along with cut-and-loop effects at least 15 years ahead of the rest of the industry. The innovative method made possible the production of high-styled, quality carpets at prices affordable to average consumers.

Rug Story

The year American retailer and textile manufacturer Marshall Field built a loom capable of recreating the detailed craftsmanship of a hand-woven rug. From the moment the first Karastan came off the loom (2:02 p.m., April 8, 1928), our name became synonymous with elegant machine-made rugs that rivaled their handmade counterparts.

So far advanced was the new manufacturing process that the trade press referred to our 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, the other 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. It’s no wonder our rugs became known as “The Wonder Rugs of America.