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The History Behind The “Mystery” Of Karastan Carpets

The History Behind the “Mystery” of Karastan Carpets

They might sound exotic, but Karastan carpets are as American as apple pie. Well, almost. They play a large role in the history of carpets in general, having begun with Mohawk Industries, a flooring manufacturer based in Calhoun, GA.

Humble Origins

The company was founded as a carpet mill in 1875 in the Hudson Valley, NY, by William Shuttleworth and his four sons. Three years later, the sons moved it to Amsterdam, NY, on his death, and in 1920 merged with another company to form Mohawk Mills. With a range of flooring brands under its banner, Mohawk became the first company to manufacture Karastan carpets in 1925. It was a unique product, machine-woven on a modified Axminster weaving loom. The style featured a range of complex designs and a large number of color varieties, and was woven through the back like a handmade Oriental rug.

A Wonder Rug

Karastan carpets use an advanced manufacturing process, using a loom capable of producing dedicated craftsmanship resembling that of a hand-woven rug. The resulting product was so special it was called a “Mystery” rug by the media, and the company created a Kirman-pattern carpet and invited attendees at the 1933/34 Chicago World Fair to walk all over it. After 5 million people left their mark on it, the company cleaned one half to show how well it would recover. The original rug still exists with one side still showing the signs of the Fair, while the other was restored to perfection. The Karastan became known as the “Wonder Rug” of America, and you can read more here about how to clean your Karastan.


Some of the best-known features of Karastan carpets are:

  • They’re Easy to Clean

Karastan carpets are made from the best quality New Zealand wool, which is naturally resilient to dirt and soiling. If you vacuum regularly and act quickly to blot up spills and transfer them to the towel instead. Then clean it with clear water and blot again to dry, your chances of it developing stains are greatly reduced.

  • Healthy and Safe

The wool used to manufacture these carpets is non-allergenic and inhibits the growth and life cycle of dust mites. It has no emissions that are harmful to your health, either, so your family is perfectly safe after the installation of a beautiful Karastan. The wool is also inherently flame-retardant, making it hard to ignite, impossible to melt and virtually self-extinguishing, as well as not being subject to the accumulation of static.

  • Strength and Durability

The special design of the mystery rug and the patented, woven technology makes them particularly strong and durable, and these carpets are made to last. The natural crimp gives it a built-in ability to withstand crushing, so marks from furniture disappear when the carpet is cleaned and the pile restored.

  • Environmentally-Friendly

The bulk and resilience of the wool gives Karastan carpets improved sound and insulation abilities, and the company practices environmentally responsible manufacturing processes designed to be energy efficient and safe for all.

Great Staying Power

The Karastan might look deceptively soft and delicate, but after 90 years on the market it has been shown to have excellent staying power.

Contact Brentwood Carpets America for more information on Karastan carpets and how you can get your hands on one. Check out the pics on Pinterest to see how many options there are, or schedule a consultation.

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