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A Brief History
  Brussels and Wilton
Carpets


Brussels and Wilton carpets are today 
just a small percentage of the overall 
production of the town of 
Kidderminster, in the early 19th century 
they were the major product of the town. 
Brussels carpets are a level loop carpet 
where the wool not exposed as pile 
is carried in a dense backing - colors are 
drawn to the surface as needed for the pattern, 
and up to five colors can be used in a single row. 
By alternating colors, or 'planting the colors' in 
the rows, many more accent colors can be 
skillfully introduced into the pattern. 
Brussels carpets were first woven in 
the early 18th century, and by the late 18th century 
Kidderminster was the main center of 
production for Brussels. 
Wilton carpets have the same structure 
as Brussels but the pile is cut open 
and sheared, producing a velvet-like quality. 
Although increased mechanization has 
equalized the pricing, in the 18th and 19th century 
the velvet pile of Wilton was roughly double 
the cost of Brussels. During the Regency 
(in the U.S. the Federal period)  Brussels carpets  
were the height of luxury for all but the 
wealthiest homeowners, and Wilton carpets 
were an extra luxury that few could afford. 
By the mid-nineteenth century it became 
common to make the best showing with 
a Wilton carpet in the best parlor or 
drawing room , and to use the less expensive 
Brussels carpet in the lesser rooms of a dwelling. 
The choice was a personal one, of taste and 
economy, and every visitor would know 
instantly the the type of expense laid out 
in the decorating by the quality of carpet.

Picture of Rug on loom Picture of Medallion carpet in room

                                         Picture of Regency carpet in room                          

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