What are Karastan or Kerastan Rugs?
First, you must know about Karastan rugs are that they are not a style of the rug but a brand.
Karastan was derived from a name of an innovative man who created a factory and mass produced a replication of handwoven oriental rugs. He pioneered the machine-made rugs that looked like oriental rugs and were sold exclusively by department stores. He marketed and advertised Karastan rugs are “the Wonder Rug of America” that targeted the middle-class audience. Karastan ran the rug factory for generations and as of last year in 2021 of May, he closed operations after 93 years.
Karastan/Kerastan Rugs are “the Wonder Rug of America” and its Impact Today
Karastan or Kerastan rugs were marketed as oriental rugs to Americans to depict exoticism paired with the rise of oriental rugs being used in interior design.
When you think of oriental rugs in America, many feel intimidated by dipping their toes in the antique marketplace. However, during the boom of Karastan rugs, people felt it was easier to acquire and the care level of the machine-made rugs was easier.
By opening the factory, Karastan eliminated some of his competitors because his rugs were made in the United States. It was easier and accessible to the American consumer because the collection of the rugs was consistent, along with their prices. Utilizing Axminister looms and mass produced from 1928 until 2019. Karastan went as far as to make wall-to-wall carpets.
However, nowadays carpet and rug stores started began operations across the county. Certified rug dealers began to work individually and open small businesses.
Many of these professionals work from an office and own galleries showcasing handwoven oriental rugs. The interest drew away from machine-made rugs, but the biggest factor was Karastan’s competition. Department stores and online retailers began making their own machine-made rugs that copied his idea of making rugs with heavily inspired oriental designs and patterns.
Giants like Amazon, Nebraska Furniture Market, and Ikea began mass producing rugs at prices that Karastan couldn’t compete with. Then on March 3, 2021, set April 23 as a closure date for the mill by the North Carolina Department.
Where Can You Find and Buy Karastan Rugs?
Since the production of Karastan rugs ended in 2021, you can expect an increase in demand but a decrease in supply. Although there are many other companies that make rugs with similar collection lines, Karastan sparked an era of machine-made “oriental” rugs that are even showcased and celebrated in a few museums. For a while, Karastan rugs were considered a leader in fashion area rug design for over 90 years of business and impact.
You may not find Karastan rugs in department stores anymore since those contracts have expired, but there will still be a few carpet stores that have a decent inventory of Karastan rugs if they sell a variety of manufactured, machine-made rugs. However, you’re better off looking into oriental rug stores that can provide you with one-of-a-kind options and are handwoven and picked by professionals.