Shaggy, Shaggy Chic

Submitted by Annette Callari, ASID; CMG

iStock_000012121251XSmallIf you are old enough to remember the ‘70’s then I know you are familiar with shag carpet. Ugh! But wait a minute—maybe not “ugh”. History always has lessons for us to learn, and carpet history is no exception. It has taught us to refashion worthy design elements from the past into contemporary winners.

The problem with the truly vintage shags was that the finished pile heights were so long that the yarns laid over (yes, you would actually be walking on the sides of the yarn bundles, not the tips). Not only that, but a dog could successfully bury a small bone in the carpet pile, never to be found again. Obvious problems were aesthetic and hygienic, but the lush, casual look of the carpet was its saving grace.
Carpet mills have now applied some 21st century creative thinking and technology to take the best of this renowned design style and make it better. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of what was, and what shag has become:


1970’S Shag Carpet Styling 2010-And-Beyond Improved Shag Versions
Then: Now:
Extreme Pile HeightsMatted,
Crushed, Laid Over
Shorter Pile Heights,
Improved Yarn Systems
Intriguing Mixes
Of Thick-And-Thin Yarns In One Carpet
Improved Performance And Durability
Colors Of The 1970’S –
Gold, GreenBeige, Brown (thus the ugh factor)    

Solids And Berber Colorations In a Full Spectrum
Of Colors
Barber Pole Constructions Mixing Two Colors
In One Yarn Twist
Better Luster Levels
Limited Yarn Technologies 21st Century Technologies –
Soft-Handed Yarns Now Available
Yarns With Texture-Retention WarrantiesImproved Stain And Soil Resistance
Not a Good
Performer In HighTraffic Areas    

Improved Constructions
Eliminates Wear Patterns In High Traffic Areas


Having a casual style carpet that invites you to sit on the floor in comfort is the driving factor that inspired carpet stylists to bring back the concept of shag carpeting. “New and improved” would be an understatement. If you are considering new carpet for a family room, game room, office, or even your bedrooms, take a long look at the uber-chic long friezes and shaggy styles now on the market. I think you may just fall in love with what’s out there. Shaw, Tuftex, Beaulieu and Mohawk have all invested in bringing fresh new styles to the marketplace.
What’s old is new and what’s new is AWESOME.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.