IN olden times woven rugs were not known in Japan. The wealthy classes of Japan covered their floors with grass, over which they spread the skins of animals. The poorer classes had not even skins, but only reeds or straw. About four hundred years ago silk and wool rugs were introduced into Japan from Persia, China, and India. For a time the Japanese imitated these rugs, but later the industry ceased. Since the opening up of the country, however, rug-weaving has prospered, and the introduction of fine cotton yarns of uniform quality has increased greatly the growth of all textile industries. The modern Japanese rugs are made of cotton or jute, and are used extensively in the United States in summer homes. In the towns which produce these rugs little children may be seen busily engaged in weaving, their small fingers being very deft at this work. The chief colors employed by the Japanese in their rug-weaving are blue, white, and sometimes a beautiful pink. In weaving, designing, and coloring, as in everything else the natives do, their exactness of finish and thoroughness in detail are noticeable. The Persian designs which were once reproduced in Japan are now supplanted by designs purely Japanese. The dragon is a favorite design in some of the older rugs.
( Originally Published Late 1900's )