The braided rug was a staple in early North American culture. Settlers used scraps of clothing and excess materials to make floor coverings that would provide warmth and comfort in a home. Even with the braids commercially available today, they're often made from the waste material of other textile products. This is the sort of resourcefulness and austerity that so characterized colonial life and remains today, a great source of pride and meaning. Similar to quilt making, rug weaving remains an heirloom tradition.
Many guests in the store share memories of learning the tradition at a parent or grandparent's side. We've sold Capel braided rugs for years and years and the feedback has always been positive. Not once, have we had a rug returned for lack of quality.
Established in 1917, Capel is a third generation family business, and today, is recognized as America's oldest and largest manufacturer and importer of area rugs. After Henry Ford invented the tractor, Leon Capel fashioned the raw material from his plough line company into braids and sewed them into spirals to make reversible braided rugs. Mules and the plough lines used to steer them were obsolete, but as sales grew Leon realized that nearly every family could use a braided rug.
Today Capel employees 400 people and does its own dyeing, spinning, braiding and sewing, in its Troy, North Carolina factory. At The Emporium, we love Capel rugs for their quality, their lasting appeal and their heritage of resourcefulness and austerity. Ourselves, a family business, we love the Capel story. It reminds us that working together, a family can build something substantial and can make a real contribution.