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Flokati rugs are handwoven Grecian rugs that feature a soft and thick pile. The basic design for this type of rug dates back to the 5th century and was originally used by the Vlach shepherds residing in the Pindos mountain region. Today, the flokati rug is still a favorite in Greece and other places around the world, owing to its sturdy construction and simple beauty.
A true Greek flokati rug must be made with wool. Many manufacturers today use wool produced in New Zealand as the main material for the design. As in times past, it is not unusual for the rug to be hand woven rather than woven on machinery. The woven body is then placed into a whirlpool bath that is free of any chemical compounds.
Each flokati wool rug is allowed to soak in the whirlpool for roughly forty hours before removal. During that time, the wool fibers swell in size, providing the body of the rug with a thick and luxuriant texture. After allowing the rug to dry, it is graded according to the weight of the individual rug and coated with a protective backing. If desired, the wool can also be dyed any number of hues, making it possible to include a flokati area rug in just about any type of décor.
There are a number of similar rugs on the market today that are sold as flokati area rugs, but in fact are manufactured using mass production methods. In some cases, wool is not used for the pile of the rug; instead synthetic blends containing polypropylene are often utilized. Purists consider any purported flokati rug that is not made with wool to be an imposter and of inferior quality.
One of the advantages of a true flokati rug is the ability to effectively repel dirt and stains. This quality is one of the reasons for the rug’s popularity with shepherds in times past, and is also one of the reasons that designers often like to use a flokati shag rug in areas of the home with relatively high traffic. When necessary, the rug cleans with relative ease, and the pile tends to remain looking fresh and new for longer than many other pile types made with synthetic materials.
It is possible to purchase a flokati rug in many design shops and higher end decorating boutiques around the world. Authentic Greek flokati rugs can also be purchased online. While somewhat more expensive than other options, the rug tends to outwear many other types of area rugs.