|Description: An ingrain wool carpet which is made of two strips of carpet sewn together. The design consists of a repeating large floral design. The predominant colours are red, gold, and black.
History: Ingrain is a sort of double fabric composed of two webs or plies of cloth with neither loops nor tufts on the surface. Two-ply denotes two sets of coloured weft (or cross-wise) yarns interchanged on the loom in such a way that, while the figure is alike on both sides of the carpet, the colours are reversed in the manner of the so-called 'night and day' bed coverlets. The ingraining occurs in the area of the fabric where the pattern colour joins, and appears above, the ground colour...'. See Nina Fletcher Little's ‘Floor Coverings in New England Before 1850’ (Sturbridge, Mass: Old Sturbridge Village, 1967), 10-11.
The town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, lies about 20 miles southwest of Birmingham in the English industrial midlands. It has bee a centre of weaving for many centuries, and in the mid-late eighteenth century began to specialize in new forms of carpet weaving, rightfully coming to be called the carpet capital of Britain. The historic Stourvale Mill on Green Street was built in the early 1850s under the guidance of Henry Woodward, who had started his company in 1790, and who was joined by Benjamin Grosvenor to operate the first steam powered carpet mill in Britain on the site. The firm of Woodward Grosvenor & Co. Ltd. remains the major weaver of Brussels and Wilton carpets, and is the only firm with a complete design archive extant that covers over 200 years in business and over 10,000 patterns. J.R. Burrows & Co. are the agents in the United States for historic designs from this archive, which is marketed as the 'Stourvale Mill Collection.'
Kidderminster Carpets are a reversible flat weave carpet popular from the 18th century to the early 20th century. This form of carpeting has no pile and the pattern is shown in opposing colours on both faces, making it possible to turn the carpet over when one side was worn or soiled. In North America these carpets were commonly called Ingrain Carpets. None are woven today in the town of Kidderminster, but they are made still in small quantities in the United States, including designs by William Morris. Kidderminster carpets were woven in 36" widths which were later sewn together into larger carpets by American importers. Reference: “A Brief History of English Carpets/Stourvale Mill” www.burrows.com/hist.html.