History of Flokati Rugs

In the village of Samarina, Greece lies the birthplace of one of the most influential and historic works of art of all time – the Flokati rug. The villagers of Samarina, Greece were by trade, shepherds. They raised goats and sheep as their primary source of trade and commodity. The shepherds largely raised their flock of sheep for dairy products. The sheep produced high quality products such as cheese and milk. Around the 5th Century A.D., the shepherds began using the sheep’s wool to help protect themselves during the cold winter months where the temperature can dip below 32º F (0º C). The first forms of the Flokati were shaggy or shag resemblances of the modern day Flokati rug, as the shepherds had yet to realize the full potential of the sheep’s wool. The origin of the modern day Flokati was a serendipitous moment. The Samarina shepherds had left one of their woven wool blankets in the waters of the Pindus Mountains, unattended for nearly two days. Once they remembered their wool blanket, the shepherds returned to the stream where they had left their wool blanket and noticed that the backing felted, and most importantly the wool had unraveled and flourished. This was the first, fully flourished Flokati rug. Little did the shepherds know that the wool they relied on to stay warm would become a luxury for millions upon millions of people around the world for centuries to come. It would become – the Flokati rug.

Once the true, original Flokati was discovered, word of the new creation spread across Greece. The flokati quickly became a versatile product. It was used for many purposes, including blankets, bedding, floor coverings and even clothing.

The Flokati survived in Greece serving villages and villagers throughout the country for centuries before its popularity exploded onto the international scene. The islands and beautiful landscape of Greece became in increasingly desired hotspot for tourists from around the globe. As people flocked to the Greek islands, they became exposed to the customs and history of the Greek culture, including the Flokati. As tourism increased and travel became easier in the mid-20th Century, the Flokati burst onto the American scene in the form of the Flokati rug.

Flokati rugs in United States took hold during the cultural revolution of the 1970’s where shag was the defining style of the decade. The Flokati rug quickly became an artistic display of knowledge, history, and contemporary design of the times. Since that time, the Flokati rug has not lost its touch. Flokati rugs remain an integral part of style and design in the home furnishings industry. Once a contemporary look, now a retro feel, the Flokati rug represents different traditions and customs from the villagers in the Samarina, to the homes revolutionary style of the 1970’s to the contemporary retro look of the modern day home.

We at flokati.com are proud to continue to provide this longstanding tradition and carry on the hard work of the villagers of Samarina. We hold this history in the highest regard, and strive to educate and provide you, the consumer, with quality and knowledge and of most of all, style and class. The Flokati rug was born in Greece but lives across the globe. Add history to your home, add a flokati rug!