Floor covering collection
This collection includes over 400 examples of different floor coverings. Soft floor coverings are represented by matting, rag rugs, carpet lengths, runners, complete carpet squares and felt floor coverings; while oilcloth/floorcloth, linoleum, felt base, rubber and vinyl fall into the hard floor coverings category. The collection also includes various floor covering trade catalogues, advice manuals, trade publications and interior design manuals that feature sections on floor coverings
This collection comprises all types of floor coverings from expensive Axminster and Wilton carpet squares to lengths of cheap linoleum. The focus of the collection, which continues to grow, is on how floor coverings have been made, purchased and used in Australian homes. As such, the vast majority of floor coverings in the collection have association with or provenance to an Australian home, merchant or manufacturer. Although Australians have made rag rugs, mats and animal skin rugs since the earliest days of European settlement, some of which are represented in the collection, there was no large scale floor covering industry until well into the 20th century - the first linoleum factory was established in 1925 and carpet manufacturing began in 1937. Consequently, early industrially produced floor coverings are all foreign made, most from the United Kingdom, the home of most of the world's largest carpet, floor cloth and linoleum manufacturers. Changes in technology are also represented through the collection such as by inexpensive tufted carpets introduced around World War II and the superseding of linoleum by other cheaper hard floor coverings like felt base and vinyl. Advice manuals on house furnishing, trade publications and interior design manuals from the collection provide context and period suggestions on how floor coverings could or should be used.
Carpets; Floor coverings; Interior decoration; Linoleum; Oilcloth