American Rugs & Carpets

American rugs are diverse in origin, material, technique, and design. Some of the most well-known examples are hooked rugs and the whimsical designs of 1960s rugs.

American hooked rugs are indigenous to the Northeast. Prior to the mid-1800s, imported carpets were a luxury of the wealthy class. With the opening of trade with other countries, new materials became available, including the burlap sacking used to ship trade goods from the West Indies. The wide weave of the burlap allowed for easy manipulation of textiles using strips of fabric and a framework of boards. Rug hooking allowed the lower economic classes to create artistic floor coverings at little cost, and rug hookers incorporated their own flair into the pieces, ensuring that each rug was an original. Hooked rugs began to be hung as wall art in the 1930s, when there was a resurgence of interest in the artform.

Beginning in the mid-1900s, American rug designs embraced a fun and modern style that followed the art movements of the time. Pop artist Robert Indiana scavenged abandoned warehouses in New York for material for his sculptures. After his discovery of brass stencils, Indiana’s works came to life with bright colors and short, powerful words. Known by the title “Classic Love”, Indiana’s famous Love Rug was created for a Christmas card for the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1964.


Quick Facts

  • Grenfell Industries was started in Canada in 1893 as a way for poor fishing families to make extra money by selling hooked rugs to tourists, but today these designs are coveted by collectors
  • The earliest American rugs were made for tables and beds, rather than the floor
  • A Robert Indiana original “Classic Love” rug sold for $1,794 at Bonhams auction house in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Vintage American Folk Art E. Pluribus Unum Eagle Hooked Rug
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage American Folk Art E. Pluribus Unum Eagle Hooked Rug
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
Vintage Karastan Rug
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Karastan Rug
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
7x10 ft Brown Hampton Bay Area Rug
Oct 17, 11:00 AM MST
7x10 ft Brown Hampton Bay Area Rug
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Karastan 'Wildflowers' Wool Rug
Oct 17, 10:00 AM CDT
Karastan 'Wildflowers' Wool Rug
by Leonard Auction
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Hopalong Cassidy blanket & rug
Oct 20, 4:00 PM EDT
Hopalong Cassidy blanket & rug
by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC
Est: $25- $200
$200 Bids
HOOKED RUNNER
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
HOOKED RUNNER
by Everard Auctions and Appraisals
Est: $400- $600
$2500 Bids
American Hooked Rug
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
American Hooked Rug
by Caza Sikes
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
ARTS AND CRAFTS DESIGN RUG
Oct 28, 11:00 AM EDT
ARTS AND CRAFTS DESIGN RUG
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$5500 Bids
bp parity badge
Two-Color Gold and Diamond Bracelet
Oct 20, 12:00 PM EDT
Two-Color Gold and Diamond Bracelet
by Doyle New York
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Indiana, Nach Robert: LOVE
Oct 30, 2:00 PM CEST
Indiana, Nach Robert: LOVE
by Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus
Est: €500- €600
€4000 Bids
South-American Handmade Tribal Rug With Center Seam
Nov 07, 3:00 PM PDT
South-American Handmade Tribal Rug With Center Seam
by Clark's Auction Company
Est: $400- $800
$2000 Bids
Diorama of the Ship 'Delfin'
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Diorama of the Ship 'Delfin'
by Nye & Company
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
bp parity badge
CLAIRE MURRAY HOOKED RUG Contemporary 25" x 37".
Nov 05, 9:30 AM EDT
CLAIRE MURRAY HOOKED RUG Contemporary 25" x 37".
by Eldred's
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Ellen Oltchick (American, 20th C.) Pin Rug, 1981
Nov 15, 10:00 AM EST
Ellen Oltchick (American, 20th C.) Pin Rug, 1981
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Rugs & Carpets


Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Eldred's

Eldred's

Doyle New York

Doyle New York

Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus

Peter Karbstein - Kunst und Auktionshaus