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Rugs creep on carpets for various reasons,
but by far the most common is The Shuffle .
The pile of a carpet has what is called a pile direction.
Carpet pile does not stand up straight but slopes in one direction
through the length of the carpet.

When a rug laid on top of a carpet is trodden on,
the hundreds of little tufts of the carpet are compressed
down and forward in the direction of their lean.
In doing this they push the rug that is resting on
them fractionally in the same direction. As the weight of
the tread is removed the pile of the carpet brushes back
ready to push again! Even vibration can cause this!

Individually each tuft may only exert a small force but
across the whole area of the rug the force is multiplied
by hundreds of thousands. Furniture standing on these
rugs can be carried along with them, so formidable are
the forces involved.



On 2nd June 1953
the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
took place in Westminster Abbey in London.

For the occasion a magnificent carpet was specially made
by James Templeton & Company Limited of Glasgow.

The gold Abbey carpet needed to meet critical specifications,
both symbolic and practical.
The shade had to be right for symbolic reasons.
The weave had to be very close and short
with as little pile direction lean as possible,
for it was calculated that if Her Majesty had tried to walk,
dragging her long heavy train against the slope of the pile,
the multiple resistance of the millions of tufts
would have been the equivalent to something like
towing the Queen Elizabeth liner behind her.

The type of carpet weave selected was Chenille Axminster.
This unique construction, now sadly no longer made, filled the bill.
Chenille Axminster could be woven up to 30ft wide,
important in such a vast installation.
The closeness of weave and critical pile height and reduced lean,
not only reduced drag but gave a greater evenness of colour.
After the Coronation the great carpet was cut up and distributed to churches throughout England where, because of its hard wearing quality, it can often still be found in use to this day.

In its time Chenille Axminster was regarded as a supreme quality.
The Abbey carpet was plain but large patterned
Chenille Axminster Rugs were available until
the mid to late 1960s. These rugs are now collectors items.

Chenille Axminster was eventually considered too expensive to produce and production was discontinued and the looms were destroyed.

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