Natural plaid wool carpet in four colors from Axminster

plaid wool carpetingI’m pretty sure the fascionistas will approve of this plaid carpet find: 100% wool Natural Plaid carpets by the iconic British maker, Axminster aka Wilton. Whereas yesterday’s post focused on an inexpensive, nylon plaid carpet for knotty pine rooms, today I’m spotlighting a more subdued, all-wool style that could suit more formal, even upscale, living spaces. Like, they have photos of Prince Charles on their website.

plaid carpet in wool by axminsterWhile the nylon plaid is pleasingly kitschy, I’d say that these Axminster plaids have a subdued, upscale look  that is traditional and timeless. Price is upscale, too, I’m sure.

modern sofaFor example, a number of readers have purchased the affordable, modern Macy’s Corona sofa (on sale for $699 as I write this – it’s always on sale!). If you are using this sofa or one like it in a living room, family or den and want to “warm up” the modern space, the Axminster plaid carpet would look fantastic, I think.

plaid wool carpetingThis carpet is SO pretty. To be sure, they’ve muted all the shades to neutralize the plaid for a wider variety of today’s traditional-bridging-to-modern interiors. (Admittedly, “subdued” = there’s greige-ing going on here. Greige kind of = Sherlock Holmes = old timey cold overcast rainy Jack the Ripper Victorian Britain, of course. But lest I hijack my own pammy-positive post with another greige rant, let me continue….)

plaid wool carpetWool carpeting is warm… derived from a renewable resource (sheep)… and has a lovely sheen. It’s gonna cost you some serious money, though. This is carpeting that you’ll want to stay in the family for a long time.

flooring for a 1950s attic renovationBack in the day, Armstrong made vinyl sheet flooring in plaid patterns including the one above. This is my dream attic. I have kept this image in mind for years if I ever where to refinish my attic. I love how bunk beds are tucked into the wall beneath the gable, the knotty pine paneling, the visible brick chimney. Note the Monstera Deliciosa. You can still get chairs like this from Pier One. I don’t think I’ll ever spend the money to expand into the attic — we have enough space. But if we did, the Axminster plaid wool carpet + knotty pine paneling could well be anchor points. My other if-I-win-the-Lotto choice for an attic wall-to-wall carpet … available in a much livelier palette … would be Capel, which also has a few styles of woven wool carpeting that you can indeed order in wall-to-wall. What a cozy attic floor that would be!

Link: Natural Plaid wool carpeting from Axminster.

  1. Edward says:

    There is a big difference between Axminster and Wilton carpets. As for being “old fashioned” in narrow width that is just opinion not fact. Narrow width carpets can vary from 60cm (for stairs in France and other European countries) to 70cm, 90cm and 100cm. Wilton carpets are made using wire looms and the pile can be either loom, cut, or various combinations of cut and loop. Their are also Brussels weave wiltons using fine semi-worsted yarns. Classical French patterns have up to 8 frames, which with an experienced textile designer can achieve twice the number of colors using plants.
    Axminster carpets can be woven only in cut pile and in narrowloom production are either made on jacquard looms (as are patterned wiltons), and are normally 27″ or 36″ wide ( 70cm or 90 cm)
    Wiltons have yarn buried beneath the surface and Axminsters have yarn only on the surface. Axminsters are also made on “Spool Looms” which can limit design repeats of up to 36″ (for practical reasons only) but can have almost unlimited number of colors in the pattern.
    England and France tend to have the last vestige of narrow weaving, but there is some weaving still done in the USA.

  2. Jen says:

    Ohhh…those plaids are great, especially now that we’ve arrived in the bitter cold season of winter. Brrr. I’ll bet with the ends bound by the carpet shop, they’d make nice rugs, too…

  3. Gavin Hastings says:


    If you find another castle- take me with you! I have dual citizenship…..(no further north than Aberdeen, please)

    The woman that lived in my home (Lucy King of Lenox, Pam) moved in 1970 to a pre-war 7 room apartment, It was able to accomodate her items. Unfortunately, most of her beautiful pieces were considered “junk” in 1970.

    1. Jeff says:

      Hi Gavin, not a problem! Dual citizenship is a wonderful thing- why couldn’t it have been French, though? LOL!!!

      The castle was near Inverness, you can see images of it online today, actually, it’s called Ardross Castle, and some years back before the current owners turned it into a lodge, it was 150k, asking price! And as I mentioned, partially furnished.

      Those days and that pricing is no more, unfortunately.

      What’s great about the property is that it included one side of a beautiful river known for salmon fishing, hardwoods, including giant redwood trees.

      I was told there is an unusual dip in the gulfstream above this area that renders it warmer during the winter than most parts of Britain, warm enough to grow palm trees in some public park nearby, though I never visited it.

      My family is Scottish/English, so it would have been a “homecoming” of sorts.

      Sorry you don’t have the carpets- I know how many things I’ve parted with over the years, but happily, have many really great pieces, still.

  4. Jeff says:

    I can’t tell you how many homes I found this carpeting in, and of course other styles of wool carpeting in homes in Grosse Pointe, Michigan where I was raised.

    Homes of friends had these plaid patterns, and the homes of their parents and grandparents had the old Axminster/Wilton carpets that were seamed every two feet or so.

    I remember one house had what I later learned was a seamed wool carpet designed in the style of the vintage Chinese deco “Nichols” rugs imported to the U.S. back in the 20’s and 30’s.

    The strips were decorated with Chinese junks, pavilions, pagodas, moons, trees, flowers and bridges in multi colors. I haven’t seen one since, and it’s been about 25 years or so since I saw this one.

    Thanks a million for posting this terrific alternative- I have a slate floor in the knotty pine room, but this as a bound carpet?? Might just work.

    1. Gavin Hastings says:

      Google: Whittall Bird of Paradise-

      Made in Worcester Massachusetts from the Teens until the Fifties. Along with Gulistan, they were the “Cadillac of Carpets” and still VERY expensive 60 years later.

      1. Jeff says:

        Gavin, thanks a million!

        This is exactly what I was referring to in the older homes in Grosse Pointe back in the day.

        Many of the designs I remember were quite sparsely decorated, even oddly abstract for the early date on many of these. There was a particular quality to the wool, which often felt like mohair upholstery, and as we know, was practically indestructible.

        I even had one years ago that was left behind in an early apartment that dated from the 30’s with giant birds of paradise in loden green, rust, maroon and salmon.

        Sounds disgusting, I know, but in a a vaguely tobacco toned tropical way, it worked!

        1. Gavin Hastings says:

          These are the rugs that were in my current home in the late 50’s.
          A palace sized 10×21, and matching area and hall runners. I believe the pile is called “corded wool”. There is a company online in Pennsylvania called Shaneybrook that trades in these rugs.
          Someday, when I win Lotto……

          1. pam kueber says:

            I went and looked at the Shaneybrook site — oh my gosh, gorgeous! Me too when I win big with the Lotto!

          2. Jeff says:

            Tell me about it! Checked out the site as well, some really beautiful carpets. Gavin, were you able to save any of the carpets that were in your home? I remember you posted some photos of your place, and it really looked great.

            I’ve learned over the years how so little is left behind in homes in America when they change hands, which is not the case in Europe- I remember looking years ago at a castle for sale in northern Scotland, a Victorian era pile that retained some of it’s original furniture like pianos, billard tables, some carpets- mostly things that were too difficult to move. Believe it or not, this place was only 150,000, but cost a fortune to heat, so I passed!

  5. Robert says:

    If anyone wants to trade for the Axminster and that Macy’s sofa in Hunter Green, I have a used, but still working right kidney and would like to swap for them.
    Ring 505………………… 😉

  6. midmodms says:

    Maybe the reason greige doesn’t bother me (I even kind of like it), is the region I live in. Up here in the Pacific Northwest natural light is pretty subdued, even in the summer. Stronger sunlight might wash out a color as complex as greige. We’re used to it here. It’s kind of the color of the sky a lot of the year.

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yup, that greige definitely influenced by all those Twilight movies! Watch the art direction — coooollllldddddd.

  7. Janet Gore says:

    Pam, you are absolutely correct about wool carpeting … it hangs around forever. Unfortunately 60 year old off white (maybe it was TRULY white in ’61) cannot be destroyed … but 50 years of stains can’t be cleaned up either! So if you get it, keep on top of it from the beginning. It is marvelous to walk on!!!

      1. Gavin Hastings says:

        I would think that; as with dyeing stained clothing- the stains would just re-appear as another color.

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