Historically, carpets were of a really high value and a product of luxury that not everyone could afford. However, the carpet cleaning conception came much later then the first carpets appeared. What can you do to have a clean carpet without cleaning it? That’s right, protecting it from becoming dirty. This is why in the nineteenth century one of the things you needed to have in addition to the carpet was a wooden drugget.
Wooden druggets were placed when carpets were in danger of being stained. These were necessary to have under the tables to protect from food falling on the floor and in the kids playing area to protect from simply wearing down. These druggets could be with some specific pattern or simply one-coloured, and can be seen on pictures dating back to the nineteenth century.
Another tool used was drugget runners which were not made of wood, but of carpet with a lower quality. Those were put directly over the major carpet in places where people were mostly walking, for instance connecting the different doors in the room or going from the sofa to the table. Since walking indoors with outdoor shoes is also an issue, this strategy helped protecting from dirt, especially in wet and cold weather. Sometimes the whole room was covered wall-to-wall by a specific cloth for the whole summer period when there’s a lot of dust outside willing to get to the carpets.
Nowadays when things concern carpet cleaning London doesn’t have this fashion any more. Since we have lots of washing liquids and professional equipment that are suitable for all kinds of dirt, the necessity in covering the carpet disappeared and the carpets also became cheaper and more affordable. Having a qualitative rug is still kind of a luxury though, especially the hand-made and the exclusive ones. But those are not made for covering, but for showing off.