How flokatis originated.
A great source for flokati rug information...
Flokati Rugs have been a Greek tradition for centuries. Alexander the Great used flokati wool in his tents and clothing as he swept across Egypt and Asia Minor beginning in 331 B.C. In The Odyssey, Homer mentions Greek rug weavers. During the long winters, Alexander, in his great Conquests, used Flokati for his tents and clothing. Flokati rugs came of age in the fifth century AD in a village in the Pindus mountains of Greece, near Samarina. Vlach shepherds raised sheep in these mountain regions and the Greek women weaved the wool into beutiful handwoven rugs. The craft of flokati weaving evolved naturally out of Vlach sheep farmers' habit of washing new sheepskins in Pindos mountain river water. This water friction technique caused the backing to tighten, while the pile itself became as fluffy as the sheep themselves. The word flokati, in fact, derives from the Latin through the Vlaches and means "like a flock". The Vlachs traded flokatis with neighboring villages and as word spread, demand increased to a point in which New Zealand wool had to be used because there were not enough local sheep to keep up with production.
When shag rugs became popular during the late sixties and seventies, the Flokati rug surged in popularity. Recently flokatis have become trendy and with many synthetic flokati rugs availalbe, many colors and styles can be found.