7. Synthetic Fibers
Today, wood floors are charming, but in the 19th century they were the only option. Then along came synthetic fibers, and suddenly we could afford to fill our homes with plush, wall-to-wall carpeting. "This idea of wall-to-wall carpeting, this indoor fur on the ground, is an important product of this century made possible by the lowered cost of synthetics," says Shayt. "Once the FHA started to include wall-to-wall carpeting as a requirement," says Goldstein, "it became standard and even expected, which was a real change from the past." Today, synthetic materials often cover furniture, walls, and windows as well.
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