Carpets evolved out of the nomadic habits of human beings - a home could be created by throwing a carpet on a floor, or by draping it on a wall or a tent.
You could even wear a carpet in cold weather.
The Islamic influence meant that the representation of human forms were generally prohibited in carpet design which resulted in the glorious and fantastically coloured rendition of animals, calligraphic, and abstract motifs - long before abstract art was born.
Tony Lidington travels from the sophisticated auction rooms of London to the humble villages and souks of the Middle East in search of the technological and artistic secrets of carpet-making.
Along the way he discovers the magic and mythology surrounding these gorgeous, and sometimes priceless, products of human art and industry.