When felt-base was first introduced, linoleum manufacturers fought back, urging consumers to learn how to tell genuine linoleum: look for the woven burlap back. To add to the confusion, felt-base makers coated the back of their rugs with the same red iron oxide that linoleum manufacturers used on the back of linoleum. Nonetheless, the Armstrong Company, a leading linoleum producer, experimented with felt-base starting in 1916, producing Fiberlin rugs and flooring. In 1917 they introduced linoleum rugs, which sold so well they dropped the Fiberlin line in 1920. But a few years later they bought out the Waltona Company, another felt-base manufacturer, and began offering felt-base again in 1925. The Waltona line was renamed Quaker Rugs, and Armstrong stopped selling the real linoleum rugs after that.
Congoleum sold their rug product under the Gold Seal label. Other companies also got into the resilient rug business, both linoleum and felt-base, including Sloane, Blabon, Pabco, and Dominion (Canada). Some continued to offer both products even after the larger companies (Armstrong and Congoleum-Nairn) had stopped making linoleum rugs and only sold the felt-base merchandise. In general, by the late 1920s, most resilient flooring rugs were felt-base instead of linoleum. Felt-base rugs (and flooring) continued to be produced well into the 1950s.
Since these products were marketed as rugs, it’s no surprise they were often printed to resemble various kinds of woven or knotted carpets. Some even had printed fringe for full effect. The most amusing of these were based on traditional oriental rugs, though there were also fake braided rugs, rag rugs, and needlepoint rugs. Straw or other fiber matting was another fashionable motif—and easier to keep clean than the real thing!