You might say the flokati rug is the original shag. Flokatis date back to 5th century Macedonia, now Greece, and as part of the manufacturing process were placed in the cold water of a river after being woven in order to fluff the wool. They are handmade entirely of wool, including the backing, and are naturally white and are devoid of pattern or variation. Authentic flokatis are still made in Greece today using the same weaving and soaking techniques, with quality being measured in grams- the higher the weight equals the greater concentration of wool, and therefore more expensive.
Shag rugs have a long pile which gives them a shaggy appearance and a lush, soft, fluffy look. They made their American debut in the late 1960s and remained popular through the 1970s. They are manufactured from natural and synthetic fibers and can be found in all price ranges and colors. Shags have made a comeback in recent years due their cool retro affiliation.