An overview of carpet or rug material. Essential knowledge in picking up your 1st rug.
Knowing Your Rug Material
When choosing an area rug, the material is arguably the most important decision you will make. First, consider which rug qualities matter the most in the space you will be filling. In a hallway, durability may be at the top of the list. In a bedroom, you may value softness above everything else. Also consider how the material will affect the style of your rug. Some rugs, such as cotton or jute rugs are naturally more casual, while silk and chenille rugs give off a more formal, elegant vibe.
Benefits: Sturdy pile, repels water and stains, good heat insulation, feels pleasant
Good to Know: Wool rugs are a prime choice for high traffic areas, such as living rooms and hallways, or spill-prone spaces, such as dining rooms. Wool tends to shed fuzz for a period of time. Wool rugs are not a smart choice for damp rooms because they soak up humidity
Benefits: Extremely soft, luxurious surface, tear-resistant fibres, very fine and valuable fibre, offers a sheen
Good to Know: Silk rugs are an especially decadent option for a sumptuous bedroom, however, they are sensitive to moisture, generally expensive, and less sturdy than wool pile.
Benefits: Strong and stable, natural product, soft fibre, generally inexpensive
Good to Know: Cotton rugs are generally found in a flat weave and are a popular selection for kitchens because most smaller sizes can be easily washed. Cotton pile can sometimes become felted and tends to attracts dirt easily.
Jute, Sisal, and Seagrass
Benefits: Natural plant fibres, very strong, ideal for layering with other rugs
Good to Know: The easy casualness of natural fibre rugs makes them a clear choice for beachy and cottage-style homes. Of the three natural materials, jute is the most coarse and firm, which makes it least comfortable underfoot and not ideal for playing on the floor with children. Sisal, on the other hand, has a smoother, finer surface, but still has a frayed rope-like texture. Seagrass is the least scratchy and most pliable. It can also be easily cleaned without leaving a watermark. These rugs cannot be in high-moisture areas, and it may be difficult to clean stains.
Benefits: Easy to clean, very durable, generally fade and stain resistant
Good to Know: Synthetic fibre rugs are created to mimic the look of wool and high-quality fibre rugs at a lower price-point. Because they are not made to be heirloom, investment pieces, they can be replaced more frequently with updated styles or swapped out for the seasons. They make brilliant choices for basements, laundry rooms, and kids' rooms. A downside is that synthetic rugs generally don't have the same pleasant feel as natural fibres.