Material is a core element to consider when trying to make a decision about purchasing a rug. Whether you are interested in oriental rugs or Persian rugs, the right material is essential when it comes to space usage, durability, texture, traffic, and atmospheric vibe. This quick rug guide will highlight some of the most commonly used rug materials for rugs and what makes them unique or desirable in their own right.
Wool is the most commonly used material for rugs and with good reason. It is known for its strength and durability, softness, stain and water resistance, comfort and insulating properties. Wool is a versatile fiber that takes well to dyes, which allows for multiple color options and it will maintain its appearance well over time. Wool provides superior foot comfort and is great for living and dining rooms, and is ideal for high traffic areas and for active families with busy schedules and small children in the household. On the downside, wool is prone to shedding and absorbs moisture.
Silk is a versatile material that tends to add an element of sophistication, elegance, and luxury to a home’s decor. It is soft, dyes easily, absorbent and the fibers create richness and natural luster/sheen. Silks are delicate and in and of themselves are not durable, but when combined with other fibers like wool can enhance durability and maintenance. Luxurious and lustrous, silk rugs are adored for their softness and subtle sheen. Silks are best for low-traffic areas of your home and bedroom, sensitive to moisture and generally requires professional cleaning. Oriental rugs are commonly made from silk and are delicate and generally more expensive than wool, for example.
Cotton is regularly used in making flat-weave rugs like dhurries and kilims. It is one of the cheapest materials and as such, rugs made from cotton are more affordable than wool or silk. Cotton dyes readily, allowing for numerous color options and makes for softer options that jute rugs, for instance. Rugs made from cotton are easier to clean and maintain, fairly durable, are breathable and comfortable and are ideal for casual and more relaxed settings. Over extended periods of time, cotton rugs don’t wear well. Cotton commonly appears in Persian rugs.
Sisal & Jute
When seeking rugs that are tough and durable, look for rugs made of sisal and jute that are made from natural grasses and allow for unique textures and weaves. While jute and sisal can create thick, woven piles that can be therapeutic for bare feet, some fibers can be coarse, making the rug less than ideal for lounging or kids play. The rope-like construction of jute and sisal makes organic weave rugs less likely to trap allergens, which is great for your family’s health. Sisal and jute are neutrals, renewable, typically chemical-free, strong and can be layered to create more visually appealing patterns, ideal for high-traffic and sunny areas, as well as the living room. Rugs made from sisal and jute will absorb moisture and stains will be a pain to remove.
Common synthetic rug fibers include nylon, polyester, and olefin. These man-made fibers have their unique qualities but are generally easy to clean, great for use in outdoor spaces, hallways, and high-traffic and sunny areas. Nylon is resistant to fraying, dirt, and crumbs, and is a very strong and durable fiber with a silky appearance. However, it is often acid dyed and over time, can lead to fading. Olefin mimics wool in softness, is durable, stain-resistant and moisture. Furniture marks on olefin rugs can be tedious to remove. Polyester is known for its durability and is resistant to fade as well as wear and tear. It is not oil-resistant and as a result, polyester rugs can be left with permanent stains. As a whole, synthetics are affordable and durable.
Persia Oriental Rug Gallery
Choosing the right rug material for your space may seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about what you want in a rug; the space, the feel you are going for, and budget. You don’t have to sacrifice balance, comfort, longevity, luxury or the desired maintenance you seek in a rug. Whether you’re interested in Persian rugs or oriental rugs, this helpful guide could prove useful.