The quality of a rug depends on two things: material and craftsmanship. Generally speaking, a great rug is made of natural fiber such as wool, cotton, or jute. Although there are many affordable synthetic materials out there, we do not recommend them because most of them are the products of crude oil which is, to say the least, less durable and harmful to the environment. So, today, we are only going to recommend natural fiber rugs that are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.
Silk: The most expensive rug in the world is a silk rug. Silk is a natural product that shines beautifully on the surface. It feels luxurious, looks luxurious, and most importantly, is very durable. However, it requires professional cleaning. So, we recommend only placing it in a less traffic area.
Wool: the ultimate wool rug is made of New Zealand wool. They are soft and durable. A good wool rug can last for decades because wool fibers are very resilient. Wool rugs also repel stains. So, it is a perfect indoor rug for high-traffic areas such as your hallway, your living room, bedroom, or dining room. Commonly speaking, the wool fibers from a hand-tufted rug tend to shed a little more in the first three months. So, regular vacuuming is recommended. However, if the rug is hand-knotted, shedding is not an issue. Lastly, although its color might fade slightly over time, it performs much better over time than synthetic materials.
Cotton: Cotton rugs have gained popularity in the last few years because it is such a great alternative to wool rugs. Although wool material is more resilient than cotton, cotton rugs are more affordable, less heavy, and machine washable. Cotton rugs are often flat-woven, and reversible. They also don't shed.
Jute, Sisal, Seagrass, Bamboo Slate: These are natural fibers that are firm and coarse, making them a great choice for indoor/outdoor use. They are heat resistance and low-maintenance, making them a perfect choice for a busy home with children or pets. Because of their popularity, they are dyed into popular colors such as white, black, brown, and so on.
Sheepskin, Cowhides, and Leather: Sheepskin rugs have been around for centuries. They are great in the winter because they can provide softness, comfort, and warmth to your feet. Cowhides and leather are highly durable. They provide beautiful natural texture, as well as protection to your floors. However, all these natural products are not the easiest to care. Usually, regular shaking and vacuuming it is good enough. However, if you spill on it, it would require professional cleaning. So, it is best to place it in a low-traffic area.
Tufted Rugs: Tufted rugs are made by hand, using a tufted gun to create details, and textures on a loom. As a result, you will get a soft wool rug that is comfortable on your feet.
Hand-Knotted: This kind of rug is meticulously crafted by a skilled artisan who spends months hand-knots every inch of the yarn on a loom. The process is labor intensive and time-consuming. However, these rugs are extremely durable, do not shed, and, most importantly, are soft and smooth on your feet.
Looped/Hooked: This technique requires a person to create loops of threads to create a firmer and denser rug. As a result, it is not as soft as a hand-tufted rug. However, it is durable and holds up well in the long term.
Braided: This technique is often used in making a jute or sisal rug. The process involves braiding threads of fibers tightly together to create a concentrically ridged rug.
Flat-weave: Flat-weave rugs are tightly woven by hand. Typically, they are thin and reversible. Cotton rugs are often made using flat-weave techniques. A rug pad is always recommended for this type of rug to help them stay in place, as well as add more comfort to your feet
All the rugs above provide some levels of comfort to your feet. Usually, the thicker the piles, the more comfort they provide. The thickness of a rug is called pile height.
Thin Pile or Flat Pile: (0” – 0.25”) This is the lowest pile. They are thin and lightweight. Typically, cotton rugs fall into this category. A rug pad is recommended for extra comfort.
Medium Pile: (0.25” – 0.75”) This is a popular thickness for wool rugs because it provides great support for your feet without blocking doors from opening.
Thick Pile: (Over 0.75”) Any thickness above 0.75 inches is called a thick pile. They are usually very comfortable and warm on your feet. Many shag rugs or fur rugs fall into this category. We do not recommend placing them by any doors.
Getting to know the differences among rugs is useful knowledge that helps you create a more suitable and comfortable living space depending on your needs. Our words of advice to you would be to take your time to get to know what kind of rugs you need because rugs are a big investment and cover much of your living space. Once you know what you need, purchase them from a reputable source like Maia Homes which offers only the best quality natural fibers rugs. And, if you are still having trouble finding the perfect rug, you can reach out to their customer care. They will help you find the perfect rug!