Rug Information and Care
General Rug Sizes
50x80cm – These are often referred to as mats and are commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens and at door ways.
80x150cm – Larger than average sized mats and commonly used in larger entrances or kitchens.
120x170cm – These are where a mat becomes a rug, and are used in wide entrances and under small coffee tables or computer chairs.
160x230cm – These are the most popular size and are often used for family areas. You will also find the greatest selection of designs and colours in this size.
190x290cm – Very similar to the size above, these are slightly larger and used in larger living rooms and under dining tables to cover more areas.
240x330cm – These are not as common, and as such there is usually a much more limited amount of styles and colours to choose from. Ideal for covering most of the family or lounge area.
300x400cm – These are a very uncommon size and many don’t stock them due to price and the space required to display such a big rug. Often used under dining tables to allow the chairs to remain on the rug when pulled back.
Hallway runners are manufactured at finished lengths or continuous rolls that can be cut down to custom lengths. The finished or set lengths vary generally from widths of 67cm to 80cm and even as big as 230cm up to 500cm long. Continuous runner lengths are generally sold per meter on a roll of a maximum length of around 30 metres. These continuous runners have similar width sizes of 67cm up to 80cm, but generally do not go higher. There are far less options around 100cm or wider, and often these options have set designs and colours. The benefit of continuous roll runners is that they can be overlocked in any desired colour or even fringed, allowing for a little bit more customization. Some can also be matched with room size rugs of the same design! We have provided a step by step guide on how to order hall runners here!
Quality of Rugs
When trying to determine the quality of a rug, it can help to know what to look for yourself rather than to depend on what your sales representative might be saying. As such we wanted to try and provide a small guide on what to look for here. Generally, quality will depend on the type and density per square meter of fiber used in the pile, as well as the weave type and the process of construction. Machine-made rugs vary greatly in quality due to the fact that many different materials can be used and combined during construction. The lack of human error also allows for a much more even density throughout the rug, which is why machine-made rugs are almost always of a higher quality than hand-made rugs when it comes to density.
How to Compare the Quality of a Rug
When referring to the quality of a rug based on density, the lowest quality would be given to a BCF or Standard Fiber rug. This is generally because they have an average density of 100,000-250,000 points of fiber per square meter, which is incredibly low. Below we have provided a list of which quality has which average density so as to help you compare;
Most 'Very Low' quality rugs have around 250,000 points of fiber per square meter.
'Low' to 'Medium' quality rugs usually have around 250,000-400,000 points of fiber per square meter.
'Medium' to 'Good' quality is usually around 400,000-600,000 points of fiber per square meter.
'Good' to 'High' quality rugs often have around 600,000-800,000 points of fiber per square meter.
'High' quality rugs generally have around 800,000-1,000,000 points of fiber per square meter.
'Very High' quality rugs have 1.000,000-2,000,000 points of fiber per square meter, and very rarely more.
Different Fibers used in Floor Rugs
Polyester Fiber Rugs
Polyester fiber produces some of the most beautiful colourations available in rug products. It is extremely fade resistant and provides excellent resistance to stains, but unfortunately it does have poor resilience properties and thus is susceptible to crushing. Polyester is usually combined with other fibers during rug construction, providing the best of both characteristics. Due to this, generally try to avoid high pile products with low-density construction, as it is a good sign that it may not be very resilient and the fibers may be crushed. Luckily, many of the latest technology polyester fibers have come a long way in methods of improving durability, so this effect should be far lessened now compared to a few years ago. Most consumers like to dig their fingers into the pile, and if it provides a luxurious feel they believe this is excellent quality. This is referred to as "perceived" quality, as true quality in regards to fiber comes from when it is difficult to insert your fingers into the pile.
Standard Polypropylene Rugs
The cheapest quality synthetic rugs are made using the standard polypropylene fiber known as BCF. BCF stands for Bulk Continuous Filament, and is single very long piece of fiber rather than multiple pieces sewn together. These are a very good budget rug that will only last a limited time as the fiber tends to flatten quite easily, making them harder to vacuum and maintain over time. However, if used for wall hangings as a feature or where no foot traffic is involved, then they can theoretically last forever.
Heat-Set Polypropylene Rugs
Heat-set polypropylene rugs compose of yarn that has been processed, had the oils removed and then had a colour or design printed on it. Some have been finished as a twisted fiber and then treated to stay twisted so as to act almost like a shock absorber, which can prevent it from flattening. Heat-set fibers are very easy to vacuum as they have anti-static properties, meaning fluff and animal hairs don't adhere to them as easily. As with every other rug, products made with a heat-set fiber depend on density to determine final quality. Generally speaking, the thicker the yarn becomes the lesser the quality of the final product. This is why twisted fibers become quite important in synthetic rugs, as the finer the yarn is twisted and set, the more points or shots are required to cover the surface of the rug. This causes there to be far more density and make the fiber more stable and longer lasting. The density of the product you are after should usually be specified in the product description, or otherwise easily available to find via your sales representative.
Acrylic rugs can also be of high quality, though they have a tendency to shed and can be quite frustrating to maintain. Acrylic fibers often come in most designs, and can be found as modern rugs, Persian rugs, shaggy rugs and kids rugs designs. The acrylic yarn doesn't have the sheen that the polypropylene rugs produce, but Acrylic rugs feel and look like wool making them a perfect cheaper option that does not last as long.
Wool rugs are one of the more common natural material rugs due to the fact they will last quite a long time compared to many other materials. Wool is a much warmer fiber that has a set quality classification dictating the quality of each rug. This classification is used for the machine-woven variants of wool, and ranges from T3 up to T6. The T3 classification is referred to as the cheapest woollen machine-woven rug, while the T4 classification is slightly better and more expensive leaving the T6 as the highest quality produced with the highest cost. There are also a lot of hand-tufted woollen rugs on the market today which do not fall under this classification system, and are generally thicker than the machine-woven rugs. Woollen rugs are generally considered to be the oldest natural fiber rugs and have been used for centuries to make quality, long lasting products. Most Persian and Traditional rugs are made exclusively of wool.
Hand-tufted rugs from India and China are almost always easily recognizable and relatively inexpensive. Generally, they use wool or acrylic fibres, although now that shaggy rugs are back in fashion polypropylene and polyester are now being introduced. You will always be able to distinguish between hand-tufted by looking at the back of the rug where a plain colour cloth covers the glue that keeps the yarn stuck on the base. However, many hand-loomed rugs have a cloth backing adhered to them for added strength. The majority of these are heat-set but there are some cheaper brands available that use different construction methods. If possible, ask your sales representative or feel the fibre yourself. If it feels slightly sticky then it may have anti-static problems which can make it hard to vacuum.
Machine Made Flat-weave Rugs
Flat-weave Rugs are made with the fiber running horizontally rather than vertically. This has many advantages, such as helping to make cleaning up liquids and other such spills as they are very static resistant. They are also very hard wearing as there is no pile to flatten or tear. One of the only disadvantages of flat-weave rugs is that they are not soft to sit on and don't look plush, due to the lack of pile. This can be mitigated slightly by placing a rubber rug pad underlay on the underside of the rug to increase the general softness of the rug itself.
Shaggy rugs are currently very popular due to how comfortable and durable they are. The advantage of shag rugs is that they don't show fluff or dirt due to the longer yarn, which allows for lighter coloured rugs to be used in higher traffic areas with much less worry. This does unfortunately lead to the disadvantage that they will eventually need to be thoroughly or even professionally cleaned. With this in mind, the best and most common fibers used for shaggy rugs are the heat-set polypropylene or polyester yarns.
Hand-knotted rugs are very interesting, in that you can often reveal the design that is on the top just by looking at the backing. This can be very useful if you are looking for a particular design or type and have a large selection to look through. They are usually simple in design and are primarily available in soft earthy tones, making them perfect for any environmentally friendly home. A big advantage of hand-knotted rugs is that the fibres are woven directly into the backing rather than having the backing attached seperately, thus making sure the fiber can't fall out.
Special Requirement Areas
If you are searching for a rug for sound problems such as echoing, then we would recommend any rug with a very thick pile as they can absorb sound extremely well. For a dining room table or games room with chairs that have to be moved a lot, then a flat-weave rug is a really cheap and practical option that should last for quite some time. If you need a mat or rug for a kitchen or bathroom, then we highly recommend the flat-weave rubber backed range, as they are non-slip and can be easily cleaned!
Cleaning and Caring for Your Floor Rug
Whatever the method used for cleaning, we recommend that you treat all floor rugs gently no matter the quality or durability. Shaking and hand beating your rug to remove dirt is not recommended unless the rug has become extremely gritty or if it's a designer shaggy rug and the pile is so deep that a vacuum cleaner can't remove the debris. Shaking and hand beating can severely damage the rug and cause the yarn to become stressed, which may cause spots that can lift, easily stain or tear, and more.
Always vacuum your area rug regularly but never use a power bristle on shaggy rugs! The power bristle mode that comes with most vacuums can pull and tear at the long bits of yarn on a shag rug. This is very clearly a bad thing as you will lose the very essence of a shag without its longer yarn!
The Scattermats Team recommends that a thorough cleaning should be conducted at least every 6-12 months. This includes getting your rug professionally dry-cleaned, rather than just vacuuming. This especially goes for machine-made woven rugs that have jute in the weave, as if they absorb too much moisture they can warp and become damaged. A professional will have the correct tools to deal with this.
One method for cleaning stains and spots off on your own is to use soap and water. Generally it is better to use mild wool liquid laundry detergent with lukewarm water for the best results. If you are unsure if it will work, try cleaning a small area in the corner first to make sure no colours run. Sponge the spot gently, and blot dry with a dry cloth. If mild wool detergent did not work, use a cloth and rinse it with vinegar in lukewarm water before gently dabbing over the cleaned area. Blot dry with a dry cloth and vacuum when completely dried off.
Remember cleaning mistakes cannot always be taken out and done over, so be careful and if in doubt call a professional.
We do also provide multiple products which can help, such as our Scattermats Rug Magic all Natural Spot Cleaner and our Scattermats Rug Guard protector spray. We have found that these make cleaning and maintenance a breeze!
When moving rugs from one area to the next or when removing them at the end of the season, they should be loosely rolled if just being moved and tied securely if being stored away. It is best to roll them face down to prevent strain on the backing of the rug and to protect the design if any at all. A covering of plastic canvas can also be enough to keep them clean and free of dirt and dust. Never fold them or use your rug as padding for other stored household objects, unless the investment they represent is no longer important.