What type of Floor Rug Should I Buy

Different Types of Floor Rugs

Cowhide Rugs

For distinctive flooring that's natural, durable and easy to clean, Cowhide rugs can't be beat. They bring a striking, earthy stylishness to any home and let you make a bold decor statement. Put one in your living room and you'll have the perfect conversation piece. A long time staple in rural residences, cowhide rugs are enjoying a new vogue nowadays partly because of a resurgence of cowboy chic. In addition to classic browns and whites, today's cowhide rugs come in a dazzling array of styles and colours. They can by dyed and coloured in all kinds of creative ways and their satiny touch feels delightful to the skin. They bring a sense of warmth, texture and even fun to any room and allow homeowners to assert their individuality. They're one of the best natural rug choices to pair with wooden and stone flooring.

The Benefits of Cowhide Rugs

  • Cowhide is a low-maintenance material and is very easy to clean.
  • It's hypo-allergenic so perfect for families with young children.
  • It's very stain resistant and durable.
  • The material becomes even softer as time goes by.
  • Natural cowhide rugs are fade resistant.

Taking Care of Cowhide Rugs

Cowhides are very easy to clean and take care of. Just wipe it down occasionally with a damp cloth and try to keep any stencilled cowskin rugs out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Make sure to wipe up spills immediately with a damp sponge and some mild detergent, and you will prevent the majority of stains from forming. Add in an occasional deep cleaning session and your rugs will satisfy you for years!

Jute Rugs

If you're looking for an affordable jute floor covering made from natural material, a jute rug could be just what you need! These tough and durable items are also extremely attractive and environmentally friendly. Also known as hessian or burlap, jute has been used for centuries to weave fabrics, with India being its largest producer, even today. In rugs, jute is used both as face or top fibres and as backing material.

Jute's warm earth tones and delightful texture make it ideal for both casual and formal settings. It can grace your kitchen as well as your living room. It's plain and natural appearance makes it the perfect match to timber floors, especially hardwood. Jute rugs make a fine addition to any home. Their soft feel makes them perfect for bedrooms and living rooms. Their unique texture fits well into any setting whether it be contemporary, classic or retro!

The Benefits of Jute Rugs

  • Being organic, jute has a pleasingly natural feel.
  • Jute holds dyes fast, so patterns and colours are fade resistant.
  • Jute is an extremely strong fibre so your rugs will be hardy and durable.
  • It's made from very eco-friendly plants that are fast growing and renewable.
  • Being organic, jute rugs are biodegradable.
  • Jute rugs are anti-static and repel dust mites.
  • Their exotic texture makes them the ideal accent piece for any room.

Taking Care of Jute Rugs

One nice feature of natural  jute rugs is that natural fibres don't show dust and dirt. Simple regular vacuuming is enough to keep your jute rugs looking good for years. One downside is that jute is extremely absorbent, so dampness can be an issue, so for this reason you should avoid steam cleaning.

Oriental Rugs

If you want to adorn the floors of your home or office with classically stylish items, oriental rugs are the perfect choice. They're objects of hardy elegance that bring grace and comfort to your home and can only increase in value as the years pass. The term 'oriental rug' refers to those flooring's woven by hand using traditional methods in such countries as Turkey, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan and China. Wool is the material of choice, however silk was once quite popular. One distinguishing feature is that their pile is tied to the foundation, a method known as hand knotting. This contributes to their hardiness and longevity.

Traditionally, natural dyes were used with these rugs, which resulted in their unique appearance. Nowadays, synthetic dyes are more common. Artful choices of dyes infuse oriental rugs with rich and vibrant hues, such as deep blues, golds, reds and dark earth tones. These help create the air of splendour these rugs display. One item of interest is the Kilim. It's a flat woven rug without pile that is prized by collectors and aficionados for their rare designs and alluring colours. Kilims are also cheaper and less hardy than regular oriental rugs.

The Benefits of Oriental Rugs

  • Woven to a density of over 500 knots per square inch, these rugs are extremely tough and hard-wearing.
  • Being handmade, they're unique which adds to their value.
  • Their sheer style makes any room look superb.
  • They're a breeze to take care of.

Taking Care of Oriental Rugs

Regular vacuuming is all your need to keep your oriental rug in good shape. Clean up spills immediately and make sure the area is dry. It's also a good idea to rotate rugs to even out wear and also to try to keep them out of direct sunlight.

Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor Rugs bring warmth and style to any home interiors, but did you know you can use them for your exteriors too? Outdoor rugs are the ideal way to create comfortable areas on spaces such as your decks, patios, or veranda's. Outdoor rugs work to cover the hard wood or tiled floors of your outdoor spaces, allowing you to sit or lie down in comfort. They also offer a smart way to cover up areas such as cracks or un-even brick paved surfaces, and provide comfortable areas to walk over. Alternatively, you may simply want to use rugs as decoration to bring a splash of colour to your patio.

Rugs made especially for outdoor use are usually weather UV resistant and made from synthetics such as nylon, polyester, and polypropylene that are water, mould and stain resistant. As these rugs spend a lot of time exposed to sunlight, they also need to be fade-resistant.

The Benefits of Outdoor Rugs

  • The can help maximise your enjoyment of your outdoor space.
  • They provide colour and comfort to your outdoor areas.
  • They're easy to maintain.
  • They can be used to cover cracks or holes in concrete or paving.

Taking Care of Outdoor Rugs

As they're water and stain resistant, these items require minimum maintenance. You just need to vacuum regularly and brush off stubborn stains with soap and water. In most cases, you can just rinse them with a hose. We do recommend to let them dry in the shade, but they can be left to dry in the sunshine if absolutely needed.

Persian Rugs

Persian rugs are among the most prized rugs in the world and with good reason. They are revered for their durability, quality and above all, their sublime craftsmanship. Owning Persian rugs connects you to a tradition that dates back millennia. Hand crafted by artisans, these rugs feature designs that have been passed down through generations of family weavers. Some items feature symbols and motifs unique to a region of the country. A genuine item can take a year or more to complete.

Most Persian rugs are made from fine lustrous Iranian wool. In the past, silk was popular. Silk rugs are very expensive and not as hardy as wool. Many other countries such as India and Pakistan have adopted the style of persian rugs to produce their own oriental rugs and carpets.

The Benefits of Persian Rugs

  • A rigorous production process means that the dyes in these rugs are very fade resistant.
  • Genuine Persian rugs will look good for generations with just a little care. When you buy one, consider it an investment that will give you decades of pleasure.
  • Their tight weave makes them extremely hardy and easy to maintain.

Taking Care of Persian Rugs

One of the great things about Persian rugs is that they're just about maintenance free. The tight fibres prevent dust, dirt and other contaminants from getting deep into the pile. A regular sweeping is all that's needed. Spills should be dealt with immediately with a mild detergent. The tight weave also makes the rugs very resistant to wear and the ravages of children and cats and dogs.

Buying Persian Rugs

Persian rugs come in three main types; genuine, antique and machine made, though the latter are not considered authentic. Other than visiting Iran, the best way to ensure you're getting a genuine Persian rug is to buy from a reputable vendor. A Persian rug should have a label affirming its country of origin. The price of your rug will depend on factors such as age, size and various build factors such as the type of dye.

Turkish Rugs

For rugs that emanate a bold and colourful beauty coupled to a soft and natural feel, choose Turkish rugs. Turkey is home to a rug making tradition that dates back thousands of years. You can choose either handmade rugs or commercially manufactured items. Craftsmen still weave rugs using the ancient ways, however machine made rugs are more common nowadays. Originally, goat hair was the material of choice though this was later replaced by wool and silk. Plant based dyes of brown, red, blue, yellow and black were standard, though today the palette has expanded. Synthetic dyes come in a wider range of colours than natural ones.

You can choose two main types of Turkish rugs, a knotted carpet or a Kilim. Knotted carpets are higher quality items handwoven from wool or silk. Antique Turkish rugs are masterpieces with intricate hand woven designs and unique motifs. These are highly sought after and very valuable. Kilims are crafted from cotton using flat-weaving methods. They have no backing and are useful as decorative pieces.

The Benefits of Turkish Rugs

  • Quality handmade rugs keep their value for years.
  • They're easy to clean and maintain.
  • You can choose from a wide range of extremely attractive designs and colours that can grace any home.
  • Machine made Turkish rugs are very reasonably priced.

Taking Care of Turkish Rugs

Turkish rugs will give you a lifetime of pleasure with just a little care. Remove dirt regularly with a broom or vacuum. There are various methods of cleaning rugs. Some people wash them gently by hand but professional cleaning is always recommended. Your cleaning routine will depend on whether natural or synthetic dyes were used.

Woollen Wool Rugs

The wool rug has a long and venerable tradition. Craftsmen in Iran were hand weaving Persian wool rugs millennia ago and the tradition spread to other part of Asia. The fact that it remains the prime carpet material of choice today is testament to its qualities. One simple reason for wool's popularity is that it's such an attractive material. It's natural and easy to dye in a range of delightful colours and patterns. It's hardy, too. Unlike man-made fibers, wool is strongly resistant to compression, although some quality depending, may shed fibers. This makes for a springy softness, which is ideal for a home with children.

Wool area rugs are very popular. These are flooring items that work to retain warmth in a room or create a focal point. Wool is an excellent insulator of both heat and sound so it works well to create a cosy atmosphere. With some enticing patterns and designs, it acts as a natural magnet for the eyes.

The Benefits of a Wool Rug

  • A wool rug is a natural flame retardant owing to its high nitrogen content.
  • Wool is a non-allergenic fibre.
  • It's highly durable. You can find wool rugs that still look great after a century.
  • Wool is very soft which makes for very comfortable flooring.
  • A wool rug is spill resistant.
  • Wool repels static electricity.

Taking Care of a Wool Rug

Wool rugs require minimal upkeep as they're so tightly woven. Regular vacuuming and an occasional professional clean is all you need to keep them looking great. Be careful to mop up any spills with absorbent towels immediately and ensure your rug stays dry.

Buying a Wool Rug

A wool rug is usually the most expensive option, but you get what you pay for in terms of style, durability longevity. Buy a quality item and you'll get decades of happy use. Should you invest in an item such as a quality Persian rug, you may well see your investment increase in value over the years.

How Some Floor Rugs are Made

Hand-Knotted Rugs

The back of the hand knotted rugs reveals the design that is on the front. These have been hand-woven by skilled weavers on traditional rug or carpet looms. A knotted weave is the most commonly used technique for weaving rugs. In this technique, the rug is woven by the creation of knots. A short piece of yarn is tied around two neighbouring warp strands, creating a knot on the surface of the rug. Every single knot is tied by hand and are generally more expensive to purchase.

Hand-Tufted Rugs

With hand tufted rugs you will always be able to distinguish that it is 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. The process by which a hand-tufted rugs are created, involves pushing the yarn through a primary backing (usually white cotton cloth) to create a tuft, without tying knots into the foundation. Then, using latex glue to hold the tufts in place, a secondary foundation is created, after which a third and final cloth backing is applied, the finish is smooth so it won't scratch floors. The final step involves shearing the tops of the looped tufts to create the pile. This tufting method creates a thick plush durable and even surface thus a rug that will weather foot traffic very well.

Machine Made Rugs

Machine-woven area rugs are made on power looms by hand, machine or computer. The loom is strung with a cotton or jute warp, and then woven using nylon, polypropylene, wool or other material. Machine-made area rugs are generally not a thick type rug and have become very popular due to the variety of sizes, colours, designs, lower pricing and availability, today most modern rugs and oriental rugs are made this way.

Machine Made Flatweave Rugs

Some rug manufacturers use machine looms and other tools which streamline the process of making flat weave rugs so that they are more affordable.

Flatweave rugs are made with the fiber running horizontally rather than vertically and are hard wearing as there is no pile to flatten.

Which Design Type Suits my Decor

Do you want to bring a contemporary rug elegant modern look to your home? Contemporary/modern rugs with their in-fashion design and hardy materials offer you a great solution. The term 'contemporary' refers to the decor of the carpet, which may feature ornate or abstract patterns, circles, flowers, waves and swirls, polka dots, or even art deco influences. 

Unlike many of the hand-made classic Turkish or Oriental rugs, contemporary rugs are usually machine made from synthetic materials and crafted using a tough, colourfast, good quality finish fiber. However, if you prefer natural materials, you can also choose items made from chenille, cotton, leather, wool, or art silk (viscose). As you can see, one feature of contemporary rugs is the variety available.

Contemporary rugs can make fine centre pieces for a room. Choosing bold colours and flamboyant motifs can really help your rug stand out in a room of neutral colours. New styles and designs of contemporary rugs are coming out every day, they fit well into many decor styles, available for all budgets and in a huge variety of colours and designs, so you can always find something new and different.
There are many different types of rugs out there, from Traditional Rugs, to modern rugs or Shaggy Rugs just to mention a few. So there definitely is something there for everyone to wet their appetite.