Most Common Rug Materials & The Pros/Cons.

Most Common Rug Materials & The Pros/Cons.

There is a seemingly endless list of descriptors that encompass the aesthetic classification of a rug. But more often than not, the material it’s made from is what informs the style of a piece. 

Here are many different materials that can be used to make rugs, including:

  1. Wool: Wool is a popular choice for rugs due to its durability and natural resistance to stains. It is also a renewable resource and is often sustainably sourced. Wool rugs can be machine-made or hand-knotted.

  2. Natural fibers: Natural fibers, such as jute, sisal, and bamboo, are another popular choice for rugs. These materials are often sustainably sourced and add a natural, rustic feel to a space. Natural fiber rugs are generally more durable and resistant to moisture than synthetic materials.

  3. Synthetic materials: Synthetic materials, such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester, are often used to make rugs. These materials are budget-friendly and easy to clean, making them a popular choice for high-traffic areas.

  4. Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber that is often used to make rugs. It is soft, durable, and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom rugs.

  5. Silk: Silk is a luxurious and high-quality material that is often used to make high-end rugs. It is soft, smooth, and has a beautiful shine, but is also delicate and prone to staining.

  6. Leather: Leather rugs are made from thin strips of leather that are sewn together to form a rug. These rugs are durable and add a sophisticated touch to a space.

  7. Shag: Shag rugs are made from long, plush fibers that create a textured, fluffy surface. These rugs are soft and cozy, but can be more difficult to clean and maintain.

Here are the most common materials and their pros and cons.

Natural fibers: Wool, cotton, silk, jute, sisal
Pros: Durable and long-lasting; wool rugs, specifically, are amazing at hiding soil.
Cons: Often pricier and require professional cleaning; dyed silk rugs can run if exposed to water spills.

Synthetic fibers: Acrylic, polyester, polypropylene
Pros: Affordable, more design and color options, easy to clean, light and easy to carry and store, usually stain-resistant.
Cons: Can become contaminated with mildew and bacteria from repeated spills or pet accidents; may need replacing sooner than wool or natural fiber rugs.

Artificial silk: Viscose, bamboo silk, banana silk 
Pros: Very affordable; busy patterns can conceal dirt.
Cons: Viscose is like an absorbent sponge—it not only attracts moisture and oil but even a plain water spill can ruin fibers.


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Mark out the rug size on your floor to help visualise the size in your space.