Guide to Area Rug Materials

For more detailed information, please see Understanding Area Rugs: Materials and Construction.

MaterialWhat Is It?Ideal For
CottonPopular natural fiberSoft and easy to clean and maintain
LeatherUsed in conjunction with other materials.Enhances rug with interesting texture.
Natural FibersOther natural fabrics including sisal, sea grass, jute, and coirAll natural material with interesting textures.
SilkUltra-luxurious natural fabric Very pleasing sheen and texture
SyntheticsIncludes acrylic, polypropylene, viscose, polyesterAffordable alternatives to natural fibers. Can be better for maintenance or outdoor use.
WoolUsually wool from sheepMost popular natural fiber. for rugs. Feels good and high quality.

Guide to Area Rug Construction

For more detailed information, please see Understanding Area Rugs: Materials and Construction.

ConstructionHow It's MadeIdeal For
BraidedFabric is tied together in braids and then glued to the backing.Interesting designs and textures from the braiding.
Flat WeaveThe fabric of the rug is woven directly on a loom to create a flat, thin pile. Very affordable and durable. Nearly unlimited variety of patterns and colors.
Hand KnottedA weaver hand ties individual knots to the vertical strings on the backside of a rug.High quality construction. Minimal shedding. Very durable.
Hand TuftedA design is drawn on the canvas. The canvas is then stretched on a frame, and strands of fiber are punched into it with a special "gun."Good durability at an affordable price, with nearly unlimited variety of patterns, colors, and textures.
Hand WovenThe rug is woven completely by hand.Most traditional technique.
HookedA design is printed on a base fabric. The fabric is stretched, and then loops of yarn are hooked through it by hand.Larger loops create plush rugs. Smaller loops create more pattern. Good quality and affordability. Unlimited variety of patterns, colors, and textures.
Indoor/OutdoorMade from special natural or synthetic fabrics, these rugs are specially designed for both indoor and outdoor use.Designed for high traffic areas, areas that get wet, or pets.
Solids/HandloomThe rug is woven on a jacquard loom.Good durability and range of designs.
WovenThe rug is woven on a jacquard loom.Good durability and variety of styles.

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