How Do I Choose the Right Material for My Rug?

When picking the right fiber, you have to consider things like cleanability, durability, softness, shedding, color retention, and more. In fact, sometimes synthetic fibers like polypropylene or polyester are better choices than natural fibers because they’re stain-resistant, fade-resistant, and soft.

Understanding the fibers below will help you determine what you should choose based on your needs.

NATURAL FIBERS

Cotton

  • Texture: soft and smooth
  • Durability: moderate
  • Minimal shedding
  • Sustainable/biodegradable
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Sisal

  • Natural fiber from the agave plant
  • Texture: coarse
  • Durability: high
  • Minimal shedding
  • Sustainable/biodegradable
  • Does not attract dust and is static free

Seagrass

  • Natural fiber from the agave plant
  • Texture: soft, reed-like
  • Durability: high
  • Minimal shedding
  • Sustainable/biodegradable
  • Does not attract dust and is static free

Jute

  • Shiny, vegetable fiber
  • Texture: rough, with natural variations in color
  • Durability: moderate
  • Sustainable/biodegradable

Wool

  • Most commonly used natural fiber in rugs (usually sheep’s wool)
  • Texture: mildly coarse, very resilient
  • Durability: high
  • Sustainable/biodegradable

SYNTHETIC FIBERS

Acrylic

  • Texture: smooth, shiny
  • Durability: high
  • Minimal shedding
  • Most commonly blended with other fibers like polyester (this is called a poly-acrylic blend)

Polypropylene

  • Texture: slightly less smooth than most synthetic fibers
  • Durability: high
  • Minimal shedding
  • Bold, fade-resistant color
  • Commonly used in indoor/outdoor rugs for its UV, mildew, and water resistant qualities

Viscose

  • Synthetic, shiny fiber (also known as “art silk”) commonly used as a more affordable substitute for silk
  • Texture: soft, smooth, silky sheen
  • Durability: low
  • Some rugs are made of 100% viscose, but most rugs use viscose to accent a pattern

Polyester

  • Texture: smooth, shiny
  • Durability: high
  • Wears well and feels very soft, especially when used for rugs with a thick pile
  • Moisture, stain, and abrasion resistant
  • Retains color over time, easy to clean

Information courtesy Loloi and Surya Rugs.

To view our entire collection of area rugs, click here.

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