Whether you prefer the beauty of natural fibres or the practicality and variety provided by man made fibres, before you choose your next rug it’s a good idea to get a feel for pros and cons of your preferred fibre. Read on for a run through of rug material pros and cons.
- lower flammability
- natural heat retention
- natural fibre resilience (good recovery from foot fall)
- provide excellent floor insulation
- lower in VOCs (depending on dyes and any backings used)
- available in a variety of “finishes” (eg braiding, tufting, loomed etc).
- shedding – all wool sheds to some extent and whilst fluffier wool rugs will shed more than their more tightly woven counterparts, all wool sheds to renew the fibre.
- higher absorbency which can lead to mould or mildew in “damp” areas
- possibility of insect damage (carpet moths/silverfish)
- fading in strong sunlight
- gentle vacuuming is required to stop fibres matting.
On the whole wool rugs are a beautiful and somewhat luxurious addition to any space. Whilst wool rugs are soft underfoot and add a feeling of luxe, it’s still important to be aware of issues such as shedding which can be a problem with small children, or if you like to lie directly on your rug and don’t want to be covered in fibres. Fluffier wool rugs will clearly shed more than their more tightly woven counterparts, but all wool does shed to renew the fibre. All in all, wool rugs are investment pieces that, with the right care, will stand the test of time.
- silky texture underfoot
- low VOC (depending on dyes used in manufacture)
- don’t show dust, debris and most marks readily
- versatility – it can be incorporated into many design styles.
- jute can shed, particularly on the underside of the rug
- absorbency which can lead to mould and mildew or the deterioration of the rug fibres
- unable to be steam cleaned
- fading in strong sunlight.
Jutes’ versatility and hard wearing nature make it a great decorating option. However, it’s important to be aware of the “downsides” of a jute rug to ensure its endurance. Jute is a budget friendly option that lends itself too many design styles, meaning jute will remain a popular rug option for years to come.
Man Made Fibre Rugs
Man Made Fibre Pros:
- easy clean
- less likely to stain from spills
- resists mould and mildew
- less likely to fade
- excellent choice of colours and styles
- budget friendly options.
Man Made Fibre Cons:
- can have a sheen in strong sunlight
- “new carpet” smell can be strong (though dissipates with airing)
- can attract oil based stains (including skin oils)
Man made fibres such as polypropylene have meant that rugs can be made in a variety of traditional and more modern styles at a more budget friendly price than their wool counterparts. This makes man made fibre rugs an excellent choice for families who need easy clean, non-shed, durable rug options for their homes.