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Tips to How to Choose a Rug and my Week Favs Vintage/Style Area Rugs

Handmade wood rug, via Loloi rugs

Buying a rug is not easy, right? There are so many factors to think about! From style, size, quality, techniques of production, materials, stain resistance to the “fashion” factor and so much more. Because of all these factors the rugs exist at a wide range of prices. Therefore, it is always good to have some guides when choosing.

  • Material used

  • How they are made

  • Pile

  • Finish edges options

1- Let’s started with materials:

The fibers used to weave rugs can be natural, such as wool, silk, jute, cotton, mohair, nettle, linen, coconut, sisal, hemp or bamboo; or synthetic such as acrylic, polyester, recycled rubber, nylon, polypropylene, vinyl or viscose (from wood pulp).

Natural fiber rugs improve the characteristics of the air in the area of ​​the house in which they are placed, since they absorb excess moisture and restore it when the environment is dry, they achieve great insulation, and prevent the accumulation of electrostatic charges. Natural fiber rugs add a touch of nature to your space. They make a room feel very natural and organic. Often, natural fiber rugs incorporate detailed patterns and warm tones. If you're placing a natural fiber rug in a high-traffic area, you can choose a sisal rug.

Rugs made with artificial fibers have advantages of an aesthetic type, since they allow an infinity of designs, and practical advantages due to the ease of cleaning and conservation. The results that synthetic rugs are giving are better and better and they have a very good price in relation to their quality, their cleaning is easy, and they do not release any type of lint. There are more and more different fibers, qualities and designs that we can find in this type of rugs, with an appearance of colors and textures that natural fibers do not provide. They are currently highly demanded for their resistance and longevity, because they absorb little moisture and are very easy to clean. These are good solutions for indoor areas with high-moisture or where frequent spills occur , also for outdoor spaces. If you're looking to add a rug in your kid's bedroom, in the basement, or outside on your patio, a polypropylene area rug is highly recommended.

2- How they are made.

Here are a few common rug constructions to note when choosing a rug.

  • Handmade rugs -also called hand-knotted-

It’s the most labor-intensive rug-making technique. These are woven by tying knots on the warp strands. The end of the knot creates the pile of the rug. More knots per square inch delivers a more defined pattern and enhanced durability. A hand knotted rug shows the same pattern on the back.

Wool handmade rugs are an investment, they are the most expensive ones but they will withstand the elements of life for years without showing signs of wear. Also they allow them to recover quickly from indenting caused by footsteps or furniture. Also, no two hand-knotted rugs are exactly alike.

These are great for formal gathering spaces like the living room or a big room.

  • Hooked

Hooked rugs are created without knots. Instead, loops of yarn are pulled through the rug backing material using a machine or a hand-held tool. The loops are left alone, creating a knobby, embroidered look. They can be created by hand -hand hooked- or machine.

These are good for family rooms, bedrooms, or living rooms.

  • Tufted

Tufted rug is similar to hooked but the loops are sheared to create a smooth, cut-pile surface. They can be created by hand or machine. Tufted rugs are fantastic if you are on a budget and unable to invest in a hand knotted rug, or if you want to buy multiple rugs to keep up with trends or enjoy changing around your decor.

  • Flat woven

Unlike the rugs above, flat woven doesn’t have a pile. Instead, the rug’ vertical yarns (warps) are simply woven through the horizontal yarns (wefts). Flat-woven rugs, such as Kilim or Dhurries can be produced by hand or machine. Because they are not woven onto a backing, the rugs are reversible.

These are good for a high-traffic rooms and spill-prone areas like the kitchen, playroom, or entryway

  • Braided

Like flat weaves, they do no not have a pile and are usually reversible. Yarns are braided into one continuous rope that is then sewn together in a spiral fashion. The result is that they are good for high-traffic rooms.

All machine made rugs, also called power loomed, are produced by an electronically driven machine whose pattern is controlled by a computer or a punch card system to produce a repetitive pattern without knots. As such, these rugs can be produced quickly and at a low cost. They are made in their majority with synthetic fibers. However, to limit cost, the amount of detail and color is also reduced and in many cases the quality of the basic materials is limited by the stress of the machine.

Hand knotted wool rug, via Loloi rugs

3- Pile

The pile height refers to how long the carpet fibers are. Typically, pile height for an area rug is described as low (less than ¼ inch), medium (¼ to ½ inch), and high (½ to ¾ inch)—though you’ll sometimes see it expressed in inches.

Area rugs with a low pile or no pile (like flatwoven rugs or jute rugs) typically offer easier maintenance, since it’s harder for dirt, debris, and pet hair to hide between fibers. However, a medium or high pile area rug will give you a cushier, more luxurious feeling.

4- Finish edge options

The power loomed rugs all are cut along the edges, there are many different ways to bind the edges to prevent unraveling. The most common are:

  • Standard binding: synthetic fabric all around the rug. This is the most economical.

  • Seging: wool, nylon or cotton yarns whip stitched over our standard edge binding. Gives a more finished look.

  • Fringe: this detail is added in order to give it the look of an Oriental or handmade rug.

Finally your choice is based on your personal needs. Think about where you want to place your rug, style, colors and pattern you'd like -and last but not least your budget. Maybe you are thinking that I forget the sizes? This is a big chapter I let for the next blog !

Here are some vintage/style area rugs that caught my eyes -they are a mix of real vintage hand made and machine made rugs.

Week Favs: Vintage/Style Area Rugs

Thank you for checking this out!


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The product suggestions on this post contain affiliate links, which means Far&Away Interior Design LLC earns a small commission if you purchase. This is at no additional cost to you.

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