9 Types of Area Rugs – A Guide to Help You Choose

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Permalink 0

Understanding the different types of area rugs before you buy

Area rugs are manufactured in many ways, from hand-knotted and hand-tufted to loomed and machine-made. Some can be used both indoors and out. Prices vary depending on the type of rug and how it’s manufactured, and some last longer than others. Here’s a comprehensive summary of each to help you decide which rug is right for you.
 

1. Hand Knotted Rugs

Hand Knotted 100% Semi-Worsted New Zealand Wool Rug

Hand Knotted 100% Semi-Worsted New Zealand Wool

Hand-knotting is the most intricate, labor intensive rug weaving process in use today. The quality of a hand-knotted rug is determined by the number of knots per square inch. A higher number of knots translates to better quality and a complex pattern can require very dense knotting, which takes a long time to produce. An average weaver can tie about 3,000 knots per day.

Durability

Hand-knotted rugs have the longest lasting construction. Good ones can last 10 – 25 years and great ones can last 100+ years.

Shedding

Hand-knotted rugs shed less than a typical hand-tufted rug.

Price

Towards the higher end, reflecting the quality.

 

2. Hand Tufted Rugs

Hand-Tufted 100% New Zealand Wool Rug

Hand Tufted 100% New Zealand Wool

Hand-tufted rugs are manufactured using a hand-operated tool to punch strands of wool into a canvas stretched on a frame. After piling with wool, the rug is removed from the frame and a secondary cotton backing is glued to the back.

Durability

Hand-tufted rugs last from 3 – 10 years depending on quality and use.

Shedding

Sheds initially, subsiding over time. Degree of shedding depends on wool quality and rug density. Less expensive hand-tufted rugs shed more than higher end hand-tufted rugs.

Price

Hand-tufted rugs are priced in the mid range.

 

3. Hand Hooked Rugs

Hand-Hooked Rug

Hand Hooked 100% Polypropylene

Hand-hooked rugs go through the same process as hand-tufted rugs. Tufted rugs however have a cut pile surface, while hooked rugs have a looped (rounded) pile surface. Rug making is now combining both cut and loop techniques, and hand-hooked rugs are typically made from wool or synthetic materials.

Durability

Hand hooked rugs last 3 – 10 years, depending on use.

Shedding

Shed less than hand-tufted rugs, subsiding over time.

Price

Pricing is in the low-mid range.

 

4. Hand Loomed Shag Rugs

Hand Loomed Shag 100% Polyester Rug

Hand Loomed Shag 100% Polyester

Hand-loomed shag rugs are manufactured on hand-operated looms with hundreds of plush, twisted and slightly felted yarns. A team of weavers use a long steel rod to shoot the fiber across the vertical strings that run the lengths of the rug. Each fiber may be as long as 6″.

Durability

Hand-loomed shag rugs last 2 – 8 years, depending on use.

Shedding

Wool: Moderate shedding for an extended period.
Polyester: Minimal shedding.

Price

Pricing is in the mid range.

 

5. Hand Loomed Flat Weave Rugs

Hand Loomed Flat Weave 100% Wool Rug

Hand Loomed Flat Weave 100% Wool

Flat weave rugs are typically constructed from wool, cotton or synthetic materials and are either hand-woven or machine made. In contrast to the perpendicular yarn placement used in hand-tufted and hand-knotted rugs, the yarn is tightly woven along a foundational structure that consists of warp strands. As a result, the yarn is flat – without knots – and covers both the top and bottom of the rug. The pattern on the front of the rug can typically be viewed clearly from both sides, making these rugs reversible.

Durability

Lasts 3 – 10 years, depending on use. You can extend the rug life by flipping the rug.

Shedding

Moderate shedding, subsiding over time.

Price

On the low-end of a medium price range.

 

6. Hand Loomed Wool Rugs

Hand Loomed 100% Wool Rug

Hand Loomed 100% Wool

Hand-loomed rugs are manufactured on hand-operated looms using different types of yarn. A team of weavers use a long steel rod to shoot the fiber across the vertical strings that run the lengths of the rug. In this construction, rugs may be all cut pile, cut and loop pile or all loop pile. These rugs can be hand-carved to accentuate texture and design.

Durability

Lasts 2 – 8 years, depending on use.

Shedding

Moderate shedding, subsiding over time. Degree of shedding depends on wool quality and rug density. Less expensive hand-loomed rugs will shed more than higher end hand-loomed rugs.

Price

On the low/medium to medium price range.

 

7. Braided Rugs

Braided 100% Cotton Rug

Braided 100% Cotton

Braided rugs are created from fibers braided together either by hand or machine to create a rope. The rope is then sewn together with machines to create the rug.

Durability

Lasts 3 – 10 years, depending on use. You can extend the life by flipping the rug.

Shedding

Sheds initially, subsiding over time.

Price

On the low/medium to medium price range.

 

8. Outdoor Rugs

Hand Hooked Outdoor 100% Polypropylene Rug

Hand Hooked Outdoor 100% Polypropylene

Outdoor rugs are made solely of synthetic fibers infused with UV inhibitors to minimize fading. These rugs are mold and mildew resistant and can withstand up to 300 hours of direct sunlight.

Durability

Last 1 – 5 years for outdoor use and 2 – 8 years for indoor use. Leaving the rug in direct sunlight or standing water will significantly limit its life.

Shedding

None.

Price

Priced in the low range.

 

9. Machine Made Rugs

Machine Made 100% Olefin Rug

Machine Made 100% Olefin

Machine-made rugs are manufactured by large machines that have hundreds of spindles of fiber mechanically woven into a thin mesh backing. The machine runs continuously to optimize efficiency. A computer dictates the pattern, minimizing the chance for error.

Durability

Lasts 2 – 6 years, depending on use.

Shedding

Machine-made polyester rugs will not shed. Since most are manufactured from synthetic fibers, the pile will crush with heavy traffic.

Price

Priced in the low range.

 

A special thanks to Surya for providing images and information used to create this post.

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