Rug Material & Styling Guide

You can make a better decision in choosing a rug by understanding the materials that are used in its construction

 

WOOL

These rugs are great for
Living Room
Bed Room
Dining Room
Play Room

These rugs are not so great for
Outdoors
Kitchen
Bathrooms without strong ventilation

Wool is naturally flame retardant, stain resistant, odor resistant, holds colour amazingly well over time, very durable and should last longer than its Polypropylene counterpart. Wool is also where things start to feel comfortable on your feet (it's not just the look, it's the feel too!).

You don't place woolen rugs at the door or in high traffic areas very often.

Why? Because these are works of art. Even unconsciously, many people will naturally place these rugs as centerpieces of a space because they can sense that these are special. The truth is that these rugs have been hand made with heart and soul by an individual artist and wiping your feet on them at the front door would almost feel disrespectful.

 

COTTON 

These rugs are great for
Family room
Living room
Play room
Rumpus room
Limited outdoor use

These rugs are not so great for
Damp areas
Bathroom and poolside use
Balcony areas

Cotton rugs come from the cotton plant! A renewable and eco-friendly solution for someone looking for a cost effective rug that can still sit nicely as a centerpiece in a living room.

The cotton fiber is soft and strong, along with being able to hold mixtures of dyes very well. This makes these types of rugs quite well suited for more intricate design.

You'll find that there aren't all that many rugs made entirely from cotton, and that rug makers will employ the use of cotton mixes to gain the benefits of both fibers.

This fiber also makes a great backing, so you'll find it being used sometimes as a backing material that helps a rug keep shape while laying flat against the floor. A very easy to clean material, machine washable, and also biodegradable.

Just keep in mind that these rugs can't take the pounding that others can and that they will attract dust easily, making regular vacumming a necessity!

 

SISAL

These rugs are great for
Family rooms
The office
Play rooms
Rumpus rooms
Pool changing rooms
Computer rooms

These rugs are not so great for
Bathrooms
Kitchens
Outdoors

This 100% sustainable and biodegradable fibre is extremely hard wearing and strong! In fact it's one of the strongest fibres within the plant based rug material range. Normally when we say that, we'll also say it's great for outdoors, the kitchen or the bathroom but this is not the case with Sisal Fibre as this material has water retention properties.

Due to anti-static properties, this rug is unlikely to attract dirt and dust making it ideal for computer rooms and offices. Sound insulation could also be another benefit of this fibre if you're looking at placing this in an office setting.

If you're prone to allergies or have asthma, look into this rug - as you should suffer no such reactions with Sisal (again, good for the office with a diverse range of people).

If you're going for a more natural look, definitely check out this material.This type of natural fibre rug will normally not use artificial colours or chemicals, which also means you won't have to worry about sunlight damage or colour fading. Natural dyes are usually the dye of choice, if they are dyed at all.

In fact, Sisal is one of the preferred choices of interior designers looking to provide a textured look for their clients.

One downside is that if you're looking for a soft luxurious rug, this isn't the rug for you! Sisal is known for rough texture. If you do want a foot massage by walking on this rug, this rug IS for you!

 

ACRYLIC

These rugs are great for
Play rooms
Computer rooms
Rumpus rooms
Family Rooms
Bathroom
Low traffic areas
Low traffic office areas

These rugs are not so great for
High traffic areas
Kitchen
Busy Office areas
Wet Areas
Outdoor Use

This material has some great characteristics including the look and feel of wool at a low cost, a similar feeling to wool, not susceptible to moth damage, weather resistant, resists static and stains, easy to clean. Acrylic is also the material mostly use for hand tufted rugs. Increasing in popularity in the 60's, acrylic became a popular alternative to wool rugs. Due to their similar feel and look, their title of 'closest substitute' is well deserved! Other names for this material are Creslan, Orlon and Acrilan.

Some downsides to be aware of is that this material isn't as durable as wool so if the rug is placed within a high traffic area you could find that the strands become fuzzy over time. Although they do have all of those resistant properties, we still wouldn't recommend them to be used as outdoor rugs due to their often long pile composition.

They still look and feel like an indoor rug, so would probably look a bit out of place outside. Acrylic is also stained by oil and grease. You'll often find Acrylic rugs in the form of scatter mats being used in the bathroom as they will dry very quickly. Just don't get them too wet, as most of them have a cotton backing! We don't recommend them for kitchen use as this is where oil and grease lives.


 POLYPROPYLENE

These rugs are great for
Family rooms
Play rooms
Rumpus rooms
Pool changing rooms
Computer rooms
Outdoor use 

Water resistance is a key benefit in Polypropylene rugs. This fiber resists moisture and moves any wetness to the top of the strand allowing for easy and fast evaporation. You can even use this rug close to swimming areas or damp basements!

There's two main types of Polypropylene. BCF and Heatset.
BCF is cheaper to produce and rougher to touch. It does the job and is more cost effective, but if you're looking for a softer machine-made rug that will be longer lasting and of better quality - look in to Heatset Polypropylene.
Despite the fact that BCF is cheaper, you may find that it's more expensive in the long run if you need to replace it due to cheaper construction methods!

One downside is that this fiber attracts dirt so should be cleaned regularly.
Luckily, cleaning this type of rug is pretty easy due to the above mentioned properties. You can get it wet, hose it off, and use cleaning products on it.
This rug is resistant to water based stains, but doesn't do too well against oil based stains.

A very good choice for rooms with kids or places that are likely to have spills or pets around. Great for family rooms, play rooms, rumpus rooms, pool changing rooms, and computer rooms as this fiber does not create static charge. Also a popular choice in retirement homes as wheelchairs will roll over low pile Polypropylene rugs with ease.

 

JUTE

These rugs are great for
Living Rooms
Bedrooms
Computer Rooms
Play Rooms

These rugs are not so great for
Bathrooms
Kitchens
Wet Areas

Jute is an affordable option. Its the cheapest vegetable fibre procured from the bast or skin of the plants stem. This also makes it eco friendly.
Jute fibre is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable and thus environmentally friendly

Other advantages of jute include good insulating and antistatic properties, as well as having low thermal conductivity and a moderate moisture regain. Other advantages include acoustic insulating properties and manufacture with no skin irritations. Just beware of jute around wet areas as it will cause it to deteriorate quickly.