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A Brief Guide to Rug Materials

At Bazaar Velvet we like to take the best from traditional and contemporary rugs. We feel that modern technology is great- it helps us to design our stunning luxury rugs, but when constructing the rugs themselves, you can't beat the traditional method of hand knotting. For centuries master weavers have been weaving some of the most beautiful rugs that the world has ever seen, and doing so by hand, from natural materials such as wool. Every rug was created individually, and was therefore a unique one-off piece. Today, many businesses are forgetting the value the  craftsmanship involved in creating a handmade rug, placing cost over quality. Most high street rugs are made by machine in batches each one identical to the last. These rugs will almost always be made of cheap synthetic materials, many of which compromise quality. Here we have compared and summerised a few different types of rug materials.. Hopefully this explains why we prefer to keep to wool!

spinning wool for handmade rug

Copyright – U. Roberto Romano, image courtesy of GoodWeave USA

Wool Rugs

When we think of wool we tend to think of sheared sheep. However, wool can come from a variety of different animals. Cashmere, for example, is harvested from goats in India, and alpaca wool, comes from the extracted hair of camels in Turkey. Wool is the traditional material used to build rugs. It is naturally flame resilient, insulating, comfortable underfoot and resilient. Bikaner and Himalayan wools are generally considered the highest quality options for rugs as they are naturally greasy, making them good at resisting stains and soft to the touch. A good wool rug that is cared for well can last for tens, if not hundreds of years.

Polyester Rugs

Polyester is a strong, slinky and durable material that is able to resist creasing, as well as all sorts of spillages. The synthetic fiber of polyester feels luxurious to the touch and provides a soft surface area. A downside of the material is that polyester rugs are more susceptible to wear and tear than most. Polyester looks its best when new, and for this reason your polyester rug may only be a good short-term choice of furnishing.

Rayon Rugs

Rayon (or viscose) is a manufactured material that is both malleable and strong. As the material is easy to dye, rayon rugs often come in an array of vibrant colours. This ‘artificial silk’ is strong and durable and often cheaper than similar natural materials, such as silk or linen. However, it is recommended that you don’t spill any liquids on your rayon rug, as the material is deeply absorbent and loses much of its strength when wet. Due to this, it is recommended that you refrain from washing your rayon rug.

To find out more about rug materials and constructions read our Definative Guide to rug quality

If you have any questions about the handmade rugs we offer at Bazaar Velvet, please don't hesitate to contact us

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wool spinning handmade rug

Copyright – U. Roberto Romano, image courtesy of GoodWeave USA

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