What Kind of Material is Best for a Rug?

The Best Materials Used For Weaving Area Rugs

Oftentimes, a rug is used to complete or define the identity of a space. For those seeking to make a statement, a bold mid-century modern rug is certain to awe and inspire. While individuals with more traditional tastes may gravitate toward the intricate motifs and elegant abrashes of quality oriental rugs. Regardless of style or origin of the rug, all area rugs can be used to tell a story.

However, understanding the true value of a rug goes beyond surface-level assessments of area rug styles. Ultimately, the right materials are what separate works of art from mere pieces of furniture.

But how do you judge the quality of a rug? Which materials are the best for certain spaces? We’ve answered these questions and more in this rug quality guide.

What Kind of Material is Best for a Rug - Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

What Kind of Material is Best for a Rug?

What Are the Best Quality Rugs Made Of?

In a broad sense, the highest quality rugs are made from natural materials like wool, cotton and silk. However, the quality of these natural fibers varies greatly from rug to rug.

Wool Rugs

Wool has been a staple in rug making for centuries and for good reason. Wool’s enduring popularity stems from its durability and versatility. Of course, not all wool is created equal. For example, wool that is lanolin-rich will produce the most durable and vibrant rugs. Really, there are many factors that affect the quality of wool, including the sheep’s habitat and how the wool was processed.

Wool Colors For Weaving A Swedish Rug At The Marta Maas Rug Company - Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Wool Colors For Weaving A Swedish Rug At The Marta Maas Rug Company

To learn more about the intricacies of wool, read our comprehensive wool rug guide.

Cotton Rugs

In general, cotton is most commonly used in the foundation of a rug. Cotton fibers are incredibly strong and far less elastic than wool. This helps rug weavers achieve greater tension, which produces a more evenly-proportioned and tightly woven product. In some instances, cotton yarn can be used to produce an extraordinarily bright white color in the flat-woven facing of rugs—this level of whiteness is impossible to achieve using wool and other fibers.

Cotton Used In Weaving Rugs By Nazmiyal Rugs

Cotton Used In Weaving Rugs

You can discover more about how quality cotton rugs are made here.

Silk Rugs

Silk rugs are renowned for their luminous sheen and luxurious texture. Harvested from silkworms, moths and spiders, the time-intensive process of obtaining and weaving silk rugs is an absolute design marvel. Because of its precious nature, silk is an extremely costly material to use in rug production — antique rugs made from silk are some of the rarest and most decorative rugs in the world. Often, people choose to hang up their silk rugs for display. Stunning and elegant, silk rugs are actually quite durable and clean up relatively easy. The fine silk Persian rugs are some of the most luxurious and high end area rugs in the world.

Spinning Silk Into Thread by nazmiyal antique rugs

Spinning Silk Into Thread For Weaving Rugs

Experience the luxury of silk rugs and their rich history here.

When discussing rug material types, intent matters. How you intend to use your rug and where you plan to place it will determine the type of material you should look for. For instance, if you are looking to place a rug in a bedroom, then comfort will be top of mind. On the other hand, a rug placed in the lobby of a hotel needs to be extremely durable. In the sections below, we will explain which materials are ideal for comfortability and durability.

What Type of Rug Is Most Comfortable?

If you desire to warm up your space and create a sense of comfort and peace, consider rugs made from silk. As we briefly hinted at in the section above, silk is the softest rug material available. These rugs are perfect for bedrooms and dens, these luxurious items will add comfort and style to any room. From intricate Persian rug designs to more bold and geometric patterns, the artistry required to create these rug masterpieces is astounding.

Beautiful Room Size Vintage Persian Silk Qum Rug 70115 by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Beautiful Room Size Vintage Persian Silk Qum Rug

What Kind of Rug Is Most Durable?

Wool is considered to be the most durable rug material and it is the easiest to maintain. Due to their durable and sturdy nature, wool is also the best rug material for a high-traffic area. This makes wool rugs ideal for living rooms as well as business lobbies with higher foot traffic. The impressive variety of wool rug designs means you are guaranteed to find a rug that perfectly suits your taste.

Antique Oversized Arts And Crafts William Morris Wool Rug 49912 by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Antique Oversized Arts And Crafts William Morris Wool Rug

Although wool rugs are impressively durable, it is still important to carefully assess the overall condition of any rug before committing to a purchase. To truly determine the durability of a rug—especially a vintage rug—it is best to consult your rug dealer to learn more about the rug’s history and be made aware of any flaws.

Quality Materials Foster Enduring Beauty

Rugs should not be used to simply fill a space. They should elevate the design of a room and help give a space meaning and purpose. When it comes down to it, the process of selecting a rug for your space should be no different from selecting a work of art. You want to select a rug that speaks to you, and ensure that rug is made from the highest quality materials.

Learn all about purchasing and sourcing good area rugs in Nazmiyal’s ultimate guide to buying area rugs.

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