Wool and Silk Rugs
View all the entire collection of antique wool and silk rugs and carpets below:
Learn More About Wool and Silk Rugs
Wool and Silk Rugs – Wool is an extremely durable fiber. This is one of the reasons it gets used so frequently in the area rug weaving industry. Since rugs get walked on, they need to be durable to withstand daily traffic and use. Wool is also naturally biodegradable and sustainable. No sheep are harmed during the cultivation of the wool for weaving wool rugs. The sheep get sheared in spring to rid them of an overly warm winter coat. Then it regrows in time to protect them again the following winter. You can think of it as getting a short summertime hair cut.
Silk is another natural fiber. Although most people think silk (or silk rugs) as being more delicate, in it’s natural untreated form, Silk it actually just as durable (if not more so) as wool. So don’t let its reputation as a fragile fabric fool you. Silk is still a durable material and quite suitable for weaving rugs, especially upscale art pieces.
When wool and silk are combined to make a rug, the wool is usually used to make the base or background of the rug and the silk is used to create or highlight the design. Silk is naturally softer and shinier. Silk fibers also have a tremendous affinity for dye. It can also be spun much finer that wool, allowing for a much finer weave which (as in more knots per square inch or KPSI), in turn, can translate into much more detailed and refined patterns.
Wool and silk rugs provide tremendous warmth under foot while greatly enhancing the décor. Or you can hang them on the wall as an art carpets or tapestry rugs.
A wool plus silk rug typically have an add dimension of depth than a rug that is 100 percent wool. It is also usually more attention grabbing. This is due mostly to the fact that the silk highlights or patterns will pop against and stand out more prominently than the wool.
The combination of both silk with wool is very much a winning combination. silk and wool rugs retains much of the hard wearing functionality of just wool carpets while increasing the aesthetic appeal of the final area rug. Silk and wool rugs require no more rug maintenance or rug cleaning than carpets that are only made out of wool.
A wool and silk rug can easily be the foundation for the interior décor of a room. If you start with the Oriental rug and then choose furnishings and paint or wallpaper to suit the rug, you can achieve an enviable room!
Major Differences Between Wool and Silk Rugs
Wool and silk are the two most common materials used in high-end rugs. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks for both rug weavers and buyers. Whether you want a luxury rug for your home or an artistic rug as an investment, understanding the material is important. What is the difference between silk rugs vs. wool rugs?
Silk Rugs Vs. Wool Rugs When Weaving
Silk is significantly finer than wool. When weaving, this allows the artisan to create more complex and precise patterns. Of course, silk rugs are also significantly more challenging to make. Hand weaving is already an intricate skill, and using a material that is exceptionally fine requires even an greater level of skill. Furthermore, silk is more expensive to source than even the highest-quality wools, so it is less likely to be used in a lower quality rug. Historically, only skilled artisans working in cities worked with silk, but silk is more readily available today. Nonetheless, modern rugs made with silk still require masterful skill to make.
Silk Rugs Vs. Wool Rugs When Buying
Due to the greater challenge and higher material cost, you can expect silk rugs to typically be more costly than wool ones, but labor and material costs are not the only factors in valuing a rug. A high-end rug made from wool can be more expensive and desirable than a silk rug in some cases. There are several factors to consider when choosing a rug material as a buyer.
- Durability: Wool rugs are very durable. The piles are thick and strong and naturally resistant to spills and stains. You can expect a wool rug to last for decades of regular use. Silk rugs are also durable but less so than wool. They will not stand up to the same level of foot traffic and and are more sensitive to liquid spills. For this reason, silk may be blended or used as an accent with wool on some rugs to highlight both fibers’ attributes.
- Appearance: Wool is an attractive material and can hold dyes very well, and many wool rugs are very beautiful. Nonetheless, it is quite similar to other rug materials in appearance. Silk, conversely, is highly sought after for its unique beauty. The material shimmers and is very pleasing. Silk rugs also typically offer more intricate and unique designs.
- Care: Since wool rugs are durable, they can be cleaned relatively easily, and they should and can be vacuumed often. If there is a stain, you can spot clean it with a detergent. Silk rugs, however, need more delicate care and should not be cleaned with hot water or steam. For high-end wool and silk rugs, you should consider using a professional cleaning service for the best results.
- Cost: As mentioned, silk is more expensive to source than wool. Unsurprisingly, this transfers into the cost of the rug for the buyer. Additionally, since silk rugs are often made to be very intricate, they may be more expensive. Of course, for high-end rugs, the artistry, provenance and techniques are often more important than the material in determining cost.
- Touch: Different wools can feel very different. High-end wools are very luxurious to the touch, and larger piles of wool will typically make the rug feel more substantial and thick. Silk rugs are much more delicate to the touch due to the finer piles. However, because silk is sometimes mixed with wool, some silk rugs feel quite similar to wool rugs.
Silk Rugs Vs. Wool Rugs – Which to Choose?
Wool and silk rugs can both be very luxurious and worth owning. Typically, silk rugs are more expensive and sought after. The exclusivity of silk and the skill necessary to weave it have made it the material of choice of many masterful artisans. If you are looking for a rug as an art piece or for display, silk is likely the right choice of material. If you want a rug that you can use in a commonly visited part of your home, wool may be the better choice, and it is also often more budget-friendly. That does not mean that a wool rug is necessarily cheap, however. The size, origin, complexity, and knots per square inch / KPSI also have a huge impact on the price. Ultimately, you should choose a rug that you like or think will work well as an investment. Material plays a role in both of these criteria but should not be the only factor in consideration.
In addition to wool and silk, rugs can be made from linen, viscose, bamboo, or banana silk. These materials are typically used for alternatives or to create other textures accented with the wool and silk staple fibers.
Find High-End Wool and Silk Rugs
Whether you want a high-end wool or silk rug, Nazmiyal can help you. Explore our collection of antique, modern and vintage rugs. We are confident we can help you find the right piece for your needs. Consult our experts if you need help or contact us to learn more.