Types of rugs
Handmade rugs fall into two categories; hand knotted rugs or hand tufted rugs.
Hand knotted: Hand knotted rugs have a pile (the threads on the face of the rug) made of individual threads twisted and knotted around the warp and weft (the threads used to form the base of the rug, the warp runs length wise and the weft crosswise) Because of the time taken to make a rug this way hand knotted rugs are more expensive (the higher the knot count per inch the better and more expensive it is) The quality of the yearn and complexity of the design of a hand knotted rug also effect the price. Hand knotted rugs will last for many years if not centuries if looked after carefully.
Hand tufted: Hand tufted rugs have a pile formed from tuft or thread pushed though a preform ed back (generally Hessian) with a gun and then fixed in place with latex which is then covered with a plain cloth. The face is of the hand tufted rug is then trimmed and sometimes carved to produce a plain or textured finish. This technique is quicker and therefore cheaper than hand knotted rugs offering better value for money.
machine made rugs are made on a mechanical loom but can be of a very high quality with intricate designs. Both modern and traditional rugs can be made this way.
Hide rugs are made from animal skins and can be the natural skin colour or dyed with different colours or patterns. Hide rugs include sheepskin, goatskin and cow hide. By there very nature the exact size of these rugs vary.
Choosing a rug - how to choose the right size rug:
Although there are no set rules, it’s good to choose a rug that’s at least 60cm (2ft) shorter than the smallest wall. In hallways you should have at least 15cm (6 inches) of floor showing on each side (remember to measure the floor from where the doors swing open, leaving the first 90cm or so clear) For rugs under a dining table add 90cm - 120cm (3ft - 4ft) to the length and wide of the table to accommodate the dining chairs. In front of sofa’s it is good to have the two front feet on the rug to secure it. Rugs come in all shapes and sizes and it is unlikely you will find your exact size, so consider two smaller rugs or a custom rug.
Choosing a rug - How will rug patterns effect my room?
Rugs add visual interest to a room by adding patterns, textures and colour. Rugs can dramatically define a style, for example small floral will suggest a more traditional style while a bold abstract rug will show a contemporary, modern style.
Small patterns or plain rugs in light cool colours create a feeling of more space in a small room, where as small patterns in warm dark colours the opposite occurs.
Large pattern rugs add the most visual interest to a room so use fewer patterns on the fabrics in the room. Large patterns can also make a room seem smaller and more intimate.
Horizontal stripes make the room seem wider while vertical stripes make the room seem longer. Diagonal stripes give direction and movement.
Heavy textured and carved rugs create interest and an extra dimension. They create shadows and slight colour differences for a more interesting rug.
Choosing a rug - How will colour effect my room?
Have a good look at what you are already have. What in the room must stay? You may have a carpet or sofa that will dictate the colour scheme. If you are starting with a blank canvas then a rug is a good place to start. Have a look in your wardrobe and see which colours you personally prefer.
Warm coloured rugs:
These include red, yellow and oranges. They are inviting colours and can create an intimate feel. Intense warm colours create exciting spaces while subdued warm colours form pleasant rooms ideal for social gathering. They can make a room actually feel warmer so are ideal for north facing rooms.
Cool coloured rugs:
These include blues, greens, lavenders and greys. Intense cool colours are fresh and dramatic while subdued cool colours can be tranquil and calming. They can enlarge a room and make it feel cooler. Ideal for small rooms and a minimalist style.
Neutral coloured rugs:
Neutral colours do not complete with furnishings and include shades of white, grey and beige. They are ideal if you want your rug not to stand out.
Light coloured rugs:
Light colours create bright spacious rooms. To the eye light colours seem to recede making rooms appear larger and ceilings higher. As light colours reflect light they can brighten up dark rooms and hallways.
Dark coloured rugs:
Dark colours create an intimate room by absorbing light, the walls appear closer and the room feels smaller. Dark rugs tend to dominate the room so use lighter colours on the wall. Dark colours can also make room seem quieter.
Bright coloured rugs:
These are colours highly saturated with pigment, not lightened by white or darkened by black. Ideal for children’s bedrooms or recreation rooms. The colour draws attention to the rug creating excitement. Use against neutral or subdued colours as a back drop.
Subdued coloured rugs:
These colours are less saturated with pigment than blight colours. These rugs are relaxing and tranquil creating a restful area ideal for bedrooms and living rooms.
Material - Wool rugs v Acrylic rugs
Benefits of wool rugs:
Wool is an environmentally friendly natural material that is a renewable resource and is also bio degradable. Wool fibres are resistant to dirt and therefore easy to clean. Wool is warmer than acrylic and resistant to crushing. Wool rugs are naturally fire retardant as wool is self extinguishing. Wool rugs are resistant to static and can also absorb humidity from the air. In a nutshell wool rugs are durable, easy to clean and last longer than man made fibre rugs.
Benefits of acrylic rugs:
Modern acrylic rugs look and feel like wool. It’s main benefit is cost, acrylic is cheaper than wool. Stronger and more vibrant colours can be made in acrylic as opposed to wool. Acrylic rugs don’t shed fibre like wool rugs and most people are not allergic to acrylic.
Top rug tips
Rotate your rug every six months if it’s in direct sunlight to prevent uneven fading.
Use an anti-slip fleece or anti-slip spray to stop your rug from creeping particularly on a laminated, wooden or tiled floor.
If your rug sheds fibres when you get home, don’t worry. Wool rugs will shed for a couple of months and is natural for this product.
Clean your rug regularly using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Blot up spills and stains as soon as possible (see our cleaning guide for further details on specific stains)
Make sure you can return your rug if it is unsuitable.
All our rugs are responsibly sourced using suppliers who understand our opposition to exploiting children in the rug industry.