Choosing The Right Rug Material

Whether it is style, design or durability you are after we have done the hard work to ensure only the finest quality fabrics are chosen during our stringent selection process to provide luxurious collections from around the world to your fingertips.

Natural Fibres

Cellulose (plant)

Cotton

Cotton is a primary and most important natural fibre from an almost pure cellulose plant, used by modern humans, for clothing, food, industrial purposes and more. Numerous variable processes are available at the spinning and fabric-forming stages of cotton, along with the intricate finishing and dye techniques to the production of a wide range of products. As a rug material, it is not recommended for long-term use but rather for its affordability and effortless to keep clean with some that are machine washable.

Value: ££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Effortless maintenance; usually machine washable
  • Affordable, Breathable and Durable

Great for:

  • Any high foot traffic areas
  • e.g. Family Room or Kid’s Room, Kitchen Area

Things to consider:

  • High absorbency which means slow drying time when wet
  • May stain easily
  • Long-term use due to its durability
Browse Cotton Rugs

Jute & Sisal

Although both are natural fibres and do look alike, Jute and Sisal differ in texture and durability. On the one hand, Jute fibres come from the jute plant that grows in India and Bangladesh. It has a natural brown hue that, like sisal, can be dyed in many colours. However, unlike sisal, jute is one of the softest natural fibres and is less durable; therefore, ideal for intimate areas of your home that have light foot-traffic where your feet can enjoy the gentle weave. On the other hand, Sisal is an arduous fibre stripped from the leaves of the Mexican agave plant and then spun into a yarn-like material. It has a natural rich white hue and can be dyed any colour, which will make it easy to find a rug to match your interior design. One of the robust natural fibres available, it is incredibly tough that it is used to make marine rope for large ships, which makes it the best rug fit for high-traffic areas in the home, like doorways and hallways.

Value: ££ – £££

Reasons to love it:

  • Beautifully textured or woven
  • Biodegradable
  • Some styles are reversible
  • Strong and durable fibres
  • Typically, free from chemical processing

Great for:

  • High-traffic, and or sunny areas
  • e.g. Living Rooms, Garden Patios

Things to consider:

  • Some are bulky and heavy
  • Some can be coarse and hard to clean
  • May stain easily
Browse Jute & Sisal Rugs

Silk vs. Bamboo Silk

Silk is a natural protein fibre that is highly sought-after rug material, not just for its smooth and luxurious feel, but for its ability to enable elaborate rug designs possible. Commonly produced by various insects, bamboo silk, on the other hand, is a distinct kind of silk in the rug market as it comes from bamboo grass, regarded as an easily renewable resource compared to the harder to cultivate traditional silk. The process for extracting both types are comparable, as well as their characteristics such as comfort and durability. Bamboo silk has become a popular choice as it is less expensive than traditional silk, and has antibacterial properties great for those suffering from sensitive skin allergies or respiratory problems. If you want lavishness on a budget, and possibly has health concerns, and or is eco-conscious when it comes to shopping, the bamboo silk rug is the rug for you.

Value: £££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Affordable as to traditional silk
  • Antibacterial benefits
  • Its vibrant colours and unrivalled softness

Great for:

  • Any low foot traffic areas e.g. bedrooms

Things to consider:

Browse Bamboo Silk Rugs

 

Protein (animal)

Cowhide

Elegance Rugs develop Patchwork Cowhide Rugs from our luxury line manufactured with 100% recycled leathers. The hides come from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry, unlike other vendors who purchase in full leather hides. Countless superior cowhide is wasted by these companies whose requirements are only a distinct portion of the hide meeting their strict design needs. The excess becomes a waste but in the hands of our master artisans, have turned this into an elegant masterpiece for your home.

Value: £££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Great accent / Statement rugs; very stylish
  • Generally easy to clean
  • Smooth and soft

Great for:

  • Low-Traffic, dry areas such as the Bedroom or home office

Things to consider:

  • Sensitive to moisture
Browse Cowhide Rugs

Wool & New Zealand Wool

Wool is a protein fibre that comes from the fleece of a sheep or lamb and occasionally from goats and other animals. Wool is considered the best option for a premium rug for its ability to withstand immense foot-traffic in areas like the living room. The material is considerably resistant to dust mites and bacterias which are advantageous to those who are health conscious. More so it is a renewable resource which means a low environmental impact. It is important to note that the finer the wool, the more expensive it is. New Zealand (and Australia) consistently score the highest quality wool grade among its competitors. Hence, New Zealand wool is identified as the whitest and the strongest as it allows for a broader range of colour after the pigmentation process and it has the industry standard of excellence for Merino wool that is 16.9 microns and lighter.

Value: ££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Excellent insulating properties
  • Fire retardant and water resistant
  • Made to last

Great for:

  • Any high foot traffic areas such as Living rooms or Dining rooms

Things to consider:

  • Colour may fade under the sun
  • Fibre distortion i.e. shedding – but will lessen in time
  • Premium wool rugs especially handmade designs can be expensive
Browse Wool & New Zealand Wool Rugs

 

Artificial Fibres

Luxcelle

Luxcelle is a trade name for rayon. (See below). It is usually very soft thus it is popularly used as bath mats. Also, it is inexpensive and static resistant resembling the same qualities as cotton.

Browse Luxcelle

Viscose aka Rayon (Artificial Silk)

Natural fibres produced by plants, animals or insects requires farmland. Scientists have developed artificial fibres such as viscose and rayon to surpass the commonly occurring animal and plant fibres, and as a replacement for traditional silk. These fibres are produced by applying the same process but utilising different materials. The viscose process involves cotton linter or wood pulp while rayon requires cellulose fibre from various plants. Rugs made from viscose or rayon can appear silk but feel like cotton. More economical than silk rugs that are made to withstand moisture, with proper care, can last a long time.

Value: ££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Highly durable and economical
  • Extensive designs include faux animal skin
  • Treated to repel stains or water, hence, great for damp areas or outdoors

Great for:

  • Any high foot traffic areas such as door entrances, hallways or terraces

Things to consider:

  • May have an artificial feel, compared to fabric such as Silk
  • Some lose tensile strength when wet
  • Not biodegradable
Browse Viscose & Rayon Rugs

Polyester & Polypropylene

The Second World War created challenges in cotton cultivation thus polyester was created as an alternative. Then in 1954 polypropylene, a colourless gas, was intended to be converted into gasoline when instead was discovered as a fabric. Both are synthetic substances that came from a polymer compound which everyone identifies as the plastic used mostly for household items such as tumblers, curtains, sweat-resistant clothing, carpets and more. Both fibres are impervious to mould and resistant to shrinking and stretching. However, rugs made from polyester tend to absorb more water than polypropylene or, in other words, the latter is better at repelling water making it great for insulation. Though it does not do well in high heat conditions, therefore, best not exposed to direct sunlight as the heat will break down the fabric and it’s colour will potentially fade. In which case, it is worth opting for a polyester material instead.

Value: ££ – ££££

Reasons to love it:

  • Highly durable and economical
  • Extensive designs include faux animal skin
  • Treated to repel stains or water, hence, great for damp areas or outdoors

Great for:

  • Any high foot traffic areas such as door entrances, hallways or terraces

Things to consider:

  • May have an artificial feel, compared to fabric such as Silk
  • Some lose tensile strength when wet
  • Not biodegradable
Browse Polyester & Polypropylene Rugs

 

RUGS TO INSPIRE INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Looking to some rug inspiration? Download our Interior Design Guide for 2019.

Interior design ebook image