When designers design a room, they often create around a beautiful area rug or favorite painting. Yet, when decorating a space on their own, many clients wait to buy an area rug, so the space remains empty for a long time. The reason is that they are often bewildered by the array of styles, colors, and price ranges.

Working with a designer is the best way to ensure you have the perfect area rug, but even then, it makes sense to educate yourself.

BUYING THE PERFECT AREA RUG FOR YOUR SPACE; WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RUG CONSTRUCTION

Rug Construction is how a rug is made. It will determine the look, texture, quality, longevity, and cost. Here are a few typical rug formations to guide you in buying the perfect area rug for your space

 BUYING THE PERFECT AREA RUG FOR YOUR SPACE

Image from Jaipur Rugs

HAND-TUFTED RUGS

An artisan first places a backing fabric on an iron frame, tracing the desired pattern on it. Then they use a wooden device, called a tufting gun,  to punch individual yarn through a fabric sheet. The tufting gun hooks and pulls yarn through the backing to form loops or piles into the outlined areas. Once completed, a second fabric is glued to the back to hold the yarns in place.

Tufted rugs are made with loops instead of knots, which are sheared to create a smooth cut-pile surface. Even the highest-quality tufted rugs can be produced relatively quickly and inexpensively since they are less labor-intensive.

Note: Tufted rugs shed more than other rugs and tend to require more frequent vacuuming.

Best for: Family rooms, bedrooms, or living rooms

 BUYING THE PERFECT AREA RUG FOR YOUR SPACE

HAND-HOOKED RUGS

Hooking is similar to tufting, but the yarn loops stay intact. Loops of yarn are pulled through the rug’s backing material using a machine or a hand-held hooking needle. Instead of being sheared like tufted rugs, the loops are left alone, creating a knobby embroidered look.

Best for: Family rooms, bedrooms, or living rooms

Image from Jaipur Rugs

Available through Aztec Carpet and Rugs

FLATWEAVE RUGS

Flatweaves are made of cloth or wool. They do not have a pile because they are woven on a loom. Flat-woven rugs are made by hand or machine by weaving interlocking warp and weft threads, similar to making textile.

Flatweaves are highly flexible and versatile, can be used both indoor and outdoor, and because they are not woven onto a backing, the rugs are reversible. They take two months to make and can easily last for over ten years.

Best for:  High-traffic rooms and spill-prone areas like the kitchen, playroom, or entryway

Image from Jaipur Rugs

Available through Aztec Carpet and Rugs

HAND-KNOTTED RUGS

Hand-knotted rugs are the most labor-intensive rug-making technique. The weavers mind each intricate detail, so no two rugs are exactly alike. The process takes a minimum of two months; however, higher quality and more oversized rugs can take a year or more.

How do you Recognize a Hand-Knotted Rug?

Singular and often irregular knots are visible on the back, mirroring the pattern on the front. A more complex design will have a higher density of knots at the back; the quality is determined in KPSI (Knots per square inch).

  • Low to medium pile height, so they are easy to walk on
  • Extremely durable with a life span of 30+ years, minimal shedding
  • Best for: High traffic spaces like the living room or great room
  • The only disadvantage is that they are pricey

WHY RUG PILE HEIGHT MAKES A DIFFERENCE:

A rug’s pile height refers to the density of fibers; flat means the pile is short, and shaggy means they are long. Pile height is measured from the surface of a rug to its backing.

  • Less than 1/4″ – low
  • 1/4″ to 1/2″ – medium
  • 1/2″ and up- plush

A thicker pile height does not automatically mean higher quality, as some outstanding rugs are thin. Shorter pile rugs will typically last longer and are easier to care for. Longer-pile rugs usually are plusher but are also more liable to crush and show marks from legs of furniture,

DO YOU REALLY NEED A RUG PAD?

Yes, you do. A rug pad offers cushioning and softness and dampens noise.  It protects your floor by preventing scratches and dye transfer. A rug pad will extend the life of your rug as it acts as a buffer and inhibits fibers from getting crushed. If that is not enough reason to use a rug pad, it also prevents mold, mildew, and odors by allowing more air circulation and preventing bacteria growth. Lastly, it holds the rug in place and prevents slips.

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