Explaining Rug Types + How To Care For Them

A great rug can be a wonderful injection of color, texture and pattern for any space. Today we’re talking all about rug construction and letting you in on some of our secrets for selecting the right type and how to care for it.

1. Handmade Wool Rugs
All wool rugs are going to be durable with great longevity. They also tend to have more design to them since these are based on traditional weaving techniques. There are 2 main types of wool rug construction that we like to use: 1) hand-knotted; 2) hand-hooked/tufted. Hand-knotted rugs will have the longest lifespan and typically have heirloom longevity. Hand-hooked and hand-tufted rugs are virtually the same – tufted rugs are hooked rugs that have had the top sheared off so that the wool threads are straight rather than looped. These rugs also have great durability and typically have a higher, plushy pile.

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Wool rugs are beautiful and well-suited for all home spaces, although we often flex where we recommend them depending on each client’s lifestyle and investment. We commonly recommend this style for the living room or bedroom. To care for wool rugs, we advise vacuuming often without the beater bar.

2. Synthetic Rugs
Synthetic rugs are machine-made and can bring a beautiful burst of color and pattern to any room. This type of rug encompasses a number of different rug categories based on the exact synthetic composition, including machine washable rugs and indoor/outdoor rugs. Because these rugs are made of synthetic materials rather than natural fibers, they are not going to be as long-lasting as a hand-knotted wool or sisal rug. We like these rugs for low-traffic rooms, like a home office.

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3. Sisal + Jute Rugs
Sisal and jute area rugs are a great way to bring in an additional texture to a room. Because they are typically at a lower price point than wool rugs, they can be a great way to get a very large area rug into a sizable room without breaking the bank – we particularly love layering a thinner and smaller vintage, synthetic or wool rug over a very large sisal area rug.

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Sisal and jute are natural plant-based fibers, so these rugs are highly durable. We advise vacuuming regularly.

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4. Vintage Flatwoven Rugs
Vintage flatwoven rugs are typically made from wool or a wool blend, such as cotton and are another gorgeous way to bring color and pattern into a space – we often can find colors and patterns in vintage rugs that are not produced in new ones. These rugs tend to be thinner, so we like to layer them with other vintage rugs or over a large sisal area rug.

The woven material of vintage rugs helps to continue their longevity. There is likely some patina to the vintage textile when placed in its new home which facilitates continued beautiful aging.

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Rug Care & Cleaning Tips:
We recommend protecting rugs and upholstery from the get-go – MGI brings in a fabric and rug protecting company post installation to our clients. For spills and spots on unprotected rugs, we recommend blotting immediately. For wool, synthetic and vintage rugs, a little bit of water with white vinegar or a neutral dish soap plus a clean tooth brush is good first plan of action. Jute and sisal rugs are best cared for by blotting anything liquid, but it is not advisable to attempt to use water to clean jute or sisal. If all else fails, we advise bringing your rug to a professional cleaning service. Also, regularly vacuuming and using a rug pad under all your rugs will go a long way to care for and increase the longevity of these beautiful home furnishings.

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