In How To Choose A Rug (Part 1) I covered hand knotted, hand tufted, flat woven and tapestry rugs. In Part 2 I’ll cover machine made and natural fibre rugs.
Machine made rugs are often designed to look like hand made rugs, but they are woven on large machines called power looms. They can be made quickly and are manufactured using synthetic materials as well as wool.They usually come from Europe or the United States, and are quite durable. They are also generally much, much cheaper than hand made rugs, but can look just as beautiful.
Natural fibre rugs are flat woven like Kilims but instead of using wool or cotton, they are made from natural plant based materials such as jute, sisal, bamboo, seagrass and coir. Traditionally they were used outdoors, but more recently have been used indoors for a more contemporary or casual feel.
Machine made versions now incorporate cotton into the manufacturing to make them softer underfoot. They are generally quite hardwearing and inexpensive to buy.
If you are a first time buyer of an area rug, try to plan ahead. Decide on your budget, measure the space you are planning to put the rug in accurately, and if possible, start the interior decoration by choosing your rug first. This way you can then select paint colours or wallpaper, furniture and accessories based around the colour of the floor covering you have chosen. If this is not possible then take as many samples from the room (paint samples, fabric cuttings etc…) with you when you are looking, so you can accurately match the colours. As it is a costly item to buy, nowadays, many companies will allow you to see a few of your selected choices ‘on site’ in your own home so you can live with the rug for a day or two before making your final decision.
Featured images in order of appearance: Ottoman Artichoke, Hand Knotted Rug – The Rug Company, Casablanca Machine Woven rug – John Lewis, 100% Jute, Kerala Rug – John Lewis