How-To Series: Choosing The Right Rug Material

Rugs make a significant impact on the way a room looks and feels. They anchor the design and décor of your space and offer warmth, texture, and comfort underfoot. Today, rugs are no longer treated as mere accessories, but as major design elements that have the ability to completely change the look and feel of the room. For the first part of our Rug Series, we’ll show you the most common types of rug materials, to help you determine what suits your room best.
COTTON
cotton
pictured, from left: Trace Moroccan and Riad rugs 
Feels airy, soft and comfortable
Best for low traffic spaces: bedroom, formal living room, dining room
Price $

Cotton rugs are soft, durable, and one of the least expensive materials. They are usually used in plush piles and woven styles, but can better hold up to high traffic when used in flatweaves. Most cotton rugs are machine washable, and often usable on both sides. For these reasons, cotton rugs make excellent low-cost, low-maintenance material.
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VISCOSE
pictured, from left: Platinum and Alchemy Blue rugs  
Feels plush, high pile, silky and comfortable
Best for low traffic spaces: bedroom, formal living room, dining room
Price $$$

Viscose is made from natural materials, which makes it lightweight yet durable. It often has a lustrous look and silky ultrasoft feel. As it’s made of synthetic materials, viscose is hypoallergenic and resistant to pilling, dust, insect damage and mildew. They are easy to maintain by sweeping or vacuuming.  A viscose rug may shed when it's new but will stop if it is regularly vacuumed.
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WOOL
pictured, from left: Frozen Dew and Marrakech Wool rugs   
Feels plush and strong
Best for 
high traffic spaces: family room, entryways
Price 
$$
Wool rugs are a benchmark material for luxury rugs. Made from animal fibre, wool boasts outstanding natural beauty, resilience, and insulation against cold. Carrying a natural springiness, wool recovers quickly from footsteps and impact of furniture, and is less prone to staining, so they maintain their appearance for years. A wool rug may shed in the first month, but will stop after regular vacuuming.
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JUTE
pictured, from left: Ombre Dip Dyed rug and Sandstorm rug  
Feels textured
Best for 
high traffic spaces: family room, entryways
Price
 $
Jute fiber has been used in rugs for thousands of years. The highly durable material makes it the material of choice for hard-wearing rugs. Its texture is coarse, but it softens with use, and actually becomes stronger over time. Moreover, it is resistant to rotting and mildew and is a renewable fiber.
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LEATHER
pictured, from left: Pyramid Pearl and Luxor rugs   

Feels tough and silky
Best for 
low traffic spaces: bedroom, formal living room, dining room
Price 
$$$$
Because of their natural source, leather and cowhide are distinguished by their natural beauty. Each skin has its own colour and pattern, which means no two rugs are ever the same; however, this also means that you won't always get the exact design displayed, because of natural variations in animal hide. The material is soft and very durable, and can even last many years, which is why they are often made heirloom pieces. 
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RECYCLED
pictured, from left: Benares Silk and Kyoto Weave rugs
Feels textured
Best for outdoor spaces or entryways
Price $
An eco-friendly option is a recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is made from recycled soda and water bottles. This can be hard to believe as PET can often be as soft as cotton. This material absorbs water well and can be hung outside to dry, without damaging the material.
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