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Area Rug Materials Overview

Here is an overview of the different types of materials for rugs.
Characteristics of each material varies just like the costs.
They're many ways to combine these materials in order to create different patterns and designs.
Two types of material make up for area rugs, natural and synthetic.
Natural material consists of animal or plant fibers such as wool, cotton, sisal, jute, seagrass or bamboo.
Synthetic is a man-made material such as viscose, rayon, nylon, acrylic, or polypropylene.
Wool- wool is used throughout the world and it is considered the higher quality of material for rugs.
Wool is made from sheep but can also come from goats, alpaca or llamas.
Wool is a material that can withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, and the durability of wool is second to none.
Wool retains and absorbs dyes very well.
An important fact for people with allergies, wool naturally resists dust mites.
Cotton- a very durable and strong natural fiber.
Cotton easily absorbs a wide range of dyes so it creates a huge selection of colors.
The combination of wool and cotton is very common when it comes to rug making.
Cotton-wool blend rugs have a very comfortable feel underfoot.
The pricing for a cotton-wool blend rug is cheaper than a pure wool rug.
Take note that wool last a lot longer than cotton.
Sisal- from the Agave Sisalan plant leaves comes the most popular of the plant fibers used for rug making.
This plant is a native of Central America and is referred to as the American Cloe or Century Plant, that now grows all over the world.
The name Sisal has become the generic name for all plant-based rug materials.
The long fine fibers of Sisal allow it to become made into smooth textured yarn.
Sisal rugs are long-lasting, sound absorbing, flame retardant and anti-static which are all strong characteristics to consider when choosing an area rug.
Jute- made out of stem fiber plants from China and India.
Because of its stability and toughness, Jute is suited to make durable yarns.
Jute has a good look to it but it can be coarse and effected by stains rather easily.
This is part of the reasoning behind the blend of natural and synthetic.
Seagrass- has grass like stems that makes a durable material for rugs.
It comes from a tall plant out of the wetlands.
Seagrass is known for it's very smooth texture, also having a hay-like smell and color that will fade over time.
Bamboo- a wood like material found in China and Japan.
A very durable material that performs well under heavy use, which makes it an ideal choice for a heavy traffic area.
For its low price Bamboo is a very quality choice.
Bamboo has a big variety in shapes and sizes.
Silk- natural fiber that can either be used all by itself or collaborated with finer rugs such as Persian or Oriental.
Silk will be added in because of its shine appearance.
This is the most expensive fiber when used, even sparingly, will raise the price of the rug.
A silk rug should only be cleaned by a professional rug cleaner.
Viscose- Shiny silk like fiber made from wood pulp.
When used as an accent or blend serves as an excellent substitute to silk.
Rayon- Has a very similar look and feel to silk.
Rayon is derived from wood but will melt if exposed to a flame.
Nylon- with strength, uniformity, stain and soil resistance Nylon is a very popular synthetic fiber for rugs.
Nylon is easily cleaned and comes in many different colors.
Nylon is ideal for heavy traffic area's as well as under furniture.
Nylon is a good alternative to a natural fiber.
Polypropylene or olefin- this fiber product is petroleum-based and derived from propylene and ethylene gases.
These rugs come at a low-cost affordable price.
Benefits of this fiber include strong, colorfast, quick drying, abrasion resistant, mildew resistant, soil and stain resistant.
Olefin has a soft wool like feel that is ideal for machine-made rugs.
Polypropylene can be heat set for a wool look and more durability.
These rugs are a popular choice but are more suited for a low traffic area.

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