Types of carpet materials: natural vs. synthetic
There are different types of carpet materials, so let us simplify them. First, there are only two to pick from natural or synthetic-made rugs.
They come from the natural environment– whether through plants or animals– and are harvested, processed into threads, and woven into rugs. Then, they are solution-dyed and hand-knotted, giving off the appeal of a premium, hard-to-make piece.
Natural area rugs are most known for their unique and luxurious appeal. They come in various textures and colors that can match any interior style. In addition, since these types of rugs are made from purely natural fibers, there are no two alike, making your space feel more exclusive.
Cotton rugs are generally inexpensive. They’re soft, breathable, light, and can be machine washed; however, they are less durable than jute, sisal, or wool. Adding a rug pad underneath is best to prevent it from sliding around.
If maintenance is a significant concern, you may want to stir away as cotton is prone to staining and trapping dust, requiring frequent cleaning. In addition, cotton tends to soak up loads of water. Be careful when washing.
Silk is one of the most luxurious and prohibitively high prices. Aside from its ultra-soft feel, it is known for its tensile strength. If silk were not strong, weavers would be unable to make such intricate designs. They also have a unique reflective sheen and luster.
However, its incredible strength and qualities come with a significant drawback: cleaning. Silk is strong enough to be washed, but because of the dyes, there’s a potential for them to bleed, so we suggest you have a professional clean this rug in case it gets dirty.
Known for its durability and flame resistance, wool, the classic luxury go-to carpet, has a protective barrier called lanolin. Trouble comes when a substance penetrates the barrier and gets into the fiber’s core, as it is almost impossible to remove the stain. Over time, accumulated stains will also emit a foul odor. Therefore we advise you to hire a professional cleaner should you wish to clean a rug made of wool.
Sisal, made from the long leaves of an agave plant, is known to be solid but stiff and coarse on feet. Rugs made of sisal have a distinct tan, beige, and creamy white color. They are durable and super absorbent. But because it is so porous, it is also prone to staining. As a result, they cannot be wet, shampooed, or steam cleaned.
Sisal brings organic beauty to any space and blends effortlessly with decor styles like minimalism, boho chic, traditional, transitional, japandi, or scandinavian.
Incorporating seagrass knots, shade variations, and distinctive texture creates a rug with a singular, rustic aesthetic. Seagrass has long been highly regarded for its suitability in wall-to-wall installations, finding its place in living rooms, offices, and even as a stair runner.
It should be noted, however, that seagrass is not recommended for use in bathrooms or any environment with excessive humidity, as it is susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew. Furthermore, seagrass exhibits superior resistance to staining compared to its counterpart, sisal.
The jute rug comprises fibers sourced from the jute plant, indigenous to Asia. This particular fiber is renowned for its exceptional durability, making it a preferred choice for various dimensions of burlap fabric, ropes, and rugs.
Despite its remarkable resilience, the jute rug possesses an unexpectedly soft texture, setting it apart as one of the most luxuriously plush carpets crafted from natural fibers.
Abaca fibers come from an inedible banana plant that grows in the Philippines.
They are strong, making abaca carpets highly durable. They are resistant to wear and tear and can withstand heavy foot traffic. They are environmentally friendly because they are made from a renewable source.
They have a natural, rustic appearance. They are coarse and available in different weaves, patterns, and colors, providing versatility in design options.
Synthetic rugs may sound like a turn-off, but they have a place in many indoor and outdoor areas. They have been manufactured explicitly with durability and maintenance concerns in mind, making them able to withstand harsher conditions. Learning how to clean them is a breeze and can quickly be done.
Polypropylene, polyester, nylon, and acrylic are the most common fibers that make up synthetic area rugs.
Rugs made from these materials are often manufactured by power looms and are solution-dyed. European Manufacturers have developed newer technologies and processes to vastly improve the fabric, like the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certification, one of the world’s first-rate labels for textiles tested for harmful substances, creating extraordinarily durable and high-quality area rugs.
Compared to wool and sisal, polypropylene offers a lot to the table. They can mimic the natural look and feel of 100% wool or sisal rugs while being stain resistant and durable. In addition, polypropylene rugs are soft and are designed to bring comfort, beauty, and functionality to any interior.
Polypropylene rugs are made to withstand extreme weather, dirt, and scratches. They are extraordinarily resilient and can withstand general wear and tear, which makes them great for indoor and outdoor spaces.
They are also easy to clean and maintain because mildew does not grow or fade under the sun. So if your polypropylene rug gets dirty, you can easily wash them off with a hose.
The lush nature of polyester microfiber is exceptionally soft to walk on. These soft and supple rugs are best in bedrooms, living rooms, and offices.
In addition to its superior comfort, polyester is well-known for its durability. This material can easily last 5-10 years, depending on the use case.
Given the nature of the yarn, polyester rugs are machine-washable, and because they dry quicker, they prevent bacteria from growing.
Keep these rugs away from oil-based liquids, as spills might need professional cleaning. However, a premium-grade polyester rug can resist stains and be cleaned easier.
Nylon carpets have superior durability and quality– being crush-resistant due to their sturdy fibers.
These rugs are also easy to maintain. Vacuum the top of your nylon rug occasionally to keep it lasting longer. Steam cleaning can bring your nylon rug back into shape. Like polypropylene, they are less likely to grow mold or mildew.
Just keep in mind that they may give off a temporary chemical smell when brand new, may be prone to shedding, and has less stain resistance.
Acrylic is a man-made material that is designed to mimic the look and feel of natural fibers such as wool. They are known for their soft, plush texture, giving them a luxurious, velvety feel. They come in a wide range of colors.
Acrylic rugs overcome the significant deficiencies of wool. Aside from being durable and resilient, they are also resistant to stains, fading, and mildew. They also retain their colors better over time. They repel liquid and dry quickly.
When it comes to carpet selection, it is essential to consider the composition of the material. There are two primary categories to choose from: natural and synthetic. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial to weigh the factors before making a decision. We recommend investing in a rug that offers both versatility and practicality while maintaining a high aesthetic appeal.
Your chosen carpet will serve as the centerpiece, defining the overall experience within your home. Therefore, selecting a design that complements the existing decor and adds a touch of elegance and personality is crucial.
By investing in a carpet that offers a harmonious blend of choice and functionality, you can create a space that reflects your unique taste and stands the test of time. Let your chosen carpet be the masterpiece that enhances the ambiance of your home, transforming it into a haven of comfort and style.