A little help in picking out a new area rug.

Lots of folks I talk to just have no clue on how to go about picking out a area rug for their home.

I thought give some nice simple advice to take away some of the confusion you’ll run into while out shopping.

Lets break the choices into three categories.

  1. Synthetic machine made rugs
  2. Wool machine/tufted rugs
  3. Hand tied wool rugs.

Machine made Synthetics

Synthetic rugs are commonly made from Olefin, Polypropylene or Nylon fibers. They are inexpensive compared to either wool types and provide excellent stain resistance. The craftsmanship is getting better and better and some manufactures are able to make a rug that really looks like a nice Persian or Oriental rug to the untrained eye. Most can be safely and effectively cleaned in your home. Perfect for leaky pet owners, under dining room tables and high likelihood of spilling areas where wool rugs would not hold up to the abuse.

Couch Potato and Rainbow Carpet have many in stock.

Easy to identify with the symmetrical knots shown on the back side and the stiff/rigid feeling to the fibers and rug itself.

Tufted and machine made wool rugs

Low cost wool option that provides the look and feel of a “real” hand tied rug. Most can be surface/steam cleaned in the home with no risk.

A good choice for the wool purist for high traffic areas and spill zones. Drawbacks include short lifespan due to the glue used in the construction drying out within 10 years, high likelihood of a strong burnt rubber smell emitted from the latex glue, very difficult to immersion clean with out damaging the backing and they generally stain easier than quality hand tied wool rugs.

Pottery Barn, Cost Plus and Ikea have a great selection.

Cotton backing hides the glue and the pattern above.

Hand Tied Wool

The real deal.

Expensive and in many cases, collectible. Some are too nice to walk on while others are real work horses and the wear and tear only adds to their charm. Colors and designs that are not possible with other manufacturing processes. No synthetic material used in the construction and with proper care can last for generations. Antiques and delicate pieces should not be cleaned in the home.

Repels dirt very well but liquid spills should be extracted out as soon as possible. Many are not colorfast so cleaning agents should always be tested for safety. Not recommended for homes with pets and careless children and husbands.

Many Rug galleries in the bay area to chose from, be prepared to spend lots of time choosing out a piece.

The visible knots and reverse image are your first clues that this was made by hand.

Connoisseur cleans all three types  and can further assist you with the care and selection of new and old  rugs.