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The Colorful World of Rugs

Updated on November 10, 2014

Rugs have long been adding a statement to the personality of even ordinary homes. And that is the reason, many fashions come and go in the field of home décor, but rugs are still there. At many places, we can even see that rugs are passed down in the families to next generations as heirlooms. If you have realized the importance of rugs in providing that elegance to your home and made up your mind to purchase one, here is an introduction for you to the colorful world of rugs.

A rug is made of a pile i.e. the upper layer, formed on a backing. As there is a huge variety of materials from which rugs are made, you can get an extensive range of rugs. The materials range from rayon, acetate and nylon to cotton, silk and wool. Quality depends on these materials as well as the manufacturing process involved.

Persian Rugs

Persian rugs are the most valued type of rugs in the world of rug connoisseurs. Authentic Persian rugs are handmade mainly in Iran, though their designs are copied by weavers of other countries too. Wool and cotton are the most frequently used materials in making of Persian rugs. Amongst wool types, Kork wool, camel hair wool and Manchester wool are more commonly used. Persian carpets made of silk are rare and less durable. Designs include one or several motifs, and patterns portraying monuments and Islamic buildings, spiral patterns, tree patterns, European flower patterns, and so on. The weaving of pile of Persian rugs is a tedious and tough process and can take anywhere from some months to many years, and so, Persian rugs are expensive. Based on the type of fabric, design and weaving method, there are a number of types of Persian rugs like Mahalat, Ahar, Baluch, Zabol, Jozan, Isfahan, Yazd, Varamin, Bakhtiari, Kashan, Borujerd, Sarukh, Ravar, Gonabad, and many others.

How Persian Rugs Are Made

Tufted Rugs

Tufted rugs are made with the tufted material, which is often manmade and is infused into a backing material, which is then attached to another material, which is hessian usually, for extra strength. This type of rugs are easy to produce on a large scale, and so, form a big proportion of the rugs and carpets on the market.

Needle Felted Rugs

Rugs of this type are very durable. Individual synthetic fibers are bound together through electrostatic means of barbed and forked needles, resulting in extremely sturdy rugs. They are comparatively new in the market, available since only last three decades. But rather than homes, they are mostly used in high traffic areas like restaurants and hotels, due to their high cost and outstanding durability.

Knotted Rugs

This type of rugs can be machine-made or handmade, depending upon the country of origin. The fibers which make the carpet are pulled through the backing material. There is a huge variety in colors and sizes of knotted rugs.

Woven Rugs

These are created on a loom, just like woven fabric. Their pile can be Berber or plush. Berber rug is a loop pile and plush rug is a cut pile. Also new styles of carpets are created by combining these two styles and the process is called cut and loop carpeting. Often several colored yarns are used in this and the process can produce complex patterns from preset designs. However, there are some restrictions to certain weaving techniques regarding exactness of pattern in the carpet. Because of the slow speed in the making process, these carpets are often high-priced.

Hooked Rugs

Hooked rugs are simple, yet useful and beautiful. They are made with pieces of material drawn through meshes of a tough fabric like burlap. They are made by many hobbyists too and are less expensive than their intricately patterned counterparts.

Flat Weave Rugs

In flat weave rugs, long pieces of material or threads are interwoven in cotton rather than being tied around it. They are also made by some hobbyists, using strips of old clothing like jeans. Some types of European flat woven rugs are Venetian, Dutch and Damask.

Berber Rugs

Berber rugs are a newer style of rugs and are characterized by its loop pile construction. They normally contain small dark colored flecks on the background of lighter shades. Usually they contain a plain color mix without any pattern and are comparatively inexpensive and durable. Due to their durability they are very useful for areas with high traffic like offices and schools. The traditional hand-woven Berber carpets of North Africa have a distinct knot and so, look similar to the modern Berber rugs, but are vividly colored and intricately patterned. Modern Berber rugs are made from a variety of materials like wool, olefin fiber and nylon.

Embroidered Rugs

Embroidery is popular with mankind since ages. Embroidered rugs were the domain of even royalty, like Mary Queen of Scots, who was an avid embroiderer. Many Victorian rugs feature extremely realistic three dimensional flowers and other superb designs. Embroidered rugs used to be hand stitched on a linen or cotton backing, held tight by a frame, rather than being created on a loom. When steel needles came into the market, embroidered rugs were mass produced to some extent, but by and large remained the domain of hobbyists.

Plus there are many other types of rugs like Kashmir rugs, Pakistani rugs, Afghan rugs, Turkish rugs, and so on, all of which are distinct in their own way.

Cleaning of Rugs

Though rugs are a beautiful addition to home décor, they need a special care and cleaning in order to look elegant always. Most of the times, rugs are a big investment too and so, you need to understand how to clean them and thus, increase the life of your investment. Here are some tips:

  • Flip your area rug upside down and vacuum clean its backside.
  • Fringes of the rugs should not be vacuum cleaned at all; they should be fluffed with hand.
  • Take care while buying carpet shampoos and sprays. They are often meant for the wall-to-wall carpets made of synthetic fibers and not woolen area rugs. If you use shampoo to clean your rug, make sure to thoroughly rinse it out. Any residue left behind can attract dirt.
  • Don’t forget to wipe out any stains or spills on the rug immediately after they occur, by blotting or scraping them.
  • Pet odors on the rug can be removed by applying a 1:3 mixture of vinegar and water.

How to Properly Clean Fine Wool and Oriental Area Rugs


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