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best material for rugs

What is the Best Material for Rugs; Wool, Silk, Natural or Synthetic Fibers?

Choose the best material for rugs from wool, silk, natural or synthetic fibers. Each of these materials has its merits. The expert explains to us why to prefer one or the other.

When you decide to buy a carpet, you start studying the size of the room in which you want to insert it, what colors to match, how much it can cost, etc. But it is important to choose thinking not only about aesthetics, rather to deepen and understand what kind of material we would like in our home. The different sensation that a wool or coconut fiber gives us can be truly remarkable. If we want to play lying down with the children, we will prefer wool or silk, if we think, instead, of a more decorative aspect we can also focus on synthetic fibers and particular weaves.

The value of a rug is established based on the material it is made of and the manufacturing process. Hand weaving is certainly the most valuable system, but even the “tufted” ones have artisanal qualities, while the loom processes are based on a more industrial mechanical system. Hand-weaving means knotting tufts of fibers, such as wool, cotton or silk; depending on the number of nodes, changes the value (including commercial).

The knotting system can be recognized by looking at the back of the carpet; the processing of the fabric by machine is immediately distinguished from that carried out manually, because the design remains clearly visible even on the back. The tufted carpet is produced starting from a canvas fabric base in which the tufts of fiber are manually inserted. It is not as precious as knotting, but it maintains the value of a handmade process. Both natural and synthetic fibers are used in tufted fabrics, so we pay attention to the label.

Best Material for Rugs

Most modern rugs are produced on mechanical looms, with all types of fibers. One color yarn is often intertwined and then dyed later.

But, how to tell labels and certificates do not lie. The greatest carpet experts rely on their experience and various mechanical and chemical tests to identify the type of material they are evaluating. If you also want to use some expert ploy, I suggest the “trial by fire”. Cut a tuft of fiber and burn it in a small container. OR Each material will react to fire in a different way depending on its nature: wool burns slowly crackling and melts into a single block that gives off a smell similar to that of burnt hair; the silk does not burn on a high flame, but slowly goes out forming a light or light brown ash; the synthetic carpet gives off a sudden flame like a film.

Now that we know how to recognize the value of a carpet, we understand which one is right for us.


It is certainly the most precious, soft and warm fiber, it combines the characteristics of naturalness and resistance. It is also the material that best resists fire and humidity. The latest trends see wool in first place for the creation of “tricot” rugs and for luxury furnishings. But in addition to the way in which the carpet is created, you must also choose the thickness of the wool: from satin to thick, up to some particular models, tall and soft, in which to sink your feet (or why not, your body).


It was used for carpets for the use of the Persian court and characterizes the pieces of greater finesse and quality. The designs and embroideries recall the refined art of the time. Ancient Persian carpets are difficult to recognize due to all the copies that have been made over the decades, but a good indication of where they come from is to know the textures.

The cotton rug was made in Iran, Pakistan, China and India; the wool one came from Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Turkey; silk was used for certain pieces of great value made in the most important centers of Iran, Turkey, China and India. But to get rid of any doubts, the best advice is to go through certified sales channels.

The natural fiber carpets

The fibers are made starting from the processing of herbs, leaves or cellulose: sisal, rice fiber, jute, abaca, joint and coconut. Sisal, for example, is a material obtained from the agave plant, a bit rigid and not resistant to humidity, while the rice fiber is quite soft but does not like to be colored, so it can only be found in sand shades. Coconut is very resistant and is used for highly frequented interior weaving, although it is most famous as a doormat.

Acrylic and polypropylene

These are the most used, economical and resistant materials, as well as having characteristics similar to wool, of softness and softness. The rugs are recyclable and easy to clean. It is important to keep an eye on the label: they must not have percentages of rubber or chemical materials and the coloring must be non-toxic.

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