Create Your Perfect Home With Rugs And Runners
We all want to live in a beautiful and comfortable home. In today’s fast paced and demanding world it is very important to have a sanctuary where you can unwind and leave your worries at the door. One of the ways to create such a home is by adding personal touches to every room of your house with rugs and runners. This, however, can be a daunting task. With so much choice, how do you go about find rugs and runners that are perfect for you? First of all, let’s look at the design options available to you.
Design Your Home Like A Pro
It always helps to have some idea of the style and overall feel you would like to achieve. So arm yourself with interior design magazines and simply browse. Make note of anything you like and keep going until you have a fair few examples of the interiors you love. Do not get too hung up on the details at this stage. You are looking for style and feel of the property, something that fits well with your style and personality. In my experience, it’s always easier to plan any project from big to small. What I mean by that is, first see the big picture, than work your way down to the smallest details.
Once you have found a few interiors that you like, put them side by side and, the chances are, there will be a recurring theme to them, a pattern, a style that reflects who you are. Look closely. What do you like about those interiors? Is it the colour scheme of the walls, the wallpaper or the furniture? Perhaps it’s the light fittings, the accessories such as the cushion covers, curtains or rugs. What could be improved? If you do this for long enough you will find that your very own style will start to take shape. And now that you have a fair idea of the big picture, let’s look at it in a bit more detail and start to make this dream home a reality.
Some of the most important items to consider in any renovation project are the floor coverings. Apart from the walls, floor is by far the largest area in any room. Carefully chosen rug has a tremendous ability to create a focal point, add personality and character to the room. In most cases it is not just a background but that very foundation of your entire design and colour scheme. On entering a room one always instinctively looks down at the floor as we watch where we put our feet. Your impression of a room can change entirely as your feet sink into a quality wool rug. So if rugs and runners are so important to achieving your dream home, what do you need to know to make the right decision when buying them?
Find Your Magic Carpet
Just like with most things you get what you pay for. So if you are looking for quality that will last you should be prepared to pay a premium. Having said that, it is always better to know a few facts and what options are available before parting with your hard earned cash.
Production methods and quality
The most common question many people ask when contemplating purchasing a new rug is whether to go for a handmade or a machine made item. It must be said, that contrary to popular belief not all handmade carpets are by default better than power loomed. To determine the quality you must take into consideration many factors.
Quality of materials used, the skills of craftsmen or the quality of machinery used to produce the product, dyeing methods – these are just a few factors that determine the overall look and quality of the finished product. A handmade rug produced by low skilled weaver made using cheap, poor quality materials will be far more inferior then a good quality power loomed Wilton rug manufactured using New Zealand wool. The price, however, will reflect that.
So let’s look at some of the most common weave types in more detail.
In a nut shell, majority of rugs manufactured today can be categorised as tufted and woven. Both of these production methods will produce a rug with a pile. The length of the pile (measured in millimetres) and density (measured in points per m2) will determine the quality of the rug. More points per m2 generally mean better quality and thicker rugs. This is especially true with intricate traditional designs because it’s easier to achieve greater detail and more sophisticated patterns.
Almost 95% of all carpets and rugs produced today are tufted. The production of tufted carpets is about 8 times faster, making it cheaper in labour, production and energy cost.
In tufted carpets, the pile yarn (aka tufts) is stitched through the backing fabric. Later the second layer of fabric is applied, to make the backing more durable and prevent pile damage. Particularly popular for modern rug styles and designs, tufted rugs and carpets come in a variety of different textures, achieved by using different techniques.
Cut pile rugs are the largest category in tufted rugs and include such qualities as the versatile twist with a slightly twisted yarn that creates a textured finish often used for neutral plain carpets and rugs; plush and soft velvet, where pile is cut at the same level and is then sheared to give a smooth finish; dense frisee, twisted heatset yarns with a shaggy rug appearance, but lower pile that is very durable and popular for heavy traffic areas.
Loop pile rugs have gained popularity in the last decade with their simple natural berber style. Loops can be all of the same height or vary in heights, creating a textured multi-level effect. Loop pile rugs and carpets are a very practical solution, suitable for high traffic areas and busy homes.
Cut and Loop Pile
Cut and loop rugs combine both textures above, where some yarns are cut and some left as loops to create a multi textured appearance. Particularly popular for shaggy rugs, this finish is excellent for hiding footprints and stains, but may be difficult to vaccum.
In woven rugs the pile yarn is interlaced with the backing yarn which creates a very durable fabric as both backing and pile interwoven throughout making the carpet much more durable and able to withstand heavier use. Only 5% of today’s carpet and rug production is woven, but it produces some outstanding carpets and rugs which are highly regarded by the professionals and the end users.
In Wilton rugs the backing forms an integral part of the rug. The pile is inserted into the backing as one continuous thread that is woven all the way through. Often woven by face to face method, two backings are placed one on top of the other, with pile yarn being woven between both backings and then cut, creating two identical rugs.
Wilton rugs are not only luxurious to the touch, they are extremely durable and are suitable for commercial use as well as residential.
Flat Woven Rugs
Flat woven rugs are woven in a similar way to Wilton rugs. The yarn, however, is woven tighter, creating a flat surface with no pile. Flat woven rugs have a more rustic minimalist appearance and are ideal for areas where tripping could be a concern.
Another thing to consider carefully when choosing a rug is which material will work best for you and your home. So many options are available as many rugs have a similar look and feel that you might find it confusing. However, the material determines not only the look and feel of the rug, but also how durable and stain resistant it is and how long it will retain its good looks for. Before you decide which rug to go for, think of the space it is going into, how much foot traffic it is going to get, what kind of look and texture are you looking for, do you want a rug for life or are you planning to replace it in a few years? There are many materials used in rug production today. We can categorise them as natural and man made or synthetic fibers.
Natural fibers like wool, cotton, jute, sisal and silk will always have an edge on the man made fibers that are in effect replicas of natural fibers. The benefits of using natural fibers are not only environmental, natural fibers are chosen for their comfort, versatility and unrivalled appearance.
Wool carpets have a historic reputation as the best choice of rug and carpet fiber. Its appearance retention, durability and resilience are second to none. They are soft and warm underfoot and provide luxurious cushioning for the floors. Wool rugs are also a healthy choice, they are hypoallergenic and suitable for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Cotton is a natural fiber that is a popular choice for clothing and interior furnishings. Soft and strong, cotton rugs and carpets are normally low pile or flat woven and make a popular choice for kitchen rugs and hallway runners. They can be easily washed, but stain easily and are not very durable.
Natural Plant Fibers – Jute, Sisal, Seagrass
Natural Plant Fibers are a great choice for hallways and corridors. Their coarse appearance and natural colouring have a rustic charm. However, they can feel rough underfoot and are not a popular choice for family rooms.
Silk rugs are associated with luxury and elegance. They have a delicate natural sheen and are beautifully soft to the touch. Silk rugs are normally flat woven or have a very short pile and are suitable for low or medium traffic areas.
Leather and sheepskin
Leather and sheepskin rugs are unique as each rug will have a slightly different colour and texture. Some designer pieces combine leather and suede strips by stitching them together. Sheepskin rugs are beautifully soft and look beautiful not only on the floor but also on the back of a sofa or bed when used as a throw.
Synthetic Man Made Fibers
Synthetic fibers are by far the most popular today. They are flexible, stain resistant, durable and lower in cost than the natural materials. This making the end product more affordable for the end user.
Polypropylene is a synthetic alternative to wool and it imitates the look and feel of wool. It is non shedding, stain resistant and suitable for high traffic areas, but it tends to flatten quicker than wool. Polypropylene is also harder to colour than wool and the colours look less natural.
Viscose is a synthetic alternative to silk. Delicate in appearance, it is strong and suitable for low and medium traffic areas just like silk. Viscose is often used as a second fiber alongside wool or polypropylene to add a touch of glamorous sheen and silky softness to rugs.
Nylon, Olefin and Other Man Made Fibers
These fibers, often also called polyester and acrylic fibers are popular choices in today’s rug production. They have a similar look to wool and silk and are very easy to look after. Often they are a good choice for floor areas that get heavy use, i.e. hallways, corridors, kitchens or chidren’s rooms.
If you have made it this far by now you should know quite a bit about rugs production and how to make an informed decision when buying your magic carpet. I hope you found this information useful. Please leave a comment below and let us know if you have any questions.