5 Worst Materials for Handmade Area Rugs 5 Worst Materials for Handmade Area Rugs

Adding a touch of class and elegance is easy when you use handmade area rugs. In fact, adding an area rug is probably the easiest way to change the way a room looks. When deciding upon a rug for your room, it is important to keep a few factors in mind–shape, size, style and the material or pile used for the rug. While the first three factors determine how the rug will look, the last one is important when considering durability, staining properties, worsted weight as well as the amount that it will cost. Handmade area rugs are made of natural fibers, such as cotton, wool and silk. Athough these are the most popular fibers, there are varying types and qualities with each of these that can affect the life and usage of your area rug.

Therefore, it is important to know the 5 worst materials for handmade area rugs which you should avoid if buying a handmade rug for your home.

1. Dead Wool

The best handmade area rugs are made of wool. However, that wool must be of the best quality, sheared from live sheep. Such wool has the natural sheen and oils that make the rug durable and resilient. Dead wool, on the other hand, is sheared from slaughtered sheep and therefore has no “life” in it. Treated by chemicals, the wool loses luster and resilience. Handmade area rugs woven with such wool have no durability and do not last long.

2. Camel and Goat Hair

Although these fibers are used in handmade rugs along with wool to add luster and shine, it is not advisable to invest in rugs made with these materials. The reason being that these fibers don’t dye well and the resultant rug may have flaws in the way it looks. Also, may not be as durable as a pure wool rug.

3. Jute

While jute is a natural fiber and can be used for hand weaving rugs that are beautiful and soft, it is not the best fiber for area rugs that will be used in high-traffic areas or rooms with a lot of furniture. It cannot take rough use and may change color when exposed to sunlight.

4. Cotton

Cotton is the fabric of choice for creating the "foundation" of a handmade wool rug, but on its own cotton area rugs are less durable and more prone to staining as compared to the other fibers. If choosing a cotton area rug, use it only for areas with less traffic since it will wear out easily.

5. Sisal and Grass

While area rugs made with these materials cost less, they actually may end up costing more in the long run, since both these materials stain easily and therefore can become useless very quickly.

Although handmade area rugs can be made with all these materials with great success, ultimately the decision depends upon usage and traffic. Therefore, the best option will be “live” wool area rugs that will retain their sheen, be naturally stain-resistant and look beautiful for years to come.

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