Sean Kennedy, co-owner of Refined Rug Restoration in Fountain Valley, California has a lot of experience in the field of the cleaning and restoration of area rugs. I am pleased to welcome him to the blog to talk about the important things you should consider when purchasing an area rug.
As fabric and linen have varying levels of quality, so do area rugs. From the knot count, to the wool, to a possible backing, many factors make up a good or bad rug. Nowadays most consumers are changing home decor to a transitional/modern theme and with that comes a new rug. Simple one color patterns or classic Moroccan designs are very popular as they fit this theme perfectly.
An example of a handmade all wool Morrocan design rug
With that being said there are a few things to look for when purchasing a new rug. As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Just because you are buying a discounted rug from a well known company doesn’t automatically mean the rug is well made.
I am the co-owner of a rug washing and repair facility and am a master rug and textile washer. I know the difference of a good and bad rug because I come from this wash and repair back round. The most common flaws I see in rugs are rugs with the backing coming undone, poor wool quality causing the rug to “shed” and certain machine made rugs that have buckling and tearing problems. When looking for a rug to purchase, make sure the rug is handmade or hand loomed. This is a good starting point and usually results in a good rug. If possible, try to avoid hand tufted rugs as they don’t have a long life and usually have backing problems as well as shedding problems. Although cheap and readily available, many of our customers end up having to buy a new tufted rug sooner than planned due to the poor makeup of these rugs. A handmade wool rug hides dirt the best and washes up amazingly almost every time. Wool really is the wonder fiber when it comes to a rug and mid-high quality handmade wool rugs almost always have an inherent value as well. This means that many dealers or retail stores will usually give you a credit or take the rug on a trade in the future.
One last thing to keep in mind when looking for a rug is blends introduced with the wool. Many rug manufactures have introduced materials such as Viscose and Art Silk. These are both man made versions of real silk and are intended to give a shimmer to the rug. While I personally have no problem with this, many times these two materials don’t wear nearly as well as wool.
A hand-loomed all over pattern modern design wool and viscose blend rug
A handmade transitional floral design rug made of high-end wool and viscose
Another handmade rug made of high-end wool and viscose
I always urge customers to use an all wool or cotton rug in high traffic areas such as a living room, and use these blended rugs in low traffic areas like a bedroom or study. This will help ensure the longevity and beauty of these very nice blended rugs.
Feel free to email or contact Sean with any questions.
Many thanks, Sean!