In rug terminology, pile refers to the density of the fibers used to create a rug’s weave. The thickness of the rug and the length of the fibers in the weave combined determine the pile of a rug, which varies from one rug design to another, ranging from an outright flat pile to a long, shaggy pile.
However, today we will discuss the two most basic and most common piles available – high and low. These two are as different as chalk and cheese when it comes to their appearance, feel, maintenance and pricing. Here is a brief overview of the advantages and drawbacks of both -
High Pile Rugs
- High pile rugs are softer and definitely fluffier looking than low pile rugs.
- They have longer threads, giving them a gorgeously luxuriant appearance.
- They are less prone to flattening when compared to low pile rugs.
- They are not as suitable for high foot traffic areas as lower pile rugs.
- Their threads and fibers are prone to twisting, matting, or being crushed if used in an area of very high foot traffic.
- High pile rugs are more labor-intensive to clean and maintain, especially when it comes to stain removal.
- Shedding occurs more often with high pile rugs, because their threads and fibers become loose and settle on the surface.
Low Pile Rugs
- These rugs have a relatively flat appearance.
- They are composed of tightly woven fibers which are generally not visible individually.
- Low pile rugs are extremely easy to maintain because they are usually more durable and thus simpler to clean.
- They are perfect for dining rooms because the low pile makes the movement of chairs easy.
- They are often used in playrooms and nurseries because toys can slide easily across them.
- Their low pile means less dander and dust sticks to their fibers, making them the best choice for children or anyone else with allergies.
- Low pile rugs show fewer signs of wear and tear because of their dense construction.
- They are the best choice for rooms with lots of foot traffic and activity.
- They hide vacuum marks and shoe marks very well.
Different people buy rugs for different reasons, and so the choice to purchase a rug with high pile or low pile can depend on many factors, such as existing décor or the necessary level of maintenance. Pricing is also an important factor when considering the kind of pile one wishes to opt for, as is the kind of foot traffic the rug is expected to attract.
For many mothers of young children, durability and low maintenance are the most important factors to consider, which is why they often end up buying low pile rugs – especially those in dark colors, because stains are not as noticeable in darker tones. But high pile rugs can take a room from drab to fab in no time flat, so many others choose these luxurious rugs instead.