- Cotton Rugs: Light and Breathable
- Jute Rugs: Soft and Thick Plant Fibers
- Sisal Rugs: A Tighter Weave for High Traffic
- Seagrass Rugs: Sturdy and Moisture Resistant
- Wool Rugs: The Iconic, Durable Natural Rug Fiber
- Polypropylene Rugs: Perfect for High Traffic
- Polyester Rugs: Eco-Friendly and Colorful
- Nylon Rugs: Classic, Lasting Appeal
- Faux Hides and Pelts
When you’re rug shopping online it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many choices—from a machine washable rug, to a natural, organic rug, to a synthetic rug, and beyond, with each rug style having its own look, feel, and personality. Usually we want to shop according to colors, patterns, and sizes we like, and don’t consider material up front. But knowing rug materials is key to getting the most out of your purchase, helping you anticipate how a rug will feel underfoot, and how it is going to hold up over time. Will it resist stains? Does it need a rug pad?
For any questions about rug materials and construction, trust the experts in all things rug. That’s where Rugs USA comes in.
At Rugs USA we are committed to helping you find the best rug (or rugs!) for your home. Our incredible variety of inventory has made us a unique authority in rug textures and rug materials, and we’re going to share everything we know to help you find what works for you.
Before we dive into different rug materials and weaves, and how to care for them, think first about the kind of performance you need from a rug:
- Do you have children or pets?
- Will the rug be placed in a high-traffic area, such as a hallway or playroom?
- Is there a lot of moisture in the room (basement, outdoor deck)?
- Are you looking for an eco-friendly rug, made from renewable materials?
- Do you need something that excels at resisting stains and spills, or is even machine washable?
- Do you want something extra soft, just because?
In other words, think about your dream rug. Now we’ll help you discover what materials fit the bill.
Rugs Made from Natural Fibers
Natural rugs are made from fibers and materials that come from plants (such as cotton and jute), or from animals (such as the wool from sheep). These fibers can either be handwoven or machine-woven to create enduring long-lasting rugs for your home. Rug materials like cotton and wool are also easy to clean and can withstand heavy wear and tear. What’s more, many natural rug materials can be recycled or even composted after their years of use.
Cotton Rugs: Light and Breathable
About the cotton fiber
Cotton grows from the cotton plant. Thick, fluffy fibers wrapped around cotton seeds are spun into material that’s used to create a soft, breathable textile, famous for making comfortable clothes, sheets, and rugs. Cotton also holds onto dye very well.
How cotton rugs are made
Many cotton rugs are braided, or brightly colored with a whimsical pattern. Cotton also blends well with other natural materials, like wool. Cotton rugs can be made into varying levels of thickness, including from flat rugs to a thick, shaggy pile. They are soft to the touch and often create a plush, smooth texture to walk on. These rugs are also reversible.
Where to place your cotton rug
Flatweave cotton rugs are a great choice for placing in any spot that needs clearance for a door. Also, all cotton rugs benefit from a rug pad to help keep them in place—cotton rugs on a wood floor can be very slippery.
Rug care: cotton
Smaller cotton rugs can be shaken out outside to remove dirt and debris. Larger cotton rugs can be vacuumed – start with the lowest suction and no brush, and gradually increase suction and resistance until you find the right balance without pulling too many fibers into the vacuum canister.
Worried about stains? Some cotton rugs are machine washable, like our Ivory Alphabet Nursery Washable Area Rug. Others can be spot cleaned easily.
If your cotton rug isn’t machine washable, spot clean by first pressing any stains with a clean, dry white cloth. Then add a few drops of clear detergent to warm, soapy water; dip the clean, dry cloth into the solution; and gently press the stains out of your cotton rug. (Make sure you patch test your solution in an inconspicuous area first, to make sure the rug won’t be stained by the solution.) Don’t scrub the rug, as heavy scrubbing might separate and damage the fibers.
Jute Rugs: Soft and Thick Plant Fibers
About the jute fiber
The fibrous jute plant from India and Bangladesh has thick, coarse leaves that are harvested and woven together.
How jute rugs are made
Jute rugs are woven by hand. These raw fibers need to be treated with care: on their own, they are delicate and will fall apart! When woven, though, they become thick and durable. Jute rugs are surprisingly soft and tend to look like woven baskets. They can be dyed, but many people prefer their natural color. The texture of a jute rug is often chunky and thick, and surprisingly soft underfoot.
Where to place your jute rug
These rugs work well indoors, either on their own or as a base for a smaller rug, for a cool layered look. They can help create a beach or vacation feel in your home, fit into a Southwestern decor, or offer a neutral complement to darker furniture. Jute rugs do best in dry places—avoid using them in wet climates and rooms that have a lot of moisture (such as a basement or outdoor space) because the environment will damage the fibers.
Rug care: jute
When you clean a jute rug, vacuum on a low setting. Because jute rugs occasionally shed, you will have to vacuum them on a regular basis. Spot clean only by pressing any stains with a clean, dry white cloth. Using a wet or dyed cloth will discolor the fibers!
|Explore Jute Rugs More:|
How to Clean a Jute Rug: Expert Tips and Everything Else You Need to Know!
8 Reasons Why You Can’t Go Wrong with Classic, Authentic Jute Rugs
Sisal Rugs: A Tighter Weave for High Traffic
About the sisal fiber
Sisal rugs are made from the fibers of the cactus plant Agave sisalana. These rugs may look similar to jute rugs, but they have a few key differences. Sisal rugs are smoother but not quite as soft as jute rugs. They have a tight weave that gives them more durablity than jute rugs, making them perfect for high-traffic areas.
Sisal rugs usually come in their natural colors as well, although some sisal rugs are dyed.
Where to place your sisal rug
Sisal rugs are a great choice for the entryway and hallway–anyplace in the home that sustains a lot of traffic.
Rug care: sisal
Sisal rugs can be cleaned in a similar way to jute: low settings on a vacuum cleaner, and spot clean only with a clean, dry white cloth. Avoid getting them wet because they will get discolored.
Seagrass Rugs: Sturdy and Moisture Resistant
About the seagrass fiber
Seagrass rugs are also very durable and fit well in high-traffic areas. They look similar to jute and sisal, but these fibers have a different origin—they grow in marshes in Asia—and are a champ when it comes to resisting stains. Seagrass rugs have beautiful, complex weaves like herringbone and checker patterns that provide additional interest to the rug.
Where to place your seagrass rug
The thick weave and smooth waxy fibers of seagrass make all-natural rugs that do not absorb stains or liquid; you can simply wipe the stains or spills off the rug. This makes sisal ideal for your dining room or kitchen.
Wool Rugs: The Iconic, Durable Natural Rug Fiber
About the wool fiber
Wool is an original, endlessly versatile natural rug fiber. Spun from the fleece of sheep, wool has been used across many cultures to make their iconic rugs–Greek flokatis, Persian rugs, Scandinavian ryas, and Moroccan shags. Whether soft and fluffy or tightly braided, wool is a durable, reliable, moisture-resistant fiber that looks and feels great anywhere.
Where to place your wool rug
Because they’re so strong, soft, and stain resistant, wool rugs will do a great job of brightening any spot in your home. Consider a wool shag in your bedroom, or a lower-pile wool rug in a family room.
Rug care: wool
Wool rugs can be spot-cleaned by hand using gentle detergent and warm water. They can also be vacuumed regularly, though smaller wool rugs can be beaten outside to shake out any excess dirt or dust.
Wool shag rugs should be given special consideration: Prior to vacuuming, turn the rug face down and gently shake it out to dislodge any dirt that may have gotten trapped deep within the fibers. Using a suction-only attachment, vacuum in-between individual rows on your rug.
|Explore Wool Rugs More:|
Why You Should Sink Your Feet Into Our Washable Wool Rugs!
Rugs Made from Synthetic Materials
Durable and luxurious, synthetic rugs are powerloomed using modern machinery from human-made materials. Synthetic rugs are generally manufactured to be stain resistant, mold resistant, hypoallergenic, and sometimes even machine washable, with a soft or silky texture.
Synthetic rugs come in a mind-boggling array of styles and sizes and are appropriate to place anywhere in the home.
Polypropylene Rugs: Perfect for High Traffic
About polypropylene rugs
Polypropylene is a synthetic fiber made from the same material that goes into certain plastics. It follows, then, that polypropylene rugs can handle a significant amount of wear and tear. They resist stains and fading and clean up easily, making them perfect for large families and multiple pets, with a softness that feels great underfoot.
Where to place your polypropylene rug
These rugs are suitable anywhere–the only limit is your imagination! Our Outdoor rugs are powerloomed from polypropylene, perfect for rolling out on your patio or deck to create a place for picnic lunches or an early evening cocktail hour. They resist fading from the sun while protecting your feet from hot brick and wood.
Rug care: polypropylene
Many of our Washables by Rugs USA rugs are also polypropylene—so durable, in fact, that they can be laundered! Look for these one-piece rugs in every style from Persian to shag to even cowhide.
Even non-launderable polypropylene rugs are incredibly easy to clean. Vacuuming loose dirt and blotting stains with a soapy solution are no problem for these workhorse rugs.
|Explore Polypropylene Rugs:|
Which Rugs Work Best for Messy Households?
It’s Back in Stock! Plus 6 Reasons to Love Our Best-Selling Eldorado Rug
Polyester Rugs: Eco-Friendly and Colorful
About polyester rugs
When you’re looking for eco-friendly rugs, polyester is surprisingly easy to recycle and can help you cut down on your waste and emissions.
Where to place your polyester rug
Polyester rugs are super soft and, like their polypropylene cousins, can be used for both outdoor and indoor designs–though be sure to use only dedicated Outdoor rugs outdoors. These rugs hold dye very well and can come in an endless array of vibrant styles. They also come in varying levels of thickness. Some even play with texture.
Rug care: polyester
You can clean these rugs in a similar fashion to polypropylene rugs, but you will need to vacuum these rugs a little more often–they don’t absorb dirt, but rather let it rise to the top.
Nylon Rugs: Classic, Lasting Appeal
About nylon rugs
Nylon rugs are soft, resilient, and durable. These materials last for even longer than their polyester and polypropylene counterparts, which makes them a good investment if you want a classic look to last for years.
Where to place your nylon rug
These vivid, durable rugs look great anywhere! They are especially suited for any high-traffic areas, especially in rooms where you do a lot of hosting: Dinner parties, holiday gatherings, and birthday parties can all look fabulous with a nylon rug pulling together the look.
Most nylon rugs are not machine washable, but they are easy to spot clean and can be vacuumed regularly. Experts recommend using fabric protectors to keep these rugs fresh and in good condition.
Faux Cowhide, Imitation Sheepskin, and Other Synthetic Hides and Pelts
About faux hides and pelts
When you crave the rustic look of leather, cowhide, and sheepskin but want to avoid animal products, look no further than these amazing synthetic alternatives. Faux cowhide is made of synthetic fiber (polyester, acrylic) that has a unique softness in its pile. Faux pelts are made of polyester to resemble classic sheepskin rugs.
Jump to animal rugs to learn about rugs made with real hides and pelts.
Where to place your faux hide or pelt rug
These synthetic rugs are fantastic almost anywhere! You can brighten up any niche in your home–from under the desk or coffee table, to beside your bed. Try them layered on top of furniture–because they’re synthetic, these rugs have a unique drape, so placing them over a chair or on the back of a couch is going to look and feel great.
Rug care: faux hides and pelts
When caring for your faux hide or pelt rug, take a look at what fiber or fibers it was made from, and follow the care instructions for that fiber. If a spill happens, try to blot stains with a dry cloth only so longer fibers won’t be mussed. If using a cleaning solution is necessary, patch test a small area of the rug first.
|Explore Faux Animal Rugs More:|
Unleash the Animal with Faux Animal Print Rugs
Why You Should Sink Your Feet Into Our Washable Faux Cowhide Rugs!
Rugs Made from Real Animal Hides and Pelts
Leather and cowhide rugs, made from real or faux animal skin, bring a uniquely natural look to any room; they’re instantly recognizable and universally cherished. We’re thrilled to offer a full range of leather and faux animal rugs in a wealth of materials, sizes, and colors.
Jump to synthetic rugs to learn about imitation/faux animal rugs.
Leather Rugs: Hardy and Rustic-Looking
About leather rugs
Though most often associated with a rustic, Western- and cabin-inspired look, leather rugs–especially cowhide–can add a touch of warmth to contemporary style. They also bring a grounded feeling to any cheerful, eclectic, colorful room.
Leather often gets mixed with other materials to create rugs. All-leather rugs are very soft, but might feel a little slippery under your feet, so a rug pad is recommended.
Where to place your leather rug
Leather rugs are incredibly durable and can withstand heavy traffic and wear and tear. Over time, they can become vintage pieces if properly cared for.
Rug care: leather
These rugs can be cleaned gently with a handheld vacuum attachment; it might be best to keep metal furniture feet away from the rug to prevent gouging it. Avoid using any chemical solvents on leather or cowhide. This will cause the material to break down and stain further.
|Explore Real Animal Hide Rugs More:|
So Cozy! 9 Ways to Decorate with Sheepskin Rugs
Find Your Perfect Rug Material at Rugs USA!
Whether you want natural materials, like the soft wool rug in your bedroom that acts like your favorite sweater, or the crisp seagrass rug by your kitchen door, or whether you want a soft synthetic rug with vibrant dyed patterns, Rugs USA has the right rug for you. Check out our polypropylene, nylon, and polyester rugs for when you want a synthetic. Our jute, seagrass, sisal, wool, and cotton selections are also there for you when you want them.