Wool Fiber that has been shorn from New Zealand sheep is the best fiber for an area rug. Why a New Zealand sheep? Because they have been bred to produce "carpet quality" wool fiber. An area rug of New Zealand wool fiber will be soft on the feet and extremely durable. Most stains are not a problem; simply blot gently with clear warm water for best results. An area rugs density will play an important role in its life and performance. A flimsy cotton or olefin (polypropylene) rug or a runner without a secondary backing is nothing but trouble. A rug without sufficient density will wrinkle, warp, buckle and bunch. Not to mention the battle for possession that takes place when you try to vacuum it. The vacuum almost always wins this battle as you try using your feet to keep it under submission and out of the suction tube. I dont know anyone who enjoys constantly adjusting and straightening their rugs. If you buy a rug with sufficient pile density (or weight) it will remain where you place it and behave when you vacuum. I prefer rugs of at least 12mm. Especially if they are to be placed over wall-to-wall carpet. Buy a dense rug and let gravity keep it in position and under control.
Although cotton or jute backing is preferred, many rugs are manufactured with a secondary backing. I prefer rugs that are woven without the secondary backing. Because you can tell if it is a good quality rug when you can detect the pattern of the rug while looking at it from the back. Whether a rug is machine-made or hand-knotted it has to be woven into something. Cotton or jute is preferred, but polypropylene mesh is fine when used in the backing of a rug (but never the face fiber). However; some rugs need that secondary backing to add density and weight. Also consider how the are rug is bonded.
Area rugs are often intended to define and delineate space. If your rug is too big for the area you are decorating you will be tempted to tuck the edges of the rug under your heavier pieces of furniture. When heavy furnishings are placed on an area rug they can often cause bunching and wrinkling where the furniture legs are indenting their selves into your rug. This can cause the most beautiful and expensive rugs to look cheesy and warped. Indents, wrinkles and warping of rugs from heavy furnishings can also become more permanent.
Small Round Rug or Square? It can be difficult deciding on a safe, square rug or a large or small round rug when it comes to the space in question. Take into consideration the area of the floor and what size would be best. A great trick is to use masking tape to get an idea. There are also many suppliers of area rugs online that will allow you to easily visualize the rug in your space by pulling it up on the computer whilst in the room. This is not something that is easily accomplished in a brick and mortar store.
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