Decorating your home starts an area rug. Making the proper area rug choices can bring fresh excitement to your rooms and can impart comfort and warmth as well as tie together various elements of your furnishings and accessories.
Your area rug choice can also allow you to express your own personal style and taste. Traditional, Contemporary, Transitional, Oriental, Persian, “Fun” and Juvenile designs are among the many options. The entire range of shapes, colors, sizes, materials and patterns is available to suit your preferences. Quality rugs are available in nearly every price range.
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WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING AT AREA RUGS
When decorating your home, think of your floors as the foundation for your design scheme. There's an endless array of rug designs to choose from. There are few “rules” in interior design, but some useful generalizations follow:
- Light colored rugs tend to make a room look more spacious and deeper colors lend a look of coziness.
- A rug with a bold overall pattern can be the focal point of a room, with a sofa and chair in solid or subdued patterns. Consider using round, oval, octagonal or other “shapes” for a lively look.
- Choose a rug that will look and perform well, with the right combination of fiber and density. Wool and the synthetic yarns (nylon, polyolefin, acrylic, etc.) are durable, soft and easy to clean. The denser the pile, with closer tufts, knots or stitches, the better your rug will wear.
When purchasing area rugs it is important to understand constructions and fibers used in the manufacturing processes.
Aubusson/Tapestry Weave: Hand weaving method originating in France in which the "stitches" on the face look more linear, and the back may look "stringy." This occurs when the weaver changes yarn colors.
Flat Weave: Weaving in which no knots are used. The weft strands are simply passed through the warp strands. Dhurries are flatwoven rugs that originate in India and are usually made of cotton or wool. Kilims are generally finer, tapestry-like flatweaves.
Handmade: Constructed by hand. The category can include hand knotted, hand tufted, hand hooked, needlepoint, Aubusson and hand loomed rugs.
Hand Hooked/Hand Tufted: Rug-making process by which craftsmen insert yarn into a backing with a hand held single-needle tufting tool. The machine is often called a "gun." The rug's pattern is stenciled on primary backing material. After the tufting is complete, a backing is attached to protect and anchor the stitches. The pile of a hand hooked rug is made up of loops. A hand tufted rug has a cut pile surface.Rugs may also combine cut and loop techniques. A rug that has a total cut pile appearance is also described as "full cut."
Hand Knotted: Rug made by weavers who knot pile yarns around the warp fibers that run the length of the rug. Generally, the more knots per square inch, the more valuable the rug.
Machine made Terms:
Fabricated (or Inlaid) Rugs: Tufted broadloom carpet is cut and inlaid on a patterned form to create a customized rug.
Frames: Racks which hold spools of yarn on a Wilton loom. Each frame holds a separate color creel. Thus an eight-frame Wilton weaves an eight color rug.
Machine made: A rug constructed on an electrically powered machine, now usually computer controlled.
Power Loomed: (See machine made) Power loomed has become the preferred term for machine made rugs.
MachineTufting: A technology developed in the United States in which yarn ends are placed into a backing in a manner similar to a sewing machine equipped with hundreds of needles. U.S. tufting machinery is usually 12 or 15 feet wide. Most wall-to-wall carpeting in the U.S. is tufted. Most machine tufted rugs are sold through mass merchants and discount stores.
Wilton and Axminster: Types of electronically driven looms used to weave rugs in multi-colored patterns. Present day looms are highly sophisticated, computer controlled machines.
Acrylic: Man-made fiber with wool-like appearance. Does not dye as well as nylon and is less durable. Hand-tufted acrylic rugs in accent sizes have been introduced in the U.S. during the past five years. Rugs over 20 sq. ft.
BCF: Bulked continuous filament yarns are synthetic yarns processed by a mechanical means to fluff them out before tufting or weaving
Continuous Filament: Nylon or polypropylene yarn made in one long strand that can be tufted or woven without the need for further processing.
Faux silk: "False silk" is usually a synthetic, such as polyester, or cellulosic fiber such as viscose/rayon. Mercerized cotton is also used as a silk look-alike. Also called art silk, faux silk is usually used as small accents or in a short, dense pile constructions.
Heatset: Twisted yarns are treated with heat to retain their "permanent wave" for better performance and appearance retention.
Nylon: Durable synthetic fiber which also has good dyeing characteristics. Nylon yarns can be solution dyed, skein dyed and/or space dyed
Polyester: Synthetic fiber most often used in staple spun yarns.
Polypropylene/Olefin: Synthetic fiber used extensively in machine made rugs. This low-cost fiber is colored in the pellet phase of production. Performs best when heatset and/or used in a dense construction.
Solution Dyed: A method of dyeing synthetic fiber in which pigment is added to the nylon or polypropylene chip before it is extruded as filament yarn.
Space Dyed: Yarn colored in sections of different colors before being tufted or woven into a rug. Abrash effects can be created with space dyed yarns. Space dyeing is frequently applied to nylon fibers.
Wool: There are many grades of wool. Long staple wool from New Zealand or France is considered to be most effective pill for rug manufacturing.
Worsted: An extra step in wool processing that combs out shorter fibers resulting in durable and lustrous yarns.
Why Is Color Important?
Area rugs accent a room's color palette or wall design, or even set the entire mood, character, or period of the room. Perhaps you want to rejuvenate or add color to a favorite room. Or you've been looking for a way to incorporate artistic expression to your
home. Or you'd like to warm the cold tile in your bathroom. Or maybe you would just like to add softness to a hard floor or extra flair to the carpet in a busy hallway.
Area Rugs come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Choosing the right size rug for your room and function may be a compromise, based on standard area rug sizes. The most common sizes tend to be 4’ by 6’ and 6’ by 9’. These are often used under a coffee table, for example. Dining rooms often use 8’ by 10’ rugs, and a 9’ by 12’ will usually look well in a average-size living room. Smaller area and “scatter” rugs can be ideal for use in small spaces or at hearthside, bed-side or in front of a kitchen sink; perhaps where a splash of color is wanted.
Follow closely the cleaning instructions for your rug to obtain best wear performance. Do not use a vacuum cleaner beater bar when cleaning fringe or long-fiber rugs. Have all rugs cleaned annually. Turn rugs 180° in the room periodically to equalize wear and sun exposure.