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Area Rugs 101

Choosing the right rug can seem overwhelming at first. Not only are there hundreds of designs and color combinations, but selecting the right shape and proper size for your room must also be considered before purchasing. Use this handy guide to learn more about design and construction, as well as tips on selecting and caring for your area rugs.

Basic Design Tips

Rugs help create a mood for your room. For example, a lighter shade of area rug can open up and brighten a space while darker shades tend to create a more intimate mood. Here are a few tips on choosing a rug design:

  • Traditional versus contemporary rugs - choose a style of rug that complements the colors and interior design of your space. Think of your home's design, your taste in furniture and other design elements to ensure that a particular rug will blend in rather than detract from the room's overall décor.
  • Pattern on pattern - combining patterns in a room can be done with the right attention. Curtains, upholstery or pillows with small patterns should be complemented with a rug featuring a larger pattern, and vice versa. Florals, plaids, stripes and other patterns can all work together providing they have size distinction and coordinate in color.
  • Texture adds depth - a rug with looped pile yarns or a combination of cut pile and looped pile yarns atop a smooth surface hardwood floor creates another layer to the design and gives complexity to what would otherwise be a flat palette of colors.
  • Never try to match the main fabric color - it would be next to impossible to match the exact red found in a pillow. So find the second or third color in the pillow or other design element and match families of colors rather than specific colors.
  • Traffic is key - rugs with condensed or repeating patterns in darker colors show less dirt and grime over time.
  • Rugs look bigger on the rack - so you may have to place a displayed rug on the floor to see it's natural position. While time-consuming, this exercise is better than having to return a rug later.

Choosing the Right Size

Choosing the right size of area rug is just as important as selecting a pattern or color. Whether rectangle, square or round, the perfect size and shape of rug is critical to achieving the right look for a room's particular proportions and design. In fact, there's a science to choosing the proper size of rug for a particular application. For more information on rug sizing, review our Oriental Weavers Size Guide.

Design Types

Rug designs are generally categorized in four different styles:

Traditional

TRADITIONAL - Traditional area rugs are typically modern-day representations of more formal, time-honored European and Asian designs reminiscent of either Oriental or Persian motifs. Today's traditional designstypically incorporate currentcolor pallets and sometimes an all-over geometric pattern with linear components for a more simplistic design as opposed to Oriental or Persian motifs. On the other hand, traditional designs can include pictorials illustrating elements from nature such as floral patterns.

Contemporary

CONTEMPORARY - Contemporary designs are characterized by stark contrasts, bold use of color and sharp geometric design elements. "Modern" designs tend to be more architectural in feeling, such as art deco designs. They tend to be assertive and bold, offering a strong statement to a roomŽs décor. On the other hand, "retro" designs hearken back to styles that were first popular in the 60's and early 70's. They take advantage of a free-form concept, rarely having any rhyme or reason to the flow of the design.

Casual

CASUAL / TRANSITIONAL - In a nutshell, transitional designs are a blend of contemporary and traditional. Sometimes referred to as "casual", they tend to be utilized to create the elegance of a traditional design without the formality they often project. Most transitional designs are characterized through the use of open spaces containing a sparse assortment of design components - sometimes traditional and sometimes contemporary.

Southwest

SOUTHWEST / TRIBAL - are characterized by those design elements common to a specific culture or ethnic group. They typically combine earth tones such as yellow, gold, red and brownin very exacting and structured designs that offer their own interpretation. Southwest or Tribals lend themselves well to rooms that take on specific themes, offering a unique way to tie the common elements of a particular space together.

Construction

Construction

The construction of area rugs, though technical, is a key element in researching the integrity of a product. Oriental Weavers utilizes the Face-to-Face Wilton method to produce the majority of our rugs because we've found it offers a number of advantages, such as cost-efficiency and exceptional quality.

One key advantage of the Wilton method is that this type of construction lends itself well to a production process known as "side-weaving". Weaving from side to side rather than top to bottom enables up to 54 colors to be included into a single rug design and delivers an end product with a softer, denser pile. Plus, this process enables the rug's fringe to be woven directly into the backing material for greater durability.

Terms that are good to know:

Border - The design that forms the outside edge of a rug and surrounds, or frames, the field.

Fringe - Extension of the wrap threads on two opposite ends of the rug.

Hand - The tactile aesthetic qualities of carpet and textiles; how it feels to the hand.





HAND-KNOTTED - Tying or knotting pile yarns around woven backing fibers. The resulting face of the rugs is then sheered to a pre-determined height to give the pile uniformity. The more knots per square foot, the more valuable the rug.





HAND-TUFTED - Using a tufting gun, pile yarns are forced through a primary backing material known as a scrim. This process forms a looped pile, and if left uncut the rug is referred to as hand-hooked. If the loops are sheered off to create a cut-pile look, it is referred to as hand-tufted.






HAND-CARVED - The cutting, or carving, of lines or design patterns in a rug during the finishing process to create texture and dimension giving the rug a greater apparent value.

HEAT SET - this refers to a stage in the yarn production process whereby two or more yarn fibers are twisted together and then heated to ensure the yarns remain joined, permitting greater design flexibility and appearance retention.

KNOTS - the knot refers to the portion of the yarn that is attached or knotted to the backing material. With regard to cut-pile, machine-made area rugs, the knots are comprised of two points. In other words, the face yarn is looped in a "U" shape under the backing materials which, when finished, will form two points and one knot. To determine the number of knots in a rug, divide the number of points by two, and vice versa.

PILE - the nap or amount of fiber that makes up the face of the rug.

PILE HEIGHT - pile height is measured as the amount of yarn visible from the top of the face yarn to the face of the backing. Pile height is only measured on cut pile area rugs.

POINTS - a point, when referring to area rug construction, is the tip end of a pile yarn and refers to the number of yarns that make up an area rug. The more points per square meter the denser the construction, and the more detailed the rug. The typical quality area rug will have a minimum of 250,000 points per square meter.

PLY -One or more yarns are twisted together to form a larger piece of yarn. Ply count indicates the number of single pieces that have been twisted together, e.g. two-ply or three-ply.

MEDALLION - The large, enclosed portion of a design, usually in the center of the rug field. Common shapes are octagons, hexagons, and diamonds.

Rug Fiber

There are three basic types of rug fiber - Polypropylene, nylon and wool. All create beautifully-colored, rich designs in a soft, thick, luxurious pile for unsurpassable style, quality and value.


POLYPROPYLENE - is a petroleum-based fiber formed into yarns by a process of extrusion, whereby pre-dyed polypropylene pellets are melted down and extruded into a continuous fiber. Strong and colorfast with a soft wool-like feel, polypropylene resists wear and stains. It is value-driven and the predominant machine-woven synthetic fiber with the power to compete with the best wool rugs.

NYLON - like Polypropylene, nylon is extremely durable, stain resistant and low in moisture absorbency. Nylon fibers feature a soft luxurious texture and rich, lustrous appearance.



WOOL - noted for luxury and softness, wool has a high build of all natural fiber. In fact, it's natural ability to repel water and resistance to breaking and compressing makes it a very popular material for higher-end rugs.

A great advantage of polypropylene and nylon rugs is that these non-porous fibers are essentially stainproof and resistant to soiling from almost any chemical. Also, both types produce little if any shedding and, being synthetic they are less likely to affect those who struggle with allergies

Care & Cleaning

Oriental weavers rugs are manufactured to last for years to come, but as with all things, care and cleaning will prolong the life of any rug. We recommend the following:

  • REGULAR VACCUUMING - not only keeps your rug clean, but pulls the fibers up to stand proud as the day you purchased your rug.
  • CLIP LONG ENDS - longer fibers may work to the surface after use or vacuuming. Never pull these ends out - clip them off even with the rug's surface in order to not cause any damage to the rug's weave.
  • CLEAN SPILLS AND SPOTS IMMEDIATELY - but never rub a spill. Always blot to prevent fraying of the yarns. Simple soap and water should remove most stains. However, be sure to test cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area to be sure the cleanser will not damage the fiber.
  • PROFESSIONALLY CLEAN PERIODICALLY - to remove deep-down dirt and grime. Always use an Oriental Weavers rug pad for added non-slip safety and cushion underfoot.
  • ROTATE RUGS PERIODICALLY - regular traffic will begin to show eventually, so be sure to rotate rugs in order to create even wear across the entire rug surface.
Color Style Shape/Size Collection Fiber Weave Pattern
Ash
Beige
Black
Blue
Brown
Charcoal
Gold
Green
Grey
Ivory
Midnight
Mink
Multi
Navy
Orange
Pink
Purple
Red
Rust
Sand
Slate
Stone
Tan
Taupe
Teal
White
Yellow
Pantone Universe
Tommy Bahama
Casual
Contemporary
Juvenile
Outdoor
Rug Pad
Set
Shag
Traditional
Accent
Mansion Sized
Room Sized
Round
Runner
Square
Adrienne
All-n-one
Allure
Amelia
Anastasia
Andorra
Aniston
Ansley
Arabella
Ariana
Aston
Atlas
Atrium
Bali
Bohemian
Brentwood
Cabana
Cambridge
Camden
Casablanca
Caspian
Cayman
Chloe
Color influence
Colorscape
Comfortgrip
Cosmo
Covington
Craft
Darcy
Eden
Elisa
Ella
Ellerson
Emerson
Empire
Evolution
Expressions
Finley
Focus
Foundry
Galaxy
Generations
Genesis
Genre
Hampton
Harper
Heavenly
Henderson
Heritage
Highlands
Hudson
Huntington
Huntley
Impressions
Infinity
Infused
Jamison
Jayden
Joli
Kaleidoscope
Karavia
Kasbah
Kashan
Kharma
Kharma ii
Knightsbridge
Lanai
Linden
Loft
Luxehold
Maddox
Manor
Marrakesh
Masterpiece
Matrix
Meridian
Milano
Mira
Montego
Nadira
Nomad
Optic
Outdoor
Palace
Palermo
Parker
Pasha
Prismatic
Revival
Richmond
Riviera
Rowan
Salerno
Santa rosa
Seaside
Sedona
Silhouette
Stella
Stratton
Suregrip
Tones
Tybee
Ultragrip
Utopia
Valencia
Ventura
Villa
Vintage
Voyage
Windsor
Zanzibar
Jute
Nylon
Nylon/PolyP
Polyester
Polypropylene
PolyP/Chenill
PolyP/Polyester
Wool
Wool and Viscose
Wool Blend
Handcrafted
Machine Woven
Made in the USA
Abstract
Border
Floral
Geometric
Juvenile
Oriental
Solid
Southwest/Lodge
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Floating Layout

One popular room configuration is called a "floating layout", where all of the furniture fits within the borders of the rug. Every leg should rest on the rug, leaving an adequate border around the furniture to nicely frame in a seating or dining area.

Also, the rug size should be large enough to allow a symmetrical border of exposed flooring on all four sides. If the room does not allow for symmetrical positioning, choose a size that will provide equal borders top and bottom, and side to side.

Floating Layout
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Entry Ways

Entry ways offer a great opportunity for a positive first impression, especially with a round rug or runner. These small spaces usually require a 2' x 3' up to a 4' x 6' rug. Large motifs or medallions can overwhelm a space, however smaller patterns can complement tight quarters and allow the rug to become an accent rather than a focal point.

Entry Ways
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Hallways

These long linear spaces can be effectively accented using runners that lead the eye from one area to another. Nothing can transform a boring hallyway like adding the perfect rug.

Hallways
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Kitchens

When considering a rug for the kitchen, think about the space limitations caused by cabinetry, appliances and islands. You may want to consider small rugs in front of task areas, runners or even accent rugs to properly fit the space while softening up the feel of the room.

Kitchens
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Bathrooms

Bathrooms are small by design, plus you must consider the placement of bath fixtures and vanities with incorporating a rug. You may want to choose a 2'x3', 4'x6' or even a runner to achieve the right feel without overwhelming the space.

Bathrooms
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Bedrooms

In bedrooms, there are various ways to incorporate a rug. You may choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of the room's furniture, with a symmetrical border of exposed flooring on all sides. Adding a rug under a bed is a great way to pull a room together. You can even position the rug at an angle for a unique design element.

Many times you will find that in an average size bedroom, the bed will cover the majority of a rug, you may want to choose smaller rugs to place around it instead. In addition, incorporating a patterned rug in a bedroom with solid colored carpeting can also add interest to the room's decor.

Bedrooms
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Bedrooms

In bedrooms, there are various ways to incorporate a rug. You may choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of the room's furniture, with a symmetrical border of exposed flooring on all sides. Adding a rug under a bed is a great way to pull a room together. You can even position the rug at an angle for a unique design element.

Many times you will find that in an average size bedroom, the bed will cover the majority of a rug, you may want to choose smaller rugs to place around it instead. In addition, incorporating a patterned rug in a bedroom with solid colored carpeting can also add interest to the room's decor.

Bedrooms
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Bedrooms

In bedrooms, there are various ways to incorporate a rug. You may choose a rug large enough to accommodate all of the room's furniture, with a symmetrical border of exposed flooring on all sides. Adding a rug under a bed is a great way to pull a room together. You can even position the rug at an angle for a unique design element.

Many times you will find that in an average size bedroom, the bed will cover the majority of a rug, you may want to choose smaller rugs to place around it instead. In addition, incorporating a patterned rug in a bedroom with solid colored carpeting can also add interest to the room's decor.

Bedrooms
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Dining Rooms

A good rule of thumb is that area rugs should be 3 to 4 feet larger in length and width to the dining room table. You should be able to pull a chair out and sit at the table without the chair legs falling off the edge of the rug. For the average dining table and chair grouping, typically an 8'x11' should be the minimal size considered, depending on the size of the dining table-rectangle, square, round, etc.

Dining Rooms
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Great Rooms/Living Rooms

For an awe-inspiring statement in larger areas, choose a 6'x9', 8'x11' or 10'x13' sized rug. These sizes allow for a greater design pallet, so the motifs and patterns will be prominent and more of a focal point of the roomŽs decor. Make sure you match the size of your furniture grouping by choosing a large enough rug. A rug that fits properly under your roomŽs furniture grouping anchors the elements in the room and visually brings everything together.

For very large spaces, you can always utilize the floating layout as well. With this option, all of the furniture is placed entirely on the rug. This leaves a symmetrical border of exposed flooring on all four sides of the rug. If the design of the room does not allow for symmetrical positioning, choose a size that will provide equal borders top and bottom, and side to side.

Great Rooms/Living Rooms
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Outdoor Living

Rugs have the ability to add comfort to any outdoor setting, whether it's a patio seating group or screened-in porch dining area.

Choose a rug large enough to allow for a symmetrical border of exposed decking or patio material on all four sides or, in smaller areas, a size that will provide equal borders top and bottom, and side to side.

You may want a rug large enough to accommodate all of your outdoor furniture, or simply one that allows for the front legs of your furniture grouping to rest upon it.

View indoor/outdoor area rugs.

Outdoor Living