RUGS BUYING
GUIDE

Rugs provide cover to your floors and comfort to your feet. They can be used to complement, contrast or cheer up your décor, and can help to zone, tie together, or divide rooms. In this Habitat rugs buying guide we help you decide what will work best in your space. So, if you need help differentiating between what's available, what each can bring to your room, and where to lay it, just walk this way...

What are the different types?

At Habitat we favour natural fibres, and our biggest, heaviest creations are wool rugs, which are created in wool pile on a cotton backing. Always with an eye on the craft element, we tend to categorise our rugs according to the technique with which they're made.

Hand-tufted

The pile of these rugs is created by tufts of thread being pushed through a pre-formed cotton backing. These are then fixed into place with a further backing of latex.

Durability is the watchword of the hand-tufted rug and each is incredibly hard wearing over time. Statement designs are usually realised in hand-tufted rugs. For example, bold, geometric drawings translate well on them, as do detailed, small-scale patterns.


Hand-knotted

The pile of these rugs is made from individual threads being hand twisted around the warp.

Highly durable and beautiful rugs, these are usually textured, dense and luxuriously soft underfoot. As the most labour-intensive of all types, hand knotted rugs tend to be real investment pieces.

Flat-woven

These rugs can be formed of a mix of materials, usually cotton, wool or a blend of both. They're created via a more traditional loom-weaving technique.

Larger scale, regular patterns such as stripes or geometrics are a flat-woven rug's reason for being. Being lighter in weight, they can be taken away from our stores rather than delivered. They're also lighter on your pocket, making them an easy, affordable update to make.

Handwoven Pile

The newest addition to our rug range is our handwoven pile rugs. They are woven, rather than tufted and result in a thick, more relaxed pile.

The hand-weaving process means our rugs are longer-lasting and more affordable. The neat alignment of threads and a tight weave thread allows for a greater level of detail in the design, both in terms or pattern and colour.

How to choose a rug

There are lots of things to consider when you’re choosing which rug is best, from colour to how much of the room you want to fill.
The first question is where are you going to put it?

Here’s our list of things to take into account after that initial decision’s been made:

Wool

Highly durable and the hardest wearing fabric for a rug, making it perfect for heavy traffic areas.

Cotton

Lightweight and easy to clean at an affordable price, cotton rugs are great for those who like to change up their interior. All our cotton rugs are woven or screen printed with Habitat exclusive designs. Recycled cotton is also a key trend for us (chindi fabric) in our rag-rug designs that are ideal for environmentally conscious customers. And what makes them even better, each one will be a little different from the next.

Viscose

Part of an up and coming fabric trend, Viscose is extremely soft underfoot and has a subtle sheen finish, making it perfect for luxe interiors. Each design is often in bright, bold colours as the fibre can take on saturated colours and designs. However, this type of rug isn’t a good option for messy, clumsy homes.

Jute

Jute is a great way to add a minimal, rustic look to your home.

Room type

A rug for a playroom, for example, will differ from one for a kitchen. Both need to be hard wearing, but in material and format they’ll contrast.

Hand-tufted rugs are great for living rooms, because they’re warm and robust. Kitchens favour a flat woven rug for lacking pile and being easy to clean. This is the reason flat-woven also work for home offices – wheeled chairs can easily move over their smoother surfaces.

Size

Do you want to fill the floor or define a zone within it? For example, a hallway can look smaller if the rug within it pushes right out to the skirting boards. Meanwhile, an open-plan living room/ dining room / playroom setup can be subtly subdivided with three different designs or textures of rug. These should tone in with or complement one another so they don’t battle for attention.

Design

The design of the rug you choose is of course entirely up to you.

But as a general rule of thumb, it’s worth considering other pattern and colour within the room’s decor before you make your selection. If your pictures or textiles are busy, a neutrally-patterned or block coloured rug will sit better among them. Hand knotted and flat-woven styles are both ideal for this.

For rooms that are minimalistic in look, or plainer and more pared back in their design details, texture, pattern and a mixed palette can add interest. Think hand-tufted or flat-woven in these cases.

Colour Scheme

Whether starting your room with a rug and letting its palette inform other accessories, or adding the rug to an existing scheme, remember that a bold pattern or print will likely become a focal point, while textured and plain rugs will blend in beautifully.

Sizes

Extra Small - Approx. 80 x 130cm
Small - Approx. 120 x 180cm
Medium - Approx. 140 x 200cm
Large - Approx. 240 x 270cm
Extra Large - Approx. 200 x 300cm
Runner - Approx. 75 x 250cm

Cleaning your rug

We always recommend that our rugs are cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner but check the individual care label because some flat-woven styles can be spot-cleaned. Good carpet cleaners will already know the below points, but to arm you with some knowledge, we’re listing them in this buying guide.

  • Our rugs should be cleaned when flat, using a water-based shampoo.
  • Bleach, optical brightening agents and biological powders are a no-no, as are harsh chemicals and insecticides. These can all cause fading and can damage the latex binding of the rug.
  • We caution against dry cleaning and tumble drying.
  • Rugs must be dried thoroughly after cleaning to avoid colour transfer on to carpets.

What you can do to maintain your rug

  • Regularly brush or vacuum to gently maintain its fibre lustre (in the case of hand-tufted and handwoven pieces).
  • Carefully cut loose threads to remove them – never pull.
  • Store your rug flat where possible, or if rolled, with the backing on the outside. Don’t fold it.
  • Dry, well-ventilated areas are the best spot for a stored rug. An airtight bag is not.
  • Some shedding may occur, but this is normal. It will reduce over time and with regular vacuuming.
  • Colour variation may occur between covered and exposed areas of flooring over time.

Effects of sunlight

Some natural fibres can discolour slightly when exposed to natural light over long periods of time. If only some parts of your rug are exposed to the sun during the day, regularly turning it will help to ensure it doesn’t become patchy. Where you have a rug, you may also notice a difference in colour between covered and non-covered areas of flooring over time.

Safety

At Habitat we always advise an anti-slip mat is used beneath our rugs when they’re placed on uncarpeted floors.

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