Everything You Need to Know About Rug Materials

Everything You Need to Know About Rug Materials

Tuesday, February 15, 2022
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There are a wide range of rug materials and thicknesses available to choose from, and your choice will have implications on a rug’s cleaning requirements and how long it lasts. Different materials will be best for different locations, and if you want a certain material no matter what, it’s nice to know what that material will mean for the life of your rug.

Different types of rug material


Natural fibers

  • Cotton – An inexpensive choice, cotton is both soft and durable. It can be machine washed, too.
  • Wool – While usually more expensive than most, wool rugs are pricey for a reason. They don’t stay matted down when stepped on, but return to their original fluffiness. This makes them more durable and comfortable. Plus, they’re dust-, flame-, and stain-resistant.
  • Hemp – Not a soft choice necessarily, hemp rugs are pretty durable and a great choice for high traffic areas. They are resistant to water, allergens, and dirt.
  • Silk – The fanciest of rugs, silk is of course not a durable material. Silk rugs are great for show, so make sure to put them in a low traffic area if you want to keep them that way. Also, it’s best to have them professionally cleaned as it is a delicate process.

Synthetic fibers

  • Polyester – Both vibrant and soft at an affordable price, polyester is a nice option. While durable, they do soak up more liquid than most so they can stain. Microfiber rugs are usually made from polyester, and while softer and lighter, they are even more absorbent.
  • Polypropylene – Stain- and weather-resistant, polypropylene is durable and easy to maintain. They’re soft and give good color, but they are also highly flammable so be careful where you place them.
  • Viscose – Essentially non-organic silk, they can be a cheaper option (but not too much) than the real thing. They are not very durable though, and shed often, especially if they get wet.
  • Nylon – A versatile and more affordable choice than most, nylon is commonly used for rugs. They aren’t as durable as polyester rugs and usually you can’t machine wash them, either.
  • Faux-Fur – If you want the look of animal furs in your home without the moral question of the real thing, then faux-fur is a great choice for you. They can be machine washed which will help as they can get dirty quicker than most materials.

Pile Height

Pile height refers to the thickness of a rug, how high the fibers ‘pile’ up. It’s important to keep this in mind, as a rug could be too thick to fit under a doorway. Also, it affects comfort and cleaning needs.


  • Thick Pile – This refers to a pile height over 0.75”. They are harder to clean, but more comfortable on the other hand.
  • Medium Pile – Medium pile height is between 0.25” and 0.75”. They are the perfect compromise, giving comfort to the rug while not making it too hard to clean.
  • Thin Pile – Anywhere under 0.25”. These lighter rugs are as durable as possible, and you can even hang them up on the wall given their weight.
  • High-Low – This is where the rug has low and high pile areas to create a certain texture or design.
  • Shag – If you want to cozy up a room, then shag rugs will help. Keep in mind that they will hold more dirt and moisture.

Centurion Services | Professional rug cleaning

Having your rugs cleaned on a regular basis will keep them from holding onto foul odors and fading from their original vibrancy. While spot cleaning is often necessary, a professional deep cleaning will make your rug look brand new. Professional cleaning is especially important for more delicate rugs, as even the most careful rug owner could accidentally ruin a rug they’re trying to clean.


To schedule a rug cleaning appointment, call now at (586) 204-6387 or send us an online contact form.