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Synthetic rugs versus natural fiber rugs

Updated: Jun 17

Wool Rug
Natural Fiber Rug

When deciding on a new rug for your home, there are many characteristics to consider. Besides the obvious factors of size, style and color, a person must consider the material of the rug, lifestyle and budget before deciding on the synthetic rugs versus natural fiber rug for their home. #arearugs


Wool rug being loomed
Wool rug being loomed

Natural Fiber (Wool) Rugs

Natural fiber rugs, or wool rugs as they are commonly referred as, are typically made up natural materials such as wool, silk, cotton, bamboo, jute or a blend of different fibers. Wool is the most popular material used for traditional rugs because it is highly durable and is easily obtainable. Silk is also used for traditional rugs, but due to its high price and less durable nature, it is often used as an accent or to give a shiny effect to the details of the design. Cotton is another common material for many types of rugs, but instead of being use for the pile, it is typically used as a foundation material and fringe.

#woolrugs #tuftedrugs

Synthetic (Machine Made) Rugs

Synthetic rugs are made from non-natural materials such as nylon, polypropylene, and polyester. Polypropylene rug materials are made from petroleum in a lab and sent to factories to be machine woven into rugs. Polypropylene is smoother and has a more of an artificial feel to it than natural fiber rugs. Most of the time machine made rugs feel much softer on your feet.

#machinemaderugs #syntheticrugs

Here are some factors your should consider when purchasing your area rug(s).


Buying a synthetic rug allows for more vibrant designs and colors. Most modern and abstract designs are machine made rugs. Natural fiber rugs materials are naturally dyed. Most wool rugs contain the earth tones colors, browns, tans and greys. Red, blues blacks and pinks are common in natural fiber rugs. Natural fiber rug designs are usually geometric, center medallion or solid and 2 tone colored with borders. #woolrugs


Be sure to have exact measurements on where the rug will be laying. Build in some extra inches in order to have some leeway as most synthetic rugs are usually different sizes then their generic size. For example 8x10 machine made rug may run 7'-10" x 9'x8". Handmade and wool tufted rugs tend to be right on size. 8x10 = 8'x10".


Hand knotted Wool rugs can last between 20-30 years, if not longer, with proper maintenance and cleaning. Tufted wool rugs will last just as long but the backing will need to be replaced every 8-12 years depending on the weather in the area you live in. Hotter, drier climates tend to dry the glue out more quickly. Machine made rugs can last 7-10 years depending on wear and tear and traffic.


Generally, hand knotted wool and other natural fiber rugs cost about double that of a synthetic rug. Wool tufted however is generally cheaper due to the fact that it takes less time in the manufacturing process as to the slower hand knotting process. If you are prone to changing you decor and furniture frequently or do not plan on staying in your house for more than 10 years, ideally you should invest in a machine made rug as your tastes may change over time. You can always ask our rug salespeople on the pros and cons on synthetic rugs versus natural fiber rugs.


Spot cleaning chemicals can be used on most synthetic rugs without damaging the rug. Beware of using spot cleaning chemicals on wool rugs as they might damage the wool and the other natural fibers. Read the label. The best soap to use when cleaning all rugs, is a powdered natural detergent without any dyes. DO NOT use dishwasher soap as the dirt will stick to it if not completely washed out of the rug.

Make sure to remove all excess water to avoid odors. For light surface cleaning of both types of rugs, a steam cleaner can be used. But to get the deep down dirt, dust and spills, it is best to have a professional deep clean your rug(s).

For big spills and large cleaning jobs, bring to a professional rug cleaner, such as Arizona Rug Company

#arearugs #arizonarug #rugcleaningphoenix #rugcleaning

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