From braided to cotton, exciting Oriental to exquisite Persian, area rugs are plentiful and beautiful, affordable and expensive, classic and exotic.
Unless you know exactly what you want, shopping for area rugs can be challenging at best, overwhelming at worst.
Area rugs can be very inexpensive (cotton and synthetic) or phenomenally expensive (ancient weaves) depending on the material used, how they are made and the degree of artistry or intricacy in their design.
Handmade wool, 100% silk or wool and silk Oriental or Persian rugs have been known to last hundreds of years and just seem to increase in value.
Relatively new are the “machine made” rugs, made with sophisticated design patterns on computerized looms that can mimic more intricate and labor intense handmade rugs at greatly reduced costs.
Because they are made by machines it opens up these types of rugs to the mass market.
Area rugs are generally made out of wool, silk, (a blend of wool/silk), olefin (polypropylene), or nylon, with some applications, particularly bath mats made of cotton.
Wool and silk rugs dominate the high end of the market.
Heat-set olefin rugs look much like wool, are easy to clean, and are moderately prices in comparison to wool. They’re a great compromise.
They can be an investment that becomes your family heirloom and is passed down from one generation to the next or they can be practical and fun design elements that move around to suit your mood.