top of page

Why to consider investing in a wool area rug…

When you’re in the market for a new area rug, what are the factors that you consider prior to making a purchase? Obviously, color and design are key! Probably also texture, comfort, clean-ability, and durability. But what about things like fiber type, rug construction, or face weight? Have you put much thought into these lesser-mentioned qualities of area rugs?

Area rugs are available in a wide array of price points, styles, and fiber types.  This article is focused on one fiber type- wool.  Wool is highly stain resistant, thanks to a coating of natural oils from the sheep called lanolin.  Wool is also a highly crush-resistant fiber, meaning it is extremely durable.  Many wool rugs, with proper maintenance, can last for generations.  Wool is extremely comfortable and warm underfoot.  Wool is naturally antimicrobial, helping with indoor air quality.  Wool accepts dye easily, therefore there are a rainbow of colors to choose from.

But why can one wool rug be significantly more expensive than another?  Wool rugs can vary significantly in quality.  The construction type and face weight play a large role in the pricing.  Face weight refers to the weight, in ounces, per square yard of carpet.  This is a term more commonly used for carpeting, but area rug pricing is also affected by face weight.  Basically, the higher the face weight, (the more wool fiber that was used to create the rug), the higher the price point.

Lower-priced wool rugs are often made using the tufting method.  In this method, loops of yarn are pulled through the rug’s backing material using a machine or a hand-held tool.  The tips are then sheared to create a smooth, cut-pile rug face.  Tufting is a faster method than many other wool rug construction types, therefore the price point tends to be lower.  This type of rug will shed throughout its lifetime.  This type of rug is also more likely to show wear over time.

Another lower-cost type of wool rug is a hooked rug.  Similar to the tufted method,

loops of yarn are forced through the backing, but the loop stays intact rather than being sheared.  This creates less shedding and also a lower pile.  Lower pile rugs tend to wear better than high pile rugs  because the lower pile does not crush as easily.  The amount of wool needed to create a hooked rug is generally lower, (thus the face weight is lower), therefore hooked rugs tend to have a lower price tag.  

Flat weaves are yet another type of wool rug. Flat weaves have no pile. Rather, they are made by weaving wool yarns over cotton warp & weft threads, creating a flat rug that is reversible. Because there is no pile, these rugs tend to wear and clean very well. Pricing will vary with this type of rug, depending on whether the rug was hand-woven on a loom, or woven on industrial looms at a factory. A hand-woven rug will have a higher price tag.

Finally, you have hand-knotted rugs. These rugs are made by an artisan who literally hand-ties each yarn to the warp threads. No two hand-knotted rugs will be identical, just like a piece of original art. These rugs generally have a higher face weight, as well. These qualities mean that a hand-knotted rug will generally have the highest price point in wool rugs.

There are many, many other characteristics that contribute to the durability, life-span, and price tag of area rugs, but hopefully this guide offers some guidance as to why wool is a great fiber choice and what type of construction method is most ideal for your next area rug!

Stop in today to see the many different area rugs in our showroom!  Allow our designers to help you select the best option for your home and your budget!

Happy Autumn! Your Friends at Etched In Stone


bottom of page