Rugs bring warmth, depth, and visual interest to a room. They’re often a great place to start when it comes to interior design – using a rug as a jumping-off point for both the layout and colour palette of a space is a helpful go-to for when you’re not sure where to begin.
Rugs are also helpful for reasons beyond decorating your space. They provide heat insulation and support and reduce incidences of slips and falls on otherwise hard and slick hardwood flooring. They provide soundproofing, which can be especially helpful in large spaces or bedrooms. They act as natural air purifiers, as rugs that are cleaned and maintained help to absorb dust particles, reducing allergies and improving air quality. A rug is a great choice for incorporating design and colour into a room and improving your overall living experience in a space.
While there are beautiful and good-quality machine-made rugs on the market, EQ3 is committed to working with artisans in India who follow the centuries-old traditions of handmade rugs, with techniques in weaving, material selection, and yarn dyeing passed down from generation to generation. These talented artisans create rugs that are unique, versatile, durable, and stunning. Additionally, they tell the story of the artisan who created it.
You can often tell the difference between a handmade and machine-made rug in the minor imperfections or variations in handmade rugs. For example, machine-made rugs require a constant yarn, while with handmade rugs the yarn can vary in thickness. Beyond that, hand-spun yarn can create variances within the yarn itself, and when you add to that a handwoven construction, you create layers of complexity in the final product. In this sense you can see signs of the maker’s hands in the rug itself, which gives it a more interesting and complex weave. It’s this aesthetic and the value of supporting traditional artisans that EQ3 seeks to uphold in our collection of rugs.
Determining whether a rug is good quality or not is sometimes a difficult task. But, for those of us without an intimate knowledge of weaving techniques or blends, there are two things in particular that you can look at to determine a rug’s quality: the material and the weight. Take a look at a rug’s material makeup – when manufacturers are looking to reduce their costs, they will often replace natural materials like wool with synthetic materials.
While this will mean that the cost of the rug is lower, which can help when it comes to budgeting for a space, it also means that the hand-feel and overall quality of a rug are sacrificed. For pile rugs especially, a rug made with synthetic materials is often less dense, meaning that it will be less comfortable to walk on and could pull apart more quickly than a rug made with natural materials. Another sign of quality is the weight of a rug: pick it up and feel for yourself. A durable rug made of natural materials will be heavier than one made of synthetic materials.
When it comes to choosing the right rug for each room in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. What is the main function of the room? Is it a high-traffic area? What aesthetic are you drawn to? Rug choice, like any other element of interior design, essentially boils down to personal taste, so be sure that you’re choosing a piece that you enjoy. However, if you need a rug for a high-traffic area, such as a dining room or entryway, a good choice would be a tight flatweave, a wool/cotton blend, or a jute rug.
In a dining room, for example, we spend a lot of time pulling chairs in and out from a dining room table, which can do a lot of damage to a rug, especially if it is a chunkier weave that provides opportunities for a chair to catch on the material and pull it apart. Flatweaves make sliding chairs in and out much easier and materials such as jute or a wool-cotton blend are more durable and can withstand that level of use. The same goes for entryways or hallways that get a lot of foot traffic – a jute rug or tight flatweave is a great choice for these areas.
For a bedroom or living room, however, you might want something a little cozier to the touch, such as a chunkier weave or a soft wool or viscose rug. A pile rug is a good choice for versatility, as furniture won’t undo its weave but yet it has a high-density hand-feel that is comfortable to walk on.
Investigating the different colours, weaves, and hand-feels of various rugs is a great way to get a sense of what will work best for you and your home. Wool rugs hold colour really well, for example, and are soft to the touch. Jute rugs are somewhat coarse, however they are aesthetically beautiful and incredibly durable. Rugs that are dyed at the fibre stage rather than the yarn stage (that is, the material is dyed before the yarn is spun) will result in a more complex colour with variations that create an interesting visual depth. Fibre-dyed rugs also work well to not only incorporate multiple colours used throughout the room but also mask dirt, which can be helpful in a home with pets or kids.
Understanding the differences in weaves, materials, and colour dyeing is helpful in making a final decision, however it is also important to trust your instinct and personal tastes, as a rug will be a focal point in your home and one you should be happy with every time you step foot on it.