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Advice 06.06.2023

Wool vs Silk rugs

Finding an oriental rug or runner for your home can be difficult especially choosing between the material, as there are many different characteristics to consider. These fibres have been used to make rugs and runners for the most exclusive locations, homes and contemporary spaces. At the London Persian Rug Co we have a variety of oriental rugs made from both wool and silk. 

Wool is the material that is commonly used for handmade oriental rugs. It is soft to touch but durable. Silk is a natural fibre of which it is extracted from the larvae cocoon from silkworms. It is a long process for silk to form which is one reason why silk rugs are more expensive. 

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Silk is thinner and finer than wool, it has more knots per square inch and therefore the design is delicate and precise. Silk rugs take three or four times as longer to weave. They are hard wearing but less so than wool. Wool is thicker and stronger, so the pile is perfect for heavy footfalls as it is more resistant. 


Wool is an opaque fibre, with a matt finish, whereas silk is shiny, it has a polished finish. Both can be made into a detailed design but silk tends to look more luxurious. 


If you are looking for a rug which has a heavy footfall area, wool rugs are a more versatile material, which is perfect. Due to the delicacy and exclusivity of silk rugs these are most suitable for refined environments and to avoid placing them in the heavy footfall areas of the house. 


The craftsman weaves a more precise design for silk rugs. They are more valuable and expensive, as it is reflected on the time and having a higher knot density. Wool rugs therefore tend to be less valuable compared to silk rugs. However, still have a lot of value in them, especially the more intricate the design and the larger rugs. 


In summary, if you are searching for a rug for a heavy footfall like, a hallway, kitchen, living room area. Your best option is a wool rug. If you are looking for a rug for an unoccupied space, it is worth a beautifully, delicate silk rug. Wool rugs are the most versatile but silk rugs are distinctive due to their intricate design. 

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