The fibre used to weave a rug affects the end look and feel of the finished product.It also has an impact on the durability of a rug, and the uses it’s suited for.

Rug TypeTextureDurabilityMoisture ResistanceStain ResistanceMinimal SheedingSustainability
Wool Medium High
Silk Soft Average
Cotton Soft Average
Viscose / Art Silk / Rayon Soft Low / Average

Wool is an incredibly resilient natural fiber that comes from the shearing of sheep (and sometimes other animals like alpacas, goats or llamas). It is graded by the length of individual hairs and where that hair comes from on the animal’s body. The best wool often comes from the neck, belly and sections under the legs of the sheep, where it tends to be finer, softer and longer. Climate and habitat also contribute to the quality of wool, and most of Jaipur’s stock is sourced from India and New Zealand.

Why Choose Wool?

  • Most high quality wool is strong and durable, while still soft to the touch
  • Resistant to water, dirt and stains, so easier to maintain than other materials
  • Absorbs moisture and dries out without developing mold or mildew – ideal in humid climates
  • Easy to dye and holds colour well
  • It is an elastic fibre, marks from foot traffic can be easily brushed out
  • An excellent insulator
  • As a natural fibre, harvesting wool is more eco friendly than creating synthetic fibres
  • Great at hiding dirt and looks cleaner and better for longer than other fibres

Other Considerations

  • Wool is comparatively more expensive than many other fibres
  • Some people are allergic to wool
  • New wool rugs shed loose fibres for the first few months of use
  • Care must be taken when storing wool rugs to prevent them from being eaten by moths

Silk is a natural fibre harvested from the cocoons of either cultivated or wild silkworms. It requires great skill to weave silk rugs, and they are often true investment pieces.

Why Choose Silk?

  • Silk rugs are often the softest you will find, and have an elegant finish
  • Relatively durable and can last a lifetime with proper care
  • Natural lustre and shine in the finished rug
  • Silk takes dye very well, which allows for beautiful colour variation

Other Considerations

  • Silk is a relatively expensive fibre
  • Because it is less elastic than wool, footprints and furniture marks show easily
  • Silk is not as stain resistant as other fibers, so care needs to be taken around the rug

Cotton is a fluffy, plant-based fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. Because they are relatively inexpensive, cotton rugs are popular for simple and casual décor.

Why Choose Cotton?

  • Cotton is easy to wash – either in washing machines or by hand
  • Rugs woven from cotton are inexpensive
  • Cotton takes colour very well so rugs can be bolder and brighter

Other Considerations

  • Cotton is a lighter fibre than other natural alternatives so doesn’t produce very plush rugs
  • Rugs woven from cotton are also not as durable as those woven from other natural fibres
  • Cotton is not as stain resistant as wool
  • Cotton is a less effective insulator than other fibers

These man-made fibres are created from plant material (e.g. wood pulp). While they were originally created to mimic more expensive natural silk, they are now often desirable in their own right.

Why Choose Viscose/Art Silk?

  • Art Silk adds lustre and shimmer to designs
  • Both are soft to the touch
  • Both are easy to dye

Other Considerations

  • Fibres may be easily flattened by heavy furniture
  • Both are harder to clean than wool or cotton.