Carpets have become an essence of home décor for many yearsnow and oriental rugs add that extra exquisite and unique touch to your home décor.Once upon a time, if you went to buy an oriental rug, it would definitely havebeen made from wool or silk. Authentic oriental rugs are still made from wool. However,there are many fake rugs out there and they’re made from synthetic fibers.
Many people wonder about the differences between syntheticand wool rugs. The difference can be as clear as night and day. How to tell if a rugis wool or synthetic?Check the labeling orproduct informationIf you have access to product information about the rug,check the label of the rug for material list. Generally the label is the backand at the bottom of the rug.
If there is a label, it’s most definitelysynthetic since synthetic materials must be labeled as such. Handmade rugs arenot labeled in this way. Most wall-to-wallcarpets are made from synthetic fibers and about 60% of this synthetic wall-to-wallcarpeting is made out of nylon.Consider the priceOne of the obvious ways that differentiate wool or syntheticrug is the price difference. If you’re paying a low price, it means you’repurchasing a synthetic fiber rug manufactured on power looms, an automatedmachine. While wool rugs are expensive since they are hand-woven by artisansand are high quality, lasting for generations.Back of the rugFlip the rug over and look at the bottom side.
Wool rug hasits back a mirror design of top front meaning the front and the back has thesame decorative design. In synthetic rugs, the back of the rug is plastic andis glued. Also because the back of the wool rugs are soft, they won’t damagethe flooring underneath but hard plastic backing of synthetic rugs can scratch yourhardwood floorsJudge by feelAnother area where wool stands above competing materials isin the feel of the rug. Wool rugs are soft on both sides. Does it feel soft, almostbuttery? If so, then it is most likely a wool rug. However, if it feels hard,scratchy and stiff, it’s most likely made from a synthetic material.The hundreds of knots tied to create the patterns and designmake wool rugs that are hand-woven soft, silky and luxurious to the touch. Theirpile is sturdy, and the rug can maintain its shape for many decades thanks toits natural spiral construction.
Synthetic rugs will also feel soft to the touch but onlylast for few weeks or may be months. Soon they will feel tough and plastic. Theback is hard to the touch and the fringe is sewn on. These materials arebudget-friendly are aesthetically pleasing for a short amount of time. Syntheticrugs can last up to 5 years with professional cleaning and aren’t resilient tofoot traffic to the point wool rugs are.Snip and burnIf you own a rug and you’re curious whether it’s wool orsynthetic, snip a few small strands from inconspicuous area. You only need asmall fiber, don’t cut too much. Take tem outdoors and pinch the strand with apair of tweezers or paper clip.
Light the fibers on fire using a lighter. Take note of how they burn and smell. If the carpet fibers melt and stick to side of lighter, thecarpet is a synthetic one and if the fibers burn and crumble, your carpet is awool carpet.
If the burning fiber smells like celery, it is nylon. If it smellslike asphalt, it is olefin. If it smells sweet, it is polyester. If it smellslike burning paper, it is rayon. If it smells like charred meat, it is acrylic.
If it smells like burning hair, it is wool. Making the choiceThough, at the end of the day, it’s clearly a matter ofpersonal taste and what material suits you and your lifestyle best! Each type offers certain set of advantages andincurs a range of disadvantages.