Acrylic - Used in blends more often than any other fiber, acrylic is warm, durable and soft. Acrylic offers a wool-type look and feel without the expensive price tag. Made of synthetic fibers.
Chenille - Soft underfoot with a lustrous sheen. Recommended for low-traffic areas such as the bedroom. Made of natural fibers.
Cotton - Noted for being soft, durable, easy-to-clean, machine washable and affordable. A good choice for smaller accent rugs and bath rugs. Made of natural fibers.
Density - Refers to the closeness of the tufts or knots. The denser the pile, the better your rug will wear.
Heat-set - A setting of the twist of yarn by heat or steam that strengthens the fabric. When the yarn is set with heat, it will have a wool-like look. Most nylon, polypropylene and polyester rugs are heat-set.
Jute - A natural fiber from the fast-growing plant of the same name, jute is soft and has a smooth, flat texture. Works well in the family room, bedroom or den. With its nice woven texture, jute is also durable. However, it's easily stained and doesn’t do well in damp environments. So, it’s best to avoid using jute rugs in areas where frequent spills occur (like kitchens), and where moisture is present (like bathrooms).
Loom - A frame or machine for interlacing two or more sets of threads or yarns at right angles to form a rug.
Looped - A thick, cushiony pile created by heavy yarn or strips of fabric passed through the backing from back to front, then front to back, resulting in a loop.
Nylon - Exceptionally wear-resistant, nylon can withstand heavy traffic and heavy furniture. It's also soil-resistant and easy to clean. One drawback to this desirable, inexpensive fiber is that it tends to generate a higher amount of static electricity. Made of synthetic fibers.
Olefin® (Polypropylene) - One of the least expensive of all rug fibers, Olefin is strong, durable, colorfast and resistant to wear and stains. It also won’t fade or fuzz. With its soft, wool-like feel, Olefin is the predominant synthetic fiber used in machine-woven rugs. Predominantly made of machine-woven synthetic fiber.
Pile - The surface of a rug composed of an infinite number of thread loops. In a looped pile rug, the loops are uncut; in a cut pile rug, the same or similar loops are cut, either in the loom during weaving or by a special shearing tool.
Polyester - Noted for its soft feel, polyester is also durable. It also dyes well and resists fading. However, polyester is susceptible to stains. Noted for its soft "hand" when used in thick, cut pile textures. Made of synthetic fibers.
Scatter - Simply a small rug, often 2' x 3', used as a decorative accent in a room, like in front of a chair or under a coffee table. Also called a throw rug.
Tatami - A mat woven of straw and sewn to a thick base, traditionally used in the flooring of Japanese homes. Tatami evolved over a long period, starting out as a thin, easily folded straw mat where people sat or slept. Later, more layers of tightly woven rice straw were added to the core to increase comfort. The core was then covered with woven rushes, and the edges were hemmed with cloth.
Tufted - An exceptionally soft floor covering made of yarns that are drawn through a heavy backing. Tufted rugs are made with the same technique as looped rugs, except they are sheared at the top to create individual strands for a dense pile. Yarns are punched through a backing material to form a looped or pile surface. Then, the backing is sealed with a secondary backing (frequently latex). Most carpeting is made using this process. Tufting may be done by hand, but most often, it is done by machine.
Wool - The standard to which all other rug fibers are compared. Wool is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Its yarns can be tufted, looped, sheared or woven into a flat weave. Wool cleans well, making it ideal for most rooms, including dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. Noted for luxury, softness, high bulk, strength, resiliency and resistance to stains and dirt. Easy to clean. Made of natural fibers.