Piled Rugs vs Flat Weave Rugs – Is There a Difference?

When it comes to choosing a new rug for your home, there seem to be endless options and considerations. Fibre type, size, patter, colour, every day wear and tear, and how the rug is constructed is important to consider when choosing the centrepiece for your room. So today we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of piled and flat weave rugs!

piled rugs6 Reasons to Buy Pile Rugs:

Piled rugs can have a fabulous affect on a room. They look magnificent and are definitely a statement piece. So here are six reasons why you might want to considered a piled rug for your room:

  • Piled rugs can last generations if cared for properly
  • It takes years of wear before the pile begins to visibly wear down
  • The weave of piled rugs means dirt hides at the base of the fibres, which helps keep the rug looking cleaner, longer
  • They feel luxurious under foot unlike flat weave rugs
  • Piled rugs have a weight and texture to them and will feel almost bouncy with a good rug cushion underneath
  • You can find almost any style you want in a piled rug: antique, traditional, vintage, contemporary, art nouveau – in virtually any colour and fibre type, even silk!

5 Reasons to Avoid Pile Rugs:piled rugs

But for all their positive points there are some negatives to piled rugs as well. Let’s take a look at five of them now:

  • Piled rugs can show fuzzing, pilling and pile distortion, especially if the rug is tufted or knotted
  • While fuzzing or pilling can lessen over time or with vacuuming, you can never really tell if the problem will improve
  • Some modern piled rugs use low quality fibres like Tencel or Viscose but charge higher prices
  • Many modern piled rugs have low pile strength but high prices meaning you’ll be making a lot of expensive replacements if your rug is in a high traffic area
  • Thick pile rugs can cause difficulty for those using a walker, cane or wheelchair as it can catch their walking aides. If someone using a walking aid frequents your home, you will need a lower pile and a rug pad to stop the rug slipping

What are some examples of Piled Rugs?

There are numerous examples out there of piled rugs, far more than you might realise. A small example pool of them include: Hand Knotted Persian rugs, Contemporary Style Rugs, Machine-Made Persian Rugs, Hand Tufted Rugs, Oriental Rugs, Antique Rugs, Antique Silk Rugs, and Hand-Hooked Rugs.

5 Reasons to Buy a Flat Weave Rug:piled rugs

Flat weave rugs are popular for myriad reasons and have a long tradition in several cultures, including India, Mexico and the Navajo people. Let’s look at five reasons for their popularity:

  • Flat weave rugs are versatile for any décor
  • They come in a variety of modern, traditional and tribal fibres, styles and colours
  • Flat weave rugs are often less expensive than their piled counterparts
  • They provided easy door clearance and are less of a tripping hazard than piled rugs
  • Placing a proper rubber pad or rug underlay under a flat weave rug means it will be less likely to slip under foot

7 Reasons to Avoid Buying a Flat Weave Rug:

However, just like with their piled cousins, flat weave rugs also have their detractions. Let’s have a look at seven reasons why you might avoid buying a flat weave rug:

  • They do not withstand hard use or high traffic areas
  • Their weft foundation yarns make up their patterns so foot traffic actually breaks down the very foundation of the rug
  • They are harder to keep clean because there is nowhere for the dirt to hide
  • Tracked in soil and dust gets ground into the actual weave of the rug, meaning it cannot be removed with regular vacuuming meaning you spend more money on professional cleaning
  • You cannot use a thick rug pad or underlay under a flat weave rug as this can cause structural damage
  • High heels and furniture legs can bore holes in a flat weave rug, as well as pet toenails causing pulls
  • Most flat weave rugs will begin to buckle and creep if they are kept in high traffic or furniture heavy areas

piled rugs

What Are Some Examples of Flat Weave Rugs?

There are some stunning examples of flat weave rugs from all around the world. They are often more closely associated with cultural designs and patterns. Flat weave rugs include: Kilims, Mexican Blankets, Dhurries, Rag Rugs, Reversible Rugs, Needlepoint Rugs, Chainstitch Rugs, Soumaks, Braided Rugs, Navajo Rugs and all other non-piled rugs.

If you have a piled or flat weave rug that needs professional cleaning, contact Woods Rug Laundry today. Our expert technicians have experience handling delicate fibres and fabrics ensuring your rug is treated with the care and love it deserves.