A gray rug is sitting on a wood floor.

Types of Rug Materials and Styles and How to Care for Them

Rugs are an important aspect of styling a room. They can create a comfortable living space, cover up old flooring, and accentuate how you decorated a room. A rug also brings people together by marking the most significant part of the room.

When it comes to choosing a rug to perfectly fill your room, there are a lot of options to choose from. You might have a silk rug that’s been passed down to you by family members. You might have found a beautiful animal hide rug in a contemporary shop. Or maybe you have a natural fiber rug that aligns the different décor in your home. But no matter what style of rug you have, there are some key strategies for keeping it in good shape.

Here is Cunningham’s guide about different rug types and how to care for them:

Natural Fiber

includes cotton, hemp, jute, sea grass, silk, sisal, and wool

Natural fiber is a common material found in rugs, and these types of rugs come in a variety of styles for a variety of uses. Some natural fiber rugs are hand-woven and more delicate than a rug that has a tighter, smaller weave. One benefit of this type of rug is its versatility. The coloring in natural fiber goes well with most types of décor, but natural fibers can also be dyed for a more lavish design.

How to care for natural fiber rugs

  • Weekly maintenance: Vacuuming your rug on a weekly basis is best, as dirt and small objects could get stuck within the material if they aren’t removed. For most natural fiber rugs, you can use a normal vacuum. For rugs with a bigger weaving or rough and natural fibers, we recommend using a hand-held vacuum to prevent rips.
  • At-home cleaning: Rugs are bound to be spilled on, and having kids and animals in your home will only add to the brunt of what a rug will take on. To support the life of your rug, be diligent with cleaning it. If a spill occurs, blot the area with a soft rag, and use a gentle DIY cleaning solution.
  • Professional cleaning: If you have a big stain or haven’t cleaned your natural fiber rug in quite a while, it’s best to trust the experts. We have specific processes in place to gently clean natural fiber rugs.

Synthetic Fiber

includes nylon, polyester, olefin, and triexta

Another common rug type is synthetic fiber. Even though natural fiber rugs might be more appealing, they are oftentimes more expensive and aren’t as durable as synthetic materials. Synthetic fiber rugs are man-made, which means they last longer in high-traffic areas. But if they aren’t maintained correctly, synthetic fiber rugs can show more wear and tear.

How to care for synthetic fiber rugs

  • Weekly maintenance: Just like natural fiber rugs, you’ll want to vacuum your synthetic fiber rug as much as possible. We suggest vacuuming this type of material a few times a week – but that also depends on what kind of traffic the rug takes on.
  • At-home cleaning: Once again, blotting a spill on this type of rug is highly suggested more than rubbing a stain. Chances are that you’ll spread the stain if you don’t blot.
  • Professional cleaning: Since a synthetic fiber rug is preferred in a high-traffic area, it will probably need a professional clean more often. We suggest getting your rug professionally cleaned twice a year.

Animal Hide

includes alpaca, bear, cow, and sheep

Animal hide is another popular material for rugs, particularly in rooms that have statement-making décor. This type of rug requires specific care, as they are more delicate than natural or synthetic fiber rugs.

How to care for animal hide rugs:

  • Weekly maintenance: Although you can vacuum animal hide rugs, we recommend being very careful when doing so. Otherwise, the animal hide can easily tear. Try to not to vacuum your animal hide rug against the fur, as this could be too aggressive for this delicate material. Instead, vacuum in the direction of the fur.
  • At-home cleaning: If a spill occurs on your animal hide rug, cleaning it right away is very important. A substance like wine could badly stain an animal hide rug, so blot it immediately to get the liquid out. Like the vacuuming process, gently blot liquid from your rug in the direction of the rug’s fur.
  • Professional cleaning: Animal hide rugs might be hard to clean, but you can trust Cunningham’s to gently and effectively clean this type of rug.

Cunningham’s is able to clean every kind of rug out there. Learn about how to remove a stain from a rug at home.