When considering a handwoven rug to purchase, the natural tendency is to take it at face value – colour, design, texture, price, compatibility with existing furniture with which it will be paired.
It is not often that the buyer will stop to think what the rug will look like in five or ten years.
Yet appearance retention is one of the best measures of value. If a rug’s appearance deteriorates quickly was it really good value?
How often have we seen a room setting featuring well-made sofas adorned by expensive cushions spoiled by a rug that looks as if it has seen better days?
The three major determining factors in a handwoven rug’s capacity to retain its appearance are the quality of the raw materials, the volume of yarn used and the skill of the weaver.
Wool is the traditional material for handwoven rugs. However, it is necessary to delve deeper when considering a wool rug.
The gold standard is pure New Zealand wool that has been felted to minimise shedding. Many rugs offered in furniture stores are promoted as wool yarn yet seem very moderately priced.
This may well be because the wool is locally sourced inferior yarn. In some cases, New Zealand wool is blended with inferior yarns to meet a price point.
The other determining factor in appearance retention is the skill of the weaver and the quality control procedures at the point of manufacture.
Much hand weaving is outsourced to small communities without adequate supervision.
In summary, it is wise to look beyond the initial price when considering a handwoven rug. Seek professional advice and insist on the three big determinants for a rug that will retain its appearance:- pure New Zealand felted wool, consistency in weaving and an abundance of yarn.
If you want further guidance, contact Rug Dynamics Pty Ltd or visit their website.