Choosing a Rug

The Basics

Basics of choosing a right rug

When looking for the right rug, the following questions will help to direct the decision-making process.

Where will I use it?

Room traffic – heavy traffic areas need more durable rugs
Indoor or outdoor – some rugs are specially made to endure the elements

Why do I need it?

To create a focal point – brighter colours and busier designs draw the eye
To protect the floor – harder wearing fibres offer greater protection
To insulate a room and muffle sound – certain fibres offer better insulation than others
To add comfort underfoot – softer fibres are more comfortable to coarser ones

What is my budget?

Entry-level to luxury – some rugs (e.g. hand-knotted) are more expensive than others (e.g. flat weave)

What is my current décor like?

Current style – does the décor of the room require a specific kind of rug?
Color palette – what colours already exist in the intended space?

Colour Variation

Jaipur uses the industry-standard Pantone TPX Color Tool for consistency throughout the manufacturing process. Working with hand processes, however, means that there can sometimes be variations in the way a rug’s colour is perceived.

Different colors yarn collection for handmade rug
Hand-Made vs Machine-Made

Hand-made rugs are one-off pieces of functional art, and because each one is unique, there can be subtle variations in colour due to the natural fibres and dyes being used. Machine-made rugs are usually more consistent and accurate in their colour.

Lighting Conditions

Some fibres are naturally more reflective than others, so rugs can appear lighter or darker in a photograph than they do in real life. Similarly, the lighting of the space where the rug will be used can affect the appearance of its colour. This is particularly true of fibres like viscose, where the natural sheen is more evident under brighter lighting conditions.

On-Screen and Printed Images

Colours can vary from screen to printed page to dyed fibre. So while Jaipur’s website and catalogue are great for getting a feel for a rug’s appearance, we recommend that actual rug samples be used to make a final decision.

Dyeing and Colour

Rug dyeing is a traditional art that allows artisans to create decorative effects. To obtain different colours, artisans use either natural dyes (derived from plants and naturally occurring mineral compounds) or synthetic dyes (the product of chemical processes). For both types, the process of dyeing is the same. First, the dye is added to boiling vats of water, followed by the yarn. The yarn is left in the boiling water until the desired colour is reached, after which it is removed from the vat and left to dry in the sun. Once it is completely dry, it is stored until it is needed by weavers.

Abrash/Antique is color variations sometimes seen in hand-made rugs and is caused by factors such as subtle differences in dye lots, wool ageing and raw material preparation. These are not seen as defects, but part of the character of the hand-made process and contributing factors to the individuality of each rug.

Dyeing  of Yarn in different color and shades


Measure before you start

Before you start looking at rugs you need to measure the dimensions of your room to work out the approximate space you have for a rug and any constraints you have (door openings, etc.).

Bigger is usually better

A small rug can make a room look small and its elements disconnected. When in doubt, go for a bigger size to help tie everything together.

The 18-Inch rule

Most interior designers will tell you to leave around 18 inches of bare floor around a rug to get the right proportions. For small spaces you can tweak this, however.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

You’re allowed to bend the rules a bit when choosing a rug – they’re only guidelines after all. shed. These are either trimmed or untrimmed (or sometimes a combination of the two) to produce the required designs in a rug.

Green color combination of rugs
Yellow color rugs and gold color rugs
Gray and back color rugs combinations
Sizing Guide

ShapeSize in ftSize in cmIdeal For
Rectangle 3'x5'-4'x6'
Living Rooms
Square 4'x4'
Living Rooms
Dining Rooms
Runner 6'x8'
Circle 4'
Living Rooms
Dining Rooms
Oval 6'x9'
Living Rooms
Dining Rooms
Octagon 4'
Dining Rooms
Semi-Circle 2'x4' 60x120cm Entryways
Kidney 3'x5'
Living Rooms
All furniture legs on the rug-9x 12 rugs
Front legs of furniture on the rug- 8x10 rug
No legs on the rug– 5x8 rugs
9x12 dining room rugs
8x10 dining room rugs
Round dining room rug size
9x12 bedroom rug size
8x10 bedroom rug size


The fibre used to weave a rug affects the end look and feel of the finished product.It also has an impact on the durability of a rug, and the uses it’s suited for.

Rug TypeTextureDurabilityMoisture ResistanceStain ResistanceMinimal SheddingSustainability
Wool Medium High
Silk Soft Average
Cotton Soft Average
Viscose / Art Silk / Rayon Soft Low / Average
Raw wool yarn for handmade rugs

Wool is the most common rug material and its durability extends generations. It is an incredibly resilient natural fiber that comes from the shearing of sheep (and sometimes other animals like alpacas, goats or llamas). The fibres are cleaned, segregated, carded and spun into yarn. It is graded by the length of individual hairs and where that hair comes from on the animal’s body. The best wool often comes from the neck, belly and sections under the legs of the sheep, where it tends to be finer, softer and longer. Climate and habitat also contribute to the quality of wool, and most of Jaipur’s stock is sourced from India and New Zealand.

The carding and spinning can be done by hand or machine. Machine carded and spun makes even and thinner fibres that are less durable, while hand-carded and hand-spun make uneven, but durable yarn and gives better character to the finished rug.

It gives a classic matt look, and texture varies from source to source. Blends are made to create the desired texture, durability and costing.

Wool absorbs moisture and dust, keeps the room safe from allergens and is even fire resistant!

Why Choose Wool?

  • Most high quality wool is strong and durable, while still soft to the touch
  • Resistant to water, dirt and stains, so easier to maintain than other materials
  • Absorbs moisture and dries out without developing mold or mildew – ideal in humid climates
  • Easy to dye and holds colour well
  • It is an elastic fibre, marks from foot traffic can be easily brushed out
  • An excellent insulator
  • As a natural fibre, harvesting wool is more eco-friendly than synthetic fibres
  • Great at hiding dirt and looks cleaner and better for longer than other fibres

Other Considerations

  • Wool is comparatively more expensive than many other fibres
  • Some people are allergic to wool
  • New wool rugs shed loose fibres for the first few months of use
  • Care must be taken when storing wool rugs to prevent them from being eaten by moths
Gray pure silk yarn
Orange color pure silk yarn
Dark gray and off white color pure silk yarn

Silk is considered one of the finest material for a rug, famously associated with royalty. It is a natural protein fibre harvested from the cocoons of cultivated or wild silkworms.

It is used for intricate detailing since the fibres are even and thin, requiring great skill to weave and is most desirable for its aesthetic and legendary softness. Silk rugs are maintained as collectibles for their high value, and are recommended to be used more as décor, perhaps even as wall art, as it withers easily if kept in high traffic areas.

Why Choose Silk?

  • Silk rugs are often the softest you will find, and have an elegant finish
  • Relatively durable and can last a lifetime with proper care
  • Natural lustre and shine in the finished rug
  • Silk takes dye very well, which allows for beautiful colour variation
Other Considerations

  • Silk is a relatively expensive fibre
  • Because it is less elastic than wool, footprints and furniture marks show easily
  • Silk is not as stain resistant as other fibers, so care needs to be taken around the rug

Pure cotton yarn
Pure cotton yarn for rug making
Cotton yarn use as rug base

Cotton is the most trusted and commonly used fabric. It comes from a fluffy, plant-based fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant. It is used in flatweaves like dhurries and kilims, making it a flexible choice of décor that can be used and stored easily. Cotton breathes, is washable and can be used either indoor or outdoor.

Why Choose Cotton?

  • Cotton is easy to wash – either in washing machines or by hand
  • Rugs woven from cotton are cost-effective
  • Cotton takes colour very well so rugs can be bolder and brighter
Other Considerations

  • Cotton is a lighter fibre than other natural alternatives so doesn’t produce very plush rugs
  • Rugs woven from cotton are also not as durable as those woven from other natural fibres
  • Cotton is not as stain resistant as wool
  • Cotton is a less effective insulator than other fibers

Bamboo Silk/Viscose
Gray and blue color Bamboo Silk/Viscose
Dark gray color Bamboo Silk/Viscose
Purple color Bamboo Silk/Viscose

Bamboo Silk is a blend of wood pulp and natural fibres extracted from the bamboo plant. It mimics the look and feel of silk and is considered its cost effective substitute. Viscose creates a visual effect on carpets as the tips of the fibres have a shine compared to its length. It also possesses anti-microbial properties, making the home a healthier place with a cost-effective rug.

Why Choose Bamboo Silk?

  • Adds lustre and shimmer to designs
  • Soft to the touch
  • Easy to dye

Other Considerations

  • Fibres may be easily flattened by heavy furniture
  • Harder to clean than wool or cotton.
Jute and hemp multi-color rugs

These rough and coarse plant fibres are becoming more and more popular as a banner for the eco-friendly. Its colours are earthy, texture is rich and is a perfect choice for high traffic areas. The best place to use it is at the indoor-outdoor transition.

Why choose Jute/Hemp?

  • Eco-friendly fibre
  • Natural earthy colours
  • Best used outdoor or in transition areas
  • Durable to last in high traffic areas
  • Easy to clean

Other Considerations

  • Coarse and rough texture
  • Doesn’t hold colour
  • Absorbs moisture and can then get damaged