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

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

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


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

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 Viscose/Art 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.

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