Differences Between Wool and Silk Rugs


Are you looking to buy a new oriental rug and stuck between choosing either wool or silk?  Both types of material can produce masterfully crafted rugs, however, the differences between wool and silk are quite significant.

It can be overwhelming trying to decide which is best for you so we will go over the major differences between wool and silk rugs to help you come to an informed decision.

What is a Wool Rug?

Wool is one of the most commonly used materials in Oriental hand-woven rugs.  it is readily available and usually sourced from sheep. The breed, age and climate the sheep lives in as well as their diet all affect the quality of the wool.

Being that wool is widely available and a renewable resource,  it is one of the cheapest rug materials. This is one of the reasons that wool rugs are more affordable and a favorite among the average rug buyer.

Wool is also an easy material to handle during the rug making a process. It comes out soft to the touch so buyers are able to feel is quality. Visually speaking, wool rugs have a flattened matte appearance, appearing more subtle and tend to better blend into their surroundings. They make a perfect addition to any room.

Wool Rug: Durability

If you have a lot of foot traffic in your house or perhaps young children or pets, wool rugs may be a great option. They are extremely durable - their pile comes out thick and strong. They also have a natural resistance to foot traffic, spills and stains. Some of these drugs can last 50 years or more with regular usage. They are also fire resistant and less susceptible to dust mites.

Wool Rug: Cost

Wool rugs are some of the most commonly available types of rugs, so their price can vary greatly. You can find wool rugs for less than $100 and well up into the thousands. However, in general, wool rugs are cheaper then most other types found.

Please keep in mind that in the rug world, you get what you pay for.  At Tabak Rugs, we believe in providing the highest quality rugs at the most affordable price available.

Wool Rug: Caretaking

Wool rugs should be vacuumed at least twice a month. They typically contain tiny pockets of air where dirt can easily hide. This excess dirt can drastically reduce the rugs aesthetic appearance and it can also be bothersome for those with allergies. Monthly vacuuming helps to remove this dirt and dust.

Please note: It is important not to vacuum your rug too much. Over vacuuming can pull the wool fibers apart and out of the rug.

If you are worried about damaging your rug through vacuuming oh, you can also simply take it outside and give it a good shake or hang it on a clothesline to smack the dust out of it. Wool is quite durable so it can handle a rigorous shaking or beating.

It would also be wise to frequently rotate your rug. More than likely parts of the rug are getting more foot traffic than others and rotating the rug every now and then will even out the traffic and prevent any discoloration.

Why Choose a Wool Rug Over Silk?

  • Wool is more durable than silk.
  • Wool is more resistant than silk.
  • Wool is more budget friendly.

What is a Silk Rug?

The silk is a natural fiber that comes from certain insect larvae such as silkworms. Silk fibers are extracted from the larvae cocoon and it can take quite a lot of larvae to produce a vast amount of silk. Additionally, it takes a long time for silk to form and be made into a workable material and is one of the reasons why silk rugs are so expensive.

Being that silk is quite expensive, silks rugs are typically woven with wool to provide buys with a more affordable option.

Silk rugs are generally quite beautiful. They have a fine shiny finish to them and the fact that they have additional knot counts provides a higher quality product.

Silk Rug: Durability

While silk is a strong natural fiber is still much less durable than a wool rug. It would be wise to place a silk rug in an area where its foot traffic is minimal. Many professionals even advised that silk rugs be hung on a wall to preserve their original state as long as possible.

Silk Rug: Cost

Silk rugs come in one of two forms, 100% silk and a blend of wool and silk - both options are generally more expensive than wool rugs.

Silk rugs generally contain higher knots per square inch which is a major indicator of quality and craftsmanship - thus they are typically more expensive.

Silk Rug: Caretaking

Silk can easily lose up to 20% of its strength whenever it gets wet. So abrasive cleaning agents and steam cleaning can damage its fibers. Just like wool rugs, you should vacuum silk a couple of times per month but because silk is so delicate it is advised to use only a brushless vacuum head. Other types of vacuums can pull out and damaged the fibers.

You should also gently sweep the rug with a broom or take it outside to give it a shake. Beating silk rugs is not advised as they are more delicate so you want to be as gentle as possible.

If you need to remove a stain, try to absorb it quickly. If you are not comfortable with the cleaner you have,  silk rugs should be taken to a professional cleaner as quickly as possible.

As mentioned above hanging your silk rug on a wall or placing it in an area with low traffic is it advised to keep it in its original condition.

Why Choose a Silk Rug Over Wool?

  • Silk rugs are more beautiful than wool rugs.
  • Silk rugs have higher quality craftsmanship.
  • Silk rugs make great decor in any room.

Which Type Of Rug Is Better Suited To You?

If you are interested in owning your own oriental rug but you have a limited budget, you may want to start by checking out wool rugs. While these may cost less than silk rugs they are not necessarily cheap. The cost of the rug will depend on its size oh, the knots per square inch, the place of manufacture and the complexity of the design.

Where you want to place your oriental rug is another factor that you should take into consideration. If you are looking for a rug to place at the entrance of your home or in the kitchen, living room, or dining room you may want to choose a wool rug which is more durable and can better withstand daily wear and tear.

If you are looking for an oriental rug that you can use as a wall hanging or to aesthetically improve a quiet Corner that does not get a lot of traffic and it is definitely worth investing in a magnificent silk rug.


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