Which Synthetic Rug Material Should You Choose?
In our previous blog, we talked about the benefits of natural rugs, but synthetics have their benefits too! That’s why this week we will be focusing on our most popular synthetic materials.
Acrylic is soft and wool-like in both look and feel, but with a smaller pricetag. It is less durable in that it does not handle crushing like wool, but it can resist wrinkles and shrinkage. Acrylic rugs also tend to come in striking colours due to their ability to dye well, helping achieve a colour scheme in a room. This striking look will be retained due to acrylic’s stain resistance and ability to withstand chemical and sun damage. In addition, acrylic can ‘breathe’ in terms of absorbing and releasing moisture quickly. This makes it excellent in locations where spillages may occur, such as kitchens or bathrooms, again reinforced by the stain-resistance. You may read elsewhere that lower quality acrylic causes static and piling, however at Rug Mountain we only stock high quality treated material that ensures these issues are rare.
Generally, you will find polyester combined with other fabrics in varying percentages. This is so the benefits of polyester are incorporated whilst the disadvantages and price are reduced. Polyester helps a rug become cheaper, and enables durability and easy washing, which are the materials most prominent features. In terms of durability, this material resists breakage and abrasion, but it can however look tired and flattened quicker than more expensive fabrics. Rugs with a high percentage of Polyester should therefore be kept in rooms with light footfall for the greatest longevity. Although easy to clean and dry and require minimal care, Polyester rugs can be stained permanently with oil based spillages. Despite this, they do resist chemicals and sunlight, are damp resistant, anti-allergen, mould-resistant and soft to the touch, meaning the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Polypropylene has few disadvantages. It dyes well so it is available in many different colours and designs, and will fit into any home better than more niche natural rugs. The material is also similar to wool in strength and in its touch, but sometimes with a slightly more waxy feel. Like other synthetics, it is stain resistant, mould and damp resistant, and is easy to clean. Certain types may even be cleaned with bleach, although we recommend consulting us before doing so to ensure your rug will be safe. On the other hand, although Polypropylene is durable in terms of abrasion resistance, it can flatten relatively quickly, making it more ideal for places with limited footfall. Additionally, it is possible for these rugs to fade in the sun or cause static, although we lessen this by treating our rugs or combing Polypropylene with other materials.
Viscose is perhaps the most luxurious synthetic fabric, as it effectively emulates silk – in fact, when invented in the 1890s it was marketed as ‘artificial silk’. It is soft, cool, breathable and has a high sheen, but with a much more affordable price tag. Although Viscose is man-made in its production, it is made up of regenerated natural materials like wood, cotton or hemp, allowing for the advantages of both natural and synthetic properties. Viscose is commonly hand tufted, making them different to the usual machine-made synthetic materials, but also more expensive. They are arguably worth the price due to their ability to resist abrasion, insects and static however. On the other hand, they do lose strength when wet and can stain, so should not be placed in messy or damp rooms, and are hard to wash as a result. The right home is therefore needed to get your money’s worth, in both look and functionality. In rooms that are not luxurious in feel and have lots of mess, we would instead recommend viscose within a mixed fabric rug.