“I always begin a room with the rug; it is literally the foundation of the space. I then go on to the furniture” – Lee Radziwill.
We all know the importance of rugs in our home; they have a particular character and give that space a certain personality. A good rug can really pull a room together and make it just picture perfect. And more than anything else, it is also warm, comfy, and cozy! But shopping for an eco friendly rug can be a total nightmare. There are so many different sizes, patterns, materials, and then there’s rug maintenance to think of, too!
Before buying a rug, there is one primary thing that you need to keep in mind. First, identify the purpose of the eco friendly rug, whether it’s going to be a statement piece or a functional one. You might even have to think about the size, shape, color, style, etc. It will make the process of purchasing the rug that much smoother.
And to ease your worries, we have created this eco friendly rug shopping guide to help you before you decide to buy a rug.
Start With A Material Check
Most of the conventional rugs are machine-made and have synthetic fibers in them. But in contrast, an eco friendly rug will have natural fibers that are biodegradable and emit a low amount of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Wool is actually one of the most common natural fibers used for rugs. Try looking for 100% live wool (wool taken from live sheep) because the fiber is much stronger and healthier. You could also choose organic cotton, sisal, jute, bamboo, and coir fibers for your rug, depending on the theme and vibe of your room. Currently, many rugs in the market are made from recycled fabrics. So, see what exactly you’re comfortable with, as all of these materials have different textures, looks, and feel.
Consider Your Rug Size
If you are looking for statement pieces, bigger is always better. There are different rug sizes for different rooms. And ideally, you would want to buy a rug that’s just perfect – not too big, nor too small. As a general rule, most people end up opting for more oversized rugs. Not sure about the sizing? Get your measuring tape out and measure or outline the rug’s dimensions in the area you want, so you can better understand how it might look.
The eco friendly rug should be large enough to fit at least till your sofa’s/ bed’s/ chair’s front leg.
Check Out Underlay Pads
When checking for materials used in your eco friendly rugs, do not forget to ask the retailer/ seller about the underlay pads. It’s actually crucial that even your underlay pads are made of natural untreated materials/ fibers.
Consider The Maintenance Your Eco Friendly Rug Would Need
Well, like everything else, rugs will get dirty and soiled. So, you should always keep in mind the care and maintenance costs before you buy an eco friendly rug. It may seem ironic, but the vintage pieces tend to be more durable than the affordable ones. While we do not advocate the notion of ‘expensive is better,’ but when it comes to a perfect eco friendly rug, you should know that it won’t come cheap.
Try opting for colorful rugs or have weaved in them, as they are more durable and the stains aren’t that easily visible. Every once in a while, enlist the help of a professional who not only will thoroughly clean your rug but also will prevent making the stains worse.
Ask Your Seller/ Retailer About Any Chemical Treatments
Even if your rug is made from eco friendly materials or natural fibers, it could still be treated with certain chemicals. For example, some brands market their rugs as stain-resistant or flame repellent (which means, the rug has been through some sort of chemical treatment), and it would be beneficial to ask these questions, before you make the purchase.
Sometimes, sheep rearers dip the sheep in pesticide baths to control mites, ticks, and lice, or the wool fiber might be processed with solvents. So, your best bet would be to opt for eco friendly rugs that are certified organic and non-toxic.
See If There Are Any Take-Back Programs For Synthetic Rugs
If you already have a synthetic rug that you want to get rid of, check whether the manufacturer offers any take-back program. Certain rug manufacturers take the used rugs and either make a new carpet, or refurbish it and give it to charity.
Taking Care Of Your Eco Friendly Rugs
An eco-friendly rug is hardy and durable most of the time, but it does require some TLC. Here are some basic tips that you can follow, to ensure rug longevity.
Shake the rug. Yeah, you read that right! Rug shaking is a thing; so, take your eco friendly rug outside and give it a good shake – front and back. This will help remove any food particles, dirt, etc., from the rug. It would be best if you also vacuum the rug, after the shaking.
Try moving the rug every once in a while. You don’t want to have the lines and creases, and additionally, you would be able to vacuum those areas where you couldn’t before.
If you have seen any rug/ carpet cleaning video, you know what we are talking about – shampoo the rugs. Imagine you have a t-shirt. You shake it, air-dry it, vacuum it, but don’t wash it. What will happen to your rug after a few months? Wouldn’t the color start to fade or change? That’s precisely the reason that you should get them professionally cleaned, at least once a year.
These are some essential things you should consider when shopping for an eco friendly rug.
If you are looking for more eco friendly home decor ideas, don’t forget to check these upcycling hacks!