Tips and Guides

Different Types of Area Rugs

Find out which type of rug takes home the best award for your home


Familiarize yourself with the different types of area rugs so you can pick the best one for your living room or bedroom.

Photographed by Toto Labrador (Shag Rug), Vincent Cosolluela (Loop Pile), At Maculangan (Animal Hide), and Miguel Nacianceno (Persian).

Read the original article ("Roll Out the Carpet") in RL Notebook - May 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Animal Hide

Often irregularly shaped, animal hides are usually made of natural hair. They follow the contour of the animal’s body, although rectangular or circular shaped are also available. Patterns, spots, and patches are unique, which gives it its sought-after beauty. Colored dye is added in some occasions.

Maintenance tip: Vacuum periodically and avoid exposure to water. Sponge over soiled areas with soap and water, then wipe dry.

Shag Rug

These have deep and long cut piles that extend to about an inch or more, giving them a shaggy appearance. They can be made of cotton, wool, synthetic or a mix of materials. Shag rugs provide very good acoustic insulation. They also cushion feet well, and are ideal for bedrooms or spaces that need good acoustics.

Maintenance tip: After heavy soiling has occurred, most pile type are washable; extra fine piles need to be dry-cleaned. Regular gentle brushing may also be required to maintain a shaggy look.

Loop Pile

Made with loops of pile of equal height, this arrangement gives it a flat, textured surface that’s very easy to maintain. There are more plush and multi-level loop piles available as well. Sometimes, loop piles are combined with cut piles to create floral or geometric designs.

Maintenance Tip: A brush may damage the surface of the pile and make everything fuzzy! So use a “suction only” setting when you vacuum.

Silk Hand-Knotted Persian

A true artist’s work, these Persian rugs often carry the signature of the weaver. These short-pile, thin carpets have intricate designs, with surfaces that are very soft and luxurious to the touch. They have very high tensile strength and are great for homes that have a more traditional style.

Maintenance Tip: Use a light broom when cleaning, and do not use a vacuum cleaner often. Call a professional cleaner when heavily soiled.


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