Chysanthemum Rug

So you’ve ogled your friends’ rugs, poured over interior design magazines, and window-licked up and down the streets from here to Timbuktu. Now it’s time to take the plunge and find yourself The One. How exactly does one go about buying a rug?

David Sharpley_Wall Street(1)

Over 30 years of experience in the industry have lead David Sharpley, owner of Tsar Carpets USA and AUS, to become a passionate authority on rugs and carpets.

David’s philosophy is that rugs are the ultimate canvas for creativity. They are tactile and artistic, yet functional and liveable.  They are key elements in converting house to home. The challenge lies in striking balance between quality, fiber, style, cost and performance.

David has given us the coveted top FAQs for buying a rug that ensures your interior design endeavor is a successful one.

1. WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS FOR BUYING A RUG?

Porcelein Rug

  1. Once you have decided where a rug is required, take photo of the space from two or more angles.
  1. Next, mark out and measure the area that you want to be covered by the rug. This can easily be done by laying down masking tape or newspaper.
  1. Re-enter the room and walk around, sit down to see how you like the arrangement.
  1. When you have settled on the layout, you can take the measurements and pictures to a rug and carpet retailer.

QUICK TIP: in a living room, having ⅓ of the rug under the couch and sofa chairs is a good rule of thumb. This ensures a sense of flow through the room.

For a dining room, allow the rug to peak out about 70cm from under the table. This leaves enough room for chairs to be pulled in and out without falling off the edge of the rug.

There are two options when purchasing a rug: you can buy one ‘off the rack’, or you can have one custom made.

Both are great options, but custom designing a rug can cut your search time in half by ensuring you get the exact size, color scheme and design you’re after.

Tsar offers a design service by which you can tweak any in-house design to your liking, or create a rug from scratch. They’ll even make a mock-up of your space with your potential rug designs in it, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

If you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to jump right in and start discussing fibers, colors and designs with one of Tsar’s in-house designers!

2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAND-TUFTED AND HAND-KNOTTED  RUGS? 

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Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique. It’s a fantastically fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unsurpassable.

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Hand-knotting is the traditional way to weave rugs. It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed and will last for centuries.

Read more about the difference between hand-tufting and hand-knotting here.

3. SHOULD I PICK A NATURAL FIBER OR SYNTHETIC?

For rugs, the best fibers are the natural fibers. Quality wool performs better than any fiber: it’s stain resistant, naturally warm or cold depending on the season, lasts for years, and it looks newer for longer.

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However, synthetic fibers like nylon have come a long way, and can be a good choice for a particularly high traffic area, like a hotel foyer, as nylon is stiffer than wool and won’t flatten overtime.

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Other man made fibers, like viscose and bamboo silk, also have their place, as cheaper alternatives to silk.

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While the price of synthetic fibers can be lower than than that if natural fibers, the difference in quality is like solid gold vs gold plated jewellery- both look great, but only one will last forever.

4. SHORT PILE vs. LONG PILE?

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Short pile (where the fiber tufts are 7-9mm high) should be used in most cases as it gives density, which helps to ensure the pile won’t crush underfoot.

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Longer pile is often used in bedrooms for softer feel, but it will compact and flatten over time in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic.

5. WHAT ELEMENTS DO I NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHEN LOOKING AT DESIGNS? 

First, think about some practical factors to set the parameters.

Do you have an animal that sheds white hair? Steer clear of designs with large areas of dark colors.

Do you have messy toddlers? Busier designs will be more forgiving to spills and wear and tear.

Is it a heavy traffic area? Stay away from light colors, especially yellow.

Small room? Minimal designs in lighter colors can make a room feel more spacious.

Also consider the amount of natural light in the room, as this can influence how brightly colors show up. Once you have taken the practical elements into account, you can have fun playing with designs and colors that reflect with your personal taste.

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6. WHY IS THERE SUCH A PRICE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN RUGS ON THE MARKET?

There are five factors that determine the price of a rug: fiber content, manufacturing technique, complexity of design, pile height, and weight.

Each of these factors affect the longevity and beauty of your rug. A higher quality rug will last a long time, and retain its original texture and design.

Read more about the 5 factors that contribute to the price of a rug here.

7. SO HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON A RUG?

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While rugs can be made to accommodate any budget, it is important to remember that a lower price range can mean compromising the quality and longevity of the product.

Determine which of the five factors that contribute to the price of a rug are most important to you, and figure your budget out from there.

A rug is an investment, and it’s never a bad idea to invest in a quality product that you love, and that will last a lifetime.

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Once you find the find the right rug that fits your interiors, you can rest easy knowing that you’re on the way to realizing your vision. But remember, custom made will always ensure you get 100% quality in terms of fiber, design, and pile height. Take the time to find something perfect for your space, and no matter the house, it’ll always feel like home.

 

 

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We spoke to David Sharpley of Tsar Carpets to get the low down on why there’s a huge discrepancy in rug prices on the market. He points out the five main elements that affect cost and what to look for when it comes to quality, cost, and materials.

  1. FIBER CONTENT

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For every fiber, the price depends on the level of quality.

For example, even 100% New Zealand wool can be of high quality and higher price range-and also of a low price rang. If the customer is willing to compromise quality for the sake of cost, then so be it!

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Choosing New Zealand wool of the highest grade will ensure that the lanolin content of the wool is high. Lanolin gives a natural water protective layer to the fibers, making the rug stain resistant. High quality New Zealand wool also has longer strands that make up the thread, meaning the yarn is stronger. These longer strands are the secret to making sure a rug retains its original quality for longer, and aids in the reduction of fluffing and shedding.

Some other fibers that are used include silk, bamboo silk, viscose and nylon.

Silk is usually the most expensive fiber, and nylon and viscose are usually the least expensive. Wool and Bamboo Silk combinations are very popular among those looking at mid-range prices for a high-end product.

Each of these fibers has its place in designing a rug.

Talk to a consultant at TSAR about which fibers best suits your style and practicality requirements.

2. MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE

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While both techniques produce high quality products, hand-tufting is a less costly option than hand-knotting. This is due to the amount of time, excellence and mastered technique required to create a hand-knotted rug.

Hand Knotting

For this reason, hand-knotted rugs are often seen as a more sentimental investment. The same price difference exists in the cost of craftsmanship- lower quality craftsmanship is cheaper than artisan craftsmanship.

Read more about Tsar’s Manufacturing Techniques.

3. COMPLEXITY OF DESIGN

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The intricacy of your chosen design will dictate how long the manufacturing process will take, plus the level of craftsmanship required to produce the rug. These factors will ultimately affect the final price.

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A more detailed design, such as using multiple colors and/or fibers, will have a higher price than a rug of a single color and basic pattern.

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4. PILE HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

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Pile height is another contributing factor to the price of a rug. The thicker the rug and the more raw material required to make it, the higher the overall price.

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The weight of a rug is also an important factor in determining the cost of the product. The more densely a rug is tufted or knotted, the more expensive it will be in relation to its pile height.

High density rugs are sturdier, so they are perfect for high traffic areas like foyers, hallways or under dining room tables where you want to minimize indentation.

5. QUALITY OF FINISH

Quality of Finish

Other prices variations between suppliers can indicate quality of latex (for tufted rugs), quality of backing material, and quality of finishing.

Each of these five factors affect the longevity and beauty of your rug, along with the price.

The best and most useful advice for our customers?

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Buy the best you can afford. A higher quality rug will last a longer time, and retain its original texture and design.

Contact TSAR for any questions, concerns, or to speak with one of their design consultants anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

David Sharpley_Exhibition

We spoke to David Sharpley CEO and founder of Tsar Carpets to find out what’s what in rug manufacturing techniques. With 30 years experience he is well qualified to break it down for us!

Tufted example - trixiTrixi Design – Hand-Tufted with natural undyed NZ Wool, and dyed Bamboo Silk”

Generally, there are two main techniques used in rug and carpet manufacturing: hand knotting, and hand tufting.

Hand-Tufting

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Hand-tufting is a relatively modern technique by which the fibers are punctured through a large canvas to create the rug.

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The threads on the back are then secured by a latex backing, and the front is hand-shorn and sculpted as required.

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It is an impressively fast process in comparison to hand knotting, and the level of complexity that can be achieved in design is unbeatable.

 

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It is a great option for custom carpets and rugs where excellence of fiber and a speedy delivery are priorities.

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Hand-Knotting

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Hand-knotted rugs are the original way of weaving rugs. Cotton threads are strung up on a loom and the fibers are woven and knotted through by hand.

knot2_14Traditionally, the knotting technique used differs from region to region, and is carried out by specialized artisans, as it is an extremely intricate technique that requires a great level of expertise.

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It is a slow process, but the end result is a worthy investment. As no glues are used, the rug can be washed, and will last for centuries.

Knotted - back(1)Hand-Knotted Back 

Both techniques have their place in finding the perfect rug for your home. Chat to one of the in-house designers at TSAR about which technique works best for you!

Halo Rug

For more tips on what to look for when buying a rug visit TSAR NEWS.