Why wool is one of the best materials for rugs…

Wool is a material we know well; grown on different variety of sheep, they are shorn in the warmer spring months and their fleece spun and then used to create amazing products, from snuggly warm blankets, to duvets and wool rugs.
And wool is the perfect material for rugs in so many ways and here’s why…

1. First and foremost, wool is incredibly strong

Fabrics undergo ‘rub tests’ to test their durability; simple in its design, the rub test notes how many rubs, twists and turns a piece of fibre will withstand, before it breaks. A single wool fibre can withstand 10,000 bends before it breaks and so walking on it, does not present too much of a problem. Wool also bends easily and this malleability means it is not easily broken either.

Compare this to other materials and you will see why wool is the favoured option by many for rugs: silk, another natural fibre, can only withstand 2,400 ‘bends’ or rubs before it breaks, with synthetic or man-made fibres faring far less well. Viscose, often marketed as man-made silk, can only withstand 70 bends before it breaks, clearly a poor material for using in a rug.

2. Wool can be dyed…

… but if you think the colours are boring, think again! Technology and dyes have comes a long way and wool can now be coloured with many different vibrant and exciting colours and shades. It is also a fibre that holds on to dye well and also have a glowing, healthy shine to it.

There is something about wool that makes a room feel alive; as it is a natural product, it brings with it a sense of opulence too and the fact that it can now be dyed, more and more people are leaving behind the gaudy colours of the synthetic fibres and moving to more natural, organic materials – like wool.

3. Great natural properties

How many fabrics and materials do you know of that are naturally fire retardant and stain repellent? Not many but wool is one of them!

Wool doesn’t support a burning flame, and neither can the flame spread and so it simply extinguished; synthetic fibres can melt or burn ferociously, as well as give off noxious fumes hence the adage that it’s the smoke that kills you, not the fire.
Wool is also not a material that readily soaks up moisture and so anything that is spilt on it will, for a time, pool on the surface and, if you are quick enough, you can blot this spill so that it does not stain. Perfect for a busy family home!

4. Wool gets better with age

Again, there are no synthetic fibres that you can say, hand on heart, look better with every day that passes but wool, as a natural material, become more beautiful as each day passes.
And so the next time you see a synthetic rug advertised as a cheap price, consider the purchase for a second. It will stain and possibly melt or give off nasty fumes should it ever catch alight; it will wear thin, as well as looking tired and worn within a few months or years. But wool ages gracefully; it holds it shapes and repels stains. It can be cleaned easily too even thought people think it will shrink. It has a timeless elegance to it that no other material has.

5. Wool is from a sustainable source

The 21st century brings many pros and cons to it. For a start, we all need to be more aware and conscious of our impact on the earth and its scarce resources. Raised in the countryside, the sheep is not harmed when they are shorn; they go back out on the pastures, no worse the wear (or cold!) form not having their fluffy coats. Once the chill of winter has passed, the coat can go.
Consider how some synthetic fibres are made; you will find that somewhere there will be plastic and this is made from oil. A non-renewable resource, the days of oil are numbered.

But, there may be one drawback with wool – and to find it, we had to think really hard about this. But wool is not just attractive to us humans; with great insulating properties, you may find that any household pets are drawn to it too. Not only warm to lie and walk on, wool has a natural ‘smell’, possible undetectable to our primitive noses, but the sensitive noses of cats and dogs, wool smells divine. It oozes appeal and it begs them to come and lie on it.

Rich, opulent and attractive are just three words that we can think describes the qualities of wool. Robust too, a wool rug, cared for properly can last for a very, very long time – what fantastic heirloom to pass from one generation to another!
* Find out more about the amazing qualities and characteristics of wool, an important industry here in the UK http://www.worldofwool.co.uk/know.php *

The shaggy rug – making a comeback

Associated forever with the interior design schemes and décor of the 1970s and 1980s, shaggy rugs are making a serious comeback –with a modern 21st century twist.
But you may want to avoid your shaggy rug looking like a long-lost item from the 70s and there are ways and means of making it fashionable and on-trend. Shag rugs are not outdated and so join in the fabulous shag rug revolution by following the 21s Century shaggy rugs rules:

Colour, colour and more colour!

In fact, it is probably true to say that the more gregarious and colourful your chosen shag rug is, the better! If you are nervous about using colour, especially mixing colours from opposite sides of the spectrum, then you may need to look away now. Just like shaggy rug were a nod to the hippie in us all back in the 1970s, there is still a little bit of that left in the 21st Century version. Vibrancy, excitement and brightness are the order of the day.

Shapes shaggy rugs

Rectangular and square rugs are great for smaller room, but if you live in an open-plan or cavernous kind of space you can afford to be even more indulgent with a shaggy rug. The latest trend, started by well-known interior designers for their well-known clients are opting for huge, circular shaggy rugs and there is no hiding place – it HAS to be in the centre of the room. Trust us, it will add a completely different personality to a room and people will love it when they see it!

NO to colour?

If we cannot persuade you to opt for colour, or your interior schemes and colours will not allow for an injection of such deep or brash colour, then there is an answer – and we know you’ll it! Soft white or off-white, however you choose to phrase it, is the in colour for shaggy rugs but not bright white that is too stark within a room.

But, there is an even more retro look when it comes to these types of rug and that is to use a different material altogether – leather. A leather shag rug is the epitome of style and ‘something different’; after all, you couldn’t say that a shaggy rug is NOT meant to be noticed. Even smaller, more discreetly coloured ones will simply shout their presence in to a room.

The fireplace

And so, as we near the end of summer and enjoy the last splurge of autumn sunshine, for some their attention will start to shift to the upcoming autumn and winter. Cooler nights and shorted say may mean for some, that the luxury of the open fire once again comes along and what better way to entice you to sit in its glow, warming through than a shaggy rug.

May sound a bit too traditional, but who cares? A cold, cold winter’s night and you could curled in front of the fire, warm on the rug, propped by cushions reading the latest e-book… sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

But, can you work a shaggy rug in to your décor?

We think so and here are some ideas…

Use more than one – we have said this in so many blogs now but a 21st century twist on any rug at the moment is the use of more than one rug in a room. But with shaggy rug, rather than layer them, simply dot them about the space and enjoy the wisp of their longer pile between your toes.

Modern interiors are no problem either but you will need to leave the vision of the 1970s rug behind and take a look at the new shaggy rugs on offer. Modern furniture is great – streamlined, clear cut, minimalist, fresh and zingy but it can look a bit flat in a room, too clinical almost and so you need texture.

There are many things that can supply this; soft furnishings such as cushions, different shapes, sizes and materials but you may feel too cluttered by these. And so, many a minimalist pad now has a shaggy rug adorning the floors (and sometimes more than one!). Softly textured, they are not brash but gentle, yet scream ‘look at me! Touch me!’

Traditional schemes you would think, would welcome shaggy rugs with open and they do! But you can still inject a cheeky wink to the 21st century trend – what about adding a ‘pop of colour’ with a rug? Deep, rich earthy tones introduced to the room with the texture of a shaggy rug.

Take a punt on black too. Some people would love to pull off a black carpet and it can be difficult, but rather than take too much of a chance (especially with your money!), opt for the safety but the opulence of a black shaggy rug! A perfect solution.
In fact you needn’t be stuck for ideas; as a trend, the shaggy rug seems to be here to stay http://furniture.trendzona.com/living-room-design/shaggy-rugs-100-ideas-modern-living-room.html

You could, if you wanted, dust off your lava lamp and enjoy the shaggy rug as it should be… the central focus of the room, loving the texture and just loving it!

Win Any Shaggy Rug Off Our Website Up-To The Value Of £500


Our latest competition is aimed at the season change to autumn.
The weather has already dropped a few degrees and bare floors are starting to feel cold.
What better way to warm a room than with a shaggy rug!

All you need to do is visit our Shaggy rug page and tell us the name of the shaggy rug and the size you would like to win. Up-to the value of £500!!

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Competition closing date, Friday 26th of September.

Winner will be drawn at random.

UK residents only.

Terms & Conditions
1) Competitions are open to all UK residents over the age of 18. If you are an employee of The Rug Retailer, any of their subsidiary companies, their families, agents or anyone else connected with this promotion then you will not be eligible to enter this competition.
2) Competitions and promotions are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to The Rug Retailer and not to Facebook or any other 3rd party. By entering our competition, you are agreeing to your personal information being used to confirm if you have won and we may also use your information for marketing purposes.
3) The closing date for competitions are detailed on each individual competition entry webpage. Entries received after this time will not be entered into this competition. The competition closing date may be extended at any time.
4) To enter you must send us, the answer to the question, your name, email address and contact phone number (not required but helpful).
5) Winners will be chosen on the date mentioned within the competition page. The winner(s) will receive the mentioned prize. Winners will be chosen at The Rug Retailers absolute discretion from all valid entries and notified via details provided on entry. The Rug Retailers decision is final. If The Rug Retailer is unable to contact the winner within a 96 hour period then we will be entitled to withdraw the offer and another winner will be selected.
6) The Rug Retailer reserves the right to substitute a prize of the same, higher or lower value should the specified prize become unavailable for reasons beyond its control. Cash or credit alternatives will not be offered. The prize is not transferable in the event of fraud, abuse, and/or an error affecting the proper operation of the promotion, including the allocation of more prizes than are available. The Rug Retailer reserves the right to end or suspend the promotion or to amend these terms & conditions.
7) The winners may be required to participate in publicity connected with this promotion and it is a condition of entry that the winner(s) agree to their name and country of residence being made publicly available if they win.
8) The Rug Retailer will not be liable for any failure of receipt of entries and takes no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed, illegible, corrupted, damaged, incomplete or otherwise invalid.
9) If any provision of these terms and conditions is held invalid by any law, rule, order or regulation of any government, or by the final determination of any court of a competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect the enforceability of any other provisions not held to be invalid.
10) The Rug Retailers decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
11) This promotion is governed by English law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
12) The Promoter of the competition is The Rug Retailer.
13) For any queries or complaints relating to this competition, please email sales@rugretailer.co.uk

Modern rugs – what can they add to your home?

Adding real warmth in terms of colour, texture and insulation…

It seems that everywhere we turn, there is a headline, a fierce debate and yet more bad news that tells us the costs of energy is expected to increase again; in fact, in this coming year, the average household bill is expected to rise by £130 a year.

And so, this leads more and more people to objectively question how they can heat their homes, reduce waste and heat loss, as well as keep the cold draughts out. We are being encouraged to look at improving our homes and modern rugs could have a solution.

Not just looking pretty, the range of modern rugs at The Rug Retailer can also help to add real warmth, texture and insulation to your home.

Real warmth

We all know that a well-chosen and well-placed rug in a room can add warmth in terms of texture or layering in a room, but not many people know that this is also a physical warmth.

Floorboards and even laminate can feel cold underfoot and can cause heat loss through the floor etc., but a rug can form an insulation barrier against heat escaping and cold coming in. This will have an impact on your heating bills, but it also has an impact on how a room feels. Future winters, climate change experts tell us, will become far colder than the mild ones we have grown accustomed to and so maybe adding a modern rug to your living spaces could be a welcome addition.

Insulating properties

If you are serious about using modern rugs for their insulation properties you will need to think back to your science lessons at school that talk about heat attraction and colours!
As we know, dark colours attract the heat of the sun – hence, wearing a long black dress on a blazing hot day will see you over heat sooner than if you wore a white one. The same is true of modern rugs in living spaces.
Sunlight streaming in through the lounge window can be effectively absorbed by modern rugs in darker colours; luckily, current interior design trends are favouring the darker shades of colours and so you can be hip and trendy with your insulating modern rug!


What the rug is made from can also increase or decrease its insulation properties and again, you will need to cast your mind back to those science lessons!

Wool, along with other ‘natural’ fibres offer great insulating properties; just think how snug you can be in a wool blanket. Wool is not only a great insulator but also durable and robust too. Advances in dye techniques also means there are more patterns and colours available now than ever before BUT, as a natural fibre it will need specialist or dry cleaning to keep it fresh and in good condition.

Wool can also be more expensive that other fibres but you will be pleased to know that synthetic or man-made fibres can offer the same insulation ‘power’, they just won’t last as long as wool. They are easy to clean and far more affordable.

The stitch count

Just like a fabric, rugs can come with a stitch count which is an indication of the density of the rug fibres. The count is the number of yarn threads: the higher the stitch count, the denser the knot in the rug and the more insulating ‘power’ the rug will have. Modern rugs that are thick are another way of choosing one that will keep a room warmer.

Rug size

In terms of warmth, size does matter and the bigger the rug, the warmer the room will be. However, we hit the budget barrier again here with some super-sized or custom-sized modern rugs simply being off the scale in terms of price.
There is a solution! How about investing in more than one rug for a room? Not only will this decrease heat loss, they can also be used to create separate spaces within a room, a trick many interior designers use in larger spaces.
And so, cutting your heat loss and cutting your energy bills is not just about wall-to-wall carpet; modern rugs can still play their part. Neither do you have to compromise on style, colour or pattern. You can mix and match rugs in terms of size and pattern too, creating a layered effect that adds interest and a focal point for many spaces across your home.

Why not consider investing in modern rugs for your home, and cut your heating bills?

Cheap rugs – add colour and pattern at a fraction of the cost!

Cheap rugs does not mean boring or bland; it doesn’t mean that you are rolling out a rug in your lounge or bedroom (or anywhere in the house for that matter) that is sub-standard in terms of quality, colour or pattern.

Homes need a spruce up every now and then; likewise, welcoming the first rays of summer sunshine or keeping the cold at bay in the depths of winter, cheap rugs are worth every penny – and every minute spent choosing from the vast range!

Fancy something modern and colourful? Read on…

There seems to be an infinite number of colours and patterned rugs for you to choose from – we hold a vast and ever-growing selection www.therugretailer.co.uk

But some customers know what they want and will search and search until they find it! Many others like to ring the changes and opt for modern colours and patterns that are current on-trend in terms of interior design.
Currently, there is one pattern that has people talking and is being used by many well-known interior designers across the UK (and the world in fact!), and there seems no limit to the colours being used… the pattern is chevron or geometric patterns.

Why add a chevron or geometric patterned rug to your living space… or any room in the house?

• A great way of adding daring, vibrant colours without feeling that the whole room is overwhelmed in pattern and swamp in one colour

• A bold, yet simple accessory of a chevron or geometric cheap rug can add a completely different feel and aesthetic appeal to a room

• What to add a super-modern, statement piece to your room? A chevron or geometric cheap rug can do just that…

Let’s look at the colours on offer that seem to be the most popular…

Orange with either white or beige colour chevron – adding a splash of much-needed colour and summer warmth to a room, orange is back on the interior design radar as being the colour to add a bold, lively statement piece to a room. But, unlike the ‘brights’ of the past few years, this orange is earthier and deeper in shade, so don’t think neon!

Neutrals chevrons or geometric rugs – for those unsure about the use of strong colours, there is always the safety and classic neutral palette of beiges and creams. Just enough of a difference in shade makes for a ‘contrast’ between the colours. If you want chic in your living room, but still with a modern feel, then these are the colours for you.

A ‘style’: Bohemian – the mixes and matches of the boho palette have not quite left just yet but if the colours of middle-eastern promise are your thing, then adding these colours to your room will add a dollop of drama that your crave. Brilliant in any colour scheme and suiting the busiest of households in terms of human and pet ‘traffic’, these colours bring a sense of adventure and richness to a room.

Browns – the brown palette is not always a favoured one, although the richness of mocha and the smoothness of deep chocolate make them colours that can add a surprising twist to a room. If you are looking for a serious or more formal note to a room, take a deeper look into this palette.

Greys – like brown, grey has not always enjoyed the best of colour reputation. Difficult to balance between true grey and heather colour, it sometimes can look tired and dated… and a little bit too quickly but, the increase in the use of chevron and geometric cheap rugs in greys have increased its popularity once again. Lighten the feel of a room instantly with greys…

Ultra-modern monochrome – customers looking for the razor sharp edge of on-trend interior design should look no further than monochrome rugs, with black and white geometric or chevron cheap rugs being the hot favourite. Narrow the chevron pattern for a real eye-popping effect.

Navy and blues – the IN colour of 2014 is navy and the darker tones and richness of the whole blue range. To be spot on with your colour choice, stick with the navy… with a splash of white… or pink…

No need to be stuck in a rut!

Interior design is all about change and allowing our homes, and the rooms within it, to evolve and change as we change and grow. Frequently, how we use our homes changes from time to time and so the interior design needs to embrace this; for example, more of us are flexi-working or opting to completely work at home. A room needs to be multiple things in some cases; a study and the hub of a business, as well as the place to relax and your space needs to reflect this.
Cheap rugs are not about compromise; it is about choosing the right rug at the right price – if you want on-trend rugs and soft furnishings opt for the earthy, rich tones of a colour.

Mix and match, as well as maybe allowing a little bit of a structured clash to the room and you will have a warm-feeling, amazing looking space to use as you please…

Win £200 off any rug on our website. Find the bug!

Look through our website and find our friendly bug lurking amongst one of the rug images.

Fill out the entry form below with the name of the rug where he lurks, and you have the chance of winning a fantastic £200 off any of our rugs.

Bug in a rug
Bug in a rug

Submit your answer on the form below and a winner will be drawn at random from the correct entries. Happy crawling!!

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Competition closing date, Monday 15th of September.

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How to Clean Rugs

Like carpets and flooring in our homes, rugs need more than a vacuum every now and then; they need to be clean to not only be hygienic, but to also extend their useful life as part of our interior décor.

Here at The Rug Retailer, we know how important rugs are in a home; adding colour and warmth, as well as being visually appealing and creating focal spots within a space, when rugs start to look old and tired, many people assume it is time to replace it with new. But, increasingly, people are realising that cleaning rugs, and also repairing them is far better – and cheaper on the budget! – than opting for new. But how to clean rugs without damaging them is the subject of many a debate amongst people… some assume you can wash a rug, whilst other assume it is a trip to the dry cleaners. In a sense, both arguments are right!

How to clean rugs successfully falls in to two categories: wet cleaning and dry cleaning. Wet cleaning involves ‘soap and water’, whilst dry cleaning involves the use of chemicals, either in foam or powder format; if professionally cleaned, rugs will also face a range of machinery and rollers to extract dirt, making them look like new again!

Wet cleaning

The ‘soap and water’ approach is a combination of hot water or steam, with the rug coated in a ‘chemical agent’ that loosens and, in some cases, liquefies dirt, soil etc. that is in the rugs fibres. Steam is then added to this heady mix, loosening further any stubborn stains and ingrained dirt. After 10 to 15 minutes, a vacuum with a ‘wet’ capability is then used to extract the water and chemical from the rug, which is then left to dry.

This process most people will be familiar with when hiring or owning a wet carpet cleaner and is a process that can be used on most rugs (but always check the label and, to be doubly sure, test a small area of the rug first, before treating the whole area).

There are pros and cons to the wet cleaning process:

 Ingrained dirt from deep within the fibres is reached with this process

 High temperature of the steam, along with chemical agents mean that the rug feels, smells and looks really clean after

 You can leave, in some cases, the clean chemical to soak within the fibres

 Stubborn stains can either be completely removed or decreased considerably using this method, especially with ‘agitation’ with cleaning tools before the steam clean process

 It is a commonly used method with various equipment and gadgets available for both hire and purchase

 Many rug manufacturers recommend this type of cleaning

**Don’t forget that some rugs are machine washable too – simply pop in your machine, add powder and press go!**

 It can take a long time for dense, large rugs to completely dry

 Buying the equipment can be expensive but hiring is more cost-effective

 It can be hard, physical work depending on how many rugs you intend cleaning this way…

Dry cleaning

This is normally carried out by a specialist firm or company, although consumers can buy products for spot cleaning at home that can be successful but to clean the whole rug effectively this way, it is far more cost-effective – cheaper, in other words! – to get the professional to complete the job.

Professional dry cleaners have access to specialist cleaning compounds and agents that can successfully clean and refresh a rug. These agents are mixed together and then spread over the surface are of the rug, usually worked in to the fibres with a machine or, in some cases, by hand. These powders or foams are then left to absorb into the fibres and then, similar to the wet cleaning version, they are vacuumed out of the rug, leaving it smelling far more pleasant and with a lot of the dirt and stains removes.

But like wet cleaning, there are pros and cons…

 This is a far quicker process that wet cleaning, simply because the chemicals work far quicker and the machine manipulation mean that they complete the task of agitating the fibres much quicker than by hand

 There is no drying time needed with this cleaning system, with your rug back on your floor within the same day

 Powders and cleaning agents can build up over time within the fibres, defeating the object of cleaning the rug

 In some cases, deep cleaning within the fibres is not always possible

How to clean rugs successfully lies in a little knowledge and, in some cases depending on the fibres, professional help too. But, clean your rugs and then will last a lot longer!

Can you really buy a rug online – and be happy with the outcome?!

We think so! But log on to the internet and take time to brows various forums and you will find horror story after horror story about online rug purchases that have gone horribly wrong. You will want to avoid this and we think we know how you can…

We all live busy lives. Working full time, balancing the work and play as well as all the other things that come along with a busy lifestyle and family, taking hours to trawl around shops looking for the perfect rug is a luxury that many of us can ill-afford.

As a result, like many other purchases, we turn to online rug stores like us – www.rugretailer.co.uk – to see the current trends in terms of style and colour, as well as researching prices. Buying rugs online can be done and here is how…

pattern rug

Think about what you want and need – then research to find examples!

People often have very little idea of what it is they want, exactly for their home. They may have ideas about colour and style, as they will undoubtedly be matching the rug to their décor which, according the various home interior designers is the wrong way round http://www.ehow.com/how_5014970_design-room-around-area-rug.html

You also need to consider the construction of the rug too and know what hand-tufted, hand-woven, hand-knotted and machine made all mean so that you can see why the rug is the price that it is. Likewise, you need to have an idea about the materials that are used too; from natural fibres through to all manner of synthetic materials, some you may not have heard of!

All of these manufacturing techniques and materials have pros and cons, with some being more suited to some areas of your home than others. It may look like a bargain, but will it function to the best of its ability?

Getting the sizing right

The nest big step is to know your sizing, and not get your inches and your centimetres all in a knot! If you are looking for a certain size rug, then measure the space where it will sit and make sure it will fit – too big, and the area will be swamped. Too small and it will look lost. After all, you do not want to make the expensive mistake of buying a brilliant silk rug, only for it to arrive and be the size of a postage stamp…

Fibre density – another technicality

There may also be some quality online retailers who operate a support service and can discuss with you’re the finer technicalities of their rugs wither via a phone line, online chat facility or by email. Density of the fibre relates directly to the perceived durability of the rug. The denser the pile, the slower the rug will wear is the general rule of thumb. If you investing a lot in your rug, getting the best density measurement your can is fairly essential for it to be a lasting investment.

Bear in the mind the footfall

Also known as the ‘traffic’ within the home, where you intend putting your online rug purchase should influence your decision. Anything that looks flimsy will simply not last the test of time in the hallway with muddy boots, the dog and cat padding in and out as well as the several trips in and out of the front door we do every day.
In order to make the best online rug purchase, check the rug description – where has the manufacturer or retailer suggested is the best place for the rug? Getting one recommended for the bedroom will not give the same performance in the dining room…

hallway runner


High quality online rug retailers will spend time and care getting good photographs of their products so that consumers can see a faithful colour reproduction of the actual product. If you are looking for a specific hue or shade of a colour it is probably best to check that the colour is what it says it is; many people have opted for the golden yellow only to find it is far more golden than what they thought. Again, contact the retailer as they could help with this. Don’t underestimate the impact of colour in your interior décor http://www.adriennechinn.co.uk/article4.htm

And don’t forget – research the retailer

Reviews are everywhere online and an online retailer of rugs will take care of these reviews – in other words, their customer service will be second to none as they know that consumers buy from companies who have excellent reviews. Consumers, just like on the high street, are turned off by online retailers who seem to have let their customers down.
Now all you have to do is choose the rug…