Rugs have the ability to transform a space, and so are a great way to give your home a fresh new look. Beyond style though, the weave of a rug makes it suitable for different rooms and uses. In the same way that not all rugs are suitable for use as a doormat, not all designs will work equally in the kitchen or the bedroom…
Here is a simple guide to the most common rug weaves and their characteristics to help you choose which rug to buy for your space.
The plain weave is one of the three basic weaves. It evolved from the simple braid and creates a flat, tight finish. Plain weave fabric (or rugs) is created by weaving the weft thread alternately over and under the warp. It produces a reversible finish, so longevity is increased, and many plain weave rugs can actually be washed. The binding is firm, tight, and extremely durable – perfect for a heavy traffic area.
The twill is the second of the three most common weaves (the third of which is satin, which is very rarely found in rugs). A twill weave creates a diagonal pattern, often referred to as a ‘herringbone’, resembling a zig-zag. Twill rugs are not reversible, but they are better at concealing stains and soiling than a plain weave. Because there are fewer crossing points in the fabric, twill woven material moves more freely, creating a softer finish that will crease less.
Diamond Twill Weave
The diamond twill weave is created in the same way as a twill weave, except the even rows of the diagonal pattern are shifted to ‘close’ the zig-zag and instead create a diamond effect. Diamond twill woven rugs have an inherent ornateness that gives a character to the rug before playing with colour or material. Like the twill weave, the diamond twill is soft and supple, and can achieve a higher pile than its plain weave counterparts.
The tuft weave creates a soft, three-dimensional finish that you can sink your fingers into. It is created by pulling loops of fabric through a base material, which can vary in height and thickness. Tufted rugs are extremely soft when woven with wool, and are more absorbent and tend to trap dirt easier than plain woven rugs. These qualities make them ideal for the bathroom or living room, but should be avoided in the kitchen or dining room.