What is good to know before purchasing a handmade weaved rag rug?
Some time ago, our grandmothers provided us with rag rugs. All those good old plain stripes or some more sophisticated patterns, as someone`s skills and materials they gathered could let them do. We are not too critical about these rugs and their quality, because these are made by our own grandmothers and if these rugs get worn out, we know, where to order a new one. Homely and warm feeling granted anyway.
However, if we start looking around for a rug at a fair, market or shop, we could keep some points in mind.
The most important thing about a rag rug is WARP. If the thread is poor, the rug will not last long. The best is probably linen - natural long fiber, durable organic. The downside here is the price. High-quality linen thread comes in Europe from Lithuania and Germany, but it is also quite expensive, which in turn increases the price of rag rug. I myself don`t prefer to weave a rug from linen warp, I've left linen for thinner products that go above the floor.
The next best choice is a warp made of artificial material, which is much more resistant than a warp made of cotton or a viscose warp. The cotton thread is (at least when weaving) very comfortable under the hand and is quite soft, but it is also faster to wear out. Especially if you need a rug for a place lot of walking. And especially if you want the rug to have fringes. In favor for cotton and viscose warp is that maybe you don't want a rug that lasts from father to son and perhaps you would like to try some new color or pattern. Of course, they don`t last for ever, but definitely they will do for some good years.
Carpets with artificial warp are, of course, the most durable. Such rugs can be even washed by washing machine. But the overall walking resistance is also higher. In contrast to the different wear of warp varieties, nothing special happens with woven textiles. Its wear is many times longer than the warp.
FRINGES is the next point to keep in mind. In general, they make the life of a rug shorter. The inverted edge and sewn-in fringes elongates rug`s lifetime.
The edges of the carpet clearly show weaver`s skills and professionalism. For starters, they tend to flutter, and if a fabric tensioner wasn`t used, the rugs sometimes take the shape of a carrot. Especially if used materials have different thickness. It is usually compensated by the joy of knitting that bursts out from the rug.
And last but not least, it is necessary to evaluate the thickness of the carpet. It is good to whip a lighter and thinner carpet. Double-sided woven ("summer-winter" in weaver`s vocabulary) are usually thicker, heavier and not so easily lifted for everyday tiding-up. Of course, they last a long time, because the weakest link - the thread - is hidden. They are not machine washable also. But again, they don't slip on the floor and are your best friends on extremely cold floor.
So if you have also thought through the maintenance part, you can buy with a calm heart. All these different points outlined will help you make a considered purchase. Who prefers what and what kind of rug is needed at your house.
If quality is left aside for a moment, then in fact, the color and pattern of the rug are the most important things when buying. And some rugs are just shouting : take me home immediately!