Who doesn't like a good, money-saving bargain when we're shopping? Most of us do, honestly, but there are some purchases that come at a much higher cost than we realize. Sales of lower quality, fast, and disposable products, including fashion, food, and home goods have skyrocketed in the last few decades due to their amazing low prices but these products can be damaging and irresponsible in many ways.
In the area rug industry, we've seen a growing trend of consumers opting to forgo the quality of a handmade wool rug in favor of machine made plastic area rugs, and sure, that gets you a rug that looks similar to the real thing for a fraction of the cost, but the relatively small savings isn't truly worth it in the long run for three very important reasons that not only affect the buyer but all of us.
Reason #1: Disposable Consumption
Most low quality area rugs are constructed poorly, usually in a hurried manner by workers trying to churn out as many of the same rug as possible to meet quotas and demand or made by machines using inexpensive materials. Because of poor construction and sub-optimal fibers, low quality rugs typically don't last longer than 5 years max before their pile has worn and they no longer look like something you'd want to display in your home. Thus, a cycle begins of buying a rug, keeping it for a few years, and then having no choice but to throw it away and buy a new one. Comparatively, a handmade wool area rug can last up to 100+ years with proper care and still look beautiful generations later.
This Antique Russian Kazak rug is over 100 years old,
hand-knotted in the 1800s with 100% natural wool.
Reason #2: Use of Plastics
When you shop for an area rug, you'll notice that some are made of natural wool, cotton, or silk, but more and more area rugs are being made out of plastics, like polypropylene. Polypropylene, sometimes referred to as olefin or acrylic, is a plastic that is derived from petroleum and is very rarely recycled, rather ending up in our landfills and taking over 90 years to decompose. With our knowledge of the impact that non-recycled plastics have on our environment, it is advisable to opt for natural, sustainable fibers when shopping for area rugs.
If you have wool allergies or avoid wool for any other reason, cotton and silk rugs are alternative, renewable fibers.
Reason #3: Harmful Chemicals:
Low quality area rugs require a high level of processing to achieve a look that mimics genuine handmade area rugs, typically chemical washes and treatments like fire retardants and insect repellents, in addition to synthetic dyes that are sometimes toxic. Handmade rugs are created without the use of any unnatural or harmful chemicals and most feature organic dyes.
Purchasing a genuine, handmade, wool rug will generally cost more initially, but overtime, you not only save money by eliminating any need to buy a replacement due to poor quality, but you're also making a smarter choice that benefits you, your family and the planet.
At Main Street Oriental Rugs, we pride ourselves on carrying only 100% natural wool area rugs in our showroom and we have area rugs for all budgets available for shoppers who want quality without compromise.
Area Rug Suggestions:
4' x 5'6" Vintage Bokhara Wool Rug
Until next time, thank you for reading!