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The Definitive Buyers’ Guide to Wool Rugs

Wool rugs epitomise a blend of timeless elegance and practical versatility, making them an excellent choice in all types of home décor. Perfect for almost any room, they bring a touch of cosiness and a dash of sophistication to your living space while remaining durable and long-lasting. 

Join us in this buyers’ guide as we explore everything you need to know before you buy. Meaning the material of wool, the rug sizes, colours, and patterns you’ll find, and how they fit seamlessly into your interior design. You’ll also get the opportunity to see some of Rugs Direct’s finest examples of wool rugs.

Understanding Wool Rug Materials

Wool rugs are celebrated for their exceptional quality, which largely depends on the type of wool used. Understanding these varieties is key to choosing a rug that meets your needs for both comfort and durability.

There are multiple types of wool used in rug making, but we’re going to focus on two of the most popular:

Merino Wool: Known for its fine fibres and softness, Merino wool is ideal for rugs that offer a luxurious, plush feel underfoot. It’s perfect for spaces where comfort is a priority.

New Zealand Wool: Praised for its purity and whiteness, New Zealand wool takes dye beautifully, resulting in vibrant, colourfast rugs. It’s a great choice for those looking for a rug that combines longevity with aesthetic appeal.

This Royal Classic 93 W rug is an excellent example of a rug made from 100% New Zealand wool:

Royal Classic 93 W Rug

Each type of wool brings its unique characteristics to rugs, affecting not only their tactile quality but also aspects like durability and ease of maintenance. Before you choose a rug, you should notice the differences in texture and weave. These variations influence how the rug interacts with your living space, both in style and functionality.

Sizes and Shapes for Every Space

Selecting the right size and shape of a wool rug is crucial in enhancing the overall aesthetic and functionality of a room.

Choosing the Right Size and Shape

Living Room: A large rectangular rug can anchor your furniture while ensuring that at least the front legs of sofas and chairs are on the rug, creating a cohesive look.

For example, our Kashqai 4301 500 rug:

Kashqai 4301 500 Rug

Bedroom: Consider a plush, large rug that extends beyond the sides of your bed, or place runners on either side for a warm, comfortable start to your day.

Dining Area: Ensure the rug is large enough to accommodate chairs even when pulled out. A shape that mirrors your dining table (whether it’s round or rectangular) harmonises the space.

Crucial Styling Tips

Proportion is Key: The rug should fit the scale of the room and the furniture within it. Avoid too small rugs, as they can make the space feel disjointed.

This Carter Berry Purple rug not only compliments the décor but also fits the space it’s sitting in:

Carter Berry Rug

Complementing Layouts: Use round rugs to soften angular furniture arrangements or a runner to guide the flow in a hallway.

You can see what we mean about round rugs and angular furniture here, with our Spiral Red rug:

Spiral Red Rug

Balancing the Space: In open-plan areas, use rugs to define different zones. This technique can give structure to a multifunctional space.

Choosing Pile Height: If you’re going to put a rug in an area where furniture is moved back and forth, like under a dining table, try to choose a rug with a low pile height. This prevents damage and allows furniture to be moved easily. Shorter pile rugs are also easier to clean.

Experts recommend a pile height of under an inch, so a pile height of 10mm (1cm), like you can see on this Lexus Yellow rug, is ideal:

Lexus Yellow Rug

Colour Palettes and Patterns

The colour and pattern of a wool rug can define and enhance the ambience of any room. Whether you’re drawn to bold and contemporary designs or more subtle, traditional patterns, the right choice can create a harmonious and stylish space.

Exploring Colours and Patterns

Bold and Contemporary: These rugs often feature vibrant colours and modern patterns, making them ideal centrepieces in primarily neutral or monochromatic rooms. They can add energy and a focal point to minimalistic or modern décor.

Our Prismatic PRS20 Grey Lilac Multi rug is a prime example:

Prismatic PRS20 Grey Lilac Multi Rug

Subtle and Traditional: Rugs with classic patterns in muted colours can add a touch of elegance and warmth to a room. They blend well with traditional furnishings, creating a sense of continuity and timelessness.

Choosing the Right Rug

Complementing Room Schemes: Consider the existing colour palette of your room. A rug should complement the walls, furniture, and other décor elements, either by blending in or providing a striking contrast.

This Harlequin Floreale Fuchsia 44905 rug does it perfectly:

Harlequin Floreale Fuchsia 44905 Rug

Consider Lighting: The natural and artificial lighting of a room can affect the appearance of a rug’s colour. Lighter rugs can brighten a dark room, while darker rugs can create a cosy feel in a well-lit space.

The latter can be seen here, with this Tropics NOURISON TS05 Black rug. It may be surrounded by windows and greenery in this room but it still looks like a comfortable place to sit:

Tropics NOURISON TS05 Black Rug

Match Décor Style: Align the rug’s pattern with your décor style. Geometric patterns or abstract designs suit modern interiors, while floral or oriental patterns complement traditional settings.

The Seaweed Ink 28008 rug does it here by matching the patterns and colour schemes of the walls, curtains, and cushions:

Seaweed Rug

Where and How to Style Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are not just versatile in design but also their placement across the home. Here’s how they can enhance various rooms:

Living Rooms: A large wool rug can anchor the seating area, adding warmth and defining the space. In larger rooms, consider using two rugs to create multiple cosy areas.

Bedrooms: Place a soft wool rug under the bed or at its side, making the first and last touch of the day pleasantly warm.

Dining Rooms: Use a wool rug under the dining table to add comfort and elegance.

Kitchens: Surprisingly, a small wool rug near the sink or prep area can provide comfort during cooking and add a pop of colour to the kitchen.

Layering and Textures

Layering Rugs: Wool rugs can be layered over larger, flat-weave rugs to add texture and depth to a room. This is particularly effective in creating a stylish bohemian vibe.

Pairing with Other Textures: The natural texture of wool pairs well with a variety of materials like leather, linen, and cotton, offering a tactile experience and visual interest. In a room with sleek, modern furniture, a wool rug can add the necessary warmth and softness.

You can see it at work here, with this Harlequin Elliptic Emerald 140307 rug:

Harlequin Elliptic Emerald 140307 Rug

Worried About How to Care for Wool Rugs?

We have a handy, user-friendly guide on how to clean a wool rug right here. Read through to keep your home’s newest feature looking fresh and fluffy for a long time to come.

Find Wool Rugs for Sale Online

At Rugs Direct, we understand the role a rug can play in bringing a room together, which is why we offer an extensive range of high-quality wool rugs. Our collection caters to a diverse array of tastes, preferences, and interior styles, ensuring that there’s a perfect rug for every home and every vision.

We invite you to explore this wonderful array and discover the wool rug that not only meets your functional needs but also resonates with your style. Shop by colour, pattern, shape, or any combination of the three and get a free UK delivery.