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Pile: What's That?

January 13, 2014 2 min read

If you're an avid rug shopper, you may be familiar with different styles of rugs. If not, you may be surprised to learn that there are many different types: hand-woven, hand-knotted, machine-made, hand tufted, flat woven etc. A common rug term that is thrown around in the business is pile. Pile refers to the height of the fibers in the rug and is most commonly used as short pile, long pile, or shag.

Short pile is typically of a machine-made or hand-knotted rug. The fibers are "short" and not plush. These typically have longer lifespans or are more durable to frequent vacuuming and high-traffic areas.  They are functional for warmth, some can be used in indoor/outdoor spaces, and the machine-made categories are the least expensive of rugs types.


Long pile rugs or shags should be used in less-trafficked areas of the home such as a bedroom. These rugs especially need to be vacuumed with care and cleaned with a good dry cleaning solution to prevent soiling. They are perfect for areas where you want to create a cozy setting and are commonly the preferred choice for playrooms as well. Typically, hand-tufted rugs are an inch in pile height but offer the longevity of a wool rug being fire-resistant, energy-efficient, and moisture balancing.  We recommend that when vacuuming, you should raise the beater bar of your vacuum to extend the life of the rug and preserve the fibers no matter what the height of the pile is. There are several things to consider when choosing a rug, but the two most important things to consider when thinking about pile are: where is the rug going and are you looking for comfort?  The rest falls into place with that in mind. If you have questions about selecting the perfect rug or further questions regarding pile, please comment below or send a submission to the "contact us" form to the right.

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