Are you sure it's wise to put this beautiful runner in my kitchen?
Do I really want to put this rug in my busy foyer?
YES! You do! We are frequently asked whether a vintage rug is a good option for a high-traffic area, and we are here to tell you that handmade vintage rugs are the best option for high-traffic areas.
We know it sounds hard placing a gorgeous vintage piece of art in a space that will get a lot of foot traffic, but handmade rugs hold up a lot better than machine-made rugs, which often times are ready to be thrown out after five years or less.
Here are a few reasons the best rugs for high-traffic areas are handmade:
Made with natural fibers
Cotton and wool have a lot more longevity than plastic-based materials like polyester, acrylic, and nylon that newly made rugs are often made out of. A fact we love is that wool is so durable that its fibers can bend up to 20,000 times before breaking. That is a ton of footsteps.
The natural fibers are renewable as well, which is an added bonus.
Knotted with precision
There's a good reason vintage rugs are primarily made out of tough fibers like wool and cotton: the weaving process is rough on the fibers, so they need to be durable enough to stand up to the hand-pulled knots. If you take a close look at a vintage rug, you can see the individual knots that a weaver's hand pulled over and over again. Twisting, pulling, and knotting require durable fibers, and there are none better than wool and cotton.
For more on the structural differences between handmade and machine-made rugs, take a look at this post.
Easy to clean
Remember the fun fact about wool? Here's another good one: wool naturally wicks away liquid and dirt, so stains are rather easy to remove from a vintage rug -- even wine and coffee! So whereas a machine-made rug may require frequent trips to a professional cleaner, your vintage rug is likely to be cleaned up just fine by a little spot treatment. (Here's everything you need to know about cleaning a vintage rug.)
Wear and tear can look beautiful on handmade rugs
Do you see how charming the wear is on the 60-year-old rug above? It's not matted like a machine-made rug would be, and it's not threadbare or damaged either. It's more like a patina you'd find on a leather bag or shoes. The interesting thing is that sometimes you'll see the perfectly distressed look on a rug this old, but then you'll come across a 90-year-old rug and you can barely tell she's that old.
Handmade vintage rugs' ability to stand up to wear and tear makes them the best rugs to put in high-traffic areas in your home. And because they're easy to clean, the only thing you'll really need to worry about is finding the right no-slip pad to place under it so people aren't sliding around as they walk through the busy area.
As always, if you have questions for us about handmade vintage rugs, or any of our pieces in particular, we are always happy to hear from you. Instagram is a good place to connect with us!