Oriental Area Rug Materials

Wool, Cotton, and Silk

Oriental Area Rugs can be crafted from a variety of Rug Materials, including wool, cotton, and silk. On this page, we’ll explain how each material contributes to the Oriental Carpet Tradition.


In the vast majority of Oriental Rugs, pile is made from the wool of sheep. Though characteristics and quality differ based on location, strategy, sheep breed, climate conditions, and the shearing process, wool remains a popular choice for rug-makers across the rug belt.
In the Middle East, Rug Materials come mainly from fat-tailed sheep races. These are distinguished by the accumulation of fat in their bodies. Typically, sheep are shorn in the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, a finer wool quality is produced. The lowest possible grade of wool used in carpet weaving is “skin wool.” This wool is removed chemically from dead animal skin.
Oriental Area Rugs also take advantage of fibers from camels and goats. Goat hair is used for borders because the material is more resistant to abrasion. Camel wool is used in special cases, but may be dyed black. Be wary of camel wool, because it often turns out to be dyed sheep wool.


Cotton is another popular choice for Rug Materials. It can be spun more tightly and efficiently than wool because it tolerates more tension. This makes it a superior material for the foundation of a rug.
When compared to wool, cotton is an obvious choice. It won’t shrink unevenly or buckle when wet. Chemically treated cotton can also be used as a silk substitute – although this is not recommended unless the process is shared with possible buyers.


Silk is perhaps the most expensive of all Rug Materials available for carpet weavers. More often than not, when silk is used in carpet pile, it simply highlights special design elements. There are, however, a number of all-silk carpets from Kashan, Qum, Nain, and Isfahan in Persia, Istanbul, and Turkey. Rugs made entirely from silk tend to be coarsely woven.

Our Services

At Oriental Area Rug Cleaning, we take pride in our extensive knowledge of Rug Materials. We consider ourselves experts in the craft, and for good reason.
For more information about our Professional Carpet Cleaning Company, call our team of Carpet Cleaning New York Experts at (888)-952-3633. We look forward to answering your questions!

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