Archive for April, 2009

What to Look for When Buying a Wool Sisal Rug

wool-sisal-rugWhile sisal can’t really be described as a fad any longer (most fads don’t last decades), it is still one of the most fashionable and desirable types of rugs on the market today. Their distinctive look and feel makes them the perfect complement for thousands of different decors from the ultra modern to the rustic. There are a few important things you need to keep in mind, however, if you are thinking about adding a sisal rug to your home. Before we get to wool sisal rug shopping, there are a few things you should know about this unique fiber.

What is Sisal?

Sisal comes from a plant that was originally thought to be native to Mexico, but botanists aren’t completely sure as to its origin. Today, sisal is grown from Florida south to Brazil and is made into dozens of different products. The sisal plant resembles a small palm tree, with thin green leaves jutting almost straight up in the air. Sisal was originally used primarily in rope and in other similar products, but the recent development of sturdy manmade fibers has forced sisal farmers to use their product for different purposes. Rugs were one of the very first alternate product uses for sisal, but manufacturers soon ran into a bit of a problem.

Why blend with wool?

Sisal is not a soft fabric. The original demand for sisal rugs came from the fact that they looked so unique and so organic, but you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot on one or fall asleep on one. It took until 1992 for a company to figure out the perfect way to blend wool with sisal for a rug that maintained its trademark look while sporting the soft, silky feeling you would expect from a braided oval rug. Today, most sisal rugs that are manufactured and sold in the United States contain a wool blend, although you can still find 100 percent sisal rugs if you like. It is very important when shopping for a sisal rug that you make sure you are buying the type you like; otherwise, you are going to get a product that is very different from the one you want.

What to look for in a wool sisal rug

As stated above, your first priority when shopping for a wool sisal rug is to make sure it contains wool, or if you prefer, is 100 percent pure sisal. If you have chosen to shop online for your wool sisal rug, you want to make sure that the shipping is reasonable and that the company you are dealing with has a solid reputation for selling top quality wool sisal products. You also want to make sure that they have a good return policy, just in case your product doesn’t live up to expectations. Shopping online isn’t really any different than shopping in person. Stick with the names you know and you’ll end up with a product you love. A good wool sisal rug can last decades with proper care.

Zebra Print Area Rugs

zebra-rugWhile no one will mistake a zebra print area rug for art, the right rug in the right environment can add a lot of character to a room. The key here is knowing when to add such a rug and when to go a more traditional route. Zebra print rugs come in every shape, every size, and every price range, from extremely affordable to extremely expensive. Let’s take a look at some situations in which having a zebra print area rug would be perfect and we’ll also take a look at some shopping tips for folks looking to get their zebra print rug online.

A zebra print area rug can look perfect in the right setting. Kids everywhere, at one time or another, want an animal print rug or wall hanging of their very own, so don’t be surprised if your teenager asks for one. They can be placed directly over the carpet or over hardwood to give your child a soft place to play or to hang out on. If you have a basement bar or den that is for watching sports, throwing parties, and having fun, a zebra print rug would be the perfect addition. They also look great in a game room or in a romper room used by both the kids and adults. Of course, if you have decided to do your entire home in animal prints, a zebra print rug would fit right in, even in the living room, but since this pattern choice is somewhat rare, most people use zebra print rugs for more casual settings.

Perhaps the best advice for anyone shopping for a zebra print rug is to keep a close eye on the price and on the size. Most people think that unless you are buying an actual zebra skin rug, a zebra print area rug is going to be on the inexpensive side, but that is not always the case. Some manufacturers out there understand that while the market for high end animal pattern rugs may be small, it does exist, so if you head online to buy yours, make sure you double check the price before you buy. You also need to be sure that you understand your space limitations. This is especially true if you are going from metric to non metric or back. Sometimes people manage to mix up feet and inches since the designation for the two are so similar.

Each kind of zebra print rug will have its own specific care instructions, so don’t assume that one is going to be machine washable until you read the fine print. If you purchase your zebra print rug online, the care instructions should be clearly listed, otherwise you may want to call the online retailer and ask. Even a cheap zebra print rug should last a year or two in areas in which heavy traffic occurs, so if yours breaks down sooner, you might want to talk to the company you bought it from. A hit with kids and a perfect match for the casual environment, zebra print area rugs are one of America’s favorite guilty pleasures.

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