Versatile flatweave rugs offer many decorating options

Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency

Gorgeous area rugs can be a showstopper in any room. Their decorating appeal, whether they’re wool or silk, is tough to beat. But when it comes to moving them around, cleaning them or the simple cost of purchasing them, those behemoths add up.

There’s another option in the area rug arena for homeowners: flatweave rugs. These lightweight carpet cousins carry their own decorating punch, and you can decorate with them in ways you would never have thought of with a heavy rug.

Some of the best known flatweave rugs are Aubusson, kilim, dhurrie, braided or needlepoint. This type of rug has been around for generations and spans the globe in style and design. Today, there are many options of flatweave rugs to choose from, including natural styles such as sisal, seagrass and jute. What makes flatweave rugs thinner than traditional carpets is because of the way they’re made.

Flatweave rugs are woven versus knotted and are often created on machines or looms. The resulting rug is thinner and lighter than traditional knotted carpets. This also means they’re much less likely to shed compared to traditional area rugs making them a better option for some softness underfoot for allergy suffers. With their lighter weight, they can also be washed more easily than a thick-pile rug.

Unlike a thick and weighty carpet, flatweave rugs have a lightness of being that picks up the whole room. Besides being visually lighter, flatweave rugs can be rolled up and moved around more easily than a thick pile carpet that can be weighty and difficult to move. Even if your flatweave carpet is room-size, it’s much easier to switch it out or remove it altogether than a thickpile carpet that may require more than two muscle-bound movers. That makes them a good choice for anyone who likes to clean under rugs, change rugs with the season or moves more frequently.

Besides their portability, flatweaves are also often less expensive than their wool, silk or blended weave counterparts. This enables homeowners to change their rugs more often and still be budget-friendly. Of course, not all flatweaves are inexpensive, many kilims and Aubussons can be investment pieces, but by in large, flatweaves are usually much less costly.

When decorating with your flatweave rug, make sure that the rug is sized correctly for the area where you intend to use it. Try to make sure that if you use it with a table, for instance, that the rug fits completely under the table and chairs. Or, if used in a room, try to fit all the furniture on it versus floating it between pieces of furniture.

Flatweaves have many more design applications than heavy carpets. Use a woven dhurrie rug as a covering for your bed, or top a tired futon with a pretty kilim rug. Pretty flatweaves can be used as wall coverings, top a table or day bed, be framed or even cut up to make into pillows or cover dining chairs. Considering all their versatility, portability and cost-benefits, a flatweave rug might make a terrific decorating choice the next time you’re looking for a unique floor covering.