Eighteenth Street orientals: Rug Guide

Measuring + Materials + Rug Care

Eighteenth Street Orientals breaks down the rug basics so that you're fully covered. Learn how to measure your space, common rug materials, and most importantly, how to properly care for your rug.


• Rugs can create intimate atmospheres. They add warmth to a room and define a space. In order to find the perfect rug for your home, it’s important to measure the area with a tape measure before purchasing. Make sure to keep vents and doors in mind so that your rug will not hinder them.
• The general rule of thumb when measuring a dining room is to add 48 inches to the length and width of the total dining room table.
• For hallways, subtract 12 inches from the length and width to allow a 6 inch border around all sides. Other rooms can be very versatile depending on furniture arrangement.


Wool / A natural fiber created from sheep fleece and known for its strength and softness. The fleece’s location on the sheep determines the quality of the wool. The longer the fibers, the better the wool. These rugs were first designed in order to insulate living quarters in the winter months. Wool absorbs moisture while regulating temperature at the same time. It’s also known for its ability to self-clean due to its water repellent surface and resistance to grime. 

Cotton / Also a natural fiber, cotton is derived directly from the cotton plant. Because cotton can easily absorb dyes, cotton rugs are most often available in a number of colors and patterns. 

Silk / Obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm larva, silk is a luxurious material known for its soft texture and shiny appearance. The silk’s fibers refract light producing it's shine and is also known for its tensile strength. 

Viscose / A less expensive alternative to silk, viscose is a shiny, silky, synthetic material. Like cotton, viscose rugs can easily be dyed. Of course, it’s stability can not be compared to that of natural fibers. Viscose rugs are a great look without the high price tag. 


VacuumingWhen vacuuming your wool rug, it’s best to use the hand held attachment. If using an upright vacuum cleaner, turn the beater bar off, or if it can not be turned off, raise the height of the beater bar to its highest setting. The serging on the edge of rugs are very sensitive. Running the vacuum over the edges will cause the serging to deteriorate and fibers will come loose around the edges. To avoid this, carefully place your vacuum on the edge of the rug steering clear from the edge that is serged.

Stains / No matter the type of stain, always act quickly. An easy stain removing recipe for wool rugs is 1/2 teaspoon dye-free liquid dish soap and 2 cups of warm water. Apply the solution using a clean white cotton towel and blot (do not scrub). Repeat this process until the stain is completely removed. For pet stains, you can add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the solution above. Never use chemicals to clean your rug. Cleaning a handmade wool rug is different from cleaning carpet, always contact a professional rug cleaner if you’re unsure.

Pads / We recommend a rug pad underneath every area rug. Rug pad extends the life of your rug as it absorbs wear and tear from the friction between floor and rug. They help avoid accidents from slipping on moving rugs and tripping on turned up edges. They provide extra cushion on hard surfaces for your feet.