When investing in a rug, it’s good to know the different constructions so you’ll understand the look, texture and longevity of your rug.

Flat Weave

Flat-weave rugs, as the name implies, are woven on a loom without any pile. Since their smooth, flat appearance is the same on the front and the back, they reverse for twice the beauty and wear.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Very low, reversible profile.

GOOD TO KNOW: Great in high traffic areas, flat-weave rugs do require a rug pad.


Tufting is the process of pulling individual loops of yarn through the backing material and then shearing them to create a flat plush pile surface.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Soft sheared surface, sometimes with a sculpted high/low profile.


Hooked construction is the same as tufted except it leaves the loop intact creating a tighter, somewhat rounded pile surface on the rug.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Loops of yarn forming the textured surface. May combine with tufted yarns for a high/low profile.

GOOD TO KNOW: Keep pet claws trimmed so they won’t get caught on the hooked yarns.

Machine Woven

Machine-made rugs are typically woven on a power loom and can last for decades due to superior materials and if well maintained.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Smooth, uniform stitching on the reverse side of rug.

GOOD TO KNOW: These quickly woven rugs are an affordable alternative to handmade rugs.


Many rugs are given a finished backing of latex that adheres to the loops for stability and protection. Cotton backing creates a smooth surface between the rug and the floor.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Latex is tacky to the touch; cotton has a smooth hand.

GOOD TO KNOW: Use a rug pad with cotton-backed rugs.

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