What Is The Difference Between Silk & Wool Rugs

Silk or wool? It never has been an easy decision to choose between the two, especially when there are so many factors to consider.

Wool and silk are the two most common materials used in high-end rugs. Each material offers unique benefits and drawbacks. Whether you want a luxury rug for your home or an artistic rug as an investment, understanding the material is important.
While both types can produce beautifully crafted rugs, the differences are quite profound. It’s important to know wool and silk rugs are different.

What is a Wool Rug?

Wool is one of the most commonly used materials in Oriental hand-woven rugs. These rugs are made from natural wool. It is also an easily sourced material and comes from sheep, which doesn’t harm the sheep either. It is also an easy material to handle during the rug making a process. It comes out soft to the touch so buyers are able to feel its quality. Visually speaking, wool rugs have a flattened matte appearance, appearing more subtle and tend to better blend into their surroundings. They make a perfect addition to any room.

What is a Silk Rug?

Silk is a natural fiber that comes from certain insect larvae such as silkworms. Silk fibers are extracted from the larvae cocoon and it can take quite a lot of larvae to produce a vast amount of silk. Additionally, it takes a long time for silk to form and be made into a workable material and is one of the reasons why silk rugs are so expensive. Silk rugs are generally quite beautiful. They have a fine shiny finish to them and the fact that they have additional knot counts provides a higher quality product. Some silk rugs can even have up to 1,000 knots per square inch, but these are rare and very expensive pieces that normally take years to make.


Wool rugs have a thick, strong, and dense pile, which makes these rugs very durable and a far superior rug. When it comes to stains and spills they are normally very resistant to stains. These rugs are perfect for high traffic areas, as they do not get damaged easily. They also just require a periodic vacuum or sweep to help keep them clean.

Silk rugs on the other hand do get damaged and may break with excessive handling and are not an ideal rug for high traffic areas. These rugs should be placed in areas that normally receive very little traffic and they also must be handled very delicately. Silk rugs do not handle stains and spills that wool rugs might get


You can wash both carpets at your home but don’t use a hard brush for the silk carpet otherwise it can lose the beauty of its pile. For the wool area rug, you can use a long smooth hair brush. You can easily vacuum it, as it is recommended that you regularly vacuum wool rugs.

Over time wool rugs get a fantastic patina to them

Wool rugs age beautifully, at least the ones with great quality wool and dyes do. These rugs result in a fantastic patina (sheen and texture) as the rug ages, which is why older rugs have such a great look to them.

Which type of rug is suited to you?

Wool rugs are more durable than silk and can be placed in any room in your home, including your kitchen. Whether chosen as art for your home, investment pieces to hand down to your kids, or simply an attractive, strong, elegant choice for your room – you really can’t go wrong here.

If you have questions regarding our wool rugs or about any of our other rugs buying in general, feel free to reach out. We are always happy to help.