To Shag or Not To Shag: 9 Variations of Shag Rugs

Shag rugs are not just a throwback to the 70s anymore. Instead of the outdated colors and shabby shag styles, today’s manufacturers create works of art that may surprise the design novice.  Shag rugs have re-established a place of respect among the interior design community. Design savvy individuals understand that shag rugs can add comfort and even an element of luxury to a home. The unique colors, pattern, and textures can accent any design scheme. While the softness underfoot accents the homes coziness.

In this post, we will be looking at some of the more creative constructions of shag rugs. There are many variations in form and texture that can be achieved through use of different materials and construction methods.


Felted Wool:

blo1001-texture Felted Wool is one of the most interesting materials to make a rug from. The shapes and textures that can be created are diverse and surprising. The Blossom collection from Surya adds character to a space. The circular pieces of felt are hand woven from 100% New Zealand Felted Wool. You can tell by simply looking that this is a thick, plush rug that will be super comfortable underfoot.

cirrus6-texture The Cirrus Collection from Surya is another example of what can be done with Felted Wool. These rugs are visually interesting with hand woven stubs that point in every direction. This collection comes in a variety of colors too so there is one for every decor scheme.


Mixed Textures:

sams-Bliss-4503-B Mixing textures on a rug can create a visually interesting design and a tangibly interesting feel.  This Abacasa rug is created using two different construction methods. It is hand woven from 100% wool fibers. Most of the rug is created in a flat weave style and is fairly thin while the geometric design that stands taller in the rug is created using a tufting technique for longer fibers.


This Safavieh rug from the Shag 600 Collection is another example of mixed textures. Thought it is hand tufted from 100% wool, the fibers of this rug have been processed in different ways. some were left loose and breezy while others were twisted and bound together.  This rug is just as visually interesting as it is comfortable.

SCI01_closeup_1 This beautiful Collection by Jaipur combines two kinds of felted wool into a playful and creative design. Even the names of the colors here are playful (Vanilla Ice and Sunflower).  Because it is made of wool, it is also very durable and soft.  I can see this rug doing very well in a family room or playroom.


 Super Plush:


The Kas Bliss Collection is one of the softest I have ever touched. Made from acrylic and polypropylene, these rugs won’t shed nearly as much as a wool rug but they will be even softer.  These rugs are mid range with a pile height of one inch but they are super plush and just perfect for the bare feet in a bedroom, or for sitting with the kids on the family room floor.


 Berber: sams-Berber-4900-A

Berber is a term that relates to the weave of a material, not the material itself. It can be constructed from many different materials. The Berber Collection by Abacasa is made of 100% New Zealand Wool.  It is processed in a particular way to make it soft, rather fluffy, and curly.  Berber is often compared to fur. In this case, because it is made from wool, that is not a leap at all. These rugs are sure to add lots of comfort and a feeling of hominess to any space.


Leather Shag:


This construction has a particularly unique texture and appearance. These rugs are hand knotted which means each strip of dyed leather is tied by hand to a sturdy cotton backing. These rugs can be any color and often are multiple colors. One thing to keep in mind when looking at purchasing a leather shag rug is that it might be difficult to vacuum even without a beater bar. I would try taking it outside and lightly beating it with a broom before vacuuming it using an extension hose.


 Synthetic Shag:

whi1001-texture Synthetic fibers can be manipulated to look and feel different than natural materials like wool or cotton. The Whisper Collection is hand woven from 100% polyester.  As you can see, the threads are much thinner and almost look like hair.  These rugs are often a bit thinner than wool rugs but shed much less.

wod3403-texture The Surya Woodford Collection is also made of hand woven polyester in a ribbon shag. You can see here some of the sheen that it is possible to create using synthetic fibers. Natural fibers very rarely shine like polypropylene or viscose can.

viv833-texture This rug from the Vivid Collection can demonstrate how brightly colored synthetic fibers can be.  The Sky Blue seen above exemplifies the sheen and varying hues that can be found in these materials that hold dye like no ones business.


 Faux Stone:

STO-23300-CR_1 The Chandra Stone rugs are super interesting. they give the impression of actual stones on the ground but feel great to walk across. And while the pile height is on the larger size at two inches, The dense pile is not necessarily “shaggy” These rugs are hand woven from New Zealand wool and perfect for a room that implements minimalism and neutral tones.


Tied Satin Ribbons:

Elementz_EST8504_-_Texture__1 Foreign Accents has really created something special with the Elementz Starburst shag rug collection.  These rugs are hand stitched with 100% polyester satin ribbons. The pile is cut to two inches, allowing for quite a bit of depth and cushion in each step. This is another rug that I would recommend cleaning by lightly beating before vacuuming with a hose extension.


 Long Shag:

MON-20400-CR_1 One more example made with felted wool. The Montaro Collection has a four inch pile height and  these chunky, luxurious pieces fall every which way. This creates a devil-may-care appearance that would fit in wonderfully with an eclectic style. The wool is extremely durable and this rug will last for years to come.


These examples of shag rugs tend to make people forget about the tacky carpet that used to decorate many houses.  Shop our collection of shag rugs today!

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  1. Thanks for your blog. I love that mixed-textured Abacasa rug. I was wondering if you can tell me where I can find it. Thanks !

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