Leather isn’t a typical rug material. People are much more familiar with the full-hide rug, which is one continuous skin of an animal (think bearskin rug, but with cows.)
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While those are definitely popular for modern designs seeking a little life and rustic designs keeping with the outdoor theme, but the design possibilities expand exponentially when you introduce pieced leather rugs into the equation. When you start thinking of leather as a home decor textile instead of what covers your steak, your designs will gain much more natural depth. We’ve curated five reasons why you shouldn’t pass up this gorgeous natural material.
1. They’re textural
Take a good look at aged leather. It’s got tiny fissures and ridges, and over time it develops its own patina from its particular way of use. It’s a very personal textile that can grow with the room. It will easily blend into the decor, looking lived-in but not worn out.
Lots of rugs that are classified as leather are actually hair-on-hide: they haven’t been shaved or changed in any way since they were harvested. This unexpected texture draws the eye downward because it’s easily recognizable. It’s a less fluffy than a flokati or a sheepskin, which are more softening to a space. Leather and hide are still soft, but allow you to keep the polished feel to the room.
2. They’re durable
There’s a reason they use leather for saddles and gloves – it’s rugged. Leather rugs can take lots of foot traffic. Pets are especially fond on the texture and have been known to stake them out as their new favorite relaxation spot. Feel free to put them in your living room or bedroom without walking on eggshells around it. These neutral and natural shades can be a good first step when adding leather to your home.
3. They come in tons more styles than you think
Not all leather rugs come in modern, sedated patterns. Leather rugs can have many depths of pile, from flatweave to shag. They don’t even have to be fully leather: chindi rugs – also known as the woven type of rag rugs – are often made with lots of scrap bits of material. Leather chindis break up the cloth patterns with some bold textural stripes that don’t overwhelm a design. Even in small pieces and patches, leather adds a luxurious air to even basic designs.
4. They’re unisex
It can be hard make a room masculine without making it too dark or so sleekly modern it looks half-empty. A leather rug is a handy textile element that doesn’t have to be flashy, but speaks to a quiet strength that will be appreciated by the room’s occupants. It’s easy to appeal to a guy’s inner outdoorsman with a natural color leather, or make him feel like a suave gentleman with a solid-color leather rug.
Of course, non-gendered designs benefit greatly from the natural material as well. It can be dyed to match any shade of the rainbow (as evidenced in that fabulous Surya piece below!), and pieced leather designs are easily designed for any vision. Because these rugs don’t depend on an unblemished hide, they’re much easier to produce and give designers the freedom for all kinds of expression.
BONUS: A whole rainbow collection! There were too many to show here, so be sure to check the link below for more wild colors.
5. They have timeless style
People hold on to their leather goods for a long time. Vintage boots and jackets keep their resale value through any fashion season, and leather bags are the best friend of a tradesman for years.
Rugs aren’t any different. Choosing a high-quality leather rug is choosing an heirloom piece that will still be valuable for a long time with proper care. To preserve your piece, never vaccuum your rug with the beater bar on. Hide rugs are more susceptible to stains than tanned leather, so be sure to quickly blot up anything that spills. Although they can take a beating from repeated stepping or sliding, be careful with sharp objects. Unprotected furniture feet or metal end tables can puncture or scratch the leather.