Leather Shag Rugs: Everything You Need to Know

LSG511B (Saddle) from Leather Shag by Safavieh

Looking for some texture and a truly unique rug? Are you an eclectic at heart? Then leather shag may be the dream rug for you. The strands of shag look like ribbons but have the cool touch of genuine leather.

Made by hand, leather shag is very durable. This is the same material used in saddles, gloves, and belts, so it’s obviously strong. Often, because of the way it’s presented, leather shag doesn’t have a masculine vibe. Rather, the leather, brash and tough in tied ribbons, effortlessly blends the soft and hard. Mixing qualities opens up many opportunities for a rug like this to look fabulous in a lot of different spaces.

If you are looking for a rug that will give everyone something to talk about, then it’s time for you to discover everything you need to know about leather shag rugs.

How Are Leather Shag Rugs Made?

LSG511D from Leather Shag by Safavieh

Leather shags are handmade. Each strand, which is made from high-quality natural hides, is dyed then tied by hand to a hardy cotton backing. Clustering and tucking create a thick, cushiony feel. The way in which the strands are tied leaves the suede underside visible, which the light catches giving the rugs a dynamic visual appeal.

Because leather is a good material for dying, leather shags can be found in a variety of colors. Many styles have multiple hues intertwined. They can vary in length from 1” to 3”, with piles height being somewhere in the middle.

Leather shags are made to last, so it’s pretty lucky that they have a timeless vibe. When such care is taken with each knot, a masterpiece like this deserves to be on display for a long time. Read more about the beautiful texture of leather rugs here.

How Do You Clean A Leather Shag Rug?

Cleaning Sponge Pixabay

The leather in most shags isn’t fragile. You can vacuum it with an upright vacuum as long as the beater bar is removed or raised as high as possible. Before you vacuum, take it outside and shake it so that any loose particles fall free. For spot or stain removal, a shag leather rug can typically be cleaned in the same way as any rug—lukewarm water, alternating between dampening and soaking up. For natural ways to clean rugs, check out these tips.

Before cleaning, do a spot-test first. Leather rugs are very sensitive to moisture so blot dampness with haste. Leather rugs are also very pet-friendly. If an accident occurs, it won’t be ruined. For long-term care of the rug, however, you should follow up with a professional cleaning. Should a strand become damaged or frayed, you can snip it off. It should just blend into the taller pile.

How Expensive Are Leather Shag Rugs?

LSG511M from Leather Shag by Safavieh

Looking at the price of a leather shag rug, it is certainly an affordable but not necessarily cheap option. Leather is not a cheap textile so it will be more expensive than most cotton rugs. The hand tying of each strip also means it is a labor-intensive product, but don’t be alarmed. There are many budget-friendly options.

The size of the rug is the biggest factor for its cost. For a very small size, something like a 2’ by 4′, you are likely to find many stunning options for under $50 like this multi-color shag from Safavieh.  The largest size most manufacturers make is an 8’ by 10’, which you can find for $400 or less.

The length of the shag does not impact the cost. Short shags and long shags run in the same neighborhood. If you are worried about hunting down the best deals from various sellers, look for a price match guarantee, so that you are can always get the best price.

Leather Shag Styling Ideas

Leather Shag from Pelle by St. Croix

A leather shag rug is a statement piece so it needs to be a space that lets it be the star. It’s something that you could design an entire room around, but that isn’t a requirement. In smaller sizes, the rug can be a scene stealer instead, drawing peoples focus without even trying. In considering what the perfect style is for a leather shag, here are three ideas:

  • Farmhouse Sophistication

Rooms with rustic touches and rich wood floors are a great canvas for leather shag. This may include a modern brass overhead light and glossy white walls.

  • Ultra Contemporary

In this space, simplicity is the inspiration. Imagine straight line gray furniture and white floors with this stunning purple shag rug.

  • Modern Craftsman

This style is a combination of California classics: the beach and rugged areas. A neutral leather shag would be well appointed in front of a brick fireplace.

Special Considerations for Leather Shag

LSG511N from Leather Shag by Safavieh

Leather is such a different material compared to the other textiles used in rug making that it deserves some discussion. Many may be apprehensive about purchasing one of these unique rugs, so it’s best to get the facts in a few areas:

  • No sweating concerns

These rugs do not have sweating issues and are fine for use on laminate floors. As with any rug, a pad is recommended to keep it in place. Even though leather is susceptible to moisture, it does just fine in humid climates, including coastal areas.

  • Loose strips

Many leather shags are hand tied. It’s normal to find a few loose strands in the beginning. This is normal and is nothing to be worried about unless it’s a large amount. Look for a satisfaction guarantee return policy to keep your mind at ease.

  • Pile height

As a shag, the pile height is higher than most, usually around 1” to 2”. Because of this, high traffic areas are probably not the best place to keep your rug. You can, however, place furniture on it with no concern.


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