Rug Materials: Polypropylene

Bohemian Tori Shag from Carnival Shag by NuLoom

Polypropylene is one of the most popular materials used to make area rugs. It’s used almost as often as nylon, polyester, and acrylic combined. Polypropylene is made from petroleum derivatives and other chemicals. These rugs are also treated with UV fibers for better wear outdoors. Once the material is produced, it’s sent to factories to be woven into rugs.

Polypropylene has similarities to wool or jute even though it’s artificial. When the synthetic fibers are woven into area rugs, they look like wool, sisal or other natural fibers, but they are more resilient. Polypropylene rugs look like wool rugs close-up, and you’ll find both area rugs and carpets made from this material in a looped Berber style like wool. Polypropylene rugs may have a matte or high-sheen finish.

Advantages of Polypropylene Rugs

DM-01 from Dreamscape by Loloi

Variety of Styles

Polypropylene rugs come in many designs, colors, and sizes. This rug material is resistant to stains, so it’s great if you have kids and pets. You won’t need to worry about cleaning up after liquid or food spills.

Outdoor Options

The UV coating makes these rugs an excellent choice for patios and other outdoor areas. Polypropylene is water and mildew resistant, so it’s great for pool areas as well.

Low Cost

Polypropylene is inexpensive and requires little upkeep.

Easy To Clean

This synthetic material won’t be damaged by harsh cleaning solutions or chemicals. The rug’s colors are solution-dyed so they won’t bleach out or fade quickly.

Softness

Polypropylene rugs are softer than some synthetic materials but not as soft as silk or wool. Polypropylene is attractive, functional, and soft enough for bedroom floors and bathrooms.

Long Lasting

Polypropylene lasts longer than most natural fibers. Area rugs made from this synthetic material resist daily wear and tear well.

Disadvantages and Health Risks

Vasiliki Moroccan Tribal Tassel Rug from Diana by NuLoom

Not Great For High-Traffic

Don’t place non-resilient polypropylene rugs in high-traffic areas. The fiber won’t retain its original shape after lots of movement.

Sensitive To Heat

This synthetic material is sensitive to heat. Even though it won’t melt until it reaches 300 degrees, the material can become damaged by heat from friction.

Potential Sun Damage

Polypropylene rugs may be damaged by sunlight and wear out faster if they aren’t chemically treated for UV rays.

Oil-Based Stains

It may be hard to remove oil-based stains from polypropylene rugs. The polypropylene absorbs oil, and stains may be difficult to remove with a vacuum or a rug shampooer. Shampooing will make drops of water float on top of the rug.

VOCs

Choose a high-quality rug brand in you have allergies. Polypropylene may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sensitive individuals may experience dizziness, headaches, nausea or other symptoms. The VOCs in some polypropylene rugs may “offgas” when you first buy the rug. The smell usually diminishes over time.

Despite potential off-gassing problems, polypropylene rugs are an excellent choice for most homes due to their affordability and almost limitless design options.

Polypropylene Rug Designs, Sizes, and Colors

Bohemian Tori Shag from Carnival Shag by NuLoom

Consider the look, function, and furniture in a room when choosing an area rug for your home. Moisture-resistant polypropylene rugs are fine for bathrooms, patios, front porches and pool areas.

You’ll find thousands of polypropylene rug styles online. Blue, grey, and ivory tend to be the most popular colors for polypropylene rugs, but you’ll also find plenty of beige, brown, and multi-color designs. Purple, orange or yellow rugs, along with gold, green, tan and black rugs are available in most sizes and styles. Most rugs are 100% polypropylene, but you’ll also find polyester and wool blends.

Pile Heights and Weaves

FNT800M from Fontana Shag 800 by Safavieh

You’ll find polypropylene rugs in all the normal sizes from long, narrow runners to small, round rugs for bathrooms or porches. Most polypropylene rugs fall in the medium and large size ranges.

Pile heights for polypropylene rugs range from under 0.25″ to 2.75″. The majority of rugs are machine made, but you’ll find polypropylene rugs that are Wilton Weave, hand-hooked, hand-tufted, braided, flat-weave and even hand-knotted.

You can choose from polypropylene area rugs in contemporary, transitional, traditional, nautical, two-toned, shabby chic, trellis, floral and over a dozen other popular styles. You’ll find many 100% polypropylene rugs made specifically for outdoor areas.

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