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Written By Brad Gandy
Hi! I am so excited to share my first ever blog post today, and it’s about one of my favorite parts of a room, the rug! Yep, I’m a sucker for rugs. Not only do they look great and make a home extra comfy, but it’s nice to be able to give my feet a change of scenery rather than having them on my wheelchair footplates.
But what if an oval or rectangular area rug just isn’t your thing? What if you want something more eclectic, luxurious, and eye-catching? A hide rug is all of those things, and, no, they aren’t just for farmhouses and western movies anymore. They are extremely durable and easy to maintain. Best of all, if you have rambunctious kiddos living with you, they’re naturally stain-resistant!
Real or Faux?
The hardest choice when buying a hide rug is real hide or faux hide, and both have their pros and cons. Real hide lasts longer and is a better choice for larger spaces like a living room or master bedroom. They are more expensive than the faux kind, but that extra plushness you get from the real thing is heavenly!
Go with faux if you’re on a tight budget or want lots of color. Faux rugs are printed from a machine, leading to lots of color combinations! They’re smaller, so they’re great for kids’ rooms, home offices, and even under the dining room table. Real hide can feel creepy to some people, especially when barefoot, so faux feels more like regular carpeting. After all, with real hide, an animal had to die for your comfort (Sorry, Bessie!) If you don’t like that, pick a faux rug. Faux rugs wear out much faster, though. If you have one in a high-traffic area, it will lose its fur, so the rug hardens over time. That’s not exactly a good thing if you come home from work and want to put your tired feet onto a super soft stress buster!
When you go shopping, look for the size, thickness, and hair length of the rug. The highest-quality real hides are about ¼ to ⅛ of an inch thick, and are usually imported from Brazil or Colombia. If you hate dust like I do, short-haired rugs need less maintenance than long-haired ones. Always check the label and see where the rug has been. If you’re unsure, just ask an employee. The same goes for faux rugs. Rugs that have been treated with a bunch of chemicals are not something I want in my house! My personal favorites are this faux sheepskin rug from Ikea and this natural cowhide rug from Wayfair.
I’ve compiled a collection of twelve great budget friendly options below and I included clickable links for easy shopping.
Maintenance and Care
So you’ve picked your new foot friend and taken it home, but how do you care for it? If you put a hide rug under direct sunlight, its edges (the thinnest parts) will curl. If that happens, spray a tiny amount of warm misty water on the top and bottom of the rug to loosen up those edges. Only dampen the rug, though, because when these babies get oversaturated, they shrivel up, and man, do they stink when that happens! Next, place a couple of towels between the curled edges to soak up the liquid and use heavy books or ornaments to flatten the edge. After a few hours (usually 2-4), the edge should look good as new! If the rug curls often, trim those rebellious edges with scissors.
It’s also possible that someone will accidentally give your rug an unwanted drink. In other words, the dreaded spill. Instead of screaming and politely asking them to never come back, try this. If the rug didn’t stain, blot it (don’t scrub!) with a towel or sponge. The liquid should come right off. For stains, you do want to scrub with warm, soapy water, but very carefully, and always in the direction of the hide. Then dry it as if it were a spill.
Here’s an extra thorough tip: If you mix a solution of 5% white vinegar and 95% water, it’ll help eliminate odor!
For food particles and pet, um, “gifts,” let it dry if needed, and then scrape it off carefully with the blunt edge of a knife or hard bristle brush. If you have real hide and it develops a strange odor, let it air dry outdoors (not in direct sunlight) for at least two hours. This happens with new rugs that weren’t tanned properly or got wet on their way to your store. Once the rug is broken in, the smell should go away.
Lastly, let’s talk vacuuming. Most faux rugs should buddy up with your regular floorhead and usual vacuuming schedule. Always vacuum all rugs, real and faux, in the direction of the hide to avoid damage to the rug. For real hides, vacuum with the brush attachment and with the blades not spinning. After you vacuum the rug, take it outside and give it a good shake. This helps remove dust and other particles between the fibers, so think of vacuuming as brushing the rug and shaking as flossing it!
Hide rugs also need to be rotated regularly so that they wear out evenly.
So give hide rugs a chance! Your feet will thank you!
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