There are many types of rugs that are referred to as a flat weave rug. They go by many different names depending on where and how they are made.
Some of the ones that you might have heard of are aubusson, dhurrie, kilim, Navajo, rag rugs, soumak, and different types of tapestries.
Wool and cotton are the primary fibers used in making flat weave rugs. However, modern imitations of these rugs may use synthetic fibers.
These flat weaves can either be hand woven or made by a machine.
Flat woven rugs are generally reversible, since weaving allows for the pattern and colors to be the same on the front and the back of the rug.
Flat weave rugs do not have a pile like a traditional hand knotted rug and so this gives the rug a different look and feel. Being on a regular vacuuming schedule, along with professional cleanings are important to keep your flat weave rug looking good for years.
Advantages of a flat weave rug compared to other rug styles:
1. Flat weave rugs are generally priced affordably compared to hand knotted rugs of the same size. This is great for someone wanting a nice rug without the high price.
2. A hand woven flat weave rug made in the Middle East might have considerable value.
3. The pattern and colors are the same on both sides of the rug making either side useable.
4. Flat weaves come in many different designs and colors that will match most any decor.
5. Flat weave rugs usually weigh a lot less than a same size rug with a pile. This makes it easier to be moved around by one person.
6. These rugs fold up to a small size for easy storage when not in use.
Disadvantages of a flat weave rug compared to other rug styles:
1. Flat weave rugs tend to slide around and can be a trip and fall hazard if they don’t have a good quality rug pad under them.
2. Even for an experienced rug professional, it is difficult to tell the difference between a hand woven and machine made flat weave.
3. Since these rugs are not as thick as rugs with a pile, they are will not hide spots and spills as well as a rug with a pile.
4. Some rugs may curl on the edges after cleaning. This typically happens on rugs with a cotton foundation.
5. Some flat woven rugs may be marked by the weaver on the warp yarns showing the pattern they are to follow using ink or colored chalk that may not be colorfast. Once the rug is woven the markings will not be visible.
So there is no way for a cleaner to know if the markings will show up when he cleans the rug. Any resulting bleeding from these markings is not the cleaners fault. This does not happen on every flat weave but is something that should be considered before purchasing.
As with other handmade rugs, the fringes on a flat weave are the warp yarns of the rug. These fringes may fray over time especially if a vacuum cleaner with a brush bar is used on them.