Silk vs Wool Rugs: Key Differences

Silk and wool rugs are known for their luxurious qualities and are one of the oldest types of rugs. The oldest wool rug is the Pazyryk carpet, the knotted-pile carpet in the world. It’s stored in a museum called the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. This carpet was made around 400 BC using new wool. It’s a great example of craftwork from Central Asia during the Iron Age. Among rugs silk and wool are the most costly.

The reason why silk and wool rugs were so popular among the royal families was because these materials were difficult to extract. Silk is the most expensive because it takes a lot of effort to extract silk from silkworms and the end result is a high quality and durable rug. In this blog, we will discuss the qualities and the central differences between silk and wool rugs.

Why Are Quality Rugs High-Priced

It’s a common question that lingers around each one why are quality rugs so expensive? So let’s ponder over the reasons to get to know this.

The Materials Used

Silk and wool materials are quite expensive and this is the reason why the price of the rug is so high. These materials are known for their strength and durability. As we know silk is the most expensive because it requires a lot of effort to extract silk from silkworms. Silk is an exceptionally fine material and it dyes well.

The Quality

High-quality rugs can keep their color intact for decades. Their dye is well and they also diminish stains and soil due to the natural nano-beam found in the wool. You just have to make sure that the wool used in the rug is not over-processed because bleaching or stripping can result in a very white color, and it removes the lanolin, which eventually makes the wool stain-resistant.

Rug Size Matters

The bigger your rug is, the more money you’ll need to pay for it. Carpets are usually priced based on how much area they cover. That’s why it’s important to choose the right size from the beginning. If the rug is too big, it will dominate the room and make you spend extra money.

Depends On The Production Ethics

The way a rug is made can affect its price. Rugs made in factories where children work for low pay are usually cheaper. On the other hand, rugs made with good materials, fair wages, and treated workers cost more because they’re made by keeping in consideration all the laws and regulations set by the government.

Silk vs Wool Rugs: Key Differences

Choosing a rug is a significant decision, and the material plays a crucial role. Both silk and wool rugs offer luxurious aesthetics, but they cater to different needs. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences to help you pick the perfect one for your space:

Luxurious Feel:

  • Silk: The undisputed champion of softness. Silk rugs boast a smooth, almost velvety texture that feels divine underfoot.
  • Wool: Provides a plush and comfortable feel, ranging from very soft (think Merino wool) to slightly more textured depending on the wool type.


  • Silk: Delicate and requires special care. Silk rugs are prone to tearing, staining, and crushing under heavy foot traffic. Best suited for low-traffic areas.
  • Wool: Naturally resilient and durable. Wool rugs can withstand everyday wear and tear, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.


  • Silk: Renowned for its lustrous sheen that creates an opulent look. Silk rugs showcase intricate details and vibrant colors exceptionally well.
  • Wool: Offers a more matte finish, with a wider range of textures depending on the weave. Wool rugs can still be very beautiful and come in a vast array of colors and patterns.

Light Performance:

  • Silk: Reflects light beautifully, creating a luminous effect that can brighten a room.
  • Wool: Diffuses light, resulting in a warmer and more subdued look.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Silk: Requires professional cleaning due to its delicate nature. Spills and stains need immediate attention.
  • Wool: Generally easier to clean. Regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning are recommended. Wool is naturally stain-resistant to some degree.


  • Silk: Generally more expensive than wool due to its rarity and labor-intensive production.
  • Wool: Available in a wider range of price points depending on the type and quality of wool used.

How To Choose Between Silk And Wool Rugs

Deciding between a fancy silk rug and a sturdy wool one comes down to where you want to put it and how you go about your life. Silk’s shiny and soft feel is great for spots and for places where there is not much foot traffic. Or it can be used as decoration on walls, but it needs gentle handling. Wool, on the other hand, is tough and works well in places where there’s lots of action, like bustling rooms in busy homes. It gives warmth and comes in all sorts of styles to match your budget and taste. Think about what you can afford, what vibe you’re after, and how you go about your daily life to pick the perfect one that suits you individually.


According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market size for carpets and rugs reached $50.29 billion in 2022. It is estimated to increase from $55.28 billion in 2023 to $106.01 billion by 2030. This means that a lot of wealthy people are into carpets and the industry will experience a surge in the coming years. For those who enjoy carpets, what do you find appealing about wool and silk rugs, and which do you favor?