What are the differences between long pile and short pile rugs

Materials and techniques Mar 02.2021

What are the differences between long pile and short pile rugs

When talking about carpets, it is natural to think of short-pile carpets. This manufacturing technique is the most prevalent one, and for centuries has allowed us to adorn our living spaces with comfortable and aesthetically pleasing carpets. But we should not forget long-pile carpets, which are more modern, very soft and very trendy. This also applies to luxury goods: the difference counts for a lot there too.

Is it better to choose a long pile rug or a short pile rug?

The choice between a long pile carpet and a short pile carpet depends both on the personal taste of the homeowner and the desired result. These two types of carpets do not only differ in their manufacturing technique. They also differ in their appearance and the way they characterise the room they are placed in.

Before we continue, a few definitions, just to understand what we are talking about. Short-pile carpets are defined as carpets that are thin. Usually the thickness of the fibres in the warp and weft is taken as a reference, and short-pile carpets are considered to be up to one and a half centimetres thick. If the carpet is thicker, it is referred to as a long-pile carpet.

The thickness of the carpet is one of the first elements in determining whether a luxury carpet is short- or long-pile. But if we look beneath the surface, we can see that these two types of carpet are made using a very different manufacturing process, which also influences the aesthetics of the carpet.

Short pile rugs have been produced for centuries using a technique that has remained unchanged over time. The fibres are knotted – or embroidered, as is the case with traditional Portuguese luxury carpets – using a loom on which the warp and weft are fixed. This technique results in a very compact and durable carpet, as well as being able to produce extremely elaborate designs.

Long-pile rugs, often referred to as shaggy carpets, are made using a tafted process. This is a technique whereby fibres are inserted into the warp and weft using mechanical tools or machinery. The fibres are attached in clumps rather than individually, and can be cut and shaved to achieve the desired end result. The processing of such a carpet is less time-consuming, but generally allows for a lower degree of customisation of the design.

Practicality and design for your home with short pile carpets

Luxury shag carpets have always been appreciated for their practicality and aesthetics. The compactness of the fibres makes these rugs durable, long-lasting and easy to clean. A shag carpet made of wool, silk or synthetic fibres requires little maintenance and retains its beauty over time.

The fact that shag carpets are made by knotting the fibres by hand means that very elaborate patterns can be produced with considerable precision. The end result is extremely elegant carpets that can be used in all kinds of settings, from private homes to showrooms and prestigious public places.

Comfort and personality with long pile rugs

Long-pile carpets are perfect for those who demand warmth and comfort from their carpets. The technique used to make these carpets guarantees softness and suppleness. A shaggy carpet is ideal for the bedroom and any room that needs a warm carpet. Compared to a short-pile carpet, a long-pile carpet provides greater insulation, both thermal and acoustic.

The use of long pile carpets has been a trend in interior design for a number of years. Used alone in the centre of the room, they add personality to the room with their thickness and contrast with the linearity of the floor. When overlapped or placed side by side with other rugs they can be used to furnish even very large spaces, ensuring a greater level of personalisation of style.

There are many elements that influence the choice between a long and a short pile luxury rug. What makes the difference, however, is the emotion you want to feel when you spend time in the room. And the stylish effect you want to give your home environment is also very important.

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