Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Rugs

So you’re thinking of getting a custom made rug in Singapore. Do you know what type you’re actually going to get done, though?

And no, before you ask, you can’t just say you’re getting a custom living room rug!

There are actually a lot of different rug types, and these even apply to custom rugs. So, you need to be precise about what you want.

To show you what we mean, we’ve put together this guide to the different types of rugs you can get now. Let’s start with some differentiation between a few of the most common rug types!



Pile Rugs vs Flat Rugs

Most rugs, whether they’re custom woven rugs, mass-produced mats, or something else, can be classified in either of these categories.

Rugs with depth in their fibres, from shag rugs to rugs with very tight and almost-velvety naps, would be pile rugs. Most people coming to us for custom rugs and mats ask for these.

Any other rug would be a flat-weave rug, for obvious reasons. Examples of these are classic Native American rugs, bamboo rugs, and leather rugs.

Handmade vs. Machine-made Rugs

Handmade rugs and machine-made rugs are as their names describe.

The main differences are thus: the former take longer to produce, are higher-quality, made in smaller quantities, tend to be more durable, and cost more.

Good custom made rugs in Singapore can cost more than four times what machine-made rugs of similar size would, for instance.

But they would also be unique, of far higher quality, and more likely to last!

Organic-material Rugs vs. Synthetic-material Rugs

Again, the names are more or less self-explanatory.

Examples of organic material rugs in our own portfolio of custom rugs and mats include silken rugs, cotton rugs, and woven rugs custom made from wool.

Examples of synthetic material rugs, on the other hand, are polyester rugs, acrylic rugs, and nylon rugs. Note that most machine-made rugs use synthetic fibres!

Other Rug Types/Classifications

Now, from the above, you’ve probably already gathered that there are a lot of ways to categorise rugs. The most popular, though, is by make or the way the rug is constructed.

Here are the types possible then:


Knotted Rugs

These are the most expensive rugs, with the highest quality and value.

They take a lot of time to make as they require hundreds of thousands if not millions of knots to be tied by hand per rug.

However, they also last a while, can often be repaired if damaged, and are largely unmatched in terms of luxury.

Many people opt for this type when getting custom rugs and mats, as many want to ensure their unique rug’s construction adds to its quality and value.

Loomed Rugs

These are rugs produced with the use of a loo, either by hand or with a machine.

The latter tend to cost less because, among other things, they take less time and effort to make.

By contrast, hand-loomed rugs even involve handmaking the yarns that go into the rug, to vary yarn thickness. That makes them harder to make, and thus, more costly.

Tufted Rugs

These may come in both handmade or machine-made varieties as well.

Essentially, yarn is pulled through a fabric or canvas backing and may be sheared to produce a cut pile. That’s the case for shag rugs, for example.

It may also be left uncut to form loops, as in the case of hooked rugs.

Stitched Rugs

This refers to things like hair-on-hide rugs.

These are made of pieces of cowhide stitched together, then glued onto a backing.

The same goes for things like rabbit-fur rugs, which are made of several rabbit pelts stitched together.

Common Rug Types Based on Origin

Now, those are just the rug types based on construction. Some rug types actually have a geographic factor!

That is, they may only be called rugs of that type if they hail from a particular locale. Here are the most well-known examples:


Persian Rug

This originally referred to hand-knotted rugs from Iran.

Now, though, people also use the term to refer to hand-knotted rugs with classic Persian patterns (but not necessarily coming from Iran).


A kilim rug is essentially another type of Iranian or Persian rug. This time, it is flat-woven, but it is similarly hardy.

Kilim rugs are hugely popular, not least since they’re often visually exciting. Their designs have even inspired many a wool carpet in Singapore!


The dhurrie is yet another flat-woven rug. However, this type hails from India.

This rug is typically seen in blue and white stripes, although we’ve seen variants in other colours too.

Berber Rug

This is a rug made by the Berbers of Morocco. It’s basically a type of woollen rug.

Classic Berber designs for rugs are highly geometric. Thus, most Berbers rugs can have complex, striking patterns.

Oushak Carpet

These come from Turkey and are another traditional hand-knotted carpet type.

Highly intricate and time-consuming to make, the classic handmade ones command steep prices, just like Persian rugs.

Want to Know More About Rug Types?

If you want to learn more about rug types, which one to get, and their pros and cons for your situation, get in touch with us!

At The Rug Maker, we can go into detail on each option and help you figure out which one suits your situation best. Just drop us a line and let us know what you’re interested in!