Shag Is Back, Baby!

Bury yourself in one of our bright new shag rugs.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, shag rugs were all the rage. The soft, thick pile seduced the nation’s homeowners in their search for increased comfort and affordability. Unfortunately, what they found was that these carpets did not maintain their look and feel for very long. Continual traffic compressed the pile, and vacuuming alone didn’t restore the lush thickness.

If you’re old enough to remember those early shag rugs, you might remember inventions like the rug rake, which was supposed to restore the thick nap. It did, temporarily, but who wants to have to rake a rug? Nobody, as it turned out, and so shag quietly fell out of favor.

If you remember these facts about shag, then you may be surprised to learn that one of 2012’s hottest new trends in flooring is shag. Yes, shag is back — and in a big way. Made by companies such as Orian in Anderson, South Carolina, and Kas, headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, shag rugs now are more durable and colorful than any of the rugs that filled hip homes in the 60s.

Modern production has allowed rug makers to add patterns and designs in their shag rugs never seen in the early years of the long-piled pieces. So whether you’re going for a retro look in your home design or just want to take advantage of the extraordinary selections now available, there are a number of good reasons why a shag rug may just be the right choice for you.

The way shag feels is one of its main draws. It is a lush, deep pile. Shag rugs usually are made from soft acrylic yarn or from an acrylic/rayon blend that makes you want to curl up on top of it and while away the hours. The pile is generally about a quarter to a half-inch thick, allowing you to sink into its lovely plush fibers.

With proper care, high-quality shag rugs, like the kind you find at Rug & Home, are durable as well as beautiful. They also tend to shed less than the hand-tufted rugs favored by homeowners who want deep, plush floor coverings.

While shag is a forgiving floor covering (crumbs tend to disappear into its deep pile), it is now much easier to maintain; simple vacuuming is usually enough. You must make adjustments, however, as your vacuum’s beater bar that’s so good at whisking up dirt from your wall-to-wall carpeting would pull out the long strands of fibers from your shag rug. Every vacuum allows you to raise the height of the beater bar, thus preserving the integrity of your rug.

So if you want a rug that’s both luxurious and stylish, treat yourself to the blissfully soft texture of a rug from the Bliss collection from Kas or use an Orian shag rug to bring color and design to an otherwise dreary room. Shag combines the joyful patterns of the 21st century with the thick pile of the 20th century. Shag is back, baby, bringing with it the fun of a furry feel under your toes.

Rugs for You and Your Pets

Make it easy for your dog to live in your home with a pet-friendly rug.

Pets are part of the family. Dogs, cats, and other animals share our houses and our lives. They therefore influence the decisions we make about decorating and furnishing our homes. This is especially true when it comes to rug-buying. Many pet lovers would rather live with bare floors than relegate their pets to the mud room or even worse — outdoors.

Whether it’s the musty odor a pet leaves behind, the inevitable accident during training, or the outright misbehavior that sometimes occurs, you need to consider the consequences of pet damage when you buy new rugs. The first line of defense for making your rugs — and your house — pet-proof is to consider the type of rug you lay on your floors.

Indoor/outdoor rugs come in a wide range of colors and styles now; they can complement almost any indoor decorating scheme. The beauty of an indoor/outdoor rug is that you can easily clean it when it gets dirty. Just take it outside, scrub it down with a mild detergent, and let it air-dry over a porch railing or clothesline. Niggling pet odors and accidental discharges disappear completely. Once it dries, you’ve got a rug that’s as good as new.

The weave on various kinds of rugs may undergo substantially more wear and tear than others when you have pets. Long nails and claws, for example, can get caught in hooked rugs. Simply by treading across a hooked rug, your cat or dog can create a snag or pull. Similarly, shag rugs and thick hand-tufted pieces, with pile that’s a quarter-inch high or longer, can catch long nails too. Your pet can pull out fibers inadvertently when trying to free itself. Instead of hooked or shag rugs, stick with flat, low pile to prevent this kind of wear.

If you prefer hand-knotted beauties on your floors (or if you’ve got other rugs you can clean), you must get to an accident as quickly as possible. Spot cleaners made by Capture® are ideal for such messes. Blot the cleaner on the spot with a wet sponge. Avoid rubbing or scraping, which can destroy the rug’s fibers and spread the mess. Use cold water so you don’t damage the rug’s color or wool fibers. Continue blotting with fresh cool water until the mess is gone.

If your pet marks a certain spot on a rug repeatedly, spray an enzyme-based neutralizer such as Nature’s Miracle® to remove any scent. You may not be able to smell anything, but the scent might be what keeps attracting your pet to the area.

For the best of both worlds (beauty and ease-of-use), we recommend a hand-knotted rug with a low pile. Rugs made of natural materials are the only ones you can have professionally cleaned. Once your pets have an accident on synthetic, machine-made rugs, they will never be pristine again. While you can certainly spot clean anywhere Spot made a spot, in the end, you may still be able to spot that spot. A thorough professional cleaning for your tufted or machine-made rugs just isn’t possible.

So if you have pets, your best bet is an all-natural, hand-knotted rug or an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug. Even Spot will enjoy it.