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What Is a Flat Weave Rug?

What Is a Flat Weave Rug?

When buying a new rug for their home, most people choose one based on color, comfort, cost and design. Mostly, they want to ensure the rug goes with the vibe of the room it will be in and that it fits their budget. Little thought goes into the specific types of rug construction, such as a flat weave rug, how they are made, and the history of the rug. However, sometimes those things are important to know…and interesting! How a rug is made, whether it be handmade or manufactured, has a lot to do with the quality and longevity that you will receive. It also will determine how you will need to care for your rug. By doing some research and educating yourself on these things, you are being a smart consumer. And overall, smart consumers gain more out of their purchases than someone who doesn’t care. 

A flat weave rug is one of four main types of rugs you will learn about in a series of articles. It is a highly popular choice for the home and office and there are endless style designs to choose from. The Raval rug from Resonnaire Home is a great example of a flat-woven rug made of New Zealand wool and bamboo silk.

Flat weave rugs are the most popular type of rugs in the market today. Rugs come in various styles and shapes and are made using materials such as cotton, synthetic fibers, plastics, and many more. Unlike conventional rugs, flat weave rugs are made using a unique pattern, making them pileless. 

Continue reading to learn more about this type of rug. 

History of the Flat Weave Rug

The flat weave rug type is one of the oldest around, which started with Chain Stitch, Needlepoint, Aubusson Weaves, and Hooked rugs. Some of the more modern flat weave styles taken from older times include Dhurries, Soumaks, and Kilims. For example, Kilim flat woven rugs date back to 7,000 BC in the area of Turkey, but also have been seen in North Africa and Central and South America. Due to the low pile of the weave, it was the perfect type of textile to utilize in sandy, desert-like areas. 

Historically, flat woven textiles served various functions. Some were used in spiritual ceremonies and weddings, while others were used as tent flooring and coverings, among other practical reasons. These rugs played a role in economies and as a means of trading for supplies. 

Fast forward to modern-day times, flat weave rugs are everywhere. The way they are made along with the design choices available to customers, make them the perfect rug

How Flat Weave Rugs are Made?

Rug-making is not simply a job…it is an art. People have been making various types of ornate, yet functional rugs for thousands upon thousands of years. While some production techniques have transformed with the changing times, other historical techniques are still used today.

Flat woven rugs are made with natural fibers (preferably) on a loom, which can be done by hand or with a machine. They lie flat on a surface and do not have a pile, hence the flat in its name. Either the rug-maker or the machine creates weaves through warps (vertical yarns) and wefts (horizontal yarns) that ultimately make the rug whole. There is no knotting involved in making a flat woven rug. This specific Moroccan wool rug is not a flat weave rug. 

This quick video shows how these rugs are made by hand.


Flat weave rugs are famous for their rich history, ease of creation and cleaning, versatility, and durability. Some flat weave techniques have unfortunately become extinct as they were only passed down from generation to generation since ancient cultures. 

Many flat weave rug masterpieces have been created using rare techniques across the globe and fetch top dollar in auctions and galleries. 

Today, flat weave rugs are made using four primary techniques. They include:

Weft Wrapping

Often referred to as the Soumak weaving technique, weft wrapping is a flat weave technique popular in Peru, Egypt, and parts of Persia. It involves wrapping the weft around the rug in various patterns to achieve a complex texture with intricate designs. A weft wrap flat woven rug boasts rich textures, colors, and designs and is a great choice to vamp up your living room space.

Weft-Faced Patterning

Wet-faced patterning involves weaving colored wefts so that they are only visible from one side of the rug. That way, the weaver can achieve a different pattern on the other face of the piece.

The weft-faced patterning technique creates rugs with different patterns on either face. It’s one of the rarest weaving techniques in the industry, producing some of the most sought after rugs in the market. The advantage of these rugs is that you can easily change the ambiance of your space by flipping them over.

Slit Weave

A slit weave combines the wet-faced plain weave with patterned blocks of different colors, leaving slits between each pattern.

Dovetailing Weave

Dovetailing weaves closely resemble slit weaves but have their color block woven using single warps. The dovetailing weave features a soft color pattern that has a definite outline without the slit visible in the slit weave.

The Benefits to Owning a Flat Weave Rug

Each kind of rug you purchase has its benefits. That is why when you are shopping for a new rug, you do some research first to determine what type will best fit your lifestyle. Rug owners with children and pets might prefer a more durable, stain-resistant rug. While someone living alone or only needing the rug for an area that is not high in traffic can afford to buy a different type of rug. There really aren’t many negatives to owning a flat weave rug unless you want something with a pile for whatever reason. 

These are four benefits to owning a flat weave rug, which hopefully will help you decide if it’s the right one for you.

1.) Durable 

A flat woven rug is already flat and is highly flexible. This means that high traffic and furniture will not cause areas of the rug to morph. It is also thin, light, and easy to move. 

2.) Easy-to-Clean

Vacuum and clean away! Due to the lack of pile and texture, dust and dirt can’t hide away in crevices. Sweep it, vacuum it, blot it, or throw it in the washing machine. This is the perfect rug to own if you have children, pets, or a lot of people in the home. 

3.) Affordable

This type of rug is much less expensive than most. This is mainly due to the fact that it takes less time to produce, as the process is not as intricate as other rugs. The cost here has nothing to do with the quality of the rug. 

4.) Versatile 

Flat weave rugs are highly versatile and can go in any room with any furniture. And they come in a variety of fun designs, if that’s what your style is. 

Most flat weave rugs are also reversible, meaning you could flip it over for a different pattern and hence ambiance in your space. To your guests, it looks like you switched the rugs, which is a budget-friendly way of revamping the style of your living spaces.

How To Choose the Perfect Flat Weave Rug

Finding the perfect carpet for your space and style can be time-consuming and tedious. When choosing the ideal flat weave rug, start by answering each of the questions below:

What’s the Rug’s Intended Purpose?

Where do you plan to place the rug? If you plan to place it in your bedroom, opt for a woolen or wool-blend flat weave rug. For busy spaces, it’s best to go for more durable, stain-resistant options.

Do You Have Any Children or Pets?

The rug will likely be a playground if you have children or pets in your home. It’s, therefore, best to choose a flat weave rug that is easy to clean and soft underfoot.

Does the Rug Complement Your Style?

Most people put price above style, which, more often than not, leads to having pieces that fail to complement your home’s aesthetic feel. Your choice of color and art should serve to invite guests if you are placing it in the entryway. Comparatively, the rug’s color should hide dirt if it’s to be put in a busy space.

Does the Rug Require Any Underlay?

To protect the flooring material, you will need to place an underlay to lay your flat weave rug on some floor types. Your ideal rug could also require carpet padding before being placed down.

What Are Your Durability Requirements?

It’s essential to research your ideal carpet’s fiber makeup to estimate how durable it is. Depending on your space’s busyness, sisal carpets provide the most durable rugs but can easily stain. On the other hand, a woolen carpet is softer under the feet and durable but cannot hide dirt in busy spaces.

Find the Perfect Flat Weave Rug Today!

The ideal flooring choice for your space can be simple and inexpensive. Instead, it should be affordable, flexible, and expressive of your space’s style and feel. Flat weave rugs can enhance your living space in various ways.

If you are looking for the perfect flat weave rug for your space, Resonnaire offers a great selection of modern flat weave rugs for any room. Learn more about us, view our wide range of offerings today, and find the perfect area rug for your home today.

Overall, a flat weave rug is a good choice for many households, offices, and even classrooms. If you’re in the market for a new rug, evaluate your needs and determine what the function of the rug will have in your home. Make sure you measure your space correctly and read our How to Measure for a Rug resource Will it be purely decorative? In that case, another style might be more interesting. But if it’s to add function to a room and allow people to enjoy it’s soft, thin feeling, then a flat weave rug might be for you. 

Flat weave rug underneath a table
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