What Three Fibers To Avoid For Rugs and Carpets



Hi Everyone who follows my blog! I have been traveling on workation for the last 5 days! First I was in Florida for a fabulous blogging conference with Jon Morrow and now I’m with my Mommie in Wisconsin celebrating her 92nd birthday!


Dear Laurel,

Hey, it’s Dusty Miller again. Thank you so much for the info about the white furniture! I love the idea of the indoor/outdoor fabric and want to try that out. And we’ve painted everything in the matte finish as you suggested and love it.

I’m so confused about what we’re going to do for our rugs and carpets however. We have hardwood floors in the entire home except for the basement. I really don’t want to spend a bundle for the basement, but also don’t want to do some tacky speckled berber.

The rest of the rooms need area rugs. I love those sisal rugs that have a sort of diamond pattern. Would that be good for us?

I love this rug from Dash and Albert as well, for our family room, but I know that it’s going to get trashed in about a week. It looks pretty fragile.


My neighbor has some pretty cotton striped rugs.

I also love Orientals, but the prices!

Help, I can’t afford to make a mistake!



Hi again, Dusty.

This is a big topic and I’m going to need to break it down into two parts. I’m hoping that I can simplify all of this for you and help you avoid making some costly mistakes. I know, because I’ve made or almost made some of these mistakes!


Three Fibers to Avoid For Rugs and Carpets


It looks great and comes in a lot of terrific patterns, but if you spill ANYTHING on it, including water, it’s all over. It WILL be permanently stained. So, why do we see it all over the place? Beats me.



Ashley Whittaker


While exceedingly beautiful, if you spill anything on it including water, it will forever look like something the dog dragged in from the street gutter


Now, about the rug you showed me that you love? That rug is wool and VISCOSE, which is a synthetic silk. It only looks fragile, but it is actually quite durable. We did it here in this neo-traditional living room last year.

Pound Ridge Living Roomcut stripe hand-knotted rug from Dash and Albert


Oh, they are absolutely glorious as shown in the living room everyone adores in the movie Something’s Gotta Give. But that’s one woman, in a white turtle neck, living alone… [and obviously above her means] :]


They look great. They don’t hold up. They ARE exceedingly fragile; they tear and absorb stains like a sponge. If you spill anything on them, life is over. I used to do a lot of them [years ago] before I knew better. Nice idea— extremely impractical. These are by Elizabeth Eakins and wildly expensive.


Leeann Thornton

Oh dear. Stairs. no. I do love Leeann’s work. Fabulous, however, about the cotton runner on the stairs… I did it once. It was for a family of 5 with a big dog. It lasted maybe a year. And guess who had to replace it?


Speaking of big dogs, it’s funny that you mentioned the eponymous company Dash and Albert because that is one of my favorite companies.


I love their rugs! I discovered this wonderful company, owned by the immensely talented Annie Selke about a decade ago and was so excited because the Dash and Albert Cotton rugs look just like the Elizabeth Eakins rugs, only for about one-sixth the price. So, at least, if they get trashed, you aren’t throwing away a lot of money. Since then, they have expanded their line in many directions and have far more than the cotton rugs.


Dash and Albert was named after Annie’s two beloved dogs. They have both moved on to doggie heaven and one of them not too long ago. One of the immense charms of this company is that they use their adorable dogs in all of their ads and catalogs. Brilliant marketing! I’ll buy anything those cutie-pies are selling; I’ve never ever been disappointed!


The following are jute, wool or indoor/outdoor rugs that are part of the new Bunny Williams collection for Dash and Albert. Not only are they extremely durable, they are very reasonably priced.


Indoor-outdoor rug by Bunny Williams for Dash and Albert


This fabulous rug is made from jute which is an exceedingly tough and durable natural fiber; not to mention, awfully good looking!


This one is also jute. I could see it in a family room or a boy’s room.


The top rug is actually indoor-outdoor!


This beauty is one of the indoor-outdoor rugs. They look like cotton, but are made of polypropylene. You can take them outside and hose them down. They are inexpensive, look great and easy to maintain. I use them a lot for young families.

lighthouse Diamond light blue_outdoor_rugs

These are also indoor-outdoor, part of the regular Dash and Albert Collection. They look like cotton, but again, they can be hosed off outside! It doesn’t get any better than that!

Coming soon, more ideas for great looking and immensely practical floor coverings for all rooms!



7th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2020 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Dean Malambri - May 28, 2017 - 9:39 AM

    Also, the viscose or “bamboo silk” rugs that are all the rage right now are completely dangerous! Everyone wants shiny, but magic always comes with a price!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - May 28, 2017 - 12:08 PM

      Oh, I’m not familiar with them. It sounds like that’s a good thing. Oh wait. I do know of one. They look fragile.ReplyCancel

  • Madiha Khan - January 17, 2017 - 8:39 AM

    Wow I was reading and scrolling down , I was just thinking that this is the blog for carpet and rugs but look what I found, the two most adorable dogs, they are just cute , can you plss send them to me xxReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2017 - 11:25 AM

      Hi Madiha,

      If the dogs on the cat paw rug, the one on the left, Dash has gone to doggie heaven. Daisy, on the right, I believe is still with us but in high demand as a mother and super-model, as you can see. ;]

      I checked out the Nayyer Industries website. Love the video at the beginning. Most of the time, I don’t like music on websites because it comes blaring on and feels too obtrusive and distracting, but in this instance, it’s low key and appropriate. Really well-produced. ReplyCancel

      • Madiha Khan - January 18, 2017 - 8:43 AM

        Oh wow, its a pleasure to get a reply from you , and thanks a lot Laurel for visiting this website 🙂 haha okay so who gave them these names Dash and Daisy ? 😀 both are so cute 🙂 no you can keep them I was just kidding but I liked them a lot and I hope you don’t mind I have Re-post your Article and also mentioned your website name here: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/nayyerindustries/e/a157f4c23af43a039c079370a9c54a51ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - January 18, 2017 - 11:48 AM

          You must take down my copyrighted post ASAP!!! This is no joking matter and your site is at great risk for posting stolen content!

        • Madiha Khan - January 19, 2017 - 1:09 AM

          And do you have facebook so I can come there and learn more from you I won’t take your much time maybe half hour ? and right now You must be so much angry because of me, so I am also feeling guilty like I have murdered someone hehe sorry but I removed the content but I have done the same SEO , I mean I have created few articles and took content from others and mentioned there website, so what should I do now ? should I remove all that content and start SEO from the scratch or should I keep them as it is and for the next time I should create my own content ?

        • Laurel Bern - January 19, 2017 - 10:28 AM

          No, I wouldn’t remove the other content. Just rewrite it in your own words and curate your own images from various sources.

          And yes, it’s a pain, but it’s the right thing to do. All you need is a minimum of 300 words with your key word.

          And don’t change the URL or you will need to do a 301 redirect. Your geek help will know what this is and how to do it.

        • Madiha Khan - January 19, 2017 - 12:59 AM

          Okay okay okay I m really very sorry and I have just removed the content its the morning time here and I just check your email you have sent a long essay to me announcing its an emergency and just after reading your email I removed the content, and I am really very sorry as I thought maybe there is no loss in taking half of the content and post with the original article link, I was doing this mistake from 2 months and you told me now and increased my knowledge that I was making a big mistake and I am also thankful to you that you told me about all this and also sorry for this now I am feeling embarrass that I have done a wrong thing so sorry for this.

        • Laurel Bern - January 19, 2017 - 10:26 AM

          Apology accepted and thank you Madiha. It’s actually not uncommon. I know a lot of bloggers who don’t understand that there are rules that must be adhered to.

  • Betty - October 27, 2016 - 11:43 AM

    Hi Laurel, I always find myself coming to your blog when I have a design question. Currently looking for area rug for my LR. Luckily I found a local store that sells Dash & Albert rugs so I was able to take several samples home. Thank gawd I was able to do that. I have two cats so I was thinking indoor/outdoor and loved their Swedish Rag rug the colors would be perfect, but and this is a big but this rug is so thin and stiff it feels cheap. I am going back to wool (I’ve had this before with my animals) I just don’t like the way the I/O rugs feel for inside. I wanted the brown Cat’s Paw but the 5×8 won’t be available until next Spring (!) I considered the Sage Cat’s Paw and that won’t be available until January next year – sigh. I’ve now decided on the Tweed Stripe that is 68% wool, 26% jute an 6% cotton – it will need a rug pad. Do you think this would be a good combination of materials? It’s just me and the cats. Thanks,ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 27, 2016 - 12:14 PM

      Hi Betty,

      As I always say with these things… “Welcome to my world.” The glamorous world of the 6 month back order with a rug that we’ve already built an entire room around! Or fabric. Or wallpaper.

      Or, one of my lease favorite words in the English language. “Discontinued.” (with no more stock)

      The tweed stripe sounds terrific. Wool is a wonderful fiber as it’s easily cleanable and jute is very tough and stain resistant. Cotton does stain easily but 6% is not enough to worry about. I say go for it!

      And give your kitties and extra hug and kiss from me. It’s almost 2 years since I lost my Peaches. I think about him every day and still long for his warm puddle of fur purring in my face at concert-hall-pitch!ReplyCancel

      • Betty - October 27, 2016 - 7:30 PM

        Thanks Laurel! I knew you’d be able to point me in the right direction. Both my furballs are curled in my lap snoozing, kisses for them. You should visit a local shelter, so many kitties looking for love. Have a great evening.^..^, ^..^ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - October 27, 2016 - 8:25 PM

          Hi Betty,

          I realize that it’s selfish of me, but I can’t go through that again. I still talk to him though.

  • Jen Watson - August 13, 2016 - 4:43 PM

    I’ve had Elizabeth Eakins runners on my stairs for 8 years with no problems, seriously! I’ve got a dog and one husband two teen boys. We take our shoes off inside (except the dog) so I’m sure that helps. The one thing that has happened is they’ve faded. But they’re still beautiful.

    If I had to guess I would say Dash and Albert has been “inspired” by Elizabeth Eakins. They’re a great alternative. I love their cotton rugs, but not as sophisticated in color as Elizabeth Eakins.

    I love the idea of indoor/outdoor rugs, but if you care about the environment they’re a nightmare. I care deeply, so they’re not a product I would buy but I see why they appeal.

    Cotton is never going to be as strong as wool but it is so pretty!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 13, 2016 - 6:28 PM

      Hi Jen,

      Good to know, but I would remiss if I didn’t warn people. The runners were Elizabeth Eakins and yes, they are beautiful, but IMO over-priced. I was told that they should not be used on stairs in high traffic areas.

      Anyway, thank you for your input! ReplyCancel

  • Melody - December 27, 2015 - 7:10 PM

    Such great information as I am currently shopping for rugs and was leaning towards sisal–and I have 5 kids–that would have been disastrous!!!
    However, what material of rugs do you use/recommend for entry ways and bathrooms? Something durable and washable???ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 27, 2015 - 11:10 PM

      Hi Melody,

      I do a lot of indoor-outdoor rugs for families. They are great looking, wear well, inexpensive and you can take them outside to hose off if necessary. I have a small one in my tiny bathroom, and every so often, I just toss it in the washing machine!

      http://dashandalbert.com has a wonderful collection of indoor/outdoor rugs.ReplyCancel

      • Melody - December 28, 2015 - 6:14 PM

        Perfect! Thank you!
        Also, just a thought about wool rugs–I’m with you on the less washing the better concerning most things. ; ) However, I have used wool diaper covers for my infants and they are the most fabulous option (if doing cloth of course), and I would re-lanolize the covers ever few weeks…wondering if that would work for a rug too?? Just a thought.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 29, 2015 - 1:30 AM

          Hi Melody,

          Well… Get this. I just researched this because I too was curious and came across this most interesting post.


          It actually makes a lot of sense and debunks all of the popular myths that have been shared by so-called rug experts. But the Oriental rug end of the business has always been a tad unsavory. It just is.

  • Tone on Tone Loi Thai - October 22, 2014 - 12:14 PM

    You are so right about cotton!! My client has one of those striped cotton runners on her staircase and it is falling apart! I didn’t select it, thank goodness. And silk? That sounds fragile! xoReplyCancel