Understanding Rug Pile and Pile Heights

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When it comes to choosing a rug for your space, there's more to consider than just colour, pattern, and material. One of the critical factors that often gets overlooked is the pile height. Pile height can significantly influence the look, feel, and longevity of your carpet. 

What is Rug Pile?

Rug pile refers to the density and height of the fibres that make up the carpet's surface. It's essentially the soft part of the carpet that you walk on. Pile heights can vary, and they are typically categorised as:

  • Low Pile: Shorter fibres, giving a more compact and flat appearance.
  • Medium Pile: Moderate fibre length, offering a balance between softness and durability.
  • High Pile: Longer fibres, providing a plush and luxurious feel.

Why Does Pile Height Matter?

  1. Durability: Rugs with shorter pile heights tend to last longer than those with longer piles. The compact nature of short pile means there's less chance of the fibres getting caught on objects, being pulled at, or becoming frayed over time.

  2. Maintenance: Short pile rugs are generally easier to clean. They are less likely to accumulate dirt, retain stains, or harbour allergens. The tight weave ensures that dirt stays on the surface, making vacuuming more effective.

  3. Aesthetics: The pile height can influence the overall look of a room. While high pile rugs can add a touch of luxury and coziness, low pile rugs offer a sleek and modern appearance.

  4. Comfort: High pile rugs are soft and cushiony, making them perfect for spaces where you want to lounge, like bedrooms or living rooms. On the other hand, low pile rugs might be more suitable for high traffic areas due to their durability.

  5. Safety: In areas where there's a lot of movement or where children and the elderly frequent, a low pile rug can be safer. There's less chance of tripping or getting a foot caught in the fibres. 

Pile Heights in mm

Rug name  Indoor / Outdoor  Pile Height 
Esperance  Indoor / Outdoor  Flat Weave 
Grampians  Indoor  3-4 mm
Hue  Indoor  7-9 mm
Lillico  Indoor  Flat Weave 
Lonsdale  Indoor  n/a
Tullah  Indoor  Low Pile 9-10mm, High Pile 19-20 mm
Bilpin  Indoor  Flat Weave 
Bundeena  Indoor  Flat Weave 
Bruny  Indoor  9-10 mm
Hawkesbury  Indoor 4-5 mm
Antipodes  Indoor  7-9 mm
Antipodes Organic  Indoor  7-9 mm
Avalon Indoor / Outdoor  Flat Weave 
Apollo Indoor  7-9 mm
Bicheno  Indoor 7-9 mm
Bronte  Indoor  7-9 mm
Derwent  Indoor  8-10 mm
Casablanca  Indoor  3-4 mm
Marion  Indoor  8-10 mm
Marquina  Indoor  7-9 mm
Nomad  Indoor  15-25 mm
Oceania  Indoor  7-9 mm
Patina  Indoor  7-9 mm
Scarborough  Indoor  8-10 mm
Waterfall  Indoor  7-9 mm
Gambit Check  Indoor  25-35 mm


Making the Right Choice

Your choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your space. It's essential to consider the room's purpose, the amount of foot traffic it receives, and the desired aesthetics.

Pile height does matter when choosing a rug. By understanding the implications of different pile heights, you can make an informed decision that combines functionality with style, ensuring that your chosen carpet or rug not only looks great but also stands the test of time.

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