Shag vs. Flokati Rugs



shag rugs, flokati rugs, area rugs

Flokati rugs (or simply “flokati”) are getting a lot of press these days, but there are more than a few of us out there who have never heard of a flokati rug, or have always assumed they’re synonymous with shag rugs.

Well, today’s the day to set the record straight, and it goes something like this: All flokati rugs are shag rugs, but not all shag rugs are flokati. Make sense? Let’s break it down.

Flokati Origins

Genuine, authentic flokati rugs are handmade in Greece, and originate in the Pindus and Vlachs mountain regions. The tradition dates back millennia, though now the rugs are made using various techniques all over the world.

Traditional flokati are woven using 100% wool, which means the authentic variety are always off-white. But, again, you’ll now often see them in different colors due to dying.

Greek flokati are sheep through and through – even the backing is made of wool. This, along with the 100% weave, makes them unique indeed. Then, once woven, they are soaked in water for long periods of time to fluff the fiber.

Flokati vs. Shag Rugs

Speaking of, the main difference between flokati and shag is the fiber used. As mentioned, traditional flokati are crafted in 100% wool. Shag, on the other hand, is manufactured using all kinds of materials, particularly artificial fibers like polyester and polypropylene.

The upshot is that it makes shag more durable and easier to clean. The downside is that it’s not nearly as soft as genuine flokati. Wool is softer than these other materials, but it also benefits from the soaking that makes true flokati so plush.

Choosing Flokati or Shag

It all depends on what’s most important. If you’re looking for the softest shag around, there really is no substitute for flokati. But, they do require a bit more TLC than the synthetic alternative.

Fortunately, though, if you’re really torn between the two you don’t have to choose. Flokati-synthetic blends are very popular, and allow you to get (most of) the best of both worlds in a shag rug. 

The Linie Design BETONA is a gorgeous handcrafted wool-polyester blend with high pile and deep, rich color.

NuLOOM’s “Dusty Rose” flokati is crafted in 100% New Zealand wool and soaked in water for 40 hours, adhering closely to the traditional technique.

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