There are a number of types of leather rugs which are suitable for different styles of interiors.
You can find leather area rugs made up of whole animal skins both natural and dyed into a design. Natural cowhide area rugs are available in plain black, plain white and gray as well as black and white and brown and white. Natural cowhides look fantastic in a traditional interior while the printed cowhides, which are also available, can look quite contemporary (depending on the print chosen – zebra rugs look particularly good in a monochromatic room with just a few splashes of color). The printed rugs mean that you can have a leopard or cheetah rug without any big game hunting having taken place! With rawhide rugs, as you are buying a natural product, you can expect variations in texture in the hide. You may find small scars, different hair density and changes in the grain for example. This adds to the unique character of your rug and proves that the rug is an authentic natural product.
Patchwork Leather Rugs
Traditional patchwork leather rugs are made up of individual pieces of natural cowhide assembled together. The pieces can be hair on hide leather or just plain leather and the leather itself can have a number of finishes. As each individual piece is unique you get a rug with both texture and character. These southwestern rugs (great if you have that style of room) are generally made by South American artisans using square patches of organic leather known as Vaqueta. You may also find a leather rug like this made up in a basket weave design.
Leather Shag Rugs
A leather shag rug is made up of individual thin strips of leather or suede knotted onto a canvas backing. These rugs have a wonderful texture and add a luxurious look to a contemporary living space. They are definitely a step ahead of the shag rugs which were so popular in the seventies and much easier to clean (see below).You can find a shag leather rug in every color too whether you are looking for a red rug to brighten your hall or a green rug to be the “piece de resistance” in your living room. The natural colored rugs in beige and taupe look great too in a warm natural color scheme. Surprisingly soft underfoot, these rugs will enhance your floor and increase the comfort in your home while adding both texture and color. When they first hit the market these rugs were very expensive but now you can buy leather shag rugs cheaply online at places like Amazon (see HERE for a selection) so you can get the luxury look on a budget.
Caring for a Leather Area Rug
Leather rugs are very durable, hard wearing and low maintenance but, as leather is a natural product, you need to take care that it does not dry out and become brittle and crack. The main things to avoid are exposing your leather rug to intense heat or sunlight, excessive damp or hard rubbing. Try also not leave your rug rolled up for long periods. If you spill anything on your rug, absorb any excess liquid as quickly as possible, then use a soft cloth dampened in warm water to work on the stain gently from the outside of the stain towards the center. If the stain is stubborn you may need to us a little mild detergent well diluted in warm water for this. If the stain is oily or greasy then blot up as much as possible and then if the stain persists consult with professional cleaners. Vacuum leather rugs gently with an upholstery cleaning tool. (You can simply give leather shag rugs a good shake to get rid of dust and debris if you like).