Finding unique wall art, that fits your space and your style, and comes in the colours you want, can be very tricky! But what if we told you there was a much simpler way to create distinctive art pieces out of rugs? Read on to find out more!
We’ll take you through the different ways you can hang a rug, and the different styles you could try, as well as the step-by-step process of how to hang a rug on your wall. Let’s jump in.
Using a rug as art for your wall might sound a little unusual and counterproductive – after all, rugs are designed to be used on your floor to make that area of the room look good! But rugs have been used as wall art throughout history, in lots of different cultures.
You can trace wall-hanging rugs as far back as medieval times when they used to create massive vibrant tapestries showing the deeds of great knights and historical figures, as well as epic love stories and tales of mythical beasts. The beauty and talent that went into making these pieces were recognised by hanging the tapestry rugs on walls (and they were also quite helpful for keeping draughty castles a little warmer!).
Across Northern Europe and Russia, this tradition of hanging rugs on walls for keeping the heat in has gone on for many decades, and they use beautiful designs and thick rugs to make the most of their multipurpose wall art.
In modern homes, we see different types of rugs being used as wall art – from bold block colours, unusual textures and unique shapes, wall rug hanging has taken on an entirely new form. They are one of the best ways to bring texture and interest to modern homes, which generally have smooth blank walls, and to bring in more surface and character to minimal or neutral spaces too.
This is a great way also to preserve a vintage or antique rug you own that you really want to make sure doesn’t get walked all over and potentially ruined! By hanging it on the wall, you get to appreciate the beauty of it in your space, without worrying about mud and dirt or the rogue spill of red wine during a party (although we’ve got some good fixes in our carpet care guide, as well as removing stains from your carpet if the worst does occur).
The type of rug you use is also not limited to tapestry-like styles either – you could try an Asian style with a Persian rug or an Indian Mandala cotton print. You could also bring in more of a safari style with rush mats or rugs made of dried grasses to add natural texture and keep in with a neutral colour scheme. There are many different ways you could experiment with wall-hanging rugs but getting them up on the wall is the first step.
The risk of hanging and mounting a rug is important to understand. Any stage of the rug mounting and hanging process should always be reversible without causing any damage to the rug itself, particularly if it has immense personal value. This means ensuring all natural materials you use have a protective layer to avoid any rust, acid decay or sharp edges creating any damage to the rug.
Before you hang your rug though, make sure you’ve got it in a good condition – our guide on how to flatten a rug can be really helpful if your rug arrived rolled up or folded!
Tapi top tip – It’s not recommended to hang rugs directly over or near heat sources such as vents or fireplaces. Nailing or pinning them to the wall is also never recommended. When the rug pulls against the nails, it stresses and pulls at the rug fibres and can cause irreparable damage.
Most rug conservators will use velcro as their method of choice for hanging valuable rugs in museums and stately homes. In most cases, this method is recommended for thick blankets, quilts, and rugs, but it’s not suitable for textiles with heavy surface embellishments, such as beads, or thin or fragile textiles, like silk.
Sew a length of muslin or cotton along the top of your rug, and onto this sew the loop side of your Velcro – this will keep the rug protected from any strain from the velcro. Nail a thin plank of wood to the wall where you want the top of the rug to hang, and to this, you can staple or nail the hook side of the velcro tape in a line. For very large rugs, you can use several strips of velcro and wood along the length of the rug to keep it supported.
A curtain rod is one of the most common methods of hanging a rug on your wall, particularly if the rug is heavy and needs more support. A cotton tube casing is sewn onto the back of the rug (preferably by hand if you’re dealing with an antique rug that needs careful handling) and then the curtain rod is inserted. You then mount the curtain rod into two brackets that are secured to the wall. Make sure these brackets are designed to hold the full weight of the rug and the rod together.
You can make this more decorative by extending the curtain rod further out at each side and covering your brackets with ornamental rod ends, known as finials, to make it look more like a medieval tapestry. Alternatively, you could hide the rod entirely by aligning the brackets with either side of the rug to make the rug look as if it’s floating on the wall, which has a more modern look to it.
Carpet clamps are often used in carpet stores and rug shops to showcase rugs, and this is mostly because it’s one of the simplest processes. Similar to the curtain rod method, you attach a rod to the wall and attach the clamps to this. You then hang the rug from the clamps evenly and check it regularly for any uneven hanging, as this can damage the rug and distort it.
Whether you like to see your rugs hanging on your wall, or you want to use your rug in another artistic way (our guide on how to layer rugs is great for creating a unique look in your space), we can all agree that rugs are the bees knees! And, if you like the look of a sleek Scandi aesthetic or effortless boho style, this is one key way to achieve that. We offer carpet whipping services, so if you'd like to have a custom rug made from any of the carpets you've seen and loved at Tapi, why not visit your local Tapi store and speak to one of our knowledgeable Floorologists? In addition, you can find more styling inspiration and advice in our Ideas Hub.