Animal-skin rugs are a time-honored symbol of the owner’s power and status. Exotic skins make for visually striking rugs that can grab attention while subtly tying a room together.
However, there’s more that needs to go into a rug design than just the look of the hide used to make it. Each rug needs to be:
- Durable enough to take people constantly walking on it without wearing out;
- Properly sized to the space it’s being displayed in; and
- Easy to clean.
Hair-on hides make for great rugs—the soft fur and supple layer of leather underneath make for beautiful, comfortable, and rugged rugs. Of the exotic hair-on hides, three stand out as the best materials for a rug:
- Zebra Skin
- Hartebeest Hide
- Wildebeest Hide
Why These Hides?
Once tanned, these hides are remarkably durable and easy to care for—a must for interior decorating.
Aside from the durability, these hides give interior designers a wide variety of size options for making decorative and practical rugs. Hartebeest skin comes in sizes up to 12 square feet, wildebeest skin reaches up to 16 square feet, and zebra skin can be as large as 30+ square feet in total!
This gives designers the ability to choose the perfect size hide for the needs of the space so the rug isn’t too large or too small.
Wildebeest and hartebeest hides have a largely uniform color to them, making them good choices for when you want to blend the rug in with the surrounding décor. Zebra hides have distinctive black and white stripe patterns that can help rugs made from them stand out.
Which Hide is the Best for Your Needs?
This is a tough call, as each of these hides share similar characteristics. It really depends on which appearance and size works best with your overall design aesthetic.
For smaller spaces where you want the rug to mesh well with other décor, the hartebeest hide might work best. The larger and darker wildebeest hide, with its more prominent mane might work better for slightly larger spaces as a complement or counterpoint to surrounding furniture.
Zebra skin rugs are the ultimate statement, quickly drawing the eye in large enclosures with their distinctive stripe patterns. Such a rug could easily become the centerpiece of an interior design project.
However, zebra skin is in high demand, and has a price to match its status as a highly exclusive material.
Need help determining which hide would be the best for your next interior design? Check out our shop for some ideas now!