About 6 months ago I purchased an Archipelago rug from Nordic Knots, an online retailer of direct-to-consumer Scandinavian rugs. Here is my long-term review.
In search of a nice rug which would make a statement in my living room but also be a good play surface for the kids, I purchased a Nordic Knots Archipelago rug. I got it in grey, which looks more like a terrazzo floor than a chain of islands, but it’s a handsome design nonetheless. The size is a 8′ x 10′, which costs a substantial $1500, a number which is either a lot of money or a good deal, depending on how serious about rugs you are.
The Archipelago Rug
The Archipelago is a thick rug, measuring in at a thickness of 42mm (1.7 inches). This is a serious amount of “pile” but it’s not a shag rug as the rug fibers are relatively firm and they stand upright.
The Archipelago rug is soft and comfortable to walk on and, in our case, is a great play area for the kids. It’s thick enough that it’s fun for rolling around on, lying down upon, or doing any other casual activity you’d do on a rug. It’s too expensive to be used simply as a play mat so everyone treats it with proper care, but the larger point is that it’s so comfortable that it’s become a focal point for play.
The rug is made of New Zealand wool and it’s hand-knotted in India.
6 Months In
The Archipelago has held up well with no stains or noticeable wear despite heavy usage and it’s placement in a high-traffic living room. Two corners of the rug are in walking paths which means they get much more wear than the rest of the rug and they are indistinguishable from the rug as a whole.
The Archipelago is in room that gets a serious sunset and about 6 hours of sun a day. It’s not yet seen any noticeable fading, but without a new Archipelago next to it, I’ll be the first to admit that it would be hard to tell if it did fade.
So, overall my impression of the rug is quite positive. I had to say that given its price I avoid walking across it and no one walks inside with shoes on, so the level of wear may be prematurely low.
We don’t currently have any furniture on the Archipelago rug, but I’d imagine that weeks of a carpet or table standing on the rug would press down the fibers considerably. Our rug has not yet developed any flat spots.
I do know wear is happening because the rug is constantly surrounded by tumbleweed-like fibers where the thick wool has shed. Our vacuum cleaner is constantly filled with these, so the rug is clearly losing fibers and seeing some wear and tear.
We’ve refrained from moving the rug much, but we do turn it up and push it aside when moving furniture or doing anything else that might harm it. The rug is quite heavy, enough so that it’s a task to get in place even with two people.
Cleaning is a challenge, as the thick shag can’t be cleaned with a rotating vacuum head (it would wear down the rug terribly) so we have to slowly vacuum it with a fix head vacuum tool (like the crevasse tool), usually on Max mode to pick up any dust, dirt, or crumbs that have collected. Sometimes we’ll find a Lego stuck in the bottom, but the rug has managed to stay relatively clean and not soak up too much debris.
I assumed it would be a dust magnet and problem for anyone with allergies, but neither has been an issue so far!
Archipelago Rug Verdict
Despite 6 months of daily usage and two young kids who are, frankly, indifferent to the cost of the rug, it’s held up quite well. We haven’t had any serious tests of it, like a wine spill, or a dog trying to tear into it, but the rug really has done its job well. I believe the wool is untreated so mud on a shoe or a spilled bottle of nail polish could go quite poorly, but we’ve been careful around it.
It still looks great, it still makes a statement, and I have little doubt that we’ll get a lot more life out of it.