Flokati Rug Basics: Faux vs Traditional

Flokati rugs feel like the height of luxury under your feet.

Flokati is a traditional rug making method employed by the Greeks, which has survived to this day. The Greek shepherds used to use sheepskin rugs to keep them warm in the long cold winters in the high hills. These days, people can choose between faux and traditional ones.

Traditional Flokati Rugs

These are still made the old fashioned way using sheep’s wool, blended together. The rugs have a luxurious and smooth feel under your bare feet, and are an off white color in their natural state. However, they are still an animal product, which some may not like. Also, if you have an allergy to natural hair products, a traditional flokati rug may not be for you, as the rugs can make allergy sufferers feel quite unwell. Clearly it is not worth trading your health for a beautiful rug, no matter how soft it may be.

Faux Flokati Rugs

Faux flokati rugs are made from man-made fibers and as such do not present the same issues for allergy sufferers. Unlike natural flokati rugs, the man-made variety is available in many different colors. In fact, very bright colors are available for those who like the old fashioned texture and feel to flokati, but want to create a modern design statement in terms of color scheme.

The texture of the man-made product is styled on the natural flokati product, but the material is more user friendly. For example, natural flokati is not as easy to care for as the man-made stuff. The natural product can technically be washed in very mild specialist detergent at a low temperature. It should also be brushed with a carpet brush. Faux flokati, on the other hand, can be treated much rougher – in fact it can be shampooed like regular carpet. Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions before washing either kind. Accordingly, if the standard of cleaning of the rug is important to you, neat freaks will prefer faux flokati!

Fire resistance

Both natural and faux flokati rugs have their own inherent fire resistance, due to the nature of the product. This is not the same as being fireproof, so as with all soft furnishings, care should be exercised near open flames.


Traditionalists would say that there is no substitute for the real thing because the man-made stuff just does not feel the same. However, the man-made alternative is so much cheaper, and still feels good, that if you are decorating on a budget this is the option to choose.