In Furnitureland South’s Rug Gallery, Assistant Gallery Manager Mary John Minter says there’s quite a bit of ambiguity regarding rugs — notably, proper rug care.
“We often have clients that reach out to us saying, ‘My rug is shedding, my rug is sprouting,’” Mary John said. “There’s plenty of uncertainty regarding rug care, which I understand. We make every effort to educate our guests and explain how simple it is, and it makes so much more sense to them.”
While the process of making rugs can be detailed and labor-intensive, proper rug care is actually quite simple. Following a few simple rules will ensure your perfect rug performs well for years to come.
Rug Care Tip #1: Vacuum regularly.
Keeping dirt off of rugs is important, but, as they say, the devil is in the details. Our resident rug expert strongly suggests turning the beater bar off. The rotating brush, which typically scrubs debris from the carpet and sucks it into the vacuum, can have a negative effect.
“The beater bar agitates the carpet surface along with the suction,” Mary John said, “It’s often too rough and can cause damage to your rug.” When vacuuming, it’s wise to only use suction. Otherwise, your rug could sprout prematurely.
Rug Care Tip #2: Avoid sprouts.
Sprouts, as you might imagine, are small patches of loose fibers that stand up from the pile of the rug.
“During the finishing process while artisans shear the pile to achieve the desired pattern clarity, some longer pieces of wool get pushed back down into the pile,” she explains. “They may start to appear as the rug is used and will definitely appear if vacuumed with a beater bar or high-powered suction.”
Thankfully, sprouts are no reason to panic. They are simply a natural effect of breaking in rugs. In fact, you may never see any. If you do, just clip them.
Rug Care Tip #3: Be strategic.
Shedding is a natural product of rug ownership. In particular, hand-tufted rugs tend to shed more than others. If you’ve fallen in love with a hand-tufted rug, just be sure to place it strategically in a low traffic area.
“Oftentimes, customers look at the word ‘hand’ and automatically assume it’s a better, higher-quality product, but that’s not necessarily so,” she said. “It’s a conception thing. People are attracted to the fact that hand-tufted rugs are dense and plush. What comes with that is typically more shedding and a shorter life.”
While shedding may come with the territory, tufted rugs are known for providing current trends at a reasonable price, which allows for frequent redecorating.
Rug Care Tip #4: Avoid water.
Speaking of current trends, viscose is a synthetic cellulose material that has grown in popularity because of its silk-like texture.
“It’s faux silk,” she said. “It resembles the look and shine of silk — and if you value that aesthetic, viscose will be appealing.”
However, buyer beware! Viscose is not intended for high traffic areas and absolutely cannot get wet. According to Mary John, water will permanently ruin the texture and leave a water spot.
Rug Care Tip #5: Blot it.
While it’s true that rugs are made of many different materials and some perform better than others, take care to blot any spill on any type of rug as quickly as possible. This will reduce the size and drama of the stain before other steps are required. Blotting a spill pulls stains straight up, while attempting to scrub a stain could push the stain further into the pile and spread it.