Down in our newly redesigned Rug Gallery at Furnitureland South, Assistant Gallery Manager Mary John Minter realizes 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 says. “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, properly caring for your area rug is actually quite simple. Following a few simple rules will ensure your rug performs as it should.
First off, vacuum your rug regularly. However, Mary John strongly suggests not using the beater bar — the rotating brush which scrubs debris from the carpet and allows it to be sucked into the vacuum.
“The beater bar agitates the carpet surface along with the suction,” Mary John says, “and 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.
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 and clarity, some longer pieces of wool get pushed back down into the pile,” Mary John explains. “They don’t reappear until you walk heavily on your rug — or, well, use a beater bar.”
Thankfully, sprouts are no reason to panic. They are simply a natural effect of breaking in your rug. In fact, you may never see any. If you do, just clip them.
Another natural product of rug ownership: shedding. Hand-tufted rugs particularly tend to shed more than others.
“Oftentimes, customers look at the word ‘hand’ and automatically assume it’s a better, higher-quality product, but that’s not necessarily so,” Mary John says. “It’s a conception thing. People feel that hand-tufted rugs are dense and plush, which they are. What comes with that is 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 more frequent redecorating.
Speaking of current trends, one material has gained popularity: viscose, a silky semi-synthetic fiber.
“It’s faux silk,” Mary John says. “It looks like silk, shines like silk, feels like silk — if you value that aesthetic, if you value that aesthetic, viscose will be appealing. The look it gives is part of its popularity.”
However, buyer beware: Viscose absolutely cannot get wet. According to Mary John, water will permanently ruin the texture and leave a water spot.
While hardier materials such as wool and polypropylene perform much better, take care to blot up any spill on any rug as quickly as possible.
Following these simple pointers will keep your area carpet as bold and timeless for years to come.