Professional rug cleaning and restoration is designed to breathe new life into an older rug that may have been soiled or damaged through an accident or just by daily use. With an expensive oriental rug, the cost of this service is usually easy to justify. But sometimes the price of rejuvenating a cheaper rug can cause an owner to pause.
Is it really worth investing money in maintaining a rug that didn’t cost much in the first place? Here are a few questions that can help you make a decision.
#1: Does the rug have sentimental value?
Some rugs are passed down from one generation to the next and serve as a part of the family history. Perhaps it is where the kids and grandkids spread out to play cards or sit by the fireplace listening to the radio in the evenings. Maybe the rug was a gift from a good friend and you’d hate to part with it. Or, you might have purchased the rug during a trip abroad and want to continue enjoying this reminder of your adventure for many more years to come. In this case, it’s not about the cost of the rug, but the value of the memories attached to it.
#2: Is the rug an anchor point for the room?
In interior decorating, a rug sometimes serves as the foundation for all the other little details that go into making a room look complete. If changing the rug also means replacing everything from the window treatment to the lamp on the end table, it might make more sense to clean and keep the rug you have.
#3: Do you have time to find the perfect rug?
Choosing a rug that really ties a room together takes time. If you do want to keep your existing color scheme and décor, it’s going to take some serious searching to find the ideal rug to replace your old one. Again, you’ll need to consider whether to invest a lot of money in a high quality rug that will still need to be cleaned and maintained down the road or if you want to simply extend the useful life of the rug you already like.
One of the beautiful things about rugs is that there are so many designs, materials, and styles from which to choose. But this wide array of options can lead consumers to buy rugs that they don’t end up enjoying over the long term. It’s easy to fall in love with a piece in a showroom and then discover that it doesn’t hold up well to use in the home. Hand tufted rugs, which have an interesting texture that can look and feel quite nice upon initial inspection, often fall into the disappointing category. Here are a few of the most common complaints about these lower quality rugs and how they differ from high quality woven rugs.
Doesn’t Hand Tufted Mean Good Quality?
The process of creating a tufted rug may be done by hand—using a hand-held power tool that pushes the fibers through a matrix to create the characteristic textured surface. However, this is a far cry from the meticulous, highly skilled labor that goes into hand knotting a real woven rug. If you look at the back of an authentic woven rug, you will see that the pattern is the same as the front. With a tufted rug, this is not the case. Instead, the back is coated with a latex adhesive to keep the rug in one piece. A canvas backing may also be added to further protect the rug and to keep the latex from messing up the floor as the adhesive disintegrates over time.
A Tufted Rug May Not Pass the Sniff Test
A hand knotted woven rug may begin to smell if it has gotten wet and grown mold or other microbes. Otherwise, it should not have a noticeable odor. However, a tufted rug may have an offensive stench even when it is brand new. This is typically due to the cheap latex materials used in the backing. Some of these rugs actually come with a warning label that they should be used in well-ventilated areas. Noxious fumes are something you shouldn’t have to worry about with a rug!
Tufted Rugs Are Not Made to Last
Tufted rugs tend to wear out fairly quickly—they certainly don’t stand up to decades of use like woven rugs can. As the adhesive wears out or becomes damaged by spills, the rug may begin to buckle and become discolored. Tufts of fiber may also come loose making the rug look uneven. Unfortunately, stains and damage on tufted rugs are not easy to fix. The overall cost of repairing or replacing tufted rugs can end up costing more than simply choosing a high quality woven rug.
Should You Ever Buy a Tufted Rug?
Of course it’s fine to purchase one of these rugs as long as you have realistic expectations. Look for a rug that doesn’t release a bunch of fibers when you rub your hand on it. The rug should not have a rubbery or offensive smell. Place the rug in a fairly low traffic area where it won’t suffer too much from foot traffic or spills. Finally, be prepared to enjoy your rug for as long as it lasts and then replace it when it wears out.
Sunlight is a well-recognized mood enhancer for human beings. We thrive in living environments that let in plenty of natural light. In a home, that can mean having lots of windows and even skylights to let in the sun. But all that UV radiation can cause slow wear and tear on furnishings. For example, natural fibers that are exposed to ultraviolet rays eventually become brittle and prone to breakage.
A rug’s colorful dyes are broken down by sunlight as well in a process called photodegradation. The dyes used to give a textile its beautiful colors contain compounds called chromophores that absorb light in particular wavelengths, letting only certain colors of the light spectrum reflect off and reach the eye. UV radiation agitates these compounds and causes the chemical bonds to break so that they no longer absorb light in the same way as before. When this happens, the colors fade and appear bleached. This is why an ideal location for an oriental rug is a fairly low traffic area in an interior portion of the home.
Rotate, Protect, Repeat
Retouching the intricate pattern to restore the color of a Persian rug is a complex and costly process. This is why it is important to keep rugs away from regular exposure to direct sunlight. If you really want to place a rug in a sunlit spot, remember to rotate the rug on a regular basis. This at least keeps the fading more even so one end of the rug does not appear lighter than the other. Rotation has the added benefit of evening out the effects of foot traffic. Outfitting windows with UV blocking film is another inexpensive way to slow down sun damage for your rugs.
The Exception to the Sunshine Rule
Sometimes, short-term exposure to sunlight is actually a good thing for natural rugs. For example, a wool rug that has been exposed to moisture may become a haven for mildew. Hanging the rug outside on a clothes line gives it a chance to air out and dry quickly. UV radiation is also a natural microbe killer. A good dose of sunlight can reduce the likelihood that the rug will develop an unpleasant odor from mold or bacteria. Hang your rug with care to avoid stretching or damaging the fibers, and be sure to take the rug indoors before evening so it does not absorb moisture from the night air. For more advice on how to care for and restore your rugs, contactAyoub N&H™ Carpet and Rugs today.