1. What is the most durable material for area rugs?
That is a great question, but it is more complex than just the material. The tightness of the twist of the yarn, the loop or cut height consistency or variability – all are durability factors. Modern, good quality rugs will hold up to regular use for many, many years. There a some things you can do to extend the life of your area rugs: rotate the rug occasionally, to even out wear patterns; clean frequently to keep soil for being ground in; clean spills immediately; use pads beneath furniture legs.
2. I watched my mom fix a spot on a rug using a steam iron. What is that supposed to accomplish?
Your mom was most likely applying a technique for “unbending” or restoring rug fibers that had been crushed by a heavy piece of furniture. The hot steam, combined with stroking the fibers with a blunt (non-staining!) metal edge, such as a spoon, can restore some shape to the fibers. If you try this, be careful to keep the iron at least 4” from the rug, and DO NOT rest the iron on the rug. A hot iron can melt rug fibers, and that is damage you cannot undo.
3. How do I keep my rugs from fading?
Every type of rug fiber and every type of rug fiber dye is vulnerable to fading under ultraviolet light exposure. Synthetic dyes are less light sensitive. Steps you can take to reduce the fading include installing UV filtering window, installing curtains or drapes, and moving/rotating the rug, so that the same spot is not subject to the UV light.
4. Is padding necessary under area rugs?
Padding is a good idea. It will help protect the surface beneath the rug, make the rug feel softer, and help keep the rug in place.
5. What is the best approach to cleaning rugs?
Frequent, thorough vacuum cleaning help keep rugs looking their best, and helps prevent damage to the fibers. Occasional professional cleaning is also a good idea…every 4 or 5 years can be often enough, but consider the color and level of traffic your rugs endure.
6. Is there any truth to the idea that rugs are a good investment?
What makes a rug a valuable rug?
Some rugs are absolutely legitimate investments. They are hand-made works of creative artistic expression and great skill. This is a topic that will require years of learning in order to achieve any degree of expertise, but it can be a fascinating and fulfilling pursuit. With that, we’ll restrict our remarks on the matter to a few points of interest. Suffice it to say that most investment quality rugs do not spend their lives under foot. Some are hung as art objects; some are kept securely packaged in climate-controlled chambers.
Investment quality rugs are made of silk or wool, or a blend of those two natural fibers. There is a world of knowledge in that aspect of rugs, alone. For example, did you know that sheep in higher climates produce longer-fibered, more highly prized wool? Did you know that the wool that grows from the chins of beasts has special properties that make it especially valuable? Even expert eyes can be deceived by rugs made of “art silk”, which is sometimes represented and sold as real silk. Art silk is actually mercerized cotton.
You’ll find valuable rugs displayed in exhibitions at top international galleries, and selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars at luxury auction houses. As we say, this is an endlessly fascinating topic – a crossroads for global history, art, commerce, politics, craftsmanship, and money. Take your time, enjoy the ride – the real payoff is in the appreciation of beauty, and the stories along the way.
7. Can a damaged rug be repaired?
You will probably be happily surprised to learn the extent to which rug damage can be repaired. Worn or missing fringe can be replaced, tears can be mended, stains removed, and more. If you have a damaged rug you hope to restore, schedule an appointment with a rug expert at Hadinger Flooring, and bring along a few photos of your project.