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A Complete Guide to Rug Care

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Whether you prefer a traditional rug, a more modern style or a transitional rug that combines the two, a designer rug can completely change the look of a space or seamlessly tie everything together.

While many traditional rugs can often have a faded or frayed appearance as part of the design, you don’t want them to become faded and frayed due to a lack of proper rug care.

Modern rugs can be made from a wide range of materials, so you should check the individual care instructions for your rug to ensure you don’t accidentally cause any damage.

Here’s a simple guide on how to care for your designer rugs.

Caring for Your Rug

Regular vacuuming is essential to keeping your designer rug in good condition. You should vacuum your rug at least once a week and more if needed. Use the right setting when vacuuming to ensure you don’t damage your rug, especially if it is made from more delicate material such as silk.

Sprouting is when a long thread appears to ‘sprout’ from the rug. This is not a sign of damage, it is generally just a piece of yarn that may have been missed during the trimming process, but also with hand-knotted wool rugs, strands can occasionally come loose from the pile. Cutting the loose strands to the same level as the pile height will keep your rug looking tidy. Don’t pull on the strands as you may damage the thread in the rug.

It is normal for new rugs to fluff, as there are often still loose fibres from the weaving and finishing process. This does not affect the structure of the rug, but you may find balls of fluff emerge when the rug is walked on, moved or vacuumed. This should stop after two or three months, but to treat this, you may just want to vacuum your rug more often until it stops. 

Attend to any spills and stains immediately, to prevent permanent marks on your designer rug and keep it looking clean and in good condition.  

It’s important to understand that rug care will differ, depending on the type of material your rug is made from, so make sure you follow the right instructions for your rug type.

New Zealand Wool

Wool rugs are known for being durable, but you still need to give them proper rug care to ensure they maintain their beautiful appearance for many years.

Dirt and stain resistant, wool rugs will often look great for a long time with regular vacuuming. If you do spill a liquid on it, blot it straight away, then clean with mild soap and cold water. Only use cold water when cleaning wool rugs to avoid shrinkage.

Bamboo Silk

Avoid scrubbing a bamboo silk rug, blot any stains or spills with a damp towel, and use a hairdryer on the cool setting to dry wet areas.

Use a soft hand brush and gently stroke in the direction of the pile to remove difficult stains. Do not go in a circular motion as this may break down the delicate fibres.

Bamboo silk rugs are not generally recommended for high traffic areas of the home as the material can be more prone to wear. The pile is easily crushed, so placement of heavy pieces of furniture may result in permanent pressure marks.

Bamboo silk can often be used within wool rugs to add lustre, so be careful when caring for rugs that are made up of various materials.

Cocoon Silk

With proper care and regular vacuuming, a cocoon silk rug will maintain its appearance in the long term.

Blot spills then clean with mild soap and cold water. Never saturate or soak a cocoon silk designer rug with water, as this can damage the fibres, and only use cold water if necessary to avoid shrinkage.

Periodic professional cleaning is recommended with cocoon silk rugs to ensure they maintain their appearance and longevity. 

Handspun Jute

Jute is a popular material for modern rugs, as they offer a more contemporary style for the home.

Handspun jute is highly absorbent and needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it looking good for years. Vacuuming regularly will help stop dirt from getting stuck in the rug fibres.

As natural fibres are highly absorbent, you should never steam clean or wet a jute rug, as this can result in shrinkage. Instead, suction cleaning or dry extraction cleaning is recommended.

Machine-Made Polypropylene

A tough, man-made fabric, rug care for machine-made polypropylene rugs involves dampening the stained area with a wet sponge, using as little liquid as possible.

Blot with a cloth, then sandwich the stain between two towels and press together to remove excess moisture. Dishwashing liquid can be used to cut through any greasy marks.

Stubborn stains may be lifted with baking soda and white vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and use a cloth dipped in white vinegar to dab and clean.

Premium Linen

Premium linen is much stronger than cotton and is a porous material, which means it naturally repels heat and moisture and has antibacterial properties.

Most linen rugs can be cleaned just using water and a cloth. Spot clean any dirty marks using a light coloured cloth and do not rub.

To treat any stubborn stains, you can sprinkle baking soda on the stain and add a few drops of vinegar, then blot with a paper towel.

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