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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about common problems that occur with area rugs and carpets:

1) My dog had an accident on the rug, what should I do?

Dogs and cats may be our best friends, but not necessarily the best friends of our carpeting, draperies, and upholstery. To avoid permanent changes in the dyes and fibers, it is important to immediately absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Then apply a cleaning solution as recommended by the manufacture and blot the area with white tissue or toweling. This process is continued until all excess solution is removed from the textile. If the area smells of ammonia or shows signs of damage, it will be necessary to have it professional cleaned and possible restored. (ASCR, 1999).

2) What are the various types of soils found in my rugs and carpet?

Soil found on a carpet can be classified as spots and stains; surface litter (paper, pet hair, lint, etc.); gritty unattached particles; and that which is adhering to the fibers. Surface litter can be picked up with a vacuum and typically does not stain or damage the rug or carpet. Most gritty, unattached soil is tracked in on the feet, and with time can cause damage to the rug or carpet. The gritty soil scratches and produces pits on fibers dulling them and shortening the life of the carpet. This type of soil should be vacuumed at least once a week to minimize damage. The third type of soil is adhering and is composed of sticky oils and greases containing tiny pieces of soil material. Professional cleaning can remove most of this type of soil, however, the longer oily soil remains on the fiber, the more difficult it is to remove. (ASCR, 1999).

3) What causes dye bleeding?

Dye bleeding occurs when a colored fiber loses dye while wet. At least two conditions cause dye bleeding; the first is defective dye or dyeing method. This condition is produced during manufacturing and produces defects not visible during purchase. The second condition is caused by use, including, sunlight, fumes, common chemicals, pet residues, etc. that all weaken dyes over time. Once the dyes are weakened, they may run or bleed during cleaning. To minimize this type of damage, a rug or carpet exhibiting signs of dye weakness will be pre-tested to indicate any potential problems. (ASCR, 1999).

4) Why is the fringe on my rug darkening and wearing so quickly?

Rug fringes are prone to some deterioration with normal use due to the fiber content of the fringes (usually cotton), their loose or low twist and their open ends. These characteristics make rug fringes susceptible to untwisting and texture loss during normal use- vacuuming, walking, etc. Fringe may require special treatment during cleaning because of cellulosic browning, a natural change over time, and absorption of fugitive dyes from a wet rug. Both of these can be combated with special cleaning techniques, but eventually all rug fringe will wear out from normal use and care and may need to be replaced or refringed. (ASCR, 1999).

5) Why does my oriental rug have color variations that appear as horizontal bands?

Authentic oriental rugs have many variations because they are hand made rather than machine made. Rugs made by hand will always have certain variations in their surface coloration, density of hand knotting the pile, irregularities in shape along the edges or borders, and differences along the fringes or fringe ends. One of the most common and typical characteristics of real oriental rugs is a beautiful color variation known as "abrash." These variations may appear as bands or horizontal bars and can vary from very subtle shade differences to distinct or even bold variations in certain colors of the rug. These distinct colorations are not defects at all but are characteristics of the many variables and dye lot differences that went into the original hand made rug. (ASCR, 1999).

6) Is it common for the latex on the back of my rug to have areas of deterioration?

Latex is an adhesive material applied by the carpet or rug manufacture to anchor tufts to the back, give additional weight, and to hold the backing onto the rug. This latex begins to deteriorate as soon as it's put into service. This breakdown is caused by gases in the air, floor waxes, traffic, and sunlight. The ingredients of the rubber mixture, as well as, the conditions under which it is used influence the rate of this deterioration. However, the breakdown will occur eventually and may appear in small areas in the form of "bubbles" or separation. (ASCR, 1999).

7) Why did little white knots appear on the surface of my rug after cleaning?

White knots are actually knots from the rugs cotton foundation yarns that have worked their way up to the surface of the rug, sandwiched between the pile fibers and thus exposed as part of the pile. The rugs fuzzy surface (pile) is hand knotted onto a foundation of white/off-white fibers. The make this cotton the appropriate length several pieces will be knotted together. When a rug is new, the full length of the pile can obscure these white knots. Over time, however, foot traffic will reveal these knots as well a thorough cleaning. These knots can be made less noticeable with dye sticks suited for oriental rugs, but they should never be cut.

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