Area Rugs, Best and Worst Fibers + Myths + Care Tips

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Okay, this is a complete overhaul of two very old posts about area rugs. I’ll save you the trouble of looking for them because they no longer exist.

What’s funny is that some of the information I shared about area rugs is wrong. Well, at least half wrong. Of course, that wasn’t intentional. It’s just like a lot of other things; I fell prey to an “expert” who gave me incorrect information. So, I apologize.

 

This post focuses on the best fibers for area rugs as well as the worst. And, we’ll also get into some care tips.

 

And, yes. I know that all of you who have pets are dying to know the best fibers for your area rugs.

 

However, I’m going, beginning with the biggest myth when it comes to wool area rugs.

 

In fact, I found an article a few years ago after a comment from one of them regarding lanolin in wool area rugs.

This is an interesting article.

 

It’s pure fabrication that the lanolin in wool rugs is what keeps them soft and lustrous.

 

It’s the truth because there is NO lanolin. Before the wool yarn is dyed, ALL but slight traces of the lanolin are removed before that process occurs.

However, the part that’s still true is that frequent cleaning can still wreck your wool rugs because it can break down the fibers, making them dry and brittle. Still, I am not an expert in carpet cleaning. So, I looked that up too. And I found a good article that makes sense to me on how to clean a wool area rug.

 

Another issue has to do with the care of your area rugs, especially wool and natural fiber rugs.

 

I was just reading some reviews and the poor reviews said things like:

 

  • The binding didn’t hold up.
  • The rug started falling apart in a few months.

 

However, 99 times out of 100, this is NOT the fault of the rug.

I see some of you shaking your heads, knowing what I’m about to say.

Yeah. It’s the vacuum cleaner. And, specifically, those durned beater brushes.

I found an excellent article regarding them, too.

If you have one of these and you find half of a head of hair wrapped around the roller (yes, I’m exaggerating), unfortunately, you have a monster rug-eating vacuum.

Here, let me show you. Please note that if hair wrapped around a vacuum roller brush makes you feel ill, it would be better not to look.

 

old hoover wind tunnel cordless bad brushroller

 

And, yes, that is a piece of dental floss. There is ALWAYS dental floss caught in the roller brush. Yes, yes, yes, I throw it away in the trash. Obviously, the vacuum cleaner fishes it out of the trash just to annoy me.

 

Roborock h7 no hair in roller great for area rugs

 

However, as you can see from my new Roborock h7 stick vacuum, there is no hair, none whatsoever.

(please note that Roborock did send me this vacuum free of charge. However, I absolutely adore it!)

 

This is the most amazing vacuum cleaner I’ve ever had. It weighs almost nothing, is cordless, and incredibly powerful! Plus, while it looks complex, it’s very easy to figure out how to take it apart and put it together. I suck with that sort of thing. (remember my portable air conditioner?)

In further annoyance, what kills me is that my dead (after 5 years) hairy Hoover Wind Tunnel cordless says TO use the brush on carpets and turn it off for hard floors.

 

Sadistic Freaks!

 

I’m not saying never to use the roller on your area rugs. But, definitely don’t do it for long and never over the rug’s binding. Or rather, get one of the new vacuums like the Roborock h7 and you won’t have any issues with rug eating vacuums.

 

vacuum chewed corner of area rug

See? This is my Dash & Albert Plain Tin hooked rug. It’s held up beautifully, except where the corner got chewed by the old Hoover Wind Tunnel vacuum cleaner. So, what if I gave this area rug a one-star review saying the edges frayed. Still, even with edges being eaten off, the rug didn’t get any worse.

I adore the Dash and Albert rugs and sold dozens to my clients back in the day.

 

Another possible myth is the advisability of doing sisal rugs.

 

You can ask almost any designer, and they usually agree that sisal rugs stain like mad. Even water stains them. The only solution is to get the entire rug wet.

However, nearly three years ago, we were treated to a tour of home stager Lotte Meister and her exquisite home in Rye, New York.

 

dining room - sisal rugs interior designer - home stager - Lotte Meister - Rye, NY

Lotte has several sisal rugs, including one in her dining room!

 

prestige-mills-pueblo sisal area rugs

 

They are the Pueblo pattern manufactured by Prestige Mills and also sold through Stark Carpets. Anyway, as we learned, Lotte swears by them and has had no issue with staining. And, because she has a dog that has accidents on occasion, she’s certainly one who’s put them to the test.

If anyone else has had good luck with any of your sisal area rugs, please let us know in the comments.

 

Now, let’s take a look at the fibers I don’t recommend. Or, at the very least would like to caution you against using for your area rugs.

 

Silk. Yes, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful until it gets wet, and then it’s about as appealing as soggy cornflakes.

An alternative that I believe wears much better is viscose.

 

No, I would not do a rug made entirely of viscose; however, I have done this rug that’s blended with wool.

 

In fact, I did a wool and sisal blend years ago. That also did very well.

 

Crucial Trading Wool and Sisal ribbed carpet for area rug or wall to wall Country Limestone
It was like this.

I got the idea from the fantastic Barbara Barry. You can read more about Barbara here.

And, also here.

 

Barbara Barry living room circa 1995

 

It’s not easy to see, but this is the wool and sisal area rug in Barbara’s old living room circa 1994. Yes, this photo is that old!

 

Barbara Barry Home 1994 - wool and sisal area rugs

 

I was obsessed with this home back then. You can see the ribbed wool and sisal area rug better here.

When I say obsessed, I mean spending hours staring at these images. They look perfect to me.

 

Barbara Barry Hollywood Hills Home 1996

Coincidentally, I just secured my first big job. Then, a year or two later, when my business was in its infancy, in 1996, came Barbara’s new home. This home was the inspiration for every room! Sorry, I don’t have a better image of this stylish space.

 

Okay, back to the subject at hand. Area rugs and what I don’t recommend.

 

2. Cotton – unless it’s going in a low traffic area and there aren’t destructive pets. Dash and Albert make the prettiest cotton striped rugs, and I probably did a dozen or so of them. They are fine in a guest bedroom or vacation home. However, I would avoid using them on stairs unless the traffic is very low.

 

What is the best fiber for an area rug?

 

When I was in design school, we were taught what the best fiber for an area rug is. Now, this was sometime around 1988-1989.

The answer was:

NYLON.

And, it’s true. Nylon NEVER wears out.

NEVER. So, if you do it, you better love it. Or else, spill something hideous on it like indelible ink. Then you can get rid of it. haha

However, if Nylon is the best fiber and never wears out, does that mean that wool is inferior? Not at all. In fact, wool has numerous advantages over nylon, in my opinion.

 

Wool and why it’s a good fiber for area rugs.

 

  • Wool is a luxurious, long-lasting fiber if cared for properly
  • It ranges in price from reasonable to very unreasonable, lol
  • Wool is good for wall-to-wall and area rugs
  • In addition, it comes in both machine-made and hand-knotted versions for rugs.
  • And, it’s easier to remove stains from wool than nylon.

 

Storytime.

Many years ago, sometime shortly after the flood, ;] when I was a newlywed student at the New York School of Interior Design, I had a horrible accident in our Manhattan apartment living room. In a typical clumsy maneuver, I managed to spill a big glob of rubber cement on our Oriental Rug.

Naturally, I could not get it all out and what was left was a crusty patch which wasn’t all that noticeable unless you were looking for it.

Years later, I remembered the crusty patch, and I searched every inch of the rug for it, and it was GONE!

 

Although wool comes in numerous weaves, my favorite is always a fine hand-knotted oriental rug.

They should last for a lifetime and beyond. In fact, it should get better with age as the colors and patina are mellow.

True. Still, I know that you don’t want a disgusting, smelly rug in your home, and neither do I.

How to Properly Care for and Clean Your Fine Oriental Rugs

 

  • Vacuum your area rug at least once a week, but please make sure that the brush setting is set to off. :]
  • Once a year, turn the rug upside down and vacuum the back.
  • Ideally, once a year, the rug will get a sunbath on a hot, dry day for a few hours.

 

I realize that you will probably never do the last two, but if you can, your rug will remain quite clean. The sun is a natural disinfectant. Did you know that? For accidents, of course, it is fine to spot clean, but take it to a cleaner that understands how to treat a fine wool area rug.

Okay. There are a VAST array of wool broadlooms (carpeting) and area rugs that range in price from not too expensive to insanely expensive.

 

I’m only going to go over a few possibilities. For an extensive list of the different types of weaves and patterns, Prestige Mills has a great catalog to look at.

One of the most inexpensive weaves for a wool area rug is a flat weave. This is what I had in my old living room, now den in Boston. Sorry, it’s been discontinued.

 

laurel-lr-bronxville - flatweave area rugs

Sometimes you will hear these referred to as a Dhurrie, Kilim, or Soumak. The soumaks are cool because they are reversible.

 

More costly, there are wonderful wool broadloom carpets that can be either installed wall-to-wall or fabricated into an area rug.

 

Ondine II Marble 711 Prestige Mills

 

One of my favorites is Ondine from Prestige Mills, a wool Wilton weave pattern mimicking the Pueblo sisal pattern seen earlier.

 

DA-plain-tin-slate-wool-micro-hooked-rug-L - area rugs

Another all-time favorite hand-hooked pattern, from Dash and Albert— Plain Tin, it’s called. [There’s a photo of it at the top of the page in the new colorway- cadette.]

 

I adore gorgeous hand-knotted rugs.

 

You can see several on the Hot Sales rugs page. They are all on sale.

 

The Third Type of Area rug is made from Natural Fibers.

 

These rugs are terrific because generally, they are less expensive than wool area rugs, look great, and perform very well. However, I wrote an entire post about natural fiber rugs in January, so if interested, please hop over there to learn more.

 

Some of my favorite sources for natural fiber and hand-knotted rugs are:

 

One Kings Lane

Perigold

Serena & Lily

Overstock

My bedroom rug is from Overstock

Pottery Barn (more for natural fibers)

 

The Fourth type of area rug is another favorite – Indoor/Outdoor Rugs.

 

Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about these rugs. Frankly, if I had little kids and destructive pets and wanted something about as bullet-proof as one can get, this would be it.

These rugs are made from polypropylene. Basically, that’s plastic. But, they look and feel like cotton!

I have one in my bathroom that is 8.5 years old. It still looks new.

 

The first two years, in the apartment,  I had a cat, Peaches.

 

Now, did Peaches go in the bathroom? Yes, all of the time. The last two years of his life, he had a little shower fetish. shhhhhh!!! lol, I know, cats hate water. But, not Peaches. He loved to jump in the tub and lap up the shower water. Sometimes I would even spray a little on him from the shower.

He made me swear not to tell anyone how much he secretly enjoyed the water. I guess it’s okay now that it’s been nearly seven years since he passed. Right?

 

Okay, my point in telling you my eccentric tale is that Peaches IGNORED the 2 x 3 indoor/outdoor area rug.

 

I wish I could say the same for my upholstered furniture. One arm on each of the yellow chairs is in pretty bad shape. I just face that side away from the room. Awww, I miss my sweet but destructive furbaby.

 

Here are some of my favorite indoor/outdoor rugs from Dash & Albert

 

 

Serena & Lily also has a beautiful collection of what they call performance rugs. They are quite handsome and, for outdoor use, need to go under a covered patio or porch.

 

Serena & Lily Performance Rugs

Above are some of the gorgeous Serena & Lily performance rugs. These are all great with pets.

 

Well, I hope that gave you some new insight into what to look for when shopping for area rugs. And, very important, how to care for them so that they last a very long time.

xo,

 

PS: Please do check out the newly updated HOT SALES. Of course, Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner, with one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Many fantastic sales have already begun, and the pages will highlight some of my favorites.

 

7th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2020 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Ann E Wardlow - September 6, 2021 - 10:46 PM

    Laurel, as always, I am delighted to read your posts. Imagine my thrill when I saw your 9/1 post about area rugs, as I had just purchased a 9×12 wool rug at Homegoods for $300! Two years ago I bought an area rug online — not one of the sites you posted — and when it arrived and I unwrapped it the stench (mold/mildew) was strong so I contacted the website and they recommended liberally sprinkling baking soda and vacuuming frequently. Two months later, we were coughing almost constantly, even with windows open 24/7 — it just got worse with time. After lots of back and forth the website agreed to take the rug back, so we rolled it up, sealed it with plastic wrap, and waited. For two weeks. The smell actually made it through the plastic wrap — it was horrendous. Finally, we offered to take the rug to the UPS center — during Covid, yes, it was that bad — and it left our home, but the smell took weeks to dissipate. Okay, l-o-n-g story but I am so grateful to have found today’s rug at Homegoods because I could tell (smell) that it did not have a mold odor! It’s gorgeous, it looks perfect in the room, and if I could send you a photo I would! Thank you for continuing to share your design genius with us — you have an amazing gift! Again, welcome to Boston! Ann WardlowReplyCancel

  • SM - September 4, 2021 - 10:00 PM

    Hope this gets posted correctly in reply to Laurel. I have Roborock S4 Max. I was really skeptical about it being tough on rugs, knocking furniture, so I was hesitant to buy it, but I loved it so much that I got a second one on your hot sales on the July 4th or Memorial holiday!ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - September 4, 2021 - 9:27 PM

    It’s good to keep questioning and learning like you did with this rug post, Laurel.

    Have you ever noticed that bad information tends to get copied and spread around? And then people read the same words so much, it becomes gospel? Except it was wrong the first time and now it’s grown 40 heads.

    I’ve read the same thing about sisal a million times, but apparently it’s not true.

    I was looking at a wool rug on the Serena & Lily web site, and they made a point not to use a vacuum beater bar on it. It seems like beater bars have no real use.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - September 3, 2021 - 4:40 PM

    What a terrific and informative post. Thanks so much Laurel. I love that chair sitting behind Barbara Barry’s desk. What do you call it?ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 3, 2021 - 4:56 AM

    We have wool/yak blend looped wall-to-wall carpet and our two cats leave it alone. It is attractive and the variety of fibres hides a multitude of sins. A friend of mine was warned off getting similar carpet by the carpet store because she has cats. I think the truth is whether your cats prefer vertical or horizontal scratching posts/mats. Our cats primarily scratch vertical posts (and furniture arrrgh). If your cat typically scratches on horizontal mats, then, yes, it might damage your carpets as well. And thank you for the informative, detailed article, per usual.ReplyCancel

  • Joan Wellborn - September 2, 2021 - 7:57 PM

    I actually have a cotton Dash and Albert rug that I wash in my washing machine (giant sized LG) when it gets dirty. It comes out beautifully. I air dry it and it’s good to go.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - September 2, 2021 - 6:22 PM

    P.S. One of my cats is a water-lover too. So much so that we had to buy a giant hamster-style bottle to give them water because he would make a monumental mess with a water bowl. He would lie on top of the bowl and soak his fur, splash it around with his paws, drag the bowl around, etc. Ugh. I can’t leave a water glass unattended—it’s ridiculous!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 4, 2021 - 1:56 AM

      Peaches would chew paper. Anything, including, tags on fabric samples and drawings for clients if they were within reach. Ugh, the cat (in this case) really DID eat my homework! hahaReplyCancel

  • Kim James - September 2, 2021 - 4:15 PM

    Another wonderful and useful article. Thank you. Would you consider writing something similar for wall to wall carpeting? I have two rooms that are carpeted and I’d like to replace it.

    Thanks for your wit & wisdom!ReplyCancel

  • meredith - September 2, 2021 - 3:11 PM

    When we installed hardwood flooring throughout our house and I purchased a wool sisal area rug from One Kings Lane.I love that rug, not so much with the 20% cotton 80% wool area rug , it sheds and I hate it . As soon as I can afford to replace it i will go with the sisal wool blend.
    Thank you for another great post.ReplyCancel

  • Monica - September 2, 2021 - 2:36 PM

    I’ve got an indoor/outdoor rug (St. Tropez) from Ballard by my front door. It’s easy to clean and my kitties don’t scratch it. I also have 2 silk rugs, which are actually easy care. The surface is super smooth and you can wipe any spills or pet accidents easily. Every few years I haul them to a professional area rug cleaner for a deep clean. If you have pets don’t use hooked rugs, they are a nightmare to clean.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - September 2, 2021 - 1:22 PM

    Hi Laurel, I have a large 100% sisal rug in my living room. I’ve had it for over a year now. I did some research before I bought it and found some advice from Martha Stewart. She said she uses a product called Host on her spills and dog accidents. It’s a dry-powder cleaner. So I bought the cleaner and the rug and thought what the heck. I have two cats that have puked on the rug a handful of times and the cleaner gets out 99.9% of the the mark. There is just the faintest indication, but really, you don’t notice at all. Overall I’m very very pleased and relieved.ReplyCancel

  • Libby - September 2, 2021 - 7:18 AM

    Thank you for this post. I have to admit, I’m obsessed with rugs! I love the textures, color, placement, fiber and performance. Wool orientals are my favorite and your advice to vacuum the back is right on. Particles of dirt do more damage to a rug than general wear. The beater bar actually beats the trapped dirt into the fibers so that when you turn the rug over and use the beater bar, you’ll see fine dirt underneath! If you see alot of fine dirt you may need to repeat the process. If used in a room with little traffic, it’s probably not necessary. We have pets and wool will handle anything, although they are cleaned professionally as needed. Our children have a different view however and prefer changing their decor more often with less expensive, good looking rugs over hardwood floors.ReplyCancel

  • SM - September 1, 2021 - 9:22 PM

    I like hand-knotted oriental rugs on hard wood floors. I especially like tribal rugs with geometric patterns and the soft colored Oushaks (Laurel’s BR rug). I like the colors, patterns and I’m curious about the history of oriental rugs. While good quality orientals can be expensive, there are lots of good options in many price ranges and good vintage ones as well (not antiques). As for cleaning, I’ve been using Miele forever (and Bosch before that, but the two are similar) and never had issues, but I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Roborock lately and it does an incomparably better job on my rugs. It’s been a real life saver because it’s not easy to vacuum wool rugs, so I cannot recommend it enough!! We do not wear shoes in the house and that has really been saving my rugs a whole deal too. When workmen come into the house, I give them shoe covers to wear, some like it, some not 🙂 I learned that trick down in the South where I noticed oftentimes workmen bring their own shoe covers. I’ve also had a couple of cheap seagrass rugs from Overstock while our dog was alive and they cleaned up miraculously as well.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 4, 2021 - 2:00 AM

      Thanks so much, SM. Wondering which Roborock you got. I love all of my Robbies!ReplyCancel

  • Anne Davis - September 1, 2021 - 5:00 PM

    I had a room size wool rug and then got a smaller rug for one area of the room (studio apt.). Carpet moths were apparently transported with the smaller rug and proceeded to eat the carpet, all my wool coats and jackets and anything else wool. I had to get rid of everything and will never get wool again (in any form). I love performance rugs and they look great and wear well.ReplyCancel

  • Paula Taylor - September 1, 2021 - 3:54 PM

    Another option is your local flooring store, which can always cut down any carpet (indoor or outdoor), including sisal, sea grass, or performance products designed to look like sisal/sea grass, to the size you want and bind the edges in whatever color you choose. I recently purchased a 12′ x 12′ rug in this manner because I wanted a square, not a rectangle. It looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 1, 2021 - 9:09 PM

      Yeah, we’ve done that many times, too. Once I even had a big Oriental rug with a huge border cut down for clients. They were brand new clients and then they decided to move. haha. But, the rug looked very nice either way.ReplyCancel

  • anastasia quandt - September 1, 2021 - 3:45 PM

    I agree with the comments about the virtues of wool rugs and Miele vacuums. I purchased a wool rug at Restoration Hardware years ago and it is still in perfect condition. My husband upgraded to a Miele Complete C3 vacuum. It has all loads of attachments for flatweave area rugs, stair runners and wood floors.

    I have been considering replacing the wool stair runner with a wool Roger Oates wool runner. Does anyone have any opinions about the quality of Roger Oates rugs?

    As for silk rugs I had two silk rugs cleaned at Melrose Oriental Rug in Melrose, MA. They did an excellent job and will pick up and deliver. I understand the caveats about silk rugs but the “party side” of the rug (the other side of the rug if you flip it over) can be used if you have a social event and can limit damage.ReplyCancel

  • sandra archer - September 1, 2021 - 2:12 PM

    I have a messy husband and a large lab. My interior designer, also my daughter, chose a Dash and Albert Indoor/Outdoor custom rug for my living area. Everyone who comes in is wowed by it. Muddy footprints and doggy drool clean up beautifully.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara Bahr Sheehan - September 1, 2021 - 12:52 PM

    HI,
    I have had only nightmares selling rugs with even a little viscose in it to clients. They like it because the viscose softens the rug but now my firm has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for viscose (no matter how small a percentage) in any rug I sell. If only the manufacturers would stop making rugs with viscose…..ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Levine - September 1, 2021 - 11:33 AM

    I don’t have any carpet in my home. All wood floor. And a bunch of rugs.
    I have heard great things about the Miele.
    I have central vac and I’m not sure it’s powerful. I use the floor attachment on my rugs because my power head beater can’t be shut off.
    I should look and see about upgrading my vacuum system. It’s old now.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Levine - September 1, 2021 - 10:13 AM

    I’ve never had that problem but I turn my rugs regularly snd vacuum the reverse side.
    I also send them out or DIY wash every other year.ReplyCancel

  • Paula - September 1, 2021 - 10:11 AM

    Thanks for this post! I love vintage wool rugs, even the deeper reds, wilder color schemes. So glad to hear from my hipper friends and family that old rugs are becoming more popular with manufacturing delays on new carpeting. The puzzle for me is making them feel fresh and modern in my old house with heavy stained trim without painting my whole house white (or grey!). So right before the pandemic I switched one out for new carpet in my small den, a Stanton polypropylene and polysilk blend. My kids had always wanted a really soft carpet to sit on. The new Stanton rug was billed as stain resistant, long-wearing, indestructible. It’s still gorgeous but in the last few months the fibers have become stiff and rough in the path through the room. Oh well. In the meantime I want to drag a vintage wool runner between my sink and stove. Anyone have advice for an old Persian rug soaking up marina, coffee, etc?ReplyCancel

  • Christine Pajonas - September 1, 2021 - 10:00 AM

    Just replaced two sisal rugs in my LR/GR. They were very stained due to elderly dogs and accidents. I decided on a wool/sisal to replace them. It was the best decision. We have a two yr old Frenchie with attitude that decided to christen the new rug. I was so pleased to be able to clean it up with warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar. My fingers are crossed going forward. These new rugs match my stair runners and sisal rugs in the bedrooms. This is my third house with sisal, but now I am convinced the wool/sisal combo despite the extra $$ is well worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - September 1, 2021 - 9:35 AM

    Another great informative article!! It is very interesting to me how current Barbara Barry’s 1994 living room looks now that darker colors are coming back!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - September 1, 2021 - 9:17 AM

    Do wool rugs ever have issues with moths, carpet beetles, or other fiber-eating pests? How can those be prevented?ReplyCancel

  • Sara Lee - September 1, 2021 - 9:01 AM

    Fantastic breakdown of rug types! I just had a couple thoughts as I was reading I thought I’d share – I know moms who cloth diaper that lanolize their wool diaper covers (that is – adding the lanolin back into the wool) to increase its stain and liquid repellency. I wonder if it would be possible to have the same treatment done to wool rugs 😆 I also just purchased one of those new machine washable rugs in an oriental pattern that I’m curious to see if you have any thoughts on 😊 we have 3 dogs and I’m tired of breaking out the carpet cleaner every time there’s a spill or an accident lol (all of our rugs are polypropylene)ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda Millett - September 1, 2021 - 8:52 AM

    Sorry but have to disagree with viscose in any form as a good choice. I have a wool/viscose rig in my bedroom recommended by my designer. My dog got something on it and I mistakenly tried to clean it with my trusty rug cleaner that I’ve used forever. Well, you can absolutely not
    use liquid of any kind on viscose, it’s made of cellulose which turns yellow when it dries. Needless to say I now have a spot that always looks dirty right where you come in the room. After much research I discovered they use viscose, also called art silk and a bunch of other names because it’s cheap. And no carpet cleaning company will touch it because they can’t guarantee it won’t yellow. I’ve tried 3 different companies. So at some point in time I will be buying a new rug and it won’t have viscose in it.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 1, 2021 - 10:06 AM

      Hi Rhonda,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. This is how we all learn.

      You’re not disagreeing with me. I said “I believe,” not an emphatic YES! like I do with seagrass. This is because my experience with viscose is limited. I’m sorry you had a problem with yours. Something I didn’t mention but did in another href=”https://laurelberninteriors.com/2020/03/29/the-best-upholstery-fabrics-for-pets-and-slobs/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>post about fabrics is to do a test on a sample, if possible. Actually, as a designer, I did that all of the time, if I was unsure before I sold something to a client.

      (BTW, for people reading this and seeing all of the links, I’m sorry, but I prefer that you refrain if possible as it makes extra work for me. )

      Of course, I had a clause in my letter of agreement stating that I could not be held responsible for any undesirable performance of any product including, fading, shrinking, staining, etc. (Not things like a wood table cracking in half which happened once.)

      Now, a couple of things. Dash & Albert is still selling the same rug I am talking about and is the same one pictured in the photo with the yellow sofa. In fact, they have added 3 more colorways! And, they’ve added several other patterns since we did that rug in 2012.

      However, I also googled “is viscose a good fiber for a rug?” And, I got this article from a carpet cleaning company saying just how much it sucks.

      So, I looked again at Dash & Albert by putting wool and viscose in their search box. And, when looking at the information, for all of their rugs with viscose, they do recommend that the rug not get wet due to possible staining and also professional cleaning, only.

      Therefore, I am concluding that this is not a good fiber for people with pets. And certainly not under a dining table. The rugs are very beautiful as the viscose mimics the look of silk quite well. And, they are also quite soft.ReplyCancel

  • Nanci - September 1, 2021 - 7:04 AM

    I had a 9×13 nylon area rug by Shaw in a traditional pattern. I have always had cats and you know cats and hairballs and throw up! That rug was the easiest ever to clean up!!! You can’t hardly find nylon rugs anymore. I finally sold it after 15 years as I changed color schemes. Now I have wool which also spot cleans well. I’ve had polypropylene too which with cats is a godsend. I would never have sisal, one it’s scratchy and two the cats would use it for their claws. My husband thinks I make it up when I tell him to never use the beater bar on the wool. He thinks a vacuum isn’t cleaning unless it’s beating the hell out of the rug. SighReplyCancel

  • Lisa Levine - September 1, 2021 - 6:53 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Well you’ve certainly picked one of my favorite topics to write about. I have several hand knotted rugs and my favorite are the soumaks. I’ve had one for over 20 years and it still looks great.
    A note about wool-some people think when they buy wool of the tufted variety they’re getting the real deal and it’s absolutely not true. Tufted rugs are basically stuck together with toxic glue and covered on the back. That toxic glue breaks down and creates a mess under the rug and ruins the wood floors. And that beater bar will strip those suckers bald.
    You are 100% correct about the beater bar. You need a powerhead that you can shut that thing off.

    I have to wonder how the natural fiber rugs are doing so well in the designer’s home. I like the look of them, but in my experience they shed pieces and chunks of dirt. Never again.ReplyCancel

  • Marlene Frank - September 1, 2021 - 6:36 AM

    Rugs are interesting – but the young people buying homes today want wall to wall hard wood. When we built our home in 1993 outside of Boston, I had a difficult decision to make and also a limited budget – so we opted to carpet (wool, sisal like weave) the upstairs bedrooms and have the downstairs hard wood floored. So now I lumber up and down the stairs with different vacuum attachments for the different flooring. Also we had cats for 20plus years. The hair build up was constant – but I loved them. So I invested in a very expensive Miele canister which did the job. I have used the brush beater on the upstairs carpeting and my living room oriental area (9×12) for years. The carpets look great, no wear or tear. Ditto on my upholstery.So I have to politely disagree with not using the beater brush. As an aside – just how do you flip over a heavy 9×12 (or larger) oriental area rug to vacuum the back? I could barely get the rug into correct position over the under rug without the delivery man’s help. Just saying…ReplyCancel

  • Rosemary Burritt - September 1, 2021 - 4:54 AM

    LOVE this article. Loads of great practical info. We purchased a home (during the pandemic) sign unseen, and also sold one 100 miles alway. Besides the huge problem of moving during the pandemic, our new home was completely painted in grey, and carpeted in depressing grey (depressing to me anyway) Two huge problems, old dogs who we love to pieces, and my hobby as a quilter and young grandchildren nearby. The realtor who suggested the grey everything thought it was mellenial’s who would buy the house. well WRONG! oldies who don’t want 55 and over because of the spoiled lovable dogs (Westies) So to shorten this, all the carpeting is going, Adios!, Vinyl plank flooring that will not store needles, pins,, batting and dog barf and Pee (rare but know it is going to get worse) All walls a beautiful White and lovely wood looking floors throughout. All rooms except bathrooms and utility room. All the colors in my quilting will POP and my Blue, White and some Red decor will fit. LOVE this area run article. And the info on the cordless Vac.!
    Love all of your postings!!!ReplyCancel

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