Sometimes, shedding occurs within a short period with a new rug and will stop within a few months, after light vacuuming and normal wear. If your rug is still shedding, then there are two main contributing elements which are the material and the brand.
Even wool materials are not the same quality. Sheep that are reared high in the mountains have long hair, naturally rich with lanolin wool to keep them warm and comfortable in high altitudes. Wool extracted from these high-altitude sheep is used to weave rugs of a very top durable quality. Wool from the sheep in lower altitudes tends to be coarser than the ones of high altitudes and of lesser quality. If these sheep are sheered too often and the wool is left short, in order to make the yarn usable, adhesives will be added to bring these short wool pieces together. The adhesive breaks down over time, and these little pieces start shedding.
There are numerous methods of ways to produce a rug, and the difference in quality comes down to whether a rug is:
Handmade like hand-knotted and hand-woven
Manufactured with modern techniques, like machine-made and hand-tufted
Hand-made rugs are crafted from methods that provide structural integrity to pieces: hand-knotted rugs are made from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of threads knotted to the rug’s cotton or wool basement. Hand-woven rugs are produced by repeatedly passing a warp through the carpet’s weft. These methods ensure that every part of the rug is integral to the rug’s structure, and therefore, less likely to spread apart.
Most modern techniques are more about assembling pieces than weaving strong, durable rugs. For instance, in hand-tufting, a tufting gun is used to shoot fabric “tufts” through a plastic grid. These rugs need to be attached with a polymer or glue to position the tufts well. Apart from the lesser quality of the wool, the backing material can degrade and both the backing and pile will begin to shed. Machine-made rugs are made at unbelievable speed on a machine just like a newspaper ream, and usually from polymer-based materials to survive this process. These synthetic materials breakdown as would other petroleum-based materials.
When you combine lower quality wool or synthetic materials with modern rug-making techniques, it’s not uncommon for your rug to shed.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IT?
The best decision is to buy a hand-knotted or hand-woven rug made of natural materials.
If that’s not an alternative or it’s too late for that, then you need to play good defense. There’s no perfect method for stopping shedding, but you can reduce it by preventing any further damage to your rug.
1. Lightly vacuum it regularly, going with the grain of the pile and not against it.
2. Make sure not to use a heavy beater bar or have the vacuum on the setting closest to the ground.
3. Use a high-quality rug pad under the rug to absorb shock and reduce further damage to the pile.
4. If possible, move it to a low-traffic area.
Keep in mind that a tufted rug is not built to last more than a few years, so when it’s time to upgrade, remember to buy a hand-knotted rug or a hand-woven one. If you’re looking for a bargain, even consider a hand-loomed rug. Always check out for organic materials.
Ready for a house with rugs that don’t shed? Shop our vast collection of handmade rugs at The Rugs House today.