How To Buy and Care For Area Rugs In Ventura County
The other day I was driving though town and at the side of the road there was a big sign: “Rug Sale!” Because of my background in textile maintenance, I noticed that all of those large rugs hanging up there at that roadside stand were all made out of what is called “Olefin.” Some were solid colours, some had geometric or floral patterns, some had pictorial images. But all were synthetic, polypropylene “Olefin” materials. I thought to myself, “too bad for those poor passersby who will stop and buy those. Most of them probably think that those are good rugs.” Sites like Four Seasons Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning can help you find better ones.
The best rug you can buy is still called an “Oriental rug. To be a real Oriental rug it has to be hand- knotted (woven), and 100% natural fiber. It cannot have any synthetic materials, and cannot be machine made, not even partially machine made.
Typically people accidentally purchase what they think is an Oriental rug because, like the roadside stand rugs just mentioned, the rug has “Oriental” patterns.
Tufted Wool rugs are popular because they are moderately priced. They are characterized by soft wool face and a cloth backing cover. Usually this cloth is tan-colored. The disadvantage is that the rug contains a chemical filling that can cause a very strong odor. This odor smells like rubber and never diminishes. Another disadvantage of hand- tufted rugs is that the rug cannot be hand- washed using the full- cold water immersion bath method. This is not a good rug choice for cat and dog owners because if urine gets on it, the contaminant will get right into the center part of the rug and cannot be washed out. Another drawback is that these rugs, although the label usually says “hand- tufted wool,” are not 100% hand- made and have no resale value.
Whether you buy a synthetic rug such as olefin, a hand tufted wool rug with a backing or a valuable Oriental rug, annual professional cleaning by a certified specialist is very important.
Three tips: always choose a company who is certified by the Woolsafe USA organization. Any non- certified company (verify this yourself at should not be trusted with area rugs because they haven’t had the special training necessary to care for the fibers and the weaving. Also: Get your rugs cleaned because it is time to do it (1-2 years max), not because they look dirty. People typically let it go for several years using that common method of decision-making, and the rugs can be permanently stained in those cases. Lastly, in the case of Natural fiber hand made (Oriental) rugs, always purchase quality cushioning under cushion (pad) to prevent wear. We hope these tips will help you in the selection of rugs and their care & maintenance.
Dan Traub is a Woolsafe USA certified Fabricare Specialist. He is president of Four Seasons Rug Care Studio at 2085 Sperry Ave, Ste # A-1, Ventura, CA 03003. For area rug cleaning in Ventura County, CA, for a quick estimate call (805) 642-4784