How to Care for and Clean Custom Rugs

Custom made rugs are becoming increasingly popular each year.

These rugs can be broadly classified under two categories: (a) hand tufted or hooked rugs and (b) assembled component rugs. Assembled component rugs are manufactured by joining together different rug components, either tufted or woven.

Custom rugs are available in a variety of contemporary designs, colors, and shapes. Although expensive, they are elegant, often exclusive and provide an aura of opulence to the surrounding areas.

Custom rugs, however, pose a challenge to carpet and rug cleaners. If proper cleaning procedures are not followed, problems can occur during cleaning. Let us examine some problems with custom rugs and why they occur.

The two most common problems with custom rugs are shrinkage and rippling. Shrinkage and rippling occur especially with assembled component custom rugs. In wet cleaning of any custom rug in which different components are joined together, there is always a propensity for differential shrinkage to take place. This is due to the inherent differences in the properties of the various components. The absence of preshrinking rug components prior to assembly also contributes to the problem. Further, use of components that vary considerably in properties (tufted carpet assembled with a woven one, jute backed carpet with an olefin backed one, etc.) accentuates shrinkage and rippling even more.

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In addition to the two problems described above, some custom rugs can soften upon application of heat or cleaning/spotting solvents. Others may show drastic changes in size as well as texture distortion due to a loose construction. Dyes in custom rugs are often unstable and color bleeding or color loss may result during normal cleaning.

Due to the problems described above, special procedures are required for effective cleaning of custom rugs. It is critical that these special rugs be cleaned by knowledgeable, professional rug cleaners.

Finally, it should be noted that more intense cleaning is usually required to restore the appearance of an excessively soiled rug. Such thorough cleaning procedures, however, have a higher propensity to cause shrinkage and rippling in custom rugs. Therefore, these rugs should be vacuumed regularly and cleaned more frequently than other rugs, before they become excessively soiled.