Rug Care Archives

Everything you need to know about Sisal Rugs

Tuscany Sisal Rug 8x10Anyone who has ever watched the television “House Doctor” Anne Maurice improving properties to sell will know that she loves sea grass floor covering. It’s neutral, appealing and inexpensive. But what does sea grass have to do with Sisal?

Sisal is a generic term which is often used for all floor coverings made from natural plant fibers. So, ‘sisal’ can include sea grass, hemp, jute, coir, paper and sisal itself.

What’s so great about it?

Because sisal has a natural resistance to stains, you don’t need to use harsh chemicals, which is especially beneficial if you have children or animals. Sisal doesn’t build up static electricity which is a natural attractor of dust and dirt so it stays cleaner longer than carpet. It’s also very hardwearing and won’t show ‘flattened’ areas. This makes it especially useful in high traffic areas such as hallways.

The natural colors are very restful and the textures are beautiful. With more than fifty types of weave to choose from, you’re bound to find one that you love. Combine that with the fact that sisal is a natural product – it’s no wonder sisal is so hugely popular.

What is Sisal?

Sisal is made from the fibers of a cactus plant. This particular plant was discovered in the Yucatan (South Eastern Mexico) and Sisal was the name of the port from where the fiber was first exported – hence the name. Sisal is also exported from Brazil, China, Tanzania and Kenya.

The type of cactus that Sisal is made from is called an Agave. In Mexico, these have been cultivated since Mayan times for their fibers which are also used for making cloth, fish nets, hammocks and rope. This is also the type of cactus that is used to make tequila!

tuscany-sisal-area-rugHow is it made?

The Agave cactus produces large fleshy leaves. These are crushed and scraped until only the sisal fibers are left. The fibers are then washed and laid out to dry in the sun or dried by hot air blowers. The drying process is critical to the final product as the quality of the sisal depends on its’ moisture content. Once washed and dried, the sisal fibers can be made into a material that is strong, durable, flexible and stretchable. It’s also highly suitable for dyeing and some sisal rugs are often highly colored.

Isn’t it scratchy to walk on?

Not at all. To make it feel softer, sisal is usually mixed with wool at a ratio of 60% wool (or a wool and acrylic mix) and 40% sisal. So although you are walking on a cactus, it certainly doesn’t feel like it!

Is it easy to care for?

Yes – as long as you remember that it came from a desert and continue to treat it that way. So, no steam cleaning or water-based carpet shampooing of any kind. This makes it unsuitable for use in bathrooms. If you love the look of it, and want to use it in an area where water is around, such as a bathroom, around a Jacuzzi or swimming pool, you could choose a synthetic ‘copy’ of sisal which would be waterproof.

If any liquid is spilled onto the sisal (even if it’s only pure water) it will draw any dirt particles in the rug to the surface – as the liquid acts like a magnet. This can cause a dark stain which is hard to get rid of. To avoid this, vacuum the sisal frequently, preferably with a model that has beater brushes to bring any dirt right up to the surface.

seaside-sisal-area-rugHowever careful you are, accidents do happen…and they always happen just where you don’t want them to! If liquid is spilled on your sisal, don’t panic, but do deal with it immediately! Use a clean, absorbent white towel to blot (not rub) the area. Rubbing would only serve to push the liquid deeper into the sisal fibers and make a stain and make that stain larger! For any solid spills, first scrape up the substance using the dull side of a knife, working from the outside of the spill towards the middle. If you still need further help, you could call in a carpet cleaner but make sure they use a ‘dry extraction’ cleaning system.

For extra protection, you can use a spray-on sealant called Sisal Guard. This can be used on any natural fiber rugs and reduces the rate at which the fiber will absorb liquid. It doesn’t guarantee that your sisal will never stain but it will reduce the chances if you do have a spill. A one-quart bottle will cover approximately 10-15 square yards.

Shop Around…

If you’re considering sisal, do take your time in choosing as it can save you a lot of money. The less inexpensive sisal rugs have fiber that has been imported from Asia, bindings cotton fabric and are top-stitched and not mitered. At the higher end, sisal is often imported from Europe, there is usually a greater choice of weaves and bindings are mitered and blind-stitched in leather or suede.

Whatever your budget and whatever you choose, you’ll love your sisal rug and get many years of pleasure from it!
CLICK HERE to buy Sisal Area Rugs. Available in a wide range of styles and prices.

Caring for your Oriental Rug

Extend the life of your oriental rug with these hints and tips

If you own a genuine Persian or oriental rug then you will know that you have an expensive piece of artwork in your home that needs to be looked after properly. Therefore, keeping the rug clean and well cared for is vital to ensure its longevity. This guide will provide you with a few tips and hints to help you care for your oriental rug.

1. Vacuum regularly to prevent a build up of dirt and grime which can eventually ruin the rug.
2. Vacuum or sweep under the area rug.
3. Don’t vacuum the fringes of the rug; instead use a broom to sweep away debris.
4. Rotate your oriental rug regularly to avoid fading from any sunlight coming into the room or high traffic causing wear and tear.
5. Use rug pads under your oriental area rug to reduce slipping and sliding of the rug and to provide extra cushioning.
6. Clean up stains immediately using a carpet cleaning solution that is suitable for oriental carpets. Always spot check on an inconspicuous area before using.
7. Have your oriental rug cleaned by a professional every 12 months or so. Ensure that the company is an expert in treating oriental and Persian carpets.
8. If your oriental rug is ever damaged, take it to a rug repairer who has extensive experience in repairing oriental and Persian rugs.

Rug Care Guide

Tips and hints for caring for your area rug

Buying a good quality rug for your home is a great investment that will last for many years providing it is looked after correctly. One of the advantages of buying a rug as opposed to wall-to-wall carpet is that you can take the rug with you if and when you move house.

Deciding when to clean your rug will depend if the rug is in a high traffic area of your home. Cleaning your rug yourself is an option but if you have a hand-woven or an expensive rug it would probably be best to leave it in the hands of professionals.

Vacuum your rug as required and ensure that you vacuum under the rug as dust and dirt accumulates underneath. Avoid using the beater bar of the vacuum on the fringes as they can easily be pulled loose.

Use a broom to dislodge the dirt or depending on the size of the rug, simply take the rug outside and shake it well. There are times when no amount of vacuuming appears to revive your rug; then it is time to have the rug professionally cleaned.

Rotate your rug regularly to ensure that there is an even distribution of wear. This is particularly important if the rug is placed in an area where the sun shines onto the rug. Continual sunshine will eventually cause the rug to fade.

The repair of rugs is a recognized trade and it is best to have any damage to your rug repaired by a rug repairer. If you own a hand-woven oriental or Persian rug and notice even just a small hole then it is imperative that you take it in as soon as possible to be repaired.

A rug repairer craftsman will be able to repair almost any type of damage to your rug, including very large holes or breaks. When you have purchased an expensive quality rug, then you will want to make sure it is kept in prime condition.

To prolong the life of your rug, purchase rug pads to cushion your rugs and provide a softer base to walk on. Rug pads also provide a means of preventing the rug from slipping, particularly on hard wood floors.

Just following a few basic steps will keep your rug looking pristine.

Choosing a Reputable Carpet Cleaner

Some tips and hints to help you choose a reputable carpet cleaner

Choosing a reputable carpet cleaner can be a tricky business. And although the majority of carpet cleaners are tradesmen who guarantee their work, there are, unfortunately as with any business, some disreputable tradesmen.

Your carpet will most likely have been one of the most expensive purchases in your home so you will need to be satisfied that the carpet cleaner knows how to treat you carpet correctly.

General maintenance should be carried out regularly to ensure that the carpet stays in as good condition as when you purchased it. This will include regular vacuuming and spot cleaning of stains as they occur. Using a quality stain remover is important to ensure that no permanent bleaching or damage is done to the carpet. Always spot check an inconspicuous area of the carpet before using a stain remover.

Every 12 to 18 months you should consider bringing in a professional carpet cleaner to provide your carpets with a complete and thorough cleaning. If you have pets or children, or if you or any family member has allergies you might need to have this service done more regularly. This may also be so required for any high traffic areas of your home.

Consider the following when choosing a carpet cleaner:

  • Select a carpet cleaning business that is aware of different carpet types and their carpet cleaning needs.
  • Ensure that you are given a quote and are told what is included in the price.
  • Ask friends or relatives about good carpet cleaners that they have used.
  • Ensure that you enquire as to how long your carpets will take to dry.
  • Ensure that the carpet cleaner is licensed and insured.
  • Check to see if the moving of furniture is included in the quote
  • Do they also clean area rugs, braided rugs, shag carpets etc?

Once you have done your homework you will have the satisfaction of knowing your carpet is in the hands of professionals and can be guaranteed of a great outcome.

Protect Your Stairs with a Stair Runner Protector

stair-runner-floor-protectorAdvantages of stair runners

If you have a set of stairs in your home then you may be thinking about whether to purchase a stair runner.

Apart from the fact that a stair runner looks aesthetically pleasing on your stairs they also have many advantages:

Protection from wear and tear

Your stairs are high traffic areas and without a stair runner your wood stairs will see a lot of wear and tear. It is quite common to see indents in stairs which have developed over the years from constant use. It is a lot more economical to purchase a carpet runner to protect your stairs than to have the stairs fixed.

Provides protection in case of falls

If you have little ones in the house then a stair runner is a must. A carpet on your stairs will soften minor slips and falls.

Softens the sound of footsteps

Anyone with teenagers in the house will know the feeling of heavy feet stomping up and down stairs. A carpet runner on the stairs will help to deaden the sound of heavy feet.

Provides traction

Polished wooden stairs can be a danger particularly to toddlers, children and the elderly. A stair runner will help to provide traction and thus reduce the likelihood of falls

Ensure that you either have the stair runner installed professionally or follow the manufacturers instructions to ensure the runner is installed correctly.

How to Care for Wool Rugs

wool-carpet-mille-fiori-by-habaWool rugs are generally hard wearing, long lasting and resistant to dirt. For this reason, wool rugs are often used in high traffic areas although oriental and Persian wool rugs or rugs with a fine weave are the exception due to their susceptibility to wear and tear.
The natural look and feel of wool is in great demand in area rugs.

New Zealand wool is considered to be one of the best in the world. Many well known carpet manufacturers weave their area rugs from 100% New Zealand wool.

Care of wool rugs

1. Vacuum regularly to prevent the build up of dust and dirt. Also regularly vacuum under the rug as dirt will fall through the fibers to the flooring underneath.

2. Remove stains immediately. Purchase a carpet stain remover suitable for wool rugs and use as soon as a stain is found. Always spot test on a conspicuous area of the rug before using to ensure the stain remover doesn’t bleach your carpet.

3. Have your wool rug professionally cleaned every six months or as required. Ensure you use a reputable carpet cleaning company.
For more information on wool rugs or to choose from a wide range of rugs and rug products select from the menu options below: