Rug Cleaning: The Ultimate Guide to Pristine Carpets and More
The ultimate rug cleaning guide is more than knowing the proven and tested carpet cleaning methods. Identifying the best rug cleaning solutions requires you to know the underlying problems as well. A comprehensive knowledge of carpet in general, from its early history to contemporary rug production and type, is a tool that equips you to the amazing world of rugs. Learn the basic information about carpets, top tips and guides to rug cleaning, and other secrets unraveled for carpet enthusiasts. Discover how professional carpet cleaning becomes your best option to enjoy your carpet and bring it back to its pristine look and condition.
Carpet History: The Evolution of Rugs
The emergence of carpets in history is traced back as early as 7000 BC. The Neolithic Age potentially ushered in rugs in ancient households. According to historical accounts regarding carpets, this feature serves practical purposes, particularly for the nomadic people. The first rugs are not initially designed for aesthetic functions. Ancient carpets are known to have thicker knots that are intended to protect the nomadic population from the hazards of climactic conditions. Carpets also preserve ancient animals from getting slaughtered for their hides.
The evolution of rugs sees the unraveling of a period when carpets are considered artistic pieces. In previous centuries, carpets serve two basic functions for aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. Based on discoveries from archaeological excavations, ancient carpets and rugs also served as insulation for people, especially from inclement weather. On top of that, these rugs are also ornamental pieces that provide beautification for the wearer as well as their place of abode. Knotted carpet eventually spread throughout the world. There have been numerous versions of the carpet history that its origin becomes quite difficult to trace and solve.
Overview of Carpet Fiber Dyes
There are distinct properties that carpets have today as the rugs that were created centuries ago. Carpets are generally constructed from yarns that undergo pre-dye and post-dye processes. There are numerous methods employed through which the material is produced and the dyeing process accomplished. Post dyed carpets are heaved but no color pigment is used. Use of the white fiber is intended to create a blanket and this is produced through twisting, spinning, heat setting, and finally, tufting the fiber.
Dyeing Carpet Fibers
The dyeing process is the application of color pigment into the carpet fiber. Dye application follows several methods such as beck dyeing, continuous dyeing, and printing. Take a closer look at this important process in carpet production:
- Beck Dyeing. The method mainly uses dense fibers as well as polyester. The dyeing is achieved through submerging the blanket and immersing it into the dye mixture. The temperature is raised during the process to a level that could open the fiber dye spaces. The fiber dye sites are positively charged and it attaches to the negatively charged dye molecules. During the process, the dye basically connects to the carpet fiber. According to carpet dyeing experts, beck dyeing is considered the most expensive of all the methods. However, it is quite effective for the dye to deeply penetrate into the heavy fibers.
- Continuous Dyeing. A jet spraying method is utilized for the continuous dyeing process. It spontaneously applies the die into the carpet fibers while the carpet is set to motion below the spray. Several hundred feet length of carpet is dyed in an hourly basis. Continuous dyeing is highly recommended in order to significantly reduce the cost of carpet. Residential carpets are dyed using the continuous dyeing process.
- Print Dyeing. One of the variants of continuous dyeing is the print dyeing method. The process results to the creation of multiple colored prints. There are floral and printed patterns that are integrated, applied, and formed onto the fabrics. The likes of kitchen prints and area rugs are created through this particular method. There are also high end and fashionably stylish residential fabrics that have printed features through print dyeing.
About Pre-Dyeing Methods
When the fibers are dyed prior to the tufting of the fibers into a blanket, they undergo what is called pre-dyeing process. One of the most common pre-dyeing methods is referred to as solution dyeing. It is often used in applications for residential settings.
Solution dyeing is a complex way to dye carpet fibers. Pellets that are usually found in stuffed toys or animals are the same as the synthetic fibers used in carpets and rugs. The state of the pellets remains similar especially prior to getting processed for solution dyeing. The dyeing process is done through initially heating the pellets to melting point. When melted, the pellets are then processed with the use of a device. They eventually form hair-like strands and gradually harden through blowing chilled air across the strands. The hardened fibers are finally chopped into short lengths to ensure stability. Some lengths are shorter in order to become bulk continuous filament or BCF.
Pros and Cons of Solution Dyeing Carpet Fibers
One of the perks of solution dyeing is that it dyes the fiber all throughout. The comprehensive dyeing includes the surface and every other layer of the carpet fiber. Since the colors are permeated and deep seated into the fiber, the likes of bleaching agents, sunlight, and other environment pollutants could not fade the fibers. There are however downsides to this dyeing process such as the limitation of color choices. Solution dyed fibers also have low stain resistance, making it vulnerable to impurities. Moreover, solution dyeing is a more expensive method, making carpets that are solution dyed significantly more expensive.
Rug Construction Methods
The ultimate guide to effective carpet cleaning will never be complete without a good walkthrough of the different ways in making a carpet. There are 3 basic rug construction methods that are used with distinct features and outputs:
- Machine Made
With digital and computerized features, carpet construction is more advanced and offers higher quality result. The computer is programmed that typically controls the rug construction. The power loom is digitally controlled in order to weave the rugs. The color pigment of choice as well as its specific location on the fabric is likewise chosen through the computer. The advanced computerized technology likewise allows producers to choose and apply intricate designs.
One of the top advantages of machine made rug construction is that it is completed with remarkable speed. Synthetic fiber is the usual material used for machine made rugs. This group would often include acrylic, nylon, silk, and polypropylene or PET. In some digitally manufactured carpets, wool is also used as a main material. Machine made carpets are significantly cheaper compared to handmade rugs.
- Hand Tufted
A tufting gun is the carpet making machine used in this method. The tufting gun punches the yarns one by one through the fabric sheet. Once the first rug is completely constructed through the device, a second fabric is then utilized in order to hold and keep the yarns in place. Putting the yarn together in a secure manner is accomplished through gluing and securing it to the back. Hand tufted carpets have higher quality levels compared to their machine made counterparts. For instance, there are more details and patterns that are introduced in hand tufted rugs. Moreover, you can use much higher grade carpet fiber materials compared to the synthetic fibers found in machine made carpets.
- Hand Knotted
Hand-knotted rugs are the cream of the crop in the world of carpet making. Due to its incomparable quality, hand-knotted rugs are quite expensive and rare. The details reflect the rug quality, shaping the appeal, character, and overall aesthetics of the carpet. The construction process is an intensely laborious and tedious one. You need extensive years of training to be a master weaver of hand-knotted rugs. The process also utilizes vertical looms in carefully knotting the yarn around one or a couple of threat columns known as warps. The carpet pile is created through the end of the knots. Defined patterns of the rug are created through adding more knots per square inch. Hand-knotted rugs are also remarkably resilient and durable.
Rug enthusiasts that want investment value pieces purchase no less than hand-knotted rugs. Two of the most crucial components of the knotted rugs are the tops and bottoms. The ends of the warp threads are called fringes. These are also the rug foundation and must be free from raveling hence the careful tying of the knots. There are also unlimited design and color choices for hand-knotted carpets.
Basic Steps to Oriental Rug Cleaning
Oriental rugs are huge financial investments. Keeping the beauty and quality of your oriental rug depends on the right maintenance process used. Here are some of the basic steps in cleaning your precious oriental carpet:
Step 1 – Detail Inspection
Reputable carpet cleaning specialists initially make a meticulous and thorough inspection of the rug. This is done prior to hand washing the carpet. In order to determine the ideal and best carpet cleaning method, it is imperative to know the type of rug you are dealing with. There are other essential factors that are identified during the initial inspection such as knowing the rug origin. It also helps to know the fiber where the carpet is made from such as cotton, silk, wool, or a mixture of any materials. Color bleeds are likewise checked if there are any. The inspector also checks for stains, urine stains, color fast, and anything that may harm the originality and quality of a specific type of carpet. The foundation of the carpet is carefully inspected as well as any halls or worn areas.
The inspection team, upon completing the task, then proceeds to identifying the best solution and method to carry out in caring for and cleaning your rug. Trusted carpet cleaners treat different rugs as individual cases.
Step 2 – Dusting and Pre-Washing
The next process is to submerse the rug into a special cleaning solution. Different carpet cleaners utilize their own carpet cleaning chemical products. These solutions are used solely for oriental rugs. The mixture is formulated to keep the carpet safe and keep the cleaner safe and protected as well. Contemporary oriental rug cleaners make sure that your carpet is handled with utmost care and caution. The pre-washing solution is formulated in order to avoid causing damage to the rug in the process. The rug stays submersed and soaked in the solution for a specific period of time, as per cleaning instruction. The submersion helps remove dirt, soil, and other particles from the delicate fibers of the rug.
Step 3 – Special Hand Care Washing
A thorough carpet rinsing process follows suit after the rug is taken out of the soaking tub. Properly and comprehensively rinsing the rug extracts all leftover moisture from the fiber, wringing out the moisture from the carpet. The carpet is rinsed with the use of water, making sure that there are no residues left behind. It is imperative to hire professional oriental rug cleaners as they are trained to perform detail hand washing, using natural organic soaps. The combination of these featured services makes sure that our oriental and area rugs become seamlessly clean and undamaged. Different rugs are unique and not created equal. Thus, the hand washing process is also customized to cater to individual rugs. The right cleaning solution is matched to a specific carpet type with mild PH balance cleaning soaps.
Step 4 – Drying Process
The final stage of the oriental rug cleaning process is the drying phase. The cleaning process now complete, the rug is now lifted to the special room with control temperature environment. Rug cleaning specialists properly dry out the carpet without the use of intense air blowing and heat on them. This mild and slow drying process makes sure that your precious rug stays plush and soft just like its pristine condition. Once the rug is dried out completely, the specialist then grooms and vacuums it once more. The fringes are also washed and wrapped in plastic, ready for delivery.
Cleaning Methods for Specialty Rugs
What are the different types of specialty rugs? Here are the most popular choices:
- Persian Rugs. Originally made in Iran, the classic elegance and rich texture of this oriental rug offers sophisticated accent to every home. The rug production uses traditional weaving techniques of hand-dyed wool. Natural fibers such as silk and cotton are alternative Persian rug materials. Persian rugs are costly as they are hand-knotted while other cheaper versions are hand-tufted.
- Turkish Rugs. Basically hard to classify, this oriental rug type is also difficult to fit into structured categories. There are different types of Turkish rugs depending on the areas where they are weaved. The subcategories of this oriental rug include Eastern, Western, and Central types. In Istanbul, the area basically weaves wool pile and silk rugs. As they are good in quality, Turkish rugs also do not have any cleaning and maintenance issues.
- Tribal Rugs. As the name implies, tribal and nomadic people are the original source of this type of oriental rug. Nomadic population weaves tribal rugs for aesthetic as well as utilitarian purposes. For instance, this rug type functions as covering for their homes and tents. Made with strong materials and weaving style, tribal rugs are also reliable protection from the elements and harsh weather. Tribal rugs are hand-knotted and rare, thus are remarkable collectibles to beautify blank walls or floor spaces.
How to clean specialty rugs?
Utmost care and caution is necessary when cleaning your expensive, rare, and stunning specialty rugs. Thus, it is never a DIY task to begin with. Make sure you bring your rug to a carpet cleaning specialist in order to protect its quality.
Rugs are not created equal. There is a correct method of cleaning your unique oriental rug, based on the type of rug you are dealing with. The age and condition of the carpet also play vital roles in the overall cleaning process. Other factors that influence specialty rug treatment include how the rug was made or constructed, dye systems used, and the rug fiber.
One of the most common carpet cleaning methods utilized for oriental rugs is the steam method. Hot water is injected into the carpet pile or fiber with high pressurized machine. There are also carpets that require dry cleaning where minimal or no water is used for the cleaning process. Different rug cleaning methods have their own strengths and weaknesses thus it helps to research each cleaning process in order to make an informed decision.
Consult with the Experts
Specific and individualized cleaning methods are used for different rugs from fine handmade to machine made pieces. These cleaning methods also have their corresponding timeframe to complete the task and cleaning costs, among many others. Arrange a consultation with carpet cleaning specialists if you are not sure what services to hire.
The ultimate rug cleaning guide opens the door to the amazing and colorful world of oriental rugs. This lucrative and promising investment is worth every dollar you spend. Call a rug cleaning expert today!