Do you like reversible rugs? They will cost more to clean but you will get twice the wear before they need cleaning.
WOVEN RUGS: Nice and country looking but we don't like cotton unless they can be machine washed. Think about walking on your cotton dish towels till they're dirty and then trying to clean them without throwing them in your washer. Buy wool.
Many reversible rugs are multicolored. We have found that 90% of the colors do not run but a rug will be ruined when the other 10% do. We have found these colors to be black, deep teel/blue/greens and red and purple. The deeper the color the more the chance of overdye running the first cleaning, like blue jeans.
Also some woven rugs end their weft fibers anywhere they please and leave them sticking up out of the rug where one ends and another begins. These do not do well with cleaning and tend to come apart with wear.
BRAIDED RUGS: Usually oval and multicolored. Stay away from cotton. Wool is wonderful. Some will say, "misc. fiber content". I have loved cleaning braided rugs since I came here in 1966.
FRINGED RUGS: Only you know how white fringe would fare in your home. Think of your kitchen traffic and how often you clean your kitchen floor and I think you will not add fringe to the mix. Fringe on accent area rugs is beautiful. Fringed rugs are always more costly to clean as the fringe is cleaned and finished by hand.
BERBERS: Berbers are looped fibers. In high traffic areas these little loops lay down and do not come back after a lot of wear. Light reflects differently from a flat loop than a new one and this shows as a traffic pattern even if it is a clean one, it will appear dull compared to carpeting with little traffic. The best type of berber to buy is a very tightly woven piece where the loops are so close to each other that they cannot lay down to allow for room to flatten. Commercial grade carpet is made like this.
No matter what kind of rug you buy, remember to turn it once a year in order to wear the traffic pattern more evenly. This is a MUST for fringed rugs!
AND REMEMBER: You can always call me even though I am semi-retired. I'll be happy to talk to you about any purchase before you make it so that we won't have to talk to you when it's too late and we may not be able to clean it.
After working in the rug cleaning industry for nearly 50 years, I have certain opinions that will make your choice of rugs better for you. Please read about some of what I have learned before you shop and if you have any questions, call us before you make your purchase.
RAYON: Colors are almost always unstable, especially dark ones. The white areas tend to brown during cleaning. Viscose is Rayon. Beware of Art Silk. It is NOT silk. It is viscose.
SISEL: These rugs are usually made for porches and recreation areas. The rugs that we have seen come through our plant are usually water stained. They also tend to turn black from dampness as mildew or mold sets in and we know of no way to bleach the discoloration. Black mold is usually damaged fiber.
COTTON: This type of rug is fine if it is small enough to wash in a vat. If you are looking at cotton dhurries or flatwovens, buy wool instead.
JUTE: Call cleaners before purchasing. We have had good results with some and bad with others. Check price. If wool isn't too much more costly, go with it instead.
SILK: Colors are not always stable. Okay in a small area piece used as an accent but not good for high traffic. We usually clean silk by hand at a much higher cost.
MODACRYLIC: There is almost too much to say about these rugs but I'll name a few. If the rugs are from Korea and have fringe, we find that the glue begins to show through the fringe header. Stay away from white as it yellows. If it has a cloth back and smells bad, it is the latex. The smell will not go away. Call to discuss more.
One more thing about area rugs. You are walking from the hard floor to the rug. The rug will clean the soles of your shoes off. Think about buying rugs with dark borders rather than white. A light colored border will make your rug look soiled very quickly