Oriental rugs come in several varieties. The finest quality rugs are hand knotted: meaning that every part of the pattern you see was tied by hand: knot by knot, row by row. Not only does this produce the most detailed and attractive artwork, it is also the most lasting and dependable. This gives these rugs the greatest value. It’s not surprising that cheaper methods have popped up attempting to replicate the look of hand-knotted without the effort. Some choose ‘hand tufted’ rugs as an alternative.
While specialized weavers craft hand knotted rugs, producers of hand tufted rugs create them another way. In fact, calling them ‘hand tufted’ is a bit misleading, as the process is not exactly done by hand. You begin with a fabric base, usually with guidelines for the pattern inked on. Then, using specialty handheld guns, loops of fiber are punched into base. Glue is then applied to hold these loops in place, and a final backing piece is added to hide this glue.
Workers trim and shear these loops, much as they would for a hand knotted rug. This gives a fairly convincing look of woven craftsmanship, but one look at the back is enough to reveal the truth.
Rugs are often looked at as investments, due to their long lifespan, artistic value, and high monetary worth. However, this does not usually extend to the shorter lived, lower effort versions.
Hand tufted rugs essentially consist of several loops of fiber held together glue. These fibers are easily pulled up as one would expect. Not only that, they can’t be woven back into place.
The glue cracks under the pressure of furniture, which changes the shape of the rug. When exposed to water, the glue reacts and splits, also deforming the piece. The glues stain the backs of the rugs yellow and brown as they age, soaking into the fabric. The dyes used to outline the path of the tufting gun can easily run, staining the carpet even further.
A hand knotted rug can be passed down through generations. They also have an especially high resale value which grows as they transition into antiques. Hand tufted rugs simply do not have that value.
With proper care, a hand tufted rug can last for years. A hand knotted rug can last for lifetimes.
Concerns about these glues extend beyond the appearance of your decor: Research shows potential health risk in these adhesives.
It may seem like concerns about rug glue aren’t too important. After all the glue is internal and shouldn’t affect you directly, right?
Unfortunately this is not the case. Any hand-tufted rug will eventually begin to produce a strange dust as the glue crumbles and falls out of the rug. These unsightly piles of white powder are more than just annoying or messy:
They can be dangerous.
For starters, latex allergies are not uncommon, and most of these glues are latex based. If you’ve ever known someone with a severe allergy you know that even trace amounts can cause problems. Imagine an unsuspecting person inhaling the latex dust from the rug, which may even hang in the air.
Although the recent push has been to use healthier ‘benzoate plasticizers’ in rug glue, these adhesives traditionally contain Phthalates–chemicals which can impact reproductive, developmental, and respiratory health. Pregnant parents or those with small children should be especially cautious.
As mentioned earlier, these rugs fall apart in water, and their colors run and bleed. Poorly handled cleaning also speeds up the deterioration of the glue, causing powder to be produced. Cleaning these rugs by hand proves almost impossible.
Steaming, another popular method for rug cleaning, has similar problems, which are worsened by the addition of heat and chemicals. The next step would be to consult a more rug focused professional. In fact, more than a professional, you need an expert.
If you have already purchased a hand-tufted rug, or if the only rug you want is specifically hand tufted, proper care is a must. It is also hard to find. However, with a multi-generational industry of rug cleaning experts like Khazai Rugs Outlet, you have a solution.
When cleaning hand tufted rugs, we use a homemade, environmentally friendly cleaning solution–One which leaves the glue unharmed! We treat every rug with care and take our time to ensure no damage is done. It’s easy for a less experienced rug cleaner to destroy a hand tufted rug without meaning to. We won’t allow such carelessness.
Feel free to bring your rug in for a free estimate on cleaning, or to ask questions about the future of your rug!
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