Prevent Rug Shedding Like a Pro

How to Stop Rug Shedding

Decorative rugs are often a mainstay in any home, serving as both decorative and functional pieces. However, one downside to rugs is that they can often shed, which can not only lead to a mess but also can damage your rug, deeming it unusable.

Thankfully, there are ways to stop rug shedding before it becomes a problem.

What is Rug Shedding and Why Does it Happen?

Rug shedding happens when the wool fragments slowly get loose on the surface of the rug and fall off slowly but steadily. Rug shedding is pretty much inevitable, but there are ways to slow it down. Try to think of it as aging.

When the rug is used daily, it's quite natural for your rug to slowly shed. Just a reminder that there is not a perfect method to stop shedding completely. However, you can play defense against it and prevent upcoming damages to your rug.

Is it Normal for a New Rug to Shed?

It's actually quite natural for a brand new rug to shed a bit when you first open it. But if it sheds continuously, we might have a problem.

It is challenging to attribute the shedding problem directly to a single yarn type. While 4-5 different yarns play the leading role in carpet production, they are not used alone.

Since threads have advantages and disadvantages, manufacturers prefer to use these yarns together. For this reason, it will not be possible to avoid the event of shedding completely.

How Does a Rug Look Like When it's Shedding?

The hairs that come out are a particular layer of yarns called pile.

Shedding can be an inherent problem with certain types of rugs; for example, a viscose rug, a shaggy wool rug, or even a hand-tufted rug can shed by default when you first start using it.

How to Stop a Rug from Shedding

Vacuum Softly

Vacuum your rug smoothly but also regularly. Use the vacuum cleaner in its lowest setting and try not to vacuum the rug against its pile direction.

Use a Soft Brush when Dusting

Do not beat the rug with a rug beater to take the dust out. Instead, use a soft brush broom/rake. This will remove dust and release the rug fibers while not creating any minor wear and tear.

Use a Rug Pad

Using a rug pad is a great way to increase the lifespan of your rug. A rug pad will absorb the pressure that's applied onto the rug over time and limit the damage to the pile in the future.

Side note: Choose a high-quality pad since the sticky ones can damage your floor and your rug.  

What Causes a Rug to Shed?

There are two main factors to consider if you'd like to know if your rug will shed in the long term.

Material

Rugs vary in quality. Hand-knotted rugs are made from natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and sometimes silk. Machine-made rugs are made of synthetic fibers, such as nylon, acrylic, and viscose.

With time, the fibers break which creates loose strands and the rug starts to slowly shed. Also short strands pull loose which also causes shedding. As machine-made rugs are made with lower quality materials, it's safe to say that their likelihood of shedding in the long term exceeds those of hand-knotted rugs.

The Make

Handmade wool rugs are crafted using special techniques, which make these rugs very valuable and artistic pieces. A hand-knotted wool rug is made from many threads of cotton or wool, by passing threads repeatedly passing through the carpet's weft. Hence, they are less likely to shed.

Machine-made rugs shed much more than hand-knotted high-quality rugs. These rugs are cheaper so expectations of quality and longevity should obviously be lower. While a handmade wool rug can be used for up to 100 years, machine-made rugs can only be used for up to 5. Viscose rugs are notorious for shedding for this reason as they have poor quality fibers; they are usually considered very poor quality rugs.

Hand-tufted rugs are semi-handmade and are shedding rugs. also very likely to shed in the long run. The manufactured rugs with more modern techniques are not about weaving durable rugs.

In this technique, Tufted rugs are made with the help of a particular "gun,"; a tufting gun where "tufts" are shot through a plastic grid. To keep the tufts inside, the maker needs to use polymer or glue. This increases the number of chemicals in the rug and also less yearns, which we could consider as of lower quality rugs compared to handwoven rugs; hence they're much more likely to shed.

The same can't be said with silk tufted rugs though, as silk is a material that is very durable and sturdy; silk rugs generally don't shed at all. This does not apply to fake silk derivatives though, as they're commonly available in the rug world today.

Non-Shed Wool Rugs

Wool rugs shed much less than machine-made rugs, with the exception of shaggier wool rugs and large, chunky wool rugs. But even with hand-knotted wool rugs, there will be a slight shedding when you start using them for the first months. It is quite normal with a wool rug.

Among wool rugs, wool quality is the biggest factor in terms of shedding. Not all rugs made with wool are the same. If the wool fibers used in the making of the rug are taken from sheep who live in high altitudes (mountains), the quality ends up being high, and the rug doesn't shed as much.

If the wool fibers are taken from sheep who live in lower lands, the wool ends up being low quality. All in all, wool construction plays a big role in determining if the rug will shed in the long run. New Zealand wool is an extremely high-quality wool, if possible we suggest you invest in them.

Do All Rugs Shed?

Shedding usually doesn't really occur with shaved vintage rugs, at least not within the first three years of owning them. A vintage, high-quality rug will never shed its wool as it is made through a complex and arduous weaving process.

Also, rugs made out of real, bamboo silk and banana silk don't shed. The silk yarn is knotted in very tightly so it doesn't shed. Also, rugs that are made with good quality wool shed less. With hand-weave rugs, some of these hairs will be removed and cleaned during the weaving phase.

Again, keep in mind that the biggest reason why rugs shed is due to the material used in their production and the way they were made. Keep in mind that a real silk rug usually retails for more than $15,000, of course, it's not supposed to shed!

To Conclude

If you want to stop your rug from shedding, there are a few things you can do. You can try using a rug pad, which will help keep the fibers of the rug together and decrease the amount of shedding.

Online rug stores usually don't mention anything about shedding, but when you look at it realistically, it's bound to happen eventually. To ensure that your rug will shed the least, invest in good-quality rugs.

You can also vacuum your rug regularly, which will remove any loose fibers. Finally, if your rug is still shedding after trying these tips, you may need to have it professionally cleaned.

By following these tips, you can hopefully stop your rug from shedding and keep it looking beautiful in your home for years to come.

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