Rug Shedding

"Why my rug is shedding?" – Probably, most of the people who own a rug are thinking about this. But, have you ever thought about this question? Then, you are in the right place. If you wonder what is going on with your rug, you can find possible answers in this article. 

What is shedding? 

“Shedding” happens when the fiber fragments get loose on the surface of the carpet, and its characteristic disappears after the carpet use and vacuuming. Carpet shedding is something that you usually would see clearly as wads of fluff gather up. However, sometimes it is hard to see clearly. If you look closely, the tiny fibers get into the vacuum canister, or when it sticks to your clothing, you can understand that your rug undergoes shedding. 

What to do before buying a rug?

Usually, most people would not think about shedding when buying their rugs. However, since it is an issue that will affect the appearance of your carpet, it is vital to consider the material and the causes that make it shed or not. 

To begin with, we will explain the different types of rugs that usually go through shedding and those which do not. Hence, while you are buying, we hope you will first read this post and find it helpful. On the other hand, you don't have to worry if you already have a rug, which has a shedding, as we will be providing some essential tips on how to get rid of them. 

Think about the Material and the Make

So, keep in mind to consider the material of the rug and how it is made while buying a carpet. 

A - Material 

Rug material varies in quality. Some rugs are made from entirely natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and sometimes silk. Also, some rugs are made of synthetic fibers, such as nylon, acrylic, and viscose. The latter ones are more likely to undergo shedding since these materials cannot resist abrasion. Hence, by the time they are used, they are worn out and experience shedding. 

B - The Make

- Hand-made 

  • Hand-woven
  • Hand-knotted 

Hand-made rugs are crafted from special techniques, which make these rugs very valuable and artistic pieces. 

  • Hand-knotted rugs are made from many, many but many threads of cotton or wool.
  • Hand-woven rugs are made by passing threads repeatedly passing through the carpet’s weft. 
  • These two techniques make every inch of the rug stuck to its structure and very original.
  • Hence, they are less likely to scatter. 

 - Manufactured with modern techniques 

  • Machine-made
  • Hand-tufted 

The manufactured rugs with more modern techniques are not about weaving durable rugs. Instead, it is more about the assemble some pieces, as it can be seen in hand-tufting. In this technique, the "tufts" are shot through a plastic grid with a particular "gun,"; a tufting gun. However, to keep the tufts inside, a polymer or glue needs to be used. This increases the number of chemicals in the rug. Hence, you could understand that it has less quality than a rug made of wool, and the synthetic material can damage the backing and the pile, leading to a shed.

These rugs are made very fast as industrial machines are used to make them. Usually, materials that are made from polymer are used. However, these synthetic materials and the machine-made rugs make it more likely to shed. 

Is it only about the material and make?

Although, hand-made rugs have very high quality since they are made from natural materials. However, there are some situations where they undergo some slight shedding because even carpets made from wool can vary in quality. For example, wool from the sheep that live up in high mountains has very high quality as they are very durable. But, on the other hand, the sheep in lower lands produce a different kind of wool, which has a lesser quality than the first one. However, it is improbable that these wools do undergo shedding. 

The exciting part is that the hand-made rugs will only undergo slight shedding when you start using them for the first months. It is normal in new wool carpets. It will decrease and disappear over time. This situation, which almost every new carpet buyer encounters, is a period of newly produced rugs. However, you can leave this process behind by brushing or removing hairs on their own over time. Allowing some time for your carpet is also a part of this process.

On the other hand, synthetic rugs will show the opposite action. They do not first undergo any shedding, but they will experience a significant amount of shedding over time.

So, overall, it is challenging to reduce 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.

So, how does shedding looks like?

These hairs that come out, which appear in certain carpet parts, are a particular layer of yarns called pile. It is also known as feather shed or feather vomit among the people. This process generally starts when the carpet is removed and does not return to normal until it has been vacuumed several times. People who regularly sweep will minimize this problem for periods ranging from 1 month to 2 months.

Even if people do not want this problem with their carpets and consider taking steps in this regard, they cannot get very serious results. In general, this problem occurs in all carpets. This problem may not happen in hand-woven rugs, but it will show itself in all machine-made carpets, as discussed before…

But, overall, it looks like this problem does not show itself much when people who do not have any economic concerns turn to better quality carpets. Especially in general, this problem is infrequent in silk carpets. In hand-woven rugs, some of these hairs will be removed and cleaned during the weaving phase. For this reason, there is no question of feathers being around when they come to the house.

What Can you Do to Prevent or To Get Rid of the Shedding?

So, the best thing you can do is buy a hand-knotted or hand-woven rug made of natural materials. However, if it is not an option or if you have already purchased another one, which is already undergoing shedding, then there are some tips we can offer you. 

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. 

1 - Vacuum Smoothly 

  • Vacuum your rug smoothly but also regularly
  • Use the vacuum cleaner in its lowest setting
  • Try not to go against the pile

2 - The Soft Brush 

  • Do not beat the rug with a rug beater to take the dust out
  • Instead, use a soft brush broom/rake
  • This will remove the extra fibers and will not pull out more from the surface.

3 - Rug pad under the rug

  • This will absorb the pressure on it and limit the damage to the pile in the future. 
  • Also, it will prevent extra movements. 
  • Side note: Choose a high-quality pad since the sticky ones can damage your floor and your rug.  

4 - Placing on a low-traffic area

  • Try to place the rug in a room or place which has low traffic 
  • The more movement such as running/walking/playing on the rug, the more shedding it will undergo.

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