You shopped and shopped for the perfect rug. The salesperson justified the price tag by impressing on you that the fibers are silk. After all, silk is a high end rug fiber used in making master piece rugs. Silk has desirable characteristics such as shine, softness and extremely fine threads which allow master rug weavers to weave very tiny, intricate designs into area rugs enabling the weavers to create beautiful designs with great detail. It is not unusual for silk rugs to have as many as 900 knots per square inch. Yes, you read correctly 900 knots per square inch.
An easy way to questimate the knot count in your rug is to lay a ruler on the backside of your rug. Now count the knots going left to right in a 1” section. Lets say you counted 90 knots left to right. Now count the rows top to bottom in a 1” section and let’s assume here you counted 10 rows. By multiplying these two numbers you will know how many knots per square inch is in your rug. 90 knots left to right x 10 rows is 900 knots per square inch. Expect counting to be difficult because they knots are so close together – but this will give you an idea of how many knots per square inch is in your rug. A fine area rug, with this high a knot count will most definitely be a silk rug. Other fibers are not fine enough to produce the same results. A rug of this quality will cost many thousands of dollars and will only be found at the finest rug galleries. Folks that have invested in such high quality rugs KNOW THEY HAVE PURCHASED SILK.
Because silk is a very desirable look for area rugs, manufacturers have tried to copy the look of silk by producing alternative fibers and label these fibers under such names that sound a lot like silk. This fools many people EVEN sales people are often unsure.
Some faux silk fiber names you may encounter on labels are Silk, Art Silk, Faux Silk, Bamboo Silk, Coconut Silk, Banana Silk, Flax Silk, Hemp Silk, Raw Silk, Rayon and one of the most popular is Mercerized Cotton.
These are NOT real silk and they do not perform like silk. Take notice of the fibers listed on the label on the back of the rug. Expect a faux silk fiber to have extraordinary cleaning challenges resulting in lower cleaning results. This is due to manufacturers’ use of chemically treated fibers made from an inexpensive blend of who knows what and tend to be very low performers for wear and tear. With such a short life span the rug will “ugly out” earlier than a typical rug’s lifespan.
Additionally dye migration of colors is very likely and often presents cleaning challenges even for experienced rug washers. Here at Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care in Prescott AZ our knowledgeable certified rug cleaners will work hard to control and minimize the above mentioned cleaning challenges. If your faux-silk rug has stains they may not be removable. We will work hard to achieve the best cleaning results possible from the faux silk, enabling you to continue to enjoy your rug.
Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!
Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona and much of the Northern Arizona areas. We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training which includes certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION. Such extraordinary certification ensures the area rugs of our client’s receive the utmost in care.
Call us for additional information on how to tell if your rug is really silk as well as a quote to clean your rug at 928-445-1718, visit our website at www.ArizonaOriental.com, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available).