Prescott Valley AZ – Do My Oriental and Persian Rugs Really Have Silk in Them?
After shopping for hours, days, or maybe even weeks or months for the perfect area rug, you have finally found it. The salesperson told you that the fibers in your rug were silk, making you feel better about spending a substantial amount of money on your new rug. Silk is a high end rug fiber and is used to make masterpiece area rugs. With shine, softness, and extremely fine threads, silk is very attractive both aesthetically and to master rug weavers, who use silk to weave very tiny, intricate designs into area rugs. Silk allows weavers to add in a lot of detail to the area rugs they create. In fact, some silk rugs have as many as 900 knots per square inch. No, you aren’t seeing things – I really did just say 900 knots per square inch.
You can guestimate the knot count in your area rug by laying a ruler down on the backside of your rug. Count the knots in a 1” section from left to right. Let’s use 90 knots as an example. Now count the number of rows going up and down in a 1” section. Going with this example, assume you’ve counted 10 rows. Take those two numbers and multiply them together: 90 knots x 10 rows = 900 knots per square inch. Granted, this is going to take a lot of time and patience because if you have a rug this fine, the knots are going to be extremely close together but it will at least give you an idea of how many knots per square inch you have in your rug.
An area rug with this high of a knot count is most assuredly silk. There is simply no other fiber that is fine enough to produce the same results. This rug would cost many thousands of dollars and would only be found in the finest rug gallery. If you’ve invested in such a high quality rug, you KNOW that you’ve purchased silk.
However, because silk is so desirable aesthetically and for buyers, manufacturers have attempted to copy the look of silk by producing alternative fibers and give them names that sound a lot like silk. Not only are the consumers fooled, but even the sales people can sometimes be unsure themselves.
Some names of faux silks that you may encounter on labels are Silk, Art Silk, Bamboo Silk, Coconut Silk, Banana Silk, Flax Silk, Hemp Silk, Raw Silk, Rayon, and the most popular Mercerized Cotton.
These are NOT real silk and they do not perform like silk, so pay close attention to the fibers listed on the label. Faux silk fibers have extraordinary cleaning challenges, resulting in being unable to achieve high cleaning results. Manufacturers use fibers that are chemically treated and are a blend of an inexpensive, mysterious collection of fibers that don’t hold up to wear and tear that rugs see daily. With such a short life span, this rug may “ugly out” sooner than during a typical rug’s lifespan.
You should also be aware that dye migration is very likely and often presents challenges even for professional and experienced rug cleaners. At Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care in Prescott AZ, we have knowledgeable and certified cleaning technicians that work hard to control and minimize the above mentioned cleaning challenges. Be aware that the stains in your faux silk rug may not be removable. Of course, we will work hard to achieve the best cleaning results possible for your faux silk to ensure you are able 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 Valley, 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.
If you’re still wondering how to tell if your rug is really silk or would like a cleaning quote, give us a call 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). (02-15-17)