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We are happy to help our walk-in clients also, however, we are often out on area rug deliveries and may not be available if no appointment was made.  

The Rug Experts Spill: What the Manufacturer WON’T Tell You About Your Rug’s Fancy Fibers…


Ruthie here with Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care in Prescott AZ and I wanted to take some time today and talk to you all about something that we see come into our shop pretty often – fancy fibers.  Obviously, wool and synthetic fibers (like olefin and polypropylene) are the most popular area rug fibers, but there are other fibers on the market that a lot of people don’t know much about. Are they a good idea?  Are they a smart choice for your home?

The main fancy fibers on the market today are faux-silks.  The most common of these are mercerized cotton and viscose.  Mercerized cotton is a cotton yarn that has been treated with multiple chemical processes to increase the luster of the yarn.  It’s often confused as true silk because of the softness and the shininess of the fiber.

In the 1920’s, viscose was called “artificial silk” even though it’s actually a rayon fiber.  Some manufacturers today will blend viscose with a low-end silk fiber and put “made with silk” on the label.  This can be confusion not only for the consumer, but also the salesperson that may not even realize what viscose actually is.

Unfortunately, both viscose and mercerized cotton are notorious for being extremely low-performance fibers.  They show wear faster, flatten out like pancakes, and seem to attract soil like crazy.  They hold onto that soil, too, and spills are more likely to stain and be permanent on these types of area rugs.  All of this can be bad news when it comes to cleaning these rugs, even professionally. If your rug has high traffic, a rug made of either of these fibers is probably not the best idea.

There are also a wide variety of designer rugs on the market that can be problems as well.  I’ve seen rugs made out of strips of leather woven together! This kind of rug makes cleaning far more difficult because they take a lot more work than just a standard rug made from a wool or synthetic fiber.

Designer shag rugs can also be a problem as well – there are those with thick, plush fibers that grab and hold onto anything and everything and even some rugs that are made out of clumps of wool or disks of felted wool.

When it comes to “fancy fibers,” most manufacturers don’t think about how these fibers will wear over time or that these rugs will eventually need to be cleaned.  Their main concern seems to be appealing to the consumer – which is great, but rugs are going to get dirty and need to be cleaned at some point!  There’s just no getting around that!

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, Flagstaff, 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, including certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION.  Such extraordinary certification ensures our client’s area rugs receive the highest quality care.

Want more information about what kind of rug fiber is best for your home?  Call us at 928-445-1718, visit our website at, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available). 04-04-2019

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