Why Do Some Rugs Wrinkle?
Wrinkled rugs can be a bit of a mystery. Why some rugs wrinkle or buckle can often be explained for 1 of 3 reasons:
1. Preexisting conditions caused by the weaving process.
2. The environment the rug lives in.
3. A cleaning process that may not have been appropriate for the rug.
Below are five scenarios that can create wrinkled rugs and the underlying source of each problem:
REASON #1 - THE WRONG FLOOR UNDERNEATH
Rugs are ideally placed over a hard surface. They are not meant to cover soft surfaces. When a rug owner chooses to place rugs over wall-to-wall carpet, if the rugs are pliable and there is furniture on top of them, wrinkled rugs may be the result.
In the worst-case scenarios, there will be stretching and, eventually, structural damage to the foundation fibers of the rugs.
A pad designed to use under rugs placed on top of wall-to-wall carpet may help to hold a rug in place and in shape. However, the best situation for the longevity of a rug is to place it on top of a hard floor.
REASON #2 - WEAVING TENSION CHANGE
In some rugs, and much more evident in tribal rugs, wrinkled rugs can be the result of a change in the weaving tension.
If a rug is woven on a nomadic loom (one that is moved during the weaving process), then creating the same consistent tension can be a challenge. These tension changes in the foundation fibers can sometimes manifest themselves as uneven edges, field (central area) wrinkles or creases, or areas of width or length differences.
If the weaver changes weaving styles, for example, moving from knotting the pile to stitching a tapestry weave, this can create wrinkling in those areas of structural change. This type of wrinkling can usually be seen along an end finish where a weaver may have an elaborate kilim (flat area) weft (side to side) design finish to complete a piled rug. The wrinkling or buckling in this case is a characteristic of the weave and is often accepted as part of its unique rug personality rather than a 'flaw.'
REASON #3 - BAD PRODUCT
Some rugs wrinkle because they are made poorly. Most of today's poorly made, cheaper wool rugs come from India and are sold through many of the mass-market rug stores.
Hand tufted rugs from India, the cheaper ones with material covering up the back side of the rug, use poor quality latex to hold the rugs together. As this latex delaminates, there will not only be a messy powder residue that gets all over the floor, but there will also be wrinkles that develop along the edges and in areas of foot traffic or furniture placement.
The latex in these rugs is what holds the rug in shape and square. If the lumps are slight wrinkles, these can sometimes be pressed back flat again. If they are areas stretched out of shape, it may be possible to replace the backing with new latex and material to try to attain the original rectangular shape.
The newest rugs that show wrinkling problems are referred to as India 'hand-loomed' rugs. These are loosely constructed rugs attempting to give the look of a hand-knotted woven rug, but they are a vastly inferior product.
With these rugs it is possible to pull along the corner of the rug and actually see the warps (up and down cords) and the wefts (side to side cords) move in your hands because they are loosely strung together. In high traffic areas, these rugs can split and pull apart. Any attempts at cleaning on-site will pull the warps and cause tearing.
These rugs are currently sold in all the major rug retail stores. As more customers discover they have purchased a rug that will not hold itself together, it is hoped there will be enough complaints to pull them off the market.
Please continue reading here for more information on wrinkled rugs with photos.