ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners


December 2015

In a previous Newsletter (June 2015) we covered the topic of    

Tufted Rugs-Buyer Beware.

In this month's Newsletter we will cover 3 other types of


They are:

Chemically Washed Rugs,

Painted Rugs,

and Flatwoven Rugs.

If there is a topic you would like us to cover in one of our upcoming newsletters, please call us at 607-272-1566 or contact us by clicking here.

Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom for your special coupon savings!



Beware of chemically washed rugs! Did you know that many wool rugs sold today have had some kind of chemical treatment applied just after they were woven? There are many reasons for this and many types of chemical solutions are used. 

When used aggressively, these solutions can cause damage to wool fibers, some of which may be irreversible. This damage may not become apparent until after the rugs have been cleaned. 

Choose an Experienced Rug Cleaner

Oriental and area rug cleaners, especially those who are approved by wool organizations such as New Zealand Wools, have the knowledge to use cleaning solutions that are safe for use with wool. 

If you take your rug to a professional rug cleaner, such as ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co., you will be advised of any possible chemical treatments that may have been added to your rug and what to expect after the cleaning.

But Why Does a Rug Need to be 
Chemically Washed?

The main reasons why wool rugs are chemically washed are:

  • To help wash away impurities.
  • To rinse away excess dye (over-dye).
  • To help to soften the colors (to give the rug a 'sheen' or to make it look older).

Since wool is a hair fiber, this chemical washing is not much different from the treatment done to hair to add highlights or more sheen or to dramatically color the hair.

Most of the time, these types of treatments do little or no damage to the rug, but there can be collateral damage that shows up later in the rug's life when the treatments are excessive.

These chemical treatments can gradually destroy the outer cuticle layers of the wool fibers, causing the fibers to become brittle and break, become more susceptible to color fading from the sun and from some spotting chemicals, and even from foot traffic.  These rugs will also be more susceptible to permanent staining. 

Some, especially those from India with thick foundation cords, may retain some of the chemicals that were used, leaving residues that can cause chemical sensitivities for their owners.

Types of Chemical Treatments

Antique Wash:  These treatments are applied to a rug to give the impression that the rug is older than it really is. The problem is that this is an aggressive treatment that eats away at the wool cuticle layers. In this attempt to recreate the patina and mellowing of colors that a true antique rug has, the original colors will actually become muted or faded. It will also make the wool more brittle.

To learn more about types of chemical treatments  and how to tell if a rug has been chemically washed, please continue reading here.


What Are Painted Rugs?

Painted rugs are new or older oriental rugs that have areas that have been 'painted' with dye markers, colored inks or solvent-based tints.  Uninformed potential buyers of these rugs may not be aware that 'painting' (usually on the surface) of these rugs has become quite common. 

What Are the Problems Associated with Painted Rugs?

There are 2 major problems associated with the phenomenon of painted rugs:

1. The paint is usually not 'washfast' and the colors can bleed into other areas of the rug during a professional wet cleaning.

2. The paint is often used to cover over worn areas and not disclosed to the potential buyer who will then pay an unfairly high price for the painted rug.

Why Do Some Dealers or Retailers Paint Over Oriental Rugs, Whether Old or New?

1. To Hide Worn Areas Where the Foundation Has Become Exposed.

Using dye markers, colored inks, water or solvent-based tints, the lighter colored worn areas where the foundation is exposed are 'tinted' or colored over in an attempt to match the original pile color and disguise the wear. 

This surface painting or tinting is quicker and less expensive than re-knotting or inserting new pile (which is the proper way to restore a worn area or missing pile). Unfortunately, by merely painting over the wear spots, these worn areas will quickly return to their prior faded appearance during use by the customer.

A second and more serious problem, however, is that the surface painting will often bleed into surrounding areas of the rug when liquids are spilled or when the rug is washed. Many of the surface colors, when overpainted, are not washfast, and can bleed profusely, even with the best of professional cleaning and care.

2. To Enhance Colors.

Painted rugs can sometimes occur as newer oriental rugs. They can be painted either on the back or on the face (pile side). New rugs from India and Pakistan are sometimes 'painted' on the back (or underside) of the outer border or fringe. When painted, the colors in the outside border are typically black, dark blue, red or kelly green and these colors are prone to bleed or color run when wet.Painted rugs can sometimes occur as newer oriental rugs. They can be painted either on the back or on the face (pile side).  New rugs from India and Pakistan are sometimes 'painted' on the back (or underside) of the outer border or fringe. When painted, the colors in the outside border are typically black, dark blue, red or kelly green and these colors are prone to bleed or color run when wet.

3. To Eliminate Color Variations.

These variations are known as 'abrash.' They are a normal occurrence in oriental rugs due to variations in dye lot colors of the yarns, an intentional creative effort by the weaver, natural aging, sun-fading, etc.  Though normal or pleasing to most, abrash coloration may be disliked or misunderstood by buyers and thus some dealer will decide to 'paint' over this special effect.

4. To Make the Rug Softer and Older Looking (Tea-Washing).

Painted rugs can also have an overall tinting (green or gold) that is applied to give a rug a patina that will copy that of an older rug. The main problem with this for the consumer is that the tea-washing is never colorfast and will fade in different areas of the rug, especially on the fringes, and will wash out unevenly during a professional wet cleaning (usually giving a mottled appearance to the surface or fringes of the rug).

How Can You Know if the Rug 
You Are Considering To Buy 
Has Been Painted?

To find out, please continue reading here.


What is a Flatwoven Rug?

Flatwoven rugs, or 'flatweaves,' comprise numerous types of rugs with names such as:

·         Berber

·         Dhurrie

·         Drugget

·         Killim (kilim or kelim)

·         Navajo

·         Rag Rug

·         Soumak

·         Zapotec

These rugs are usually handwoven in a tapestry-like construction and have a flat surface without a distinctive raised pile. 

Many flatwoven rugs are reversible.

What are the Most Popular Flatwoven Rugs?

Currently, the most popular flatweave types are the Dhurries with cotton or wool face yarns, kilims with wool face yarns and rag rugs made of cotton or polyester fabric scraps. 

Dhurries are traditionally woven in India and Afghanistan. 

Kilims are usually woven in Turkey but are also produced in other countries. 

Rag Rugs  are woven in many countries, including the United States.

These popular flatwoven rugs provide excellent service, along with good value and a pleasing appearance. Unfortunately, they also characteristically exhibit some problems that may become more evident when cleaned.

The Problems When Cleaning Flatwoven Rugs

Irregularities in Weaving

Some flatweaves may have pattern markings placed on the warp by the weaver. These are usually marked with colored chalk or ink (red, blue or black) to aid in the weaving.

The markings are completely hidden as the rug is woven, but since the markings are seldom colorfast, they can bleed during cleaning. Since the cleaner has no way of predicting this inherent problem in advance, it is not the cleaner's fault.

Dye Bleeding or Color Run

The yarns on the surface of the rugs are sometimes bright, bold colors that may bleed when cleaned. At ABC, we take precautions to avoid this condition by using the most appropriate cleaning techniques. 

Even despite cautious handling of such rugs, there is some unavoidable risk of dye bleeding (or color run) during cleaning. It may not be possible to remove dyes which have bled.

This problem is linked to poor dye selection and improper dyeing and handling during manufacture. In addition, most dyes are weakened by age, exposure to sunlight, atmospheric fumes, pet urine and spills, etc., all of which contribute to dye bleeding before, during, and after cleaning.

For more information on problems inherent in flatwoven rugs, please continue reading here.

ABC is on Facebook

We offer tips, trends, useful info, and

more for our Fans.

We also offer special 

Facebook only discounts. 

Like us on Facebook and receive a $10 Certificate off your next cleaning order. 

(Note: If you don't receive your certificate, please call our office so we can send you one!)

ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co. 

Since 1971 



Pre-Holiday & Post Holiday

In Plant Rug Cleaning Special!

$30 off 5x8

$40 off 6x9

$75 off 9x12

Free Pick up and Delivery


click here for details and coupon



Clean the traffic areas in your home for ONLY $99.00

 click here for details and coupon 

(607) 272-1566

ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.

Since 1971




Call to Order a Gift Certificate for Someone Special

(607) 272-1566

ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.

Since 1971


Get New Posts Right To Your Inbox!

Get our monthly newsletter, just like this one, delivered right to your inbox each day. Just sign up and we will send you the best new articles and videos as they become available.

Your email address will NEVER be spammed, sold, or shared. You are welcome to unsubscribe at any time with the link in the email.


Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Top of December 2015 Newsletter

Back to Newsletters

Back to Homepage

"The Cleanest Clean You've Ever Seen."


ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850


Home|Contact|Website Survey

ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co. has been family-owned and operated in Ithaca and surrounding areas for more than 44 years.
Our company is a reflection of our family name and pride.

Please Like us on Facebook!
for more information and to find out what we are doing at our business and in the community!

Stay Connected!

Links to Our Services 

Allergy Cleaning
Area Rug Cleaning
Oriental Rug Cleaning
Rug Hand & Machine Repair
Upholstered Furniture Cleaning
Tile & Grout Cleaning & Sealing

Newsletter Archives

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014