Braided rugs represent an art form that has been around for a long time. The construction consists of fabric strips that are made into long braids and then crafted into this type of rug. They can be found in all colors and sizes and are typically oval in shape.
These colorful and fun rugs can remind us of earlier times when nothing was wasted and old clothes and other fabrics were cut into strips and created into beautiful braided rugs of many colors and patterns. The older rugs may even have stories attached to them. Maybe some of you remember Gramma saving Grampa’s cast off ties and suits to make braided rugs for the family home.
New rugs from retail stores abound in the market as well. Many of these braids, especially the newer ones, tend to be very sturdy. The older ones, though, may often pose problems for both rug owners and rug cleaners. Some of these can be found below.
Whenever you purchase or are given a braided rug, whether new or old, it would be wise to test the dyes to see whether or not they are colorfast. This would be especially important when determining the type of surface the rug will be placed on, since dyes could transfer onto other surfaces.
A simple dye test involves dabbing the surface of the rug with a damp cloth to check for dye transfer. If a braided rug must be placed on top of a light colored wall-to-wall carpet and the dyes are not colorfast, a pad should be used between the rug and the carpet as a barrier. Because of the way these rugs are constructed, the preferred placement would be on a hard surface.
When it comes time to clean your braided rug, a certified rug cleaner will be able to adjust the cleaning method normally used if the dyes are fugitive (not colorfast).
Often, filler materials are placed inside the braids for support and to make the braids stiffer. Some of these filler materials may have been dyed and could create dye bleeding problems if the rug gets wet.
Again, when it comes time to clean the rug, it is easy for the rug cleaner to open up the braids a bit to see if this filler material exists and may have been dyed.
Especially with older braided rugs, the thread holding the braided strips together can weaken and break. This ends up making the rug fall apart.
As a general rule, chair and table legs should never be placed on a braided rug because their movement can, over time, pull the fabric strips apart as well. The broken areas can also present a tripping hazard.
The problem of broken connecting threads needs to be addressed BEFORE the cleaning process as it will become worse. If the rug is heavily soiled however, hand sewing the braids together will not be possible since it is unsanitary to the rug repair specialist to be handling and breathing in the contaminants in a heavily soiled rug.
If this is the case, the specialist has the ability to sandwich the rug between two plastic screens sewn together to press the rug tightly inside. The rug can then be properly cleaned and thoroughly dried before it is repaired. At ABC, we use very strong upholstery thread and carefully hand sew those connecting threads so the repair will last a long time.
When you send a rug off for cleaning to ABC, we thoroughly inspect each rug and will let you know if any problems exist and what options are available for your particular rug. No area rug should be cleaned in the home and braided rugs are certainly no exception.
A wet braided rug can pull apart and dyes can run. The cleaning processes in our rug plant include the thorough cleaning and drying of both sides of a rug. Any treatments we recommend such as odor removal or repair found during our inspection are always communicated to the customer and must be authorized before we can begin.
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about our cleaning and repair of area rugs. Please call or text us at 607-272-1566.
Note: Some of the information contained in this article was reprinted with permission from rugchick.com.
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