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Silk Or Not Silk?

As professional rug washers, we know a thing or two about area rugs. Believe it or not, there are many, many things involved in area rugs whether it be how they are made, what materials are used in crafting area rugs, how to care for them and so on. For professionals in the industry, these are all things we are comfortable and familiar with. Luckily, we are here to help! Our friendly and helpful team members are ready and eager to answer any questions you may have about your rug. We actually encourage questions! It is our belief that when a customer is well informed about their rug and the service they are receiving, then we are doing what we can to help that customer appreciate the fine area rug they own to the fullest!

We encourage questions because we know all to well how confusing or frustrating it can be when you own a rug, need service and do not know much about it. One particular type of are rug can cause more frustration for owners that some others is silk or faux silk. Whether the fibers in this type of rug are actual natural silk fibers, or a synthetic look a like, they are sensitive and delicate and require proper care. That’s were we come in! We can help to identify the exact type of rug you have, how it was made and determine whether the fibers are actually natural or synthetic. These determinations will help to ensure the best service possible is provided!

There are a large variety of terms used to describe silk fiber used in most textiles available to consumers in the market. Terms like Coconut Silk, Art Silk, Hemp Silk, Banana Silk, Faux Soie, Rayon, Flax Silk, Raw Silk, Mercerized Cotton and Silk are all terms used in this manner. However, most consumers need to be on their guard, as most rugs that are actually labeled as silk rugs may in fact not actually be. A silk rug would be make of natural silk fibers spun directly from silk worms. These impostor rugs used a much more inexpensive mix of cellulosic synthetic fiber materials that closely resemble silk. This is a deliberate attempt to confuse and fool a rug purchaser into thinking they are actually purchasing a natural fiber silk rug. Unfortunately, these rugs have a very short life span. The fibers are cellulosic in nature and then treated with chemicals to resemble the look and feel of natural silk fibers. These fakes do not hold up well to normal, standard every day foot traffic and standard usage, which leads to a short life of the rug.

Regardless as to if the rug is a synthetic knock off, or the actual real thing with natural silk fibers, cleaners will need to use extreme caution and be very delicate when treating and washing them. Possible dye migration or color bleeding, surface texture changes and even damage to the foundation of the rug could all happen when enough care is not taken while cleaning a rug of these types. These fibers are so delicate, that throughout the washing and more importantly the drying process, they need to be constantly groomed to help avoid pile distortion and keep the pile looking and feeling good.

One super unfortunate issue with these rugs, whether natural or synthetic, is the propensity to stain permanently. If you have an accident in home and a stain forms, it is all but certain to remain a part of the rug no matter what treatment is performed. the delicate fibers will absorb any damaging agents rather quickly and being that they are so delicate, any heavy cleaning has a good chance of actually causing more fiber damage. In the circumstance of treating a stain, this should be taken into account and an expectance of any type of improvement should be acceptable.

Always remember to never use over the counter products that couple be purchased in a store when attempting to treat a spot or stain on your silk or faux silk area rug. These products will usually contain harsh damaging chemicals that can have a massively damaging impact on your rug. These delicate fibers could end up much worse if improperly treated.

Our staff at The Oriental Rug Cleaning Plant is always here, eager and ready to help in any way possible. Never hesitate to reach out and we would be happy to help!

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