So you have a beautiful new wool rug. Congratulations! You’ve invested in a traditional decor item that has a reputation for standing the test of time. The only hiccup? Sometimes wool rugs can shed and, much like a pet shedding, that can be a real frustration. Why does this happen and what can you do about it? The good news is we have answers for both of those questions. In this guide we’ll look at how to keep your wool rugs from shedding.
The first fact to know is that shedding is normal. There are a couple of reasons why wool rugs shed. To start with, wool is a natural fiber just like hair. Because of this, the fibers can split and fall off. In addition, shedding can be the result of different ways of weaving. According to Fabra-Clean, a carpet cleaning company, shedding can occur when loose filaments left over from the spinning process of staple or spun fibers — “yarn is made of many short strands, twisted together to form the carpet texture” — fall out.
Know your terminology
With rugs there are two things that can happen with fibers, shedding and sprouting. The former is what we’ve discussed above when the fibers become loose and fall away from the rug. Sprouting, on the other hand, is when fibers remain attached but due to pulling appear to grow taller than the rest of the rug. These can easily be fixed with trimming.
How to prevent shedding?
There’s one very easy way to prevent shedding right off the top and that’s by investing in a high quality wool rug. Next make sure it has a well made pad beneath it. One might think that the padding was only designed to make the rug more cushioned and comfortable for someone walking on it, but it actually can help prevent fibers from rubbing on the floor and deteriorating. A rug that’s in a less busy area might see less shedding as well, but it’s not a given.
Next, regular vacuuming will collect those rogue fibers from building up. Speak to the rug salesperson about vacuuming instructions to make sure you are following the right steps. Generally speaking, it’s best to go with the grain of the rug and use a lower setting on the vacuum to ensure you don’t encourage more shedding. Many rug sites recommend vacuuming twice a week. And consider the design of your wool rug as well. For instance, a wool rug with fringe probably should have the fringe vacuumed as the pressure could actually loosen the knots further.
Another option is to apply a fabric protector solution. Some rug vendors can apply this for you or you can seek out a professional rug cleaning company for solution options.
Get a rake
This might sound weird, but if your rug is really giving you trouble, it might be time to buy a rug rake. What on earth is that? Well, like it says, it’s basically a rake for your rug. It looks very similar to a garden rake, but the teeth are more like a broom. Often made of tough synthetic fibers, the rake can gently pull away loose fibers as well as collect any wayward pet hair in the mix as well.
But those aren’t all the tricks you can pull out to lower shedding of a wool rug. Another smart move is to frequently rotate your rug. Foot traffic can be a shedding culprit and to avoid one area of the rug getting too much wear and tear. Rather than let a section get worn down, rotate your rug at least quarterly to avoid doing more damage than necessary.
Avoid the problem altogether
The truth is, wool rugs are the main shed offenders. But synthetic rugs will spare you the headache altogether. Made from alternative fibers, like poly blends, synthetic rugs can have the look and feel of a gorgeous wool rug without all the trouble of excess fibers.
Companies like Luxe Weavers make gorgeous rug alternatives in classic, abstract, modern, and Oriental designs. Made to withstand busy households while holding up their quality and style, Luxe Weavers designs are sophisticated, durable, and timeless. Not to mention affordable. Where a wool rug could cost up to $26 per foot, a Luxe Weavers rug will only cost a few hundred total, making it an easy investment decision. And to keep it looking great, one need only vacuum and occasionally deep clean a Luxe Weavers rug. No fretting over shedding or sprouting here.
So sure, you could spend a handsome chunk of cash on a wool rug, then buy a new vacuum, rug rake, and pruning scissors to avoid any wild haired sprouts. Or you could save that money with a Luxe Weavers rug that will look just as good without all the upkeep. Not a bad trade off. To see all of Luxe Weavers options, visit luxeweavers.com.
Due to the synthetic nature of polypropylene rugs, they are not as durable as wool rugs. While polypropylene rugs can last for 3-5 years, Wool rugs can last for many more years without showing any signs of wear.
Still, both wool and polypropylene have their pros and cons.