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Rug Finishes. What Are They And Why You Need To Know About Them

Rug Finishes

Are you planning on buying a new rug? Did you know there are many types of rug finishes? Have you ever thought about it?  Let’s explore a few of the different types of finishes.

One of the most common types is what as known as a Tea Wash.  It is applied over a completed rug to give more of a rich antiqued look that is a golden or brown color.  It is important to understand that it is not a permanent finish.  It will fade with time normal wear and tear as well as professional cleanings.  An important note is that when you use a typical over the counter cleaner, it could take the dye off in just spots, leaving your beautiful tea washed rug with light spots unevenly over your rug.   Sometimes, unethical rug dealers will tea wash a rug to hide any existing damage. Then, once it wears off, you will find the damage years later.   Note, generally dirty rugs look gray, tea washed rugs will be more of the golden or brown toned.    One fairly common way to see if your rug is tea washed, is to take a peek at the fringe. Cotton fringe does not absorb dyes very well so it will often have an un-dyed section wear the rug and fringe meet.

Rug Finishes

Luster Washing.  This is a specific process when wool rug fibers have their outside layer stripped off so they appear soft, silk-like and shiny.  As with tea washed rugs, great care must be taken when spot cleaning, you could accidently cause permanent damage with over the counter cleaners.  Another important note is that these rugs, while a beautiful addition to your home or office, can wear out faster due to having a layer of the fibers stripped off.

Over-Dyed Rugs: This is a procedure that some unethical rug dealers use to hide existing damage and/or repairs.  These rugs will have been chemically ‘bleached’ then way over-dyed, most often in a very bright, over soaked color.  It is important to note, that some people will tell you that what you are buying is an over-dyed rug. A lot of people are now purchasing them for their homes as they enjoy the look it provides.

Finally, we come to Antiqued rugs.  As with any item that has been purposefully antiqued, it has been “beat up” to show ageing that hasn’t been done naturally with time.  Some of these methods include (but not limited to) beating them with chains, shaving them very short (either all over or in just in spots), torching them with a flame, chemically abusing them or sun bleaching them.  Be aware that when you hear the term “Antiqued” it is another way of saying, “it has been beat up on purpose”.

Scrolling Opposite

The biggest take away is to know these terms when traveling and maybe buying rugs for your home.  You will be savvier in purchasing and will know how to care for your rug, whatever it’s finish.

We here at The Specialists take great pride in keeping current on all types of rugs, their finishes and how to clean and repair them.  From Davis to El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Lincoln and all points in between, we are here to keep you informed and keep your rugs looking their best.  Be sure to check out our Before and After gallery to see some of our work.

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