Rug Cleaning: Viscose Rayon

Folded rug on a tableRug Cleaning: Viscose Rayon

Most rugs are made of either wool, silk, wool and silk, cotton, nylon, or viscose rayon. Wool rugs can last for centuries, as can silk rugs and wool and silk rugs. Cotton rugs can last around 100 years. Nylon rugs and carpeting last almost 10 years. Lastly, viscose rayon can last between three and 10 years. If your viscose rug receives almost any amount of foot traffic and wear, expect it to last closer to three years.

If you’ve bought a machine made rug before, chances are you are familiar with viscose rayon. Even if you aren’t, viscose rayon is used in paper towels, kitchen sponges, diaper liners, and more. Though it is good for cleaning products, it is not an ideal fiber for rugs as they are exposed to foot traffic, moisture, spills, pet accidents, and dirt.

So, what exactly is viscose rayon? It is a fiber created out of regenerated cellulose. The plant pulp is heavily processed to impart shine. Also known as artificial or “art” silk, viscose rayon is often referred to by names which make the consumer believe they are being sold real silk. However, in actuality, they have been sold a rug made of what is essentially disposable paper. And it’s being sold at real silk prices!

It is not uncommon for customers to bring their brand new “silk” rug to Behnam Rugs for cleaning or appraisal. Unfortunately, when shopping abroad, many consumers are sold viscose rayon rugs and are told their rug is real silk. In particular, the individuals most likely to be tricked are visiting Turkey, China, or India, often as part of a cruise. By the time they are able to get a second opinion on these “real silk” rugs, it is too late and they have no way to get their money back. That’s why we recommend reading our blog about rug shopping abroad before purchasing a rug in a foreign country.

The best way to get reliable feedback about a rug’s materials and construction is to ask a rug cleaner. They are the one resource consumers can trust because they are not being paid commission for a sale and they have cleaned viscose rayon and know about its benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to silk fiber, consumers must be educated before making a purchase. Educate yourself by reading our blog about buying fine silk rugs.

Let’s discuss the viscose rayon creation process. Most commonly made in developing countries, viscose rayon is derived from cellulose. This material is liquefied in a chemical mixture which makes a substance that can be spun into fibers and then into thread. The thread is then woven to create the rug, usually by machine, as handmade rugs are typically made of wool or silk.

Something important to note is that Carbon Disulfide is used in the production process. The highly toxic nature of this compound and the risk of poisoning has caused concerns for worker safety. Improved technology has lowered the risks of working with this chemical and reduced the emissions of sulfur to air. However, the production process is still far from ideal. In fact, the production process is so toxic it’s banned in the U.S.

While viscose rayon is biodegradable, which is a positive trait, the production process is so wasteful it negates the eco-friendly biodegradable aspect. So while you will have purchased a rug that will degrade once you throw it out after a few years and professional cleanings, it’s not really better than a wool rug that will need far fewer cleanings and last over 100 years.

Consumers are being told lies and half-truths about viscose rayon. These claims include the following:

“Viscose rayon is a luxury material.”

While it is true that these rugs have a distinct appearance and feel, their sumptuousness quickly fades from everyday wear. They need regular grooming and are rapidly affected by foot traffic and minor soiling. They show each and every footprint. In very little time, the fibers lose color, sheen, and quality. Attempts to clean this material are often unsuccessful. Though these rugs may at first seem luxurious, you will begin thinking about a replacement within a few years. Essentially, viscose rugs are highly priced disposables. Many consumers are not informed or aware that these rugs last for only a few years before needing a replacement.

“Viscose rayon is simple to maintain.”

This is just not true. Because viscose rayon is made of regenerated cellulose, it cannot hide soil. Dirt from foot traffic and general dust in the home permeates the fibers, causing graying. In addition, foot traffic can cause shedding and breakage quite quickly. Small amounts of moisture from spills cause yellowing. Even a minor water spill can cause a permanent yellow stain and fiber damage. Cleaning up the spill only makes the soiling more obvious. Instead of spot cleaning yourself, trust the professionals to remove any spills or stains to avoid yellowing. Vacuuming can also damage the fibers and cause sprouting. Due to all of this, viscose rayon rugs require professional cleaning much more often than rugs made of other fibers. This is an added expense most consumers aren’t aware of or prepared for. Viscose rayon begins to look dirty quicker than any other rug material. In addition, folding these rugs for shipping or moving can cause unsightly and likely permanent creasing, crushing, and more.

“It’s good for the environment.”

While these rugs are indeed biodegradable, you are now aware that the creation process is toxic, wasteful, and dangerous. In addition, the rug will require many professional cleanings. A wool or silk rug that can last for centuries is a better choice, as viscose rayon rugs need to be replaced about every five years or so, increasing demand for these rugs and thus increasing the output of the far from ideal production process. This production process has been improved with newer technology but it is still quite harmful to the environment.

If you have purchased a viscose rayon rug, it is likely in need of professional cleaning. Make sure you work with a company that specializes in washing viscose rayon, like Behnam Rugs. We have been working with this fiber, as well as nylon, wool, silk, and cotton for over 40 years. Call 972-733-0400 to schedule professional hand washing.

Consider browsing our showroom for a replacement, as your viscose rayon rug will only last a few years. We carry thousands of handmade rugs constructed of materials that are much more ethically sourced and long-lasting than viscose rayon.

If you have purchased a viscose rug, place it somewhere it will not be walked on that is a low risk area for spills and stains. Consider using it as a wall hanging to maximize its lifespan. Now that you know the drawbacks to viscose rayon, we hope you feel more well-informed about the rug buying process. We highly recommend all new viscose silk rugs be sealed by a professional to protect them from spots and stains.

Questions a Quality Rug Dealer Can Answer

Hanging rugQuestions a Quality Rug Dealer Can Answer

When you’re shopping for a fine, handmade rug, you don’t want to go in blind. A good rug dealer will educate you on the fine rugs they sell, imparting valuable knowledge that will help you make an informed decision. So, what are the questions you should ask a fine rug dealer?

1. Where is the rug from?

The dealer should be able to tell you the country of origin, and in some cases, the exact city that it’s from. The country and city of origin gives you an idea about the quality. Certain areas are known for producing high quality rugs, will other areas are known for producing lower quality rugs.

In addition, the place of origin influences the pattern or design of the rug. You may learn you love rugs from India and hate rugs from China, for example. This will make shopping easier for both you and the dealer, as you can tell them the areas whose rugs you prefer.

2. What is the rug woven from?

Handmade rugs generally come in one of three materials or a mix of two. These materials are wool, silk, and cotton. It is quite common for Persian rugs to be wool or wool and silk. Wool and silk rugs are made with a wool foundation and silk pile.

3. Is the rug hand knotted or machine made?

A good dealer can know by a casual glance if a rug is handmade or machine made. They can even tell you a few tips for spotting the difference yourself! For instance, a higher knot count is often an indication of higher quality, and sometimes tells you the rug is handmade. Look for imperfections in the knots on the back of the rug, as a machine made rug is far less likely to have any mistakes.

These mistakes do not affect the design and are not visible from the front but they tell you that a person made the rug by hand, which is a good thing! The fringes of the rug are a good place to examine in order to tell if a rug is machine or handmade.

4. How old is the rug?

A rug dealer who knows his stuff can ascertain the general age by looking at the rug. In addition, he or she should know the approximate age of the rug according to its certificate or tag. Certain designs and quality rugs are woven in specific time periods. In general, the older the rug, the higher the value.

5. Is the rug traditional, transitional, or modern?

For those new to the rug game, it can be hard to tell which patterns are which. With a knowledgeable rug dealer by your side you will quickly learn the difference between the major styles of rug. Traditional rugs are more intricate, often feature medallions, and include specific designs that can be floral, animal, or some other complex pattern. They often feature ten colors or more.

Transitional rugs fall somewhere in between traditional and modern. They aren’t as simple as modern rugs, and are not as complex as traditional rugs. They are almost a mix of the two. Lastly, modern rugs are generally simpler in terms of design and color. They are more likely to come in neutrals like gray, beige, tan, and black. A modern rug might feature just three or four colors. They typically have simple designs and patterns that would not be considered “busy.”

6. How much is my rug worth?

If you’re not looking to buy a rug, you may still have questions a rug dealer can answer. The most common one is, “What is my rug worth?” A reputable dealer will likely give verbal and written appraisals. They take all the questions we covered into account to assess your rug. The country of origin, material, whether it is machine made or handmade, whether it is traditional, transitional, or modern, and the age of the rug all affect its worth.

Quality rug dealers are able to discern the approximate value of your rug and give appraisals for insurance or sale purposes. The condition of the rug and how well it has been maintained in the past, including washing and restoration, is a big factor in determining how much your rug is worth.

If the person selling you a rug can’t answer these questions, run!

Call 972-733-0400 to schedule a consultation.

Rug Shopping Online

How To Shop For A Rug Online

Rug Shopping in Dallas at Behnam Rugs

Rug Shopping in Dallas at Behnam Rugs…Visit our elegant rug boutique in North Dallas for an exquisite experience in handmade rugs. We offer oriental rug washing too. In this day and age of online shopping, you may wonder if you should be shopping for rugs in person. Shopping for a rug in person has many perks.

You can see the details up close, and you can get a better idea of the rug’s texture and condition. We educate each of our customers on the many rugs in the store. All rugs need the right rug padding.  Many of our returning clients come for an immediate enzyme rug washing due to their pets’ accidents. It is all an education!

Reviews
If you’re shopping for a rug on a site like eBay, which features a feedback system, take the time to look through the reviews. You’ll want to look out for things like a seller not describing items accurately, delayed shipping times, and situations where a buyer never received anything at all.

Sometimes a single instance of a seller missing a shipping deadline might be excusable, however, we recommend staying away from sellers who have multiple complaints of sending out goods that varied tremendously from the product description.

Rug Description
It happens far too often- the title says “Handmade Rug” but the description goes to clarify that the rug is actually a machine-made rug styled after handmade rugs. Take the time to read every bit of a rug’s description, because a deal that is too good to be true often is.

If you’re shopping for an authentic Persian or Oriental rug, the rug’s construction should be hand-knotted or hand-woven. There should also be clear information about the country of origin of the rug, its materials (beware of “antique” rugs using any material other than wool or silk, as these are often reproductions), and information such as the knots per square inch (KPI).

Generally, you will want to look for any discrepancies. For example, an authentic Persian rug will only come from Iran. You should not spend excessive amounts of money on an “authentic” Persian rug made in India or Pakistan, as these rugs are often reproductions. Their quality may be similar, however, there is a huge price difference.

If any information is missing, reach out to the seller. Often times, they simply forgot to include information. Be wary of sellers who either can not or will not provide additional information.

Photos
The more photos, the better. At the very minimum, you should be looking for photos of at least one side of the rug, its fringe, and the back of the rug. Rugs with major repair jobs done will show signs from the backside better than they will from the front.

Additional photos can include detail shots, corner photos, and photos of problem areas. If a rug’s description mentions something vague about the rug, such as “minor damage”, however, there are no photos of said damage included, request them. One person’s definition of minor damage might actually be your idea of major damage.

Persian Rug With Age Related Damage
This photo clearly shows an area of damage for a buyer instead of hiding the condition of the rug.

If the rug you are looking at is over a decade old, ask for additional photos of typical problem areas, such as the fringe. You should also ask if the rug appears to need any repairs, make sure to ask about the last time the rug was washed, too.

If you’re not sure about a rug that you found online, ask a trusted rug expert for a second opinion. At Behnam Rugs, we are more than happy to look over product photos with you and give you our input. If you’re not comfortable purchasing a rug online, we can even find you a rug similar to the one you found.

We hope this guide made shopping for rugs a little bit easier. Remember, you can reach out to us at behnam@behnamrugs.com or call us at 972.733.0400 if you have any questions.

Can Persian and Oriental Rugs be Investments?

Persian and Oriental Rugs as Investments

100$ BillsYou may often hear that hand-knotted Oriental and Persian rugs make good investments. This is truer for some rugs than others. While older rugs can increase in value and have the potential to provide a return on investment, this is often not the case for newer rugs.

They may increase in value over time, but it’s best to look at hand-knotted rugs as an investment only in the sense that they will last a long time.

All rugs, no matter their age, need to be evaluated individually. Factors that play into the value of a rug include the artistry of the rug, its condition, age, origin, material, construction, and style.

If you are having your rug appraised, its value generally is set by comparing to industry publications that contain selling prices of different kinds of rugs, such as a Sotheby’s rug auction catalog.

For rugs that are not particularly rare, the prevailing market price will generally determine the value of the rug. The size of the market affects the rug’s value, and the person doing the appraisal needs to specify the market. For example, a hand-knotted rug that is part of a running designer line will not hold its value in the same way that a one-of-a-kind vintage rug will.

To make sure the rug is appraised accurately, you want an appraiser who is well qualified. When looking for an appraiser, you should ask to see samples of his work, and how many rugs he buys and sells. Some appraisers are certified by professional associations. Others may not be certified, but this does not necessarily mean that they are less proficient. They may have many years of experience.

An appraisal will include a description of the rug, which will describe its condition, size, and whether it has been repaired at any time. It will also include the age of the rug, where it was made, and a description of how it was made, including the material and knot type. A rug’s current value will also be included in the appraisal.

Because rug values change frequently due to the demands of the rug market, appraisals should be updated about every three years or so. If the rug has been damaged or is in less than stellar condition, an appraisal will specify this information, too.

Not all antique Persian and Oriental rugs will increase in value. For example, if the rug is a fairly common type and is not of the highest quality, it is unlikely to increase in value. Rare, well-made rugs are quite sought after, however. The value of these rugs will depend on exactly how rare the rug is, what condition the rug is in, its design, and what the current trends in the market reflect.

As with most antiques, certain styles that are more popular at one time give way to other styles at another time. What is in fashion at a particular time will have a significant impact on price. This is part of why appraisals need to be updated fairly frequently. It is also worth noting that appraisals should be kept up to date for insurance purposes, too, as many insurance companies will not honor appraisals over three years old.

We encourage you to purchase a rug because its design speaks to you, not because you think it is going to increase in value. You should purchase a rug whose beauty you find breathtaking. It should make you smile every time you look at it. Call 972-733-0400 to inquire about appraisals, cleaning, or repairs.

How Do I Know if My Silk Rug is Really Silk?

Why Should You Care if Your Rug is Made of Real Silk or Fake Silk, and Why Does This Matter?

Unfortunately, there are merchants out there selling fake silk rugs as real silk rugs at inflated prices.  Fake silk does not have the strength of real silk and will lose color and age fast. Viscose rayon, or “art silk” is the material most commonly passed off as real silk. Luckily we have written an article so that you can learn about the benefits and drawbacks of fake silk and become less likely to buy it unknowingly.

It is easy for these merchants to fool tourists or first-time rug buyers because fake silk rugs can look like real silk rugs and it is hard to tell by just looking at them. After even the first wash there are massive differences between real silk and fake silk- if you put a real silk rug next to a manufactured silk rug they will feel quite different. In addition, fake silk shows stains and wear much more easily and therefore needs much more frequent professional cleaning to maintain.

When we receive a rug like this we have to do a burn fiber test to know for sure if the rug is fake and made of bamboo silk, paper rayon, or real silk. If your rug is made of real silk, it will last generations being used on the floor and look even better after maintenance washes every 4 to 5 years. A fake silk rug will wear out after to use and frequent professional cleaning in as little as 10 years.

We are offering our evaluation services to rug owners for free if you or someone you know has taken a cruise abroad recently and picked up a “fine silk rug” not knowing that it is really a souvenir rug. Souvenir rugs are typically not real silk. It’s a common scam. We have helped several customers determine the real value of these souvenir rugs and have educated them on real silk or fake silk rugs while in the store. In the past, we have even helped them refund some of the overcharge price back to their credit card.

If you would like to set up a time to bring your rug in for a free fiber test and verbal appraisal call us at 972-733-0400.

If your rug is too big for you to transport we can pick it up, hand wash it, and evaluate it while at our grand showroom here in North Dallas. Then when you are ready we will reinstall your rug with proper padding. Due to current circumstances, we are offering zero contact delivery and pick up.

Real Silk Rug
Real Silk Rug