What would you say if your client said they have a “paper yarn” rug for you to clean? How do you clean a paper rug? With an eraser?
Take a look at this rug:
This is a paper yarn, and cotton, Duetto hand crafted rug. An “award winning” design…and allergy-free, “crisp” design construction. A rug selling for THOUSANDS of dollars.
And the care instructions? Do not vacuum. Do not spot clean. Do not get wet. Professionally clean only.
Here is this rug in a home, got wet from a small water leak, and you have this result:
Buckling, broken fibers. Why? Because what happens when paper gets wet for an extended time? It dissolves. For goodness sakes… it is… PAPER.
And take a look at this rug… from afar, it seems like a simple flat-weave construction that should clean up just fine:
But when you take a closer look, what do you discover? These are hide strips sewn into a repeated design pattern that is created by thin strands of viscose. And what is viscose? Repurposed, chemically glossed wood pulp. So… it is essentially “paper” also.
Care instructions? Do not spill even water on this rug. Do not vacuum with a beater bar. Professionally clean only.
Here is a close up of a damage area on this rug less than a year old:
Spill on this rug and blot to clean it up, and those viscose threads pull apart. The makers of this rug placed a glue felt backing on the underside of the rug to try to hold the piece together. And the price tag on this rug that could not live even a few years… just over $7,000.
Do you think the owner of this rug realized they would never be able to spill on, or clean, this rug that cost them THOUSANDS of dollars? Do you think the designer explained that perhaps in the family room, with kids and pets, that this might not be their best rug choice? Doubtful.
And it is these crazy designer rugs that are coming more and more to market today, in the homes we are cleaning in, and though they are truly cheap creations… they are incredibly pricey junk to have to replace if you happen to be the “professional cleaner” who discovers paper does not clean up very well after all.
So please print these photos out and keep an eye out for them. Because of the volume of rugs that come through our rug plant doors, and all of the consumer and cleaner emails I receive about rug disasters daily, I tend to see these problems first.
My hope is that I can keep some of you from accidentally stepping on a rug land mine. No one wants to be the one who has to replace a seven-thousand-dollar rug.
*Original author and source of photos is Lisa Wagner. This was from an email that she recently sent out.
Similar blog article of hers: https://rugchick.com/paper-rugs-seriously/