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Q&A: How to Recycle Hand Tufted Rugs?

We look forward to talking with anyone who may have questions on or about oriental rugs.  We are an Independent Reviewer, and will give you our opinion for any rug, new or old.  Should you have any questions you would like to submit for a blog entry response, please do so, and be sure to include photographs of your rug.  For more information, please take a look at the bottom of this page, or feel free to Contact Us at

Question received the week of August 11th, 2008:


I have one of these hand tufted rugs with a rubber odor, and would like to know what the best way is to dispose or recycle the rug without adding it to a landfill.  Great web site and thanks for your help.



This is an excellent question you have...  Although I'm afraid there's no one great answer. 

There is such a thing as "carpet recycling," however, this process is pretty much exclusive to synthetic based wall-to-wall carpeting.  I believe this includes nylon, olefin, polypropylene, etc.  There are other programs which exist for recycling carpet samples such as Ample Sample's contest, but again, not necessarily for wool tufted rugs... 

Options for hand tufted rug recycling are pretty limited.  There's really not much one can do other than sell, donate, use in a different area, or dispose of such a rug.  Probably the best thing to do would be to contact your local recycling center.  (added 2/23/09: very informative article about tufted rugs)

Certainly these rugs pose somewhat of a headache in this respect.  Although don't lose faith in all tufted rugs, there are manufacturers who are really getting good at limiting this odor over time.  If we were in your position, before disposing of the rug, the best option would be to use the rug in another area.  Certainly it's never advisable to hand the rug to a new owner or to donate it knowing an odor exists which is virtually impossible to eliminate.  However, if you can cover up your garage epoxy with an old hand tufted wool rug, this certainly is the best discount to purchasing another area rug and keeping the present one out of a landfill.

Thanks for a great question, if any readers have additional suggestions, please comment at the bottom of this page!

-Rug Rag


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For all those interested in submitting a question to the Rug Rag Editors:  We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs of the reverse side of the rug very close up with a quarter placed on the knots, plus a picture of the fringe, the whole face of the rug and detail shot of the pile.  If the rug is worn, please include photographs of worn areas.  For rugs of any age, please be sure to check for dry areas, moth damage, odor, and whether or not the rug is straight/has right angles where called for.  If you have any questions about our assessment request feel free to send us an email.  Otherwise, we are looking for something similar to these images posted here


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