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Q&A: Rug Shedding


Hadji Jalili Ends

Hi - I am hoping you can help me. I bought a 9x12 hand knotted rug 13 months ago for my bedroom in TX and never had any real problems with it. It was shipped by boat to our new house in Germany and placed in the dining room, where I can see it closely and it gets more traffic. When we unwrapped the rolled rug after shipment, a flood of fibers cascaded out of the packaging.

Since installing the rug here in Germany in March, the rug has continued to shed and the fibers feel dry and coarse. I vacuum regularly but the shedding continues unabated. I tried your inferior wool test and the rug passed. The fibers are thin and wiry, almost like cat hair, and they are endless. Even after vacuuming, I can see the fibers. I am wondering if the ocean voyage or change in climate somehow dried out the rug or ???? Maybe it is just poor quality wool?

I have attached a picture and could send a few more. What can I do to reduce the shedding? Thanks very much for your help.





Hey thanks for writing in, sorry to hear about your predicament with the increased shedding. We're unsure if your carpet is hand tufted or hand knotted, however it appears as though it is in fact hand knotted. First glance at the carpet and it appears to have a fairly thick gauge yarn and probably a somewhat coarser knot count. Due to the organic nature of your carpet, and your pile being wool, it is not uncommon for shedding to occur. However this is usually experienced in the first few months of owning a rug and eventually should cease.

Although the rug has gone on a voyage to a different climate, I would be inclined to say the increased shedding you're experiencing is probably not from travels or environmental, but rather from increased traffic and a lower grade wool. Unfortunately in instances of lower grade or highly commercialized rugs, the opposite is true as far as the break in period regarding shedding. The more use a lower grade rug receives, theoretically, the more prone it will be to shedding especially in instances of increased traffic.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a rug is a rug and although it may shed, even with an inferior wool, you can still have a rug last for many years. In regards to the vacuuming, from my personal experience I had a vacuum that wasn't quite cutting the job. I realized it hadn't been making good enough contact when in use. If you have an old belt driven vacuum, make sure it isn't slipping. Another thing to consider is, although a beater vacuum is going to work fine for medium and higher grade rugs, lower grade rugs shed more during the vacuuming process. If you have an air only vacuum, I would suggest using that, as it will probably agitate the pile less.


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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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