How to Stop a Rug from Shedding

  • There is no efficient way to stop rugs from shedding completely, but there are excellent methods to slow down rug’s shedding and protect your carpets floor from deteriorating. 
  • Vacuum, clean, and take care of your rug (especially if it tends to shed) in a gentle manner.
  • The average durability of a rug is a few years, so don’t expect it to be eternal. Yet, we can significantly prolong rugs five minutes on this world by taking good care of them and preventing it from rug shedding. 
  • Invest in hand-knotted, hand-woven, or hand-loomed rugs made by good brands known for high quality; It’s known that these natural carpets will work best in your house.

You’ve just got your new rug, an amazingly chic model. It’s covered from head to toe in a pattern borrowed from the exotic Arabic part of the world. 

You’re super excited and put your 100% into cleaning every minimal piece of dust or stain that appeared on it. You did it with loads of love and affection. 

Guests are about to arrive. 

You’ve put your rug at the center of the living room in your first-class apartment. 

Finally, you got your place all clear and ready to shine.

A normal situation, an ordinary evening.

But wait. What’s going on?

Your beloved rug starts to shed. Its quality wool seems to deteriorate faster than you take a sip of Aperol. 

Your face gets bitter, but it’s not for the taste. 

You indeed have a pet at home, but would it be able to destroy your carpet so visibly and so fast? Nah, it’s not the reason for the sudden shed. 

Your rug looks like an old neglected one, even if you’ve just bought it, and you don’t know what to do.

The evening continues, but your mood got cloudy.

Or, different scenario. 

Your distinguished greybeard has been serving you for years, never giving signs of wear and tear. 

Suddenly, you notice that its quality leaves a lot of room for improvement.   

Shedding is noticeable. 

Carpet cleaning, taking away dust and dirt thoroughly don’t change the situation. 

Your rug has loose fibers, and there is not much that you can do without help from the outside.

Why does rug shedding happen?

Let’s have a look at several features of a rug to understand what shedding is inevitable. 

Material of a rug

Rugs come in various sizes, materials, and colors. So, not surprisingly, also their qualities vary. 

Typically, a carpet can be made of different materials:

1. wool

2. polypropylene

3. jute

4. cotton

5. seagrass

The most common type of material used for rugs is wool. You’ll see wool rugs everywhere, from residential to office spaces. TIt not demanding to maintain them in good condition, even if you’re on a budget. You can clean them with a vacuum, brush, soap; 

If your rug material purchase is an effect of a broad search and it was expensive, clean its tufts with the help of a professional cleaning service from time to time.

Wool rugs tend to shed when new. But, don’t worry, it will usually stop after light vacuuming and daily wear.

Tip: If you notice your wool rug got some dirt or is stained, remove the stain from the surface by using clear dish soap and a wet washcloth.

What do we know about the quality of wool rugs?

  • the best quality wool (also the most durable) is the one coming from sheep reared high in the mountains, 
  • the lesser quality, coarser wool comes from sheeps that lived in the lower lands;

What’s more, it’s often not all-natural. 

If sheeps are sheered too often, their wool is left short. At this point, producers add synthetic adhesives to bring these short wool pieces together. Unfortunately, these wool tifts with adhesive aren’t the best quality pieces. 

The adhesive breaks down over time, and rugs begin to shed.

Check recent posts by House Rituals to learn how to care about other furnishing pieces. For example:

The method the rug was made

How the wool rug was made is another factor worth mentioning. 

It’s maybe even more crucial than the material itself. 

There are two basic categories to search for:

made by hand 

We distinguish:

  • hand-knotted, and 
  • hand-woven

Hand-made rugs are crafted from techniques that give structural integrity to pieces and ensure that it’s less likely to come apart.

  • hand-knotted rugs are made from multiple threads knotted to the rug’s cotton or wool foundation. 
  • hand-woven rugs are made by repeatedly passing a warp through the carpet’s weft. 

manufactured with modern techniques 

There are two types:

  • machine-made, and 
  • hand-tufted;

Modern techniques aim at assembling pieces of wool fibers rather than weaving durable rugs. 

In hand-tufting, a tufting gun is shooting fabric “tufts” through a plastic grid. 

That’s why a polymer or glue is necessary to keep the tufts in place.

This backing material can quickly deteriorate, and the rug (both the backing and pile) starts shedding. 

Machine-made rugs are made very fast by ultra-new machine systems. 

They are also created from polymer-based materials. Otherwise, they could be torn during the process. 

The problem is that, with time, these synthetic fibers materials break down, as other petroleum-based materials do.

Combine lower-quality wool or synthetic fibers materials with modern rug-making techniques and what you get is a shedding rug that needs your help!

How to protect the rug from shedding?

The best what you can do to protect your wool rug from shedding is to make the right decisions at the beginning. 

Go for a hand-knotted or hand-woven rug made of natural materials instead of investing in synthetic texture. 

Other than that, it’s an open secret that there’s no perfectly efficient method to stopping shedding.

Still, you can reduce it by preventing further damage to your rug by taking good care of it.

Follow the tips below, and sooner or later, we’ll get there.

1. Lightly vacuum your rug

Vacuuming your rug regularly is essential. 

It prevents your rug from contact with dust and dirt and accumulating it, which, in turn, can add to shedding. 

Vacuum twice a week for the best maintenance. 

Tip: When vacuuming, go with the grain of the pile and not against it.

2. Don’t use a heavy beater bar 

Stay away from using a heavy beater bar, and also, don’t use the vacuum on the setting closest to the ground. It’s a matter of being gentle with your rug. It has feelings, just as we do. 

3. Use a rug pad 

The rug pad put under the rug is hidden and invisible to the eye. Yet, despite its invisibility, its help is irreplaceable. 

It adds to maintenance and working against rug shedding. 

Important: Rugs can also live in stress, like people. If there’s too much pressure or friction on the bottom, the fibers weaken and come loose. It can happen if you vacuum too often, clean the floor every day, or let your pets or kids play on it all the time. 

A good-quality rug pad will absorb a lot of the shock when the foot traffic is high (if the rug is touched, jumped, or walked on often).

Put the pad below your wool rug to absorb shock, especially where the foot traffic is high. It will also reduce further damage to the pile.

4. Move your rug to a low-traffic area

No one said that your wool rug would live forever, but you surely want it to keep going. Preferably, without shed.

To let your rug survive longer, try to lower the contact it has with foot traffic. 

Pull the excessive upholstery cleaning as well.

Think about it as a rug retirement. When it gets tired, it has to get a well-deserved rest. 

5. Invest in quality

Let’s bring to the table the most controversial topic: money.

Should you buy the highest-quality material that you can afford?

A 100% pure wool rug (less affordable than artificial fibers) won’t rugs shed like less luxurious materials.  

It also won’t release the chemical compounds that could be at the base of potential health issues. 

Upholstery should be safe, especially for the pets and kids who tend to bite it.

6. Apply a fiber protector

Consider applying a fiber protector to your wool rug. 

Fiber protectors are sprays that coat and strengthen the wool’s surface.

At the same time, the rug’s texture or color isn’t affected at all. 

Fiber protectors cut down on the shedding and help your rug to resist stains.

However, keep in mind that fiber protectors won’t stop shedding at 100%.

Until the initial shedding slows down, get into a routine of vacuuming your wool rug twice a week (gently). 

Thanks to this process, you’ll lift the loose fibers away from the pile, so they have no chance to spread all over your place.

7. Cut out sticking up bits of fibers

If you have a rug that sheds, some bits or tufts will stick out more than others. 

Cut the tuft away rather than pull the whole bunch out.

In the latter case, you can uproot more than what you bargained for. 

To conclude, keep in mind that a few years, for the average tufted rug, is actually it. Despite how fantastic it is!

When it’s time to replace it, search for a:

  • hand-knotted, 
  • hand-woven, or 
  • hand-loomed rug; 

If in need of advice, make a free call to store specialists!

Invest in natural, best-quality materials produced by a well-known brand. Sooner or later, this choice will repay. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do it in several steps. First, shake out the dirt in the sun and vacuum, spreading it flat on your deck, patio, or a clean tarp with the wrong side up. Next, prepare a gentle detergent solution, lightly scrub and rinse away suds. Finally, blot the excessive moisture and allow your carpet to dry.
Search for a rug with a flat or woven weave if shedding is a big issue. The tight fibers are less likely than high pile rugs to leave rug bunnies.
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