How to Stop a Wool Rug from Shedding?
Woolen rugs add a stunning and unique aesthetic to your home, especially when placed strategically in an artsy room. Unfortunately, woolen rugs tend to shed and lose their original feel and shape over time.
This shedding can ruin the look you were going for in your home and create choking and tripping hazards for kids and pets. Luckily, you can stop your wool rug from shedding.
Let’s review how.
Why Do Wool Rugs Shed?
Wool rug shedding is very common and occurs for a variety of reasons. To begin with, wool, like hair, is a natural fiber that can split and fall apart.
Wool rug shedding can also be caused by a poor weaving process. Fabra-Clean, a carpet cleaning firm, explains that shedding can happen when loose strands left over from the spinning process weaken and fall off.
If you buy a new wool rug and notice it shedding some fibers, you should not be alarmed.
This normal occurrence should stop within several weeks or months, depending on the rug’s quality. However, if the shedding persists after several months, you should look into fixing it.
Factors That Affect the Durability of a Rug
Wool rug fibers shed with time due to normal wear and tear. Any shedding beyond the normal can happen fast or slow, depending on the following factors:
How long your wool rug lasts and how much it sheds will depend on the material from which it is made. Wool rugs are made from different types of wool, with the quality depending on the supplier.
For instance, a wool rug made from wool taken from sheep reared in the mountains tends to be of a noticeably higher quality and more durable.
Wool rugs made from sheep reared in lower lands tend to be of lower quality since the wool from these sheep is typically rougher.
It is also important to note that most wool rugs are not made from 100 percent wool and will usually contain adhesives for a plusher and fuller finish.
These adhesives can break down over time and lead to shedding, so the more adhesive initially used, the more shedding. If you wish to avoid this last predicament, try to purchase a rug that is as close to 100 percent wool as possible.
The durability of your wool rug will also depend on how it was made.
Generally, there are several main ways wool rugs are made, which are:
Modern techniques like hand-tufting, where a tufting gun is used to lay fabric tufts into a rug pad which are later glued to create the rug.
Hand-made rugs. These tend to provide better durability and structural stability thanks to the care and time taken to weave in the fibers.
Hand-woven rugs are made by passing a warped through the rug’s weft. In this case, every part of the rug contributes toward structural stability. These rugs can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Overall, hand-made wool rugs last longer than machine-made rugs, although they are pricier than their counterparts.
They offer more comfort, high-quality construction, and fewer loose fibers. On the other hand, machine-made wool rugs utilize a lot of glue which we have established can chip off over time and lead to shedding. Nonetheless, they are more affordable.
If your wool rug is of poor quality, it will be more susceptible to wear and tear and will likely experience more fiber loss.
This is why it is advisable to invest in a hand-made wool rug with high durability and structural integrity. While the initial cost could be substantially more, it will save you money in the long run by lasting longer and requiring less maintenance.
Tip: Always buy your wool rugs from trusted vendors to ensure maximum quality.
Minimizing Wool Rug Shedding
Now that we have established that rugs shed and why, let’s look at what you can do to minimize shedding and get the most out of your rug.
Here are some steps you can take:
Vacuuming your wool rug regularly can help get rid of loose fibers that could lead to more shedding. If you just bought your rug or it is fairly new, vacuum it at least once or twice a week.
You can add the frequency as time goes by, and the initial shedding should stop completely after around six months. If it does not, there could be a problem with the rug quality.
Your next move, in this case, is to contact the manufacturer and ask for a replacement rug if the warranty is still active.
Vacuuming your wool rug while it sheds can seem counterproductive, and it can be if you do it wrong.
Stay away from heavy-duty vacuums that could damage and rip the rug and avoid using a beater bar attachment or brush extension on the vacuum cleaner.
Moreover, do not use the vacuum on a high suction setting, as these actions could pull out more fibers from your rug. Instead, remove all beater bar attachments and brushes from your vacuum.
If it has a permanent beater bar, make sure it barely touches the rug’s surface as you vacuum. Set the vacuum on a low power setting to avoid pulling the fibers and get to work.
Pro Tip: Start by vacuuming your wool rug in one direction against the pile and in a straight line. Do another straight line running against the pile and keep doing this until you cover the entire rug. These movements will ensure you catch all loose fibers and loosen embedded debris in the rug.
Brushing or Raking
Brushing or raking your wool rug once a week can help keep it clean and fresh and remove all loose debris and fibers. You will need to use a special soft brush or rug rake to avoid pulling out the fibers more.
A specialized rug rake will look a lot like a garden rake, but its teeth will resemble those of a broom.
Usually, it is made from synthetic fibers that can gently pull away loose debris, wool fibers, and pet hair from your wool rug. Doing this will minimize natural shedding.
Dusting your rug frequently will help keep it crisp and clean, but it could also minimize shedding. When you dust, you get rid of debris and other objects that could have ended up tangling the fibers in your wool rug and pulling them out.
Dust your rug every day or several times a day when the time allows it. To do this, carry the rug outside your house and shake it vigorously to dislodge loose fibers and debris.
Trimming the Tufts
If your wool rug begins to collect tufts of wool on the surface due to shedding, you must remove them to prevent further shedding. Trim the tops of the tufts with a sharp pair of scissors to remove the fuzzy appearance.
Remember, like shedding, fraying is also a common predicament with wool rugs, but the look can be an eyesore.
Trimming the tufts will leave you with a cleaner-looking rug that is also more comfortable and less prone to shedding. When you finish trimming, run your hands through the rug, collecting and throwing away all loose ends.
Fabric Protector Solution
Lastly, you can apply a fabric protector solution to your wool rug. Some rug manufacturers and vendors apply this solution for you upon request, or you can contact a professional rug cleaning company for the same. The solution will protect your rug’s fibers and prevent shedding.
Preventing Wool Rug Shedding
The practices discussed above can help minimize shedding if your rug is already showing signs of fraying or shedding.
Now, let us look at what you can do to prevent wool rug shedding so that you do not have to deal with it in the first place. Here are some tips to help you:
One effective way to prevent your wool rug from shedding right from the start is by buying a high-quality rug. Once you get it home, avoid placing it directly over hardwood if possible and lay it on a well-constructed anti-slip pad.
Using padding on mats is often thought of only to make the rug more comfortable and cushioned when someone walks on it, but it actually prevents the mat from rubbing on the floor.
Eliminating the friction between your wool rug and hardwood can prevent wear and tear.
Placing an anti-slip underlay under your wool rug has several benefits. In addition to preventing unnecessary wear and tear, it also keeps your mat in place. This means that the rug is not moving regularly and is less likely to become damaged and worn out.
The restricted movement is excellent for rugs in high-traffic areas or homes with active pets and kids. Another reason you should consider placing an anti-slip underlay beneath your wool rug is that it increases safety.
Since the rug is more stable and secured in place, there are fewer chances that it will slip from under your feet and cause a fall.
Rug-related slips and falls are not only dangerous to the inhabitants of a home, but they also damage the rug itself.
Tip: When choosing an anti-slip pad for your wool rug, pick one that is at least 1 inch shorter than the rug on all sides. These dimensions will allow the rug to rest fully on the underlay while ensuring the underlay is not visible over the mat, which could ruin the aesthetic.
When you bring your new rug home, you will need to figure out where to put it. The ideal location is an area with low foot traffic, such as under a dining room table, beside a bookshelf, or in a far corner of your living room.
Generally, you want to avoid high-movement areas like next to the door or your kids’ playing area.
These areas will expose your wool rug to excessive movement, which could increase the shedding of fibers. Once you have placed the wool rug strategically, it is safe to assume that it will receive some traffic, no matter how minimal.
You can go a step further in protecting it by rotating it frequently. Doing this will ensure that the mat experiences even wear and tear and one side is not experiencing more damage than necessary. Even wear and tear will help your rug look antique rather than old.
Pets like dogs and cats like to knead and play on wool rugs. If you own pets, you can expect a lot of shedding, especially if the rug is readily accessible to them.
To prevent this, location your rug out of reach from your pets and train them not to play on it if they access it.
If you absolutely have to place your wool rug by the door, you will need to be careful about dirt and debris accumulation.
Communicate to your visitors and other inhabitants of your home, if any, that they should not place dirty footwear on the wool rug.
Direct them to remove their shoes in another area and dust the rug every few hours. Dirt accumulation on wool rugs does more than make them dirty. The dirt also converts your rug into virtual sandpaper, with the dirt rubbing on the fibers and causing shedding.
Finally, the best way to keep your rug in top condition is to use it for the purpose for which it was made. Not all wool rugs are meant to be laid on the floor.
Some rugs are designed to be wall hangings or furniture drapes, so determine the purpose of a rug before buying it. If you use a rug wrong, it is more likely to shed and get worn.
A beautiful wool rug will bring warmth and beauty into your home as no other décor piece will. The cozy look and feel will be well worth the investment if you can keep your rug looking clean and crisp.
If you just bought a rug and are worried about shedding, remember that it is normal and will stop after a few months.
However, if your rug has been around for a while and still sheds, use the pointers discussed here to tackle this problem. They should be effective in keeping your rug neat and beautiful.