How To Preserve The Fringes of Your Rug
Fringes are those tassels at the end of many area rugs. While they can add a finishing look, fringes can often receive much wear and damage. There are a few simple steps to follow to preserve the look and condition of the fringes at the end of any area rug.
Most people who have fringes at the end of their rugs like the finishing touch look that they offer the rug. There are various reasons that area rugs have fringes. For handmade rugs, the fringes are an extension of the foundation of the rug; A grid of cotton on which the actual rug fibers are knotted to create the rug. Once a handmade rug is made, it is then “cut” off the loom at the fringes – This can leave a fringe length from one inch to four inches in length or longer, depending on where the cut was made. In machine made rugs, fringes are not a part of the foundation, as they are sewn on to the rug after it is made.
Regardless of how a rug is produced, while the fringes can present a finished look, they do have a reputation of wearing out before any other part of the rug. This wear can be from constant walking on the end, or fringes, of the rug. Common fringe wear and damage can also happen with a vacuum – It is customary to vacuum a rug and have the fringe be sucked up into the vacuum. This constant suction weakens the fringe fibers and causes them to wear. Lastly, many people want their fringe to be as clean and white as possible, so they may apply bleach or some other cleaning agent to it. This can be another cause of wear and damage.
Rotate Your Area Rug
We have previously referred to the fact that rotating your area rugs can add years of life and prevent premature and uneven wear. This is very true and can also be applied to the fringes of your rug. Since we inevitably see common traffic patterns through rooms of the home, the fringe of your rugs can be in some sort of traffic pattern as well. If this happens, that part of the fringe exposed to the traffic will actually wear before other parts, creating a less than desirable look. By rotating your area rug once a year, you will prevent premature or unnecessary wear to the fringe. This will maintain even wear so that no part of your fringe looks more used than another part.
Vacuum Your Rug Carefully
One of the most common reasons of fringes shredding is due to the vacuuming of the rug. Most often, when we vacuum our area rug, the fringe can find its way into the suction and get pulled and worn. A one-time event of vacuum suction on the fringe will not necessarily cause wear and shredding. The problem lies in the fact that it is not just a one-time event and the vacuum can pull on the rug fringes as often as we vacuum the rug. For this reason, it is best to pay extra attention when vacuuming your area rugs to be sure you avoid the ends, or fringes, of the rug. This may mean vacuuming in a different direction at the ends of the rug, or another process that you discover – The point is that you should use all efforts to avoid vacuuming the fringes.
Avoid Using Harsh Cleaners
Since they are the every end of the rug, fringes are most exposed to dirt and soil and can easily become and look dirty much sooner than the rest of your rug. If you find the need to spot clean your fringe, you should only use a safe method, such as mild liquid detergent and water. Combine the two, swirl them around and use the suds from this solution to scrub onto the soiled fringe. What you do not want to do is to use bleach or any harsh cleaners, as these will weaken the fringe and cause it to fray, shred or disintegrate.
Trim Fringes for an Even Look
Most often, parts of your fringe will wear sooner than other parts and this causes various lengths within the fringe. Using scissors to trim the fringe is an acceptable form of maintaining a consistent appearance and does not harm the fringe. It is important to be sure not to cut below the base of the fringe knot – If you look closely, you will see a knot at the bottom of your fringe from which the actual loose fringe extends. This knot keeps the fringe intact and should not be compromised. If your fringe is in various lengths, feel free to trim it just enough to make it even across the end of your rug without going down to the base knot of the fringe.
No Rug Pad Under the Fringe
Many customers wonder about the placement of a rug pad under their area rug and where the fringe fits in with all of this. Our answer is that the rug pad should not impair the fringe – It should stop just short of the actual body of your rug without reaching the fringe. When the fringe is on top of a rug pad, it does not lay as flat and straight as possible. Fringe should really be placed directly against the floor, so be sure that when you measure your rug for a pad, that you do not include the fringe in that measurement.
For the most part, the fringes at the end of area rugs are meant to add the finishing touch to the appearance of the rug. We do understand that the fringes can become a frustration if they are compromised and end up in wear, uneven lengths and possible shredding. For these reasons, we offer these simple steps to follow to maintain healthy and clean looking fringe for the life of your area rug.