Area rugs made of cellulose fibers, with many different names like rayon, viscose, artificial silk, bamboo silk, artisan silk, art silk, are not a new thing on a market, but, as a professional carpet cleaning company, we see them too often and it makes me feel like something should be said, especially that we noticed some furniture producers begun using these materials as well. Too many of these rugs gets damaged and ruined too easy. Why would someone even buy it then?
History and making
Namely, ever since 17th century different scientists and researchers were trying to make artificial silk. Even when they were successful, most of their rugs disappeared from market mostly because they were highly flammable. Today, they’re very popular among designers due to their cheap producing process and cool look. Overpriced, most of the time. The cheap part comes from the fact they’ve been made out of plants’ fibers that are processed into a pulp. Glue like chemicals under high pressure and temperature combined with the pulp come out as a thick solution, that is latter extruded the same way as petroleum-based nylon and polyester.
Why they are so delicate?
The trouble with natural materials is that they tend to act, well, naturally. If something was a part of tree, it will always behave as a tree. Same applies to cellulose, which is an important part of plants. Cellulose is a great absorber (get all the possible water and take it to leaves and flowers), and when it gets wet it becomes soggy and brown (like an apple after you bite it and leave it a while). Most common way of damaging viscose rugs are spills. Fibers get smashed and impressed into a backing and they get darker or lighter (depending of a colour of a rug) than the rest of a rug. As a cleaners, little we can do. There are some products that could make it look better, but “it looks better” is something you will have to be satisfied with. Beside special products, we can treat them with so little water in order not to make it worse. Quick drying with a gentle brushing is a must, which makes the whole process of cleaning so long and troublesome. It’s totally fair if you walk away from a job like this.
Another thing that’s concerning about these types of fibers are their mechanical (bending) properties. While wool and silk fibers have great bending characteristics and they’re long lasting, that’s not the case with viscose fibers. By specifications, they can bend and extend for around 70 times (for wool it takes about 20,000 times to bend back and forth before it snaps) before getting damaged. So, there is a reason why, especially if you put them in high traffic areas, fibers in rayon rugs get mated and smashed so quickly.
Our advice is to stay away of these kind of area rugs. Always check specification tag before parting from a lot of money for a rug. If accidents happen, contact your trusted carpet cleaning company and follow the guidance from the professional.
So, If you want a service that fits your carpets and upholstery needs, check out our offer and learn more about the products and services we offer to our customers.