Natural & Synthetic Rugs - All You Need to Know

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Natural Fibers

  • Wool, Silk, and Plant-Based (cotton, seagrass, jute, coir, sisal)
  • Require more drying time because of their absorbency
  • Can be damaged easily by chemicals; they shrink, stain easily, water spot, fade and attract mold and insects
  • Biodegradable and made from renewable resources

Wool is soft and luxurious with natural stain resistance and flame-retardant.  Although expensive, wool is the better value; when cared for properly, it can last 50+ years. Wool holds its shape and can be stretched up to 30% without breaking and will bounce back.  Wool rugs can also help purify the air by absorbing indoor air contaminants.

Silk is also soft and luxurious with a high sheen that can yellow with alkaline detergents.  Sunlight exposure can result in fading.  Dry cleaning is the best method to remove soils.  Real silk costs at least $50 per square foot, beware if it costs less.

Cotton is soft, but wears quicker than wool.  Stains and soils easily, can gray and doesn’t wear well in high traffic areas.

Seagrass naturally repeals stains and is the cheapest of all natural fibers.  Seagrass is a tough fiber with a casual look, but not scratchy.

Jute is the softest of all plant fibers, but less durable.  It works well in low to medium traffic areas.  Jute is naturally mold and mildew resistant, but consistent moisture and sunlight can cause deterioration.

Coir is scratchy and rough; durable and rot-resistant, Coir repels insects and is difficult to ignite.

Sisal is a durable carpet/rug and is ideal for high traffic areas.

Synthetic Fibers

  • Strong fibers, often water, weather, stain and fade resistant
  • Require more frequent cleanings, every 4-5 months
  • Yellow with age, can flatten and dull with age

Nylon is the most popular of the synthetic fibers.  Nylon has excellent abrasion resistance as well as resistant to mildew, aging and sunlight fading.  It is poor in resisting stains; durable, often soft or coarse fibers.

Polypropylene (Olefin) is significantly less expensive than nylon.  It resists mold and fading from sunlight, but attracts oil-based stains. Abrasion (moving furniture) can permanently damage the fibers, but high traffic areas can cause abrasion as well.  Olefin has a waxy feel to the touch and the fibers crush easily.

Polyester (PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate) also has a poor resistance to high traffic areas as it mats quickly.  It also attracts oily soils, although it has an excellent resistance to mildew and aging.  High exposure to the sun can cause degradation.   Polyester is soft to the touch with a woolly appearance.

Green Clean Carpet Care Restoration can clean your wool, oriental and silk rugs as well as any synthetic blends.  We hand wash all wool, oriental and silk rugs with fiber-specific cleaning agents.  Synthetic rugs can be steam-cleaned or shampooed. We can clean in-home or in our shop as well as pick-up and deliver.  The next time your rug looks dirty and soiled, Call Green Clean Carpet Care Restoration at 763.789.9600.