An interesting photo sent to me today – take a look:
Yep – it’s tape. Tape used to hold the fringe tassels in place so you don’t have to keep straightening them.
Pros and cons of this. One – it does keep the fringe tassels, especially hefty fringe like on this Karastan rug, in place.
Cons – you can’t reuse the tape, it leaves residue (and a clean spot) where the adhesive was, and if the fringe tassels are weak with age or past bleaching, the tape will easily tear away those tassels.
On a machine woven rug like this one (you can see the machine work on the edges, and that this fringe is clearly added on after the fact) – torn away tassels are not a big deal. In fact, on this rug you can pull off the fringe entirely with your hands (no scissors required).
But on a hand woven rug – torn away tassels will lead to the rug unraveling and losing its value. This will need to be repaired quickly when this happens. Read about getting rug ends repaired right on this prior post.
So, if you HATE your fringe – do NOT cut the tassels off of an oriental rug. Just say no.
But, no worries, because you can hide the fringe.
The poor-boy route is to simply use masking tape and tape the tassels under the rug. I choose masking tape because it has the least amount of adhesive, so you do not create a huge mess to clean up versus using packing tape or duct tape.
It’s not the ideal choice, but it’s an option that is much better than cutting off the tassels.
The other option is to hide the fringe professionally, with something that does not damage the tassels with adhesive, and keeps them clean in case you decide you suddenly LOVE fringe again.
We use at our rug shop a burlap material to do this. We sew it by hand at the base of the rug, and fold the tassels underneath the rug safely. Take a look on this Tibetan woven rug:
Rug friends don’t let friends cut their rug fringe off… ever. Spread the word!