That’s what I call rugs that are haphazardly designed using very different fibers or construction types in order to make a “custom” rug. Just like Frankenstein, they grab random pieces to put together the resulting monster.
Some look attractive. The question though is – can you safely clean it? Because in many cases, you can’t.
You may have a base natural fiber rug, which should be washed, but fabric borders that with water will bleed, or even worse, shrink and buckle.
Some custom rugs are pieced together like a puzzle, and latex or seam tape is used to hold the patchwork together. Again, it can be an attractive rug to look at, but giving it a bath can split the seams.
This means you may only have the option of a surface cleaning rather than a real rug bath, and since a surface cleaning is not as thorough as a wash (and leaves more cleaning residue behind) – you will likely have to wash the rug more often to keep it clean for your home. This is added cost that you need to be aware of if you are purchasing a specialty custom rug.
It is a shame that the designers of these rugs do not reach out more to the rug cleaners who will end up cleaning these pieces.
Sometimes a rug that is a great idea and design in someone’s mind, becomes incredibly impractical in terms of care and cleaning. For example, some rug manufacturers are creating rugs using viscose (rayon) as highlighting fibers in their design, but viscose is the worst rug fiber on the planet. It’s cheap though, and looks like silk, so they use it.
These days some manufacturers only seem to care about getting that first sale, and not whether their products are going to last a long time or simply become landfill rugs that begin falling apart soon after the sale.
And the more complicated these rugs are in terms of cleaning, the more time a professional rug cleaner will have to take to sometimes hand clean each section using different methods, which can be a costly in terms of labor hours you are paying to take proper, sanitary care of your floor covering.
If you are someone looking to buy a rug, and want a few tips on looking for quality new rugs, post a comment letting me know and I’ll email you tips I follow.
If you are a rug cleaner looking to be wary of many of the lurking problems with new rugs these days, post a comment letting me know and I’ll email you my handy one page pre-inspection sheet to train you on what to keep an eye out for.
There are some very beautiful custom rugs out there, you just want to make sure they are quality pieces that aren’t going to give you any surprises.