When you get a rug in, you need to take a look at the TIPS of the face fibers. Why? Because the tips can tell you a story.
Such as … is the rug faded by the sun?
Sometimes the rug is a bit soiled, and you can’t see the difference from front to back in the color loss, so you need to grin open the fibers to see if the BASE of the fiber is darker than the tips. Like this:
If the TIPS are lighter – then you can explain to the rug’s owner that the rug has had some sun fade. Show her the difference so there are no surprises once the rug is clean.
But what if the tips are DARKER at the top? That, my friend, is a problem!
Look at this rug:
With this rug, if you do not have a very attentive eye in your pre-inspection process, you may look at it, think you know what kind of rug it is, and move ahead with cleaning.
What you might miss is that this rug has been OVER-dyed with ink.
The rug was chemically stripped of its original colors, and then painted with ink to make it another color palette. And though you usually can stabilize DYES in a rug for cleaning, you cannot stabilize INK.
Take a look here in the middle large medallion and tell me what you can see?
When we grinned these fibers, this was a warning sign – inconsistent colors from back to front, and inconsistencies from the base of the fibers to the tips.
In fact, with this rug, you could take a DRY TOWEL and wipe the front of this rug and ink would transfer on to that dry towel. If this rug was in a home over carpeting, the ink would literally walk off on to the carpeting, and be next to impossible to remove. And if you get this rug wet, all that ink would create one big dark pool of stains you’d never be able to remove either.
Not being “tipsy” with your rugs you could miss a sign like this, and end up buying a rug. Which is why I preach that the most valuable skill you can ever hone in the rug cleaning world is your pre-inspection skills.
Keep an eye out, and you can avoid the client buy out.