notes on design....

How To Care For Your Rug

modern cream rug nourish
We know that choosing a rug is really complicated and once you've selected the rug you love for your space, you'll want to do everything you can to take care of it.
Knowing how to properly care for your rug will extend its life, keep it looking fresh and be the best way to see a long return on your rug investment!
Burke Décor is in love with the rugs that our fabulous vendor Nourison has to offer, and we’ve taken a page from its fine catalog to share some tips on rug care and cleaning.
Nourison is a family-owned company that strives to always combine the “best traditional craftsmanship with state of the art production techniques…while staying at the forefront of interior design trends.” They offer an extensive range of area rugs in many styles and price points, as well as collaborations with notable designers and companies.
Nourison offers a captivating array of rugs that draw on textile traditions as well as a modern mix of styles that are sophisticated, luxurious, opulent and understated.
Here is just a sample of a few of the beauties we have in stock by Nourison:
Nourison rugs are made in many different materials – from natural to synthetic, and the material composition of your rug will of course make it more or less appropriate for different locations and the amount of wear and tear they will receive. These are important considerations before selecting your rug, but we’ll come back to that. Knowing what your rug is made of will guide you towards the best care practices for it.
Fiber content explained:
  • New Zealand Wool - Natural fiber, purest of the wool fibers, very strong, excellent color retention.
  • Wool - Natural fiber, course, very strong, excellent color retention.
  • Silk - Protein fiber, shimmering, strong soft to the touch.
  • Leather - Tanned hide of animal.
  • Rayon - Synthetic fiber, silk like feel, excellent color retention.
  • Polyester - Synthetic fiber, durable, excellent color retention.
  • Loom woven - Nourison’s loom woven rugs are made on the best quality looms, which have been customized to weave exceptional quality products with a feel and suppleness that rivals handmade rugs. These loom woven pieces are then hand washed and hand finished, utilizing time-honored techniques, to accentuate the beauty of each individual rug. Loom woven rugs from Nourison have the texture, look, and feel of a high-quality handmade piece without the high cost normally associated with handmade rugs.
  • Sisal - Plant based fiber stiff and strong.
  • Cotton - Plant based, natural fiber, soft to the touch, strong, excellent color retention.
  • Silk-like bamboo fibers - Plant based fiber, very strong, looks and feels like silk, antibacterial, excellent color retention.
  • Acrylic - Synthetic fiber, soft, smooth, strong, excellent color retention.
  • Jute - 
Soft, shiny vegetable fiber spun into course threads.
  • Polyacrylic - Synthetic fiber, “plastic like” strong, smooth with excellent color retention.
  • Polypropylene - Synthetic, wool like appearance, very strong, excellent color retention.
  • Lurex - Synthetic yarn with metallic appearance.
  • Luxcelle - A proprietary viscose fiber made from cellulose and purified cotton. It has been specially developed by Nourison for use as a carpet yarn and has been formulated to have superior strength, a fabulous silk- like sheen, and excellent color retention.
Shag Rugs are a different beast entirely, because you cannot vacuum the top of the rug. For a shag rug that is not too gigantic, you can flip it over and vacuum the back of the rug, using the vacuum’s beater bar (this is pretty much the only time to use the vacuum’s beater bar when cleaning a rug). If your rug is unwieldy or very large, try rolling it up and then unrolling it with the rug backing facing up.
Layered Rugs are a trend in interior design that we are really into. Layered rugs create a visually enticing look, add some global glamor, and can work to protect wall to wall carpeting in a very practical
way. If you are going to layer rugs, consider starting with either a jute or sisal rug as this is a really durable base and these rugs are often in a softer color palette that are versatile and appealing with other more complicated patterns or textures on top.
Rug Pads
First off, for all rugs, regardless of material, a pad is highly recommended and by highly recommended we mean “basically mandatory.” A rug pad is going to extend the life of your rug, dampen noise, protect your floors from staining, as well as help prevent bunching and tripping hazards. A rug pad also provides ventilation which will help prevent any buildup of moisture or mildew in your rug.
Rug pads come in all different sizes, but may not be a perfect size match with the rug you choose. You can easily cut your own rug pad if need be, with just a pair of strong household scissors. Measure the rug and then cut the rug pad to be one inch smaller on all sides.

Using foot pads and casters on furniture feet is also going to be a worthy investment as they will protect rug fibers from pulling or tears, and prevent dents that might become permanent over time.
Rug Styles
When we talk about rug styles, often the terms Traditional, Transitional, and Contemporary are used, and these categories of rugs are often predisposed to certain materials and crafting techniques.
Traditional rugs are most often in patterns derived from ancient Asian and European traditions, feature floral or medallion motifs, and elaborate borders. These rugs are generally made of wool, cotton or silk, but there are now some excellent recreations of these generations-old patterns done in synthetic materials that may suit your lifestyle better. There are some wonderful overdyed rugs that reproduce the color-saturated look using new materials instead of a vintage rug that has been dyed.
Transitional rugs blend traditional and contemporary style but tend to be a bit less formal than a traditional rug. These rugs may work really well if you are looking for a more understated or neutral color palette that won’t compete with other décor. Single color rugs work really well in smaller spaces.
Contemporary rug designs are modern and utilize geometric shapes, high contrast colors and sometimes abstract design. These are really adaptable rugs as they can provide a dynamic style contrast with period décor, or blend in seamlessly with modern furnishings. These rugs may be made of
almost any material.
Other types of rugs you may often hear mentioned are:
Kilims – a tightly woven flat wool rug that is great for high traffic areas. Most of these rugs feature interesting colors and stripes or small geometrical designs.
Dhurries - similar to Kilims but less tightly woven. Made in India of wool, jute, cotton or silk, these rugs are also very durable and the sides can be reversed to hide wear if need be.
Ikat – Ikats are originally from Indonesia and the term refers to the way the yarns are dyed before weaving.
Moroccan – these rugs are really lush and delicious. Most often made of wool and cotton, and can be found in both shaggier, high-pile versions as well as lighter cooler constructions.
Rug Care
If your rug is made of Wool, New Zealand Wool, Rayon, Cotton, Nylon, Faux Silk, Acrylic, Polyacrylic, Polypropylene, Shag or Excel (a Faux Silk/Cotton blend) then you can follow these simple directions:
  • Vacuum your rug regularly. If possible, avoid use of the beater bar style vacuum as they may pull or snag yarns. If this does happen, don’t be tempted to pull the yarns knots out of surface pile. As you would with a good sweater - trim the knots or pull from the back if you can.
  • Clean spills immediately with a damp sponge or cloth; and blot, please don’t rub.
  • If you need to have the rug completely cleaned, consult a professional!
  • Don’t be alarmed by shedding from your rug – this is normal for a quality rug and not to be feared. If you are concerned about excess shedding, try taping the rug, or using a lint roller (gently) to address some of the excess pile.
If your rug is made of Hide, Leather, Suede, or Hair on Hide, you’ll also want to vacuum regularly, but use the lowest setting and again avoid the beater bar - an attachment would be preferable to the beater bar or brush. And again, clean up spills right away but use a damp, not wet, cloth and mild soap. Wipe smoothly in the direction of the hair! Don’t go against the grain.
For Jute and Sisal rugs, there are some different concerns as plant fibers are highly absorbent and will experience some shrinking or puckering when exposed to liquids or excess dampness. Therefor, you’ll want to remove spills immediately with a dry cloth, and you never want to steam clean or wet shampoo a jute or sisal rug. Vacuum regularly and professionally clean when necessary.
Viscose, Luxcelle, and Silk Bamboo Fiber rugs are not made for high traffic areas. Unlike a regular Bamboo rug, which can be cleaned with mild soap and water and a sponge, a Silk Bamboo rug, as well as these other more delicate materials, should really not be self-cleaned – this is a job for a professional as the pile can easily stain and yellow when treated with improper cleaning products. If a spill does occur, blot the area with white paper towels or clean white terrycloth towels. Do not rub or use wet sponges/towels as that will distort and weaken the fibers and can cause breaking or damage. With a soft brush, comb the face of the rug in the direction of the pile. It will look flatter and more reflective or shiny after grooming, but once it’s dry, you can re-brush to regain its original texture. Vacuum your rug regularly with a non-beater bar vacuum and avoid pulling yarn
knots from surface pile.
Magic and myth seem woven into this striking design. Bold geometric cartouches float like islands in alternating fields of midnight and moonlight, surmounted by an enchanting border of stylized daisies and tulips. Sparkling tones of turquoise blue and ruby lend a brilliance to the overall effect.
Life can be messy
So spills and stains happen. Here’s a ridiculously extensive guide from Nourison that provides suggestions of how to handle specific kinds of stains when they do occur. No promises or guarantees, but this should help.
If you aren’t sure, or a stain is complicated – consult a professional!
  • Acids - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Alcoholic beverages - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Ammonia & Alkali - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Ball-point pen ink - Methylated spirits or turpentine
  • Beer - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Bleach - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Blood - Detergent, white vinegar or starch paste
  • Burning cigarette - Brush off with a hard edge
  • Butter - Cleaning Fluid
  • Candy - Detergent, white vinegar or scrape & vacuum
  • Cellulose paint - Acetone
  • Chewing gum - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Chocolate - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Coffee - Glycerine
  • Cosmetics - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Crayon - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Egg - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Excrement (human) - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Excrement (pet) - Call a reputable cleaner
  • Fat and Oil - Tissue and iron, then cleaning fluid
  • Fruit and juices - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Furniture polish - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Glue - Alcohol
  • Grass - Methylated spirits
  • Gravy - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Grease - Cleaning fluid or scrape & vacuum
  • Household cement - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Ice cream - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Ink - Water only
  • Iodine - Alcohol
  • Jam - Lukewarm water
  • Lipstick - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Medicine
 - Call a reputable cleaner
  • Metal polish - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Mildew 
- Call a reputable cleaner
  • Milk - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Mud - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Mustard - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Nail polish - polish remover
  • Oils - Cleaning fluid

  • Paint - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid 

  • Perfume - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Permanent ink
 - Call a reputable cleaner
  • Rust
 - Call a reputable cleaner
  • Salad dressing - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Sauces
 - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Shoe polish - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid or scrape & vacuum
  • Soot
 - Vacuum, then cleaning fluid
  • Tar 
- Cleaning fluid
  • Tea - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Urine (human) - Detergent or white vinegar
  • Urine (pet) - Call a reputable cleaner
  • Vomit
 - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
  • Wax
 - Cleaning fluid or scrape & vacuum
  • Wine - Detergent, white vinegar or cleaning fluid
Rich History
This all may seem like a lot to consider when you are selecting a rug and then learning about how to care for your rug, but we assure you it’s very worth it.
Nourison is so spot on when they write:
“Perhaps more than any other features in the home, rugs have the ability to reflect history — to bring a cultural richness to any space. That may be due to the fact that few crafts have such a strong tie to their origins as rug-making. In an age where processes are increasingly automated, streamlined, and refined, it’s rare to see any area where people aren’t doing it faster and more effectively. Industry and manufacturing continue to adapt to new technology, integrate machine learning, and generally improve the way we perform our work.”

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