1: Warehouse Cleaning Pre-Wash Inspection
Each rug is inspected for any pre-existing conditions. Many times, soil covers up dye lot variations (abrash), fiber staining, prior dye bleeding, worn areas, or white knots that become “uncovered” after the wash.
2: Dust Process
Once the pre-wash inspection is complete, the next step is dusting. Wool fibers under the microscope look like fish scales, with many small pockets that hide dirt, grit, and soil.
A wool rug can hold pounds of soil in its fibers before it begins to look dirty. So when it starts looking bad, you know it’s well past the time to have it cleaned. This is not just simple “dirt” but also germs, bacteria, and other contaminants brought in by feet, shoes, and paws.
Flooding a rug with pounds of fine grit and dirt in the foundation creates mud. This is why a rug needs to be dusted before it gets wet.
3: Full Emersion Wet Wash
The dyes of your rug are tested for colorfastness. If the dyes are not colorfast, then the rug is bathed first in vinegar to stabilize the dyes during the wash process. This is similar to adding white vinegar to wash water when handling new fabrics, to help keep the dyes from migrating into the neighboring areas.
The rug is washed using mild rug shampoo and cool water. Just like you would with your wool or cotton sweater, you avoid hot water, harsh detergents, and high heat.
4: Dry Flat
All of our rugs are laid out flat to dry. Hanging textiles up when they are wet can lead to too much strain on the foundation of the rugs. Air movers are used to facilitate the drying process, and dehumidifiers help control the drying environment. By not using hot water during the wash, or high heat in the drying process, we help you avoid the worry of shrinking. Again, these fibers are similar to your nicer wool and cotton fabrics, so a gentle wash and “dry out flat” is how they have been washed for ages. But, as with brand new clothing items, there may be a very slight shrinking during the very first cleaning of perhaps an inch, but after the first wash that is no longer a concern (unless the rug is improperly cleaned with high heat carpet cleaning machines in your home, which can shrink, distort, bleed, and harm your rugs; this is why rugs should never be cleaned in the home, but taken out for their wash in a rug cleaning facility).
5: Fringe Work and Finishing
Fringe tassels are usually cotton strands. These are the “warps” of a rug, and are the foundation threads that fuzzy wool knots are tied around to weave your rug.
Unlike wool, cotton is an absorbent fiber and has no place to “hide” soil. So when your tassels look dirty you know it’s time to wash your rug. And these tassels need some extra scrubbing and elbow grease to get clean. Think of shoelaces to get a feel for how hard it can be to get them clean when they are heavily soiled.
Fringe tassels are scrubbed during the wash process, and additionally when needed.
6: Wrapped and Ready for Delivery
Our team uses moisture sensors to be certain that your rug is 100 percent dry. After it has been thoroughly dried, the rug is then given a final grooming with a horsehair brush. Because we want to make sure it’s to your complete satisfaction and passes our post-inspection before it is ready for delivery, our team carefully inspects the rug to make sure stains and odors are gone. Once it passes inspection by our in-plant manager, it’s then rolled up, wrapped, and ready to go. We will schedule a proper date and time to set up delivery.