Dimensional changes to rugs can occur during the cleaning process. This may occur when natural fibres are used to make the rug, when boarders are attached at 90° angles to the body of the rug, or when the weaving process has created an irregular shape.
Natural fibres used in a rug’s backing or foundation absorb moisture during wet cleaning or from humidity in the home. The fibres swell with water and as the rug dries it can shrink in overall length and width by as much as 5%. Overall dimensional shrinkage is most common after the rug’s first cleaning.
Boarders attached at 90° angles to the body of the rug tend to shrink during or after wet cleaning. When the warps and wefts shrink in different directions, the rug buckles along the seams. Humidity in the home can also cause differential shrinkage.
Not only can hand-woven rugs shrink in overall width and length, but they can also shrink in isolated areas. If a section of warps or wefts is not pre-shrunk before the weaving process, then it will shrink in one area across the width or length and create an hourglass effect along the sides or ends of the rug.
Ripples down the side of a hand-woven or hand-knotted rug are usually an indication of a weaving defect. During the weaving process, warps and wefts should be under even tension when on the loom. If there is uneven tension during the weaving process, the rug will have rippled, this is difficult to permanently correct. Blocking may help but after washing or exposure to humidity, the rug will most likely return to its original shape.
If you are looking for treatment of your rug, call AllAces Cleaning & Restoration on 1800 00 1010.