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Area Rug Construction

Area rugs are made in many different ways, some by hand, some by machine, the way a rug is constructed will effect its price as well as its longevity. Understanding how a rug is made can be very helpful in determining what kind of rug to buy. Below we'll discuss the most common area rug constructions as well as their pluses and minuses.

Hand Knotted:

Hand-knotting rugs is an intense labor of love whereby each tuft in a rug is created by tying a knot around a warp thread. This ancient and time-honored technique of weaving is extremely intricate, time-consuming, and demands ability that most weavers can only achieve after years of training. Larger rugs often employ as many as a dozen skilled artisans working on a single rug at the same time. This process may take as few as three months and as long as one year to yield a single rug. The finer the knot, that is to say the higher the knot count, the more intricate and valuable the rug can be. Hand knotted rugs will remain as beautiful as the day they were purchased for twenty or more years even in high traffic areas when properly cared for.

Thank you to Nejad Rugs for the following diagram:

 

  1. WARP - The parallel threads running the entire length of the rug onto which the knots are tied.
  2. WEFT - The threads running across the width of the rug woven between all the rows of knots. These threads pass through alternate warp threads. Their job is to secure the knots in parallel lines and to strengthen the fabric.
  3. KNOT - The term used for a strand of wool yarn which is looped around two adjacent warp threads and then cut to form the pile (surface of carpet).
  4. OVERCASTING - A simple wrapping of dyed yarn along the entire length of both sides (edges) of a handmade rug.
  5. FRINGE - The visible continuation of the warp threads at both ends of the carpet.
  6. KILIM - The pileless web of warp and weft between the rug's pile and the knotted fringe. This is also the name for a rug without pile.

Shop our Online Hand Knotted Collections by Style:  
Antique & Vintage 
Tibetan
Transitional 
Traditional

Shop Our One-of-a-Kind Collection by Size:
NEW: 2x3-3x4
- NEW: 3x5-4x7
- NEW: 5x7-6x9
- NEW: 7x10-9x12
NEW: 10x14 & Up

All Runners

 

Hand Tufted:

Tufted rugs are a great low price alternative to a hand knotted rug. They are usually thick and comfortable to live on, they do not require a rug pad because they all ready have a protective backing, and they come in a huge range of styles, colors and patterns.

Due to their affordability, rugs of this craft are an emerging trend in home furnishing design. As with all constructions, not all are created equal, some tufted rugs are have densely packed pile made with good quality wool, some are made with loosely packed lower quality wools. Some can be prone to shedding, both when they are new and again as the latex glue in the backing begins to break down, some tufted rugs will shed for their duration (usually indicates a lower quality wool) while others will slow down as the extra fiber is worn and vacuumed away. Tufted rugs can have a life expectancy of  7-10 years under average use. 

Shop Our Online collection: Hand Tufted

Illustration and Diagram showing the steps involved in the production of a hand-tufted rug.


The hand-tufted rug looks and feels very much like a hand-knotted rug. This is because it uses the similar wool and dyes to  some of the knotted rugs use. The difference is in the construction method. Instead of tying each knot by hand, the tufted rug is made with a tufting gun (B) from the back of the rug. (Rug hooking is similar but done from the front and the tops of the loops are not sheared.) This method saves a lot of time and keeps the price of the rug much lower than a knotted rug of equal size. The life span of a tufted rug is much shorter because it is dependent on a latex glue (which breaks down over time) that's used to hold it all together. 

Diagram courtesy of Nejad Rugs

CONSTRUCTION STEPS

1.) Stretch foundation cloth (A) onto loom
2.) Ink design onto this same cloth
3.) Gun tuft the wool yarn (C) from the back of the cloth as shown above (D)
4.) Finish entire design changing yarn color as needed
5.) Take rug off loom and place it face down on floor
6.) Place scrim (F) upon back and apply layer of latex (E)
7.) After latex dries, shear face (G), wash and emboss
8.) Glue (less often - sew) on the back cloth (H). (Protects floor surface from the roughness of the latex and scrim.)
9.) Sew on fringe.

 

Hand Hooked:

Hooked rugs are constructed in the same manner as tufted rugs with one distinct difference, the yarn is punched through a canvas, but the surface is not sheared, creating a looped pile. The life expectancy is slightly shorter than tufted rugs because they tend to be less dense leaving the fibers more vulnerable to wear. 

Online hand hooked collections: 
Americana
Hand Hooked

 

Hand Hooked Cat's Paw in Green - See the cotton backing that indicates it is a hooked rug.

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Hand Woven or Flat Weave:

Photo courtesy of Nejad Rugs

Also referred to as Soumak (double sided weave), Kilim (traditionally from Turkey) or Dhurrie (traditionally from India).  A simple but durable rug, flat-weaves are among the most basic and beautiful of all hand-loomed floor coverings. The underlying art of flat-woven rugs is their ability to be reversed, and their suitability in nearly any setting, from the rustic to the cosmopolitan. Hand woven or flat woven rugs are known for their durability and cleanability since they do not have a backing. As with all constructions not all are created equal, look for weight and softness of the yarn. Life expectancy can be just slightly less than hand knotted rugs. Because flat weaves are less time consuming to make than hand knotted rugs, they'll also cost less to purchase. For a more detailed look at flat weaves check out our Blog post Kilims, Soumaks & Dhurries: What is a Flat Weave?

Shop our online hand woven collections:
Classic Flat weave
Traditional Flat weave
Transitional Flat weave

 

Machine Made:

Also referred to as power loomed, or wilton weave.  Some higher quality machine made rugs can last nearly as long hand knotted rugs, look for denser pile and soft backing. Machine made rugs would include broadloom or wall to wall carpet which can be cut and bound to shape and size, offering a fully customizable look for less cost than a hand made option. Life expectancy can be less than 10 years for lower quality or 20+ for high quality axminsters which have been in production in the UK since the 18th century.  

 Shop our online collection:  Machine Made 

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Is Shedding Normal?

Yes, wool area rugs can shed in varying amounts, some don't shed at all, some shed when you first buy them, some start shedding towards the end of their life. What's the difference and when should you be concerned? This Blog post will help clarify the different reasons for shedding and when it is indicating a problem with your area rug.

To understand why wool rugs shed it helps to know a little bit about the fibers the yarns are made from as well as how the yarn itself is made. The following is an excerpt from the website Knitting Naturally on how wool yarn is made.

"First the fleece is cleaned, by washing [and] carding, to remove any debris from the fleece and to prepare the fibres for spinning.   Once you have a clean fleece wool, it is a relatively simple process to make wool.

A small number of fibres are gently draw out of a lock of wool to the required thickness and then spun or twisted so that the fibres cling together into a single ply thread.

Once the drawn out thread is twisted, it is usually wound onto a holder of some kind (either a drop spindle or a bobbin). This maintains the tension of the thread and prevents the wool fibres from unravelling.

Hand processing wool into yarn: Carding - Spinning - Winding 
Photos courtesy Oaxaca Cultural Navigator

Once wound, more fibres are drawn out of the lock of wool and the process is repeated to form a continuous thread. If you wish to use your thread for weaving a single ply thread is sufficient, but if you want to knit the wool into a garment, you generally need a two ply thread. To do this you twist two single ply threads together in the opposite direction from which you spun the singles."

Now that you have some understanding of how wool yarns are made, you will better be able to understand the following reasons that a rug may shed.

The first reason we'll discuss is using hand spun and processed yarns versus machine processed yarns. A machine carded and spun yarn will have more of the loose, weak, and shorter fibers removed during the processing, creating a smoother more regular yarn. A hand carded and spun wool is much less processed, resulting in a more variable texture yarn. This lower amount of processing may result in a rug that is more prone to shedding as those shorter and weaker fibers come out over time. This shedding will occur when the rug is new and will stop after a period of time (the more you vacuum the rug the quicker it will stop shedding!). The period of time and the amount it sheds will vary as the amount of processing of hand spun yarns varies from maker to maker and rug to rug. This type of shedding is not considered a flaw, it is just a character of rugs made with hand spun yarns.

Wool being machine carded - see the difference from hand carding?
Photo courtesy the Gentleman's Gazette - Check out their excellent post about wool.

The second reason a rug may shed is if it is made with less tightly spun yarn. This allows fibers to rub against eachother and break more easily when regularly walked on. This is a less common reason for shedding, but a rug with loosely spun yarns may shed small amounts over the whole span of it's life. A good example of a rug made with loose spun yarns are Moroccan and Moroccan-inspired rugs. The type of shedding is not considered a flaw it is just a quirk of this rug type.

Loosely spun yarns do tend to shed more. 
An easy way to see if a rug is going to shed is to run your hand over the surface of the rug. As you do this if you can see lots of little fibers come out of the rug (as shown above) the rug is likely to shed.

The third reason shedding may occur is using shorter staple wool, the shorter pieces of wool may be more likely to untwist and shed off. There are many different breeds of sheep, and thus wool can come in varying shades, lengths, and textures. Long staple wool (wool whose fibers are long) are the highest quality wools for making strong, resilient (and non-shedding) rugs. The longer fibers create a stronger yarn with fewer fiber ends to fray. A lower quality or inexpensive wool rug may use a lower quality wool, usually made from the off casts of the processing of longer fibers, or from wool of sheep with a shorter staple fiber. These rugs still have all the wonderful qualities of a wool rug, they may just be more prone to shedding. While not technically considered a flaw, it is a pitfall of the the lower quality (and cost) of the rug. Sometimes these rugs are made with wool blend yarns, incorporating nylon or poly fibers to reduce cost even further. This blend with lower durability fibers just naturally leads to shedding in most cases.

Photo of different sheep breed fibers.

The final type of shedding is really the only type of shedding that is a bad sign for your rug. This type of shedding is specific to hand tufted or hand hooked rugs. These rugs can be identified by having a cotton backing. If you look at the back and you do not see the pattern of the rug but instead cotton fabric, then you know you have a hooked or tufted rug. These rugs are held together with a glue that is then covered up with that cotton canvas cloth. This glue has a life span, towards the end of it's lifespan it starts to break down (it can sometimes be seen as a white powder, almost like fine sand that collects underneath the rug). Once the glue starts to break down and no longer hold the fibers in place, the fibers start to shed. This shedding is a sign that your rug has come to the end of it's useful life. There are many different qualities of hooked and tufted rugs, some may last longer than others (how much wear it gets is a big factor in life span as well), a reasonable life expectancy is any where from 5 to 12 years.

 Hand hooked rug with a cotton backing.

Some people worry that there is something terribly wrong with their rug if they notice that it is shedding. Just remember that shedding is not uncommon with wool rugs, but of course if you want to double check, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

We know shedding isn't always ideal, you don't necessarily want to feel like you adopted a new pet. If shedding is something you would like to avoid when purchasing a rug, just let us know. We here at Bradford's can help guide you towards rugs that are less prone to shedding and guide you away from rugs that we know to shed (also remember to try the shed test demonstrated in the video above). Any good rug dealer will know their inventory well enough to know what of their products shed and what do not.

Hopefully you found this post informative and helpful. We are always happy to discuss all things rugs! We wish you happy rug hunting.

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Customization: SIZE, SHAPE and COLOR

Do you have a hearth that juts into your living room, built-in corner cabinets, or an unusual shaped stairwell? These are just a few of the reasons you may be looking for a custom sized and/or shaped area rug. Customization is something we pride ourselves on here at Bradford's Rug Gallery. We love being able to provide options you can't find anywhere else - unique spaces require unique rugs!

Custom shapes done by Bradford's Rug Gallery

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What does it mean when you are told a rug can be made "custom"? Most people assume custom means more expensive, but everything is relative so getting a customized rug may not be as costly as you imagine. This blog post will focus on customization basics to help you get the perfect area rug for your unique space. 

ARS Color Poms
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The most commonly customized area rug aspects are size, shape and color. We'll start by exploring custom sizing. Not every house was built with standard rug sizing in mind (nor was all furniture!), so sometimes a custom size is required. There are two ways to get a custom sized area rug: 1.) By choosing "sheet goods" also know as broadloom (wall to wall carpet) or 2.) By choosing a hand made area rug that offers the option of being custom woven to size for you. Sheet goods are machine made on a 12' or 13' (occasionally even 15' or 16') wide loom so they can be cut to a custom size and then have the edges finished in a variety of manners. 

Many hand knotted or hand woven area rugs that are available in standard sizes can also be made in custom sizes. Depending on the product chosen a digital mock up may be required to make sure the pattern of the rug scales up or down to your preference. Knot & Co flat woven products are some our most frequently purchased custom sized area rugs. However they are not the only option, we carry many additional products that offer custom sizing. Please check out a few of our options below:

Custom woven Knot & Co with custom stair install by Bradford's Rug Gallery.
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Custom shapes are a convenient solution for oddly shaped rooms, curving stairwells or rooms with fireplaces or hearths that jut out. Custom shaping is primarily done using sheet goods (broadloom or wall-to-wall as mentioned previously) that is cut and bound to specific dimensions, finishing sometimes can even take place on sight for the most customized fit. If you are looking for an unusual shape like a hexagon, an octagon, or just a rectangle with one corner cut off there are also some great tufted and hooked options that can be customized for you. You can see some of the tufted options available HERE as well as some sisal options HERE.

 

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Looking at customizing color, surprisingly it can be one of the most difficult aspects to conceptualize when designing. Colors are changeable and subjective, different lighting and different angles can change the appearance of a color, whereas size and shape are immutable and much easier to envision. It often takes the aid of a designer's skills for customers to make decisions on color customization. With a designer or without, we are here to help you along the way, we have a full range of ARS Colors to work from to make sure you get the precise colors you are looking for. 

ARS Colors is a manufacturer of a color referencing system widely used in the textile and Rug industry. Valued by Textile Designers, Fashion Designers, Architects or creative individuals to color match specific colors of wool, viscose or cotton shades when a design enters production stage, regardless of the equipment used to produce the color.

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The final thing to keep in mind when choosing a custom area rug is timing. A customized rug will always have a longer lead time than a standard sized rug, depending on the construction type of the product chosen, it can take anywhere from 4 weeks (cut and bound sheet goods) to 6+ months (hand knotted goods) to have your rug completed. Some custom hand woven pieces may require digital mock ups to be created, and/or a strike off to be made which both take time to produce. A strike off is a small sample piece of the customized rug, woven in order to get final approval before the full production begins. Actual production will take a significant amount of time as well as shipping to the US.

The customization process can seem complicated and over-whelming but we will walk you through step-by-step to make the process as easy as possible. The time and effort will result in the rug of your dreams!
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Custom Banu Home hand knotted stair runner.

Please contact us to get started.

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An Area Rug's Worst Enemies

There are four major issues that can drastically shorten the life of your hand made wool rug: dry rot, vacuum cleaners, moths and pet urine. As with most things, preventative measures and early detection are your best defense in keeping your rug looking good for a long time. In this blog post we will look at these each of these four issues to understand why they can be so detrimental and what can be done to prevent them from harming your area rugs.

Dry Rot:

Dry rot is caused by excess moisture within the structural fibers (warp & weft) of an area rug over time. Floods, consistently damp environments, plant pots sitting on top of rugs, are all root causes that could lead to dry rot. Mold and mildew are indicators of moisture problems in your rug. If you find either on your rugs you may still have a chance to rescue them from harm by getting them properly cleaned by a professional. If not cleaned and properly treated, mold and mildew, left to grow uninhibited, will lead to dry rot. Dry rot is the slow deterioration of the foundation fibers, usually cotton but it can also effect wool, jute, or silk. In the extreme it causes a total break down of structural integrity which means a rug can simply fall apart.  

Dry rot caused by a plant pot. Photo courtesy of www.rugchick.com

The ongoing condition of dry rot shows no outward or obvious signs while the damage is slowly accumulating. It isn't usually until after the real damage is done that some normal moving or handling of the textile brings the condition to light, seen as rips, tears, slits or other structural damage. You know dry rot has set in if an area is stiff to the touch and cracks when you slowly bend it, or it sounds like wood when you knock on the area with your knuckles. 

The two most common causes of dry rot are plant pots left to sit on area rugs and area rugs improperly stored for lengthy periods of time. See below for how to prevent dry rot from effecting your rugs.

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Moths:

The Common Clothing Moth (Webbing Clothes Moth or Wool Moth), Tineola bisselliella can become a serious pest if proper measures are not taken to prevent or eliminate them.

 

Unlike other household moths, clothes moths are not drawn to light, instead they prefer dark or shaded areas, which means they are usually found in the corners of rooms, under long-standing furniture, or in rolled up and stored rugs. Rugs can be of particular interest to them as the larvae can crawl underneath and cause damage from there. The clothes moth can also crawl under skirting boards or into other cracks and crevices to feed on any debris that has gathered and then lay its eggs there.

The larva of the clothing moth eat the keratin proteins in wool and other natural fibers, including silk, fur, feathers and hair. They prefer to feed on items contaminated with organic materials such as spilled food, body fluids, fungal spores or pollen, so a clean rug is the first step in protecting your wool rug against clothing moths. For more in depth information on how to keep your rugs moth free check out our previous blog Protect Your Rug from Moths.

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Vacuum Cleaners:

Most common damage caused by improper vacuuming.

Power heads, or rotating bristles on a vacuum cleaner will catch and pull on your area rugs, little by little, literally pulling your rug apart. This damage almost always first becomes apparent on the edges and sides of the rug. Disappearing or damaged fringe, sides pulling away from the body of the rug, these are signs that a vacuum with a power-head is being used and once this damage starts it will escalate drastically if the vacuum with power head attachment is continued to be used. Frequent vacuuming of area rugs is recommended but only with your hard surface floor attachment (as long as there are no rotating bristles you should be good to go). Not sure if your vacuum has a power head or rotating bristles, check out the photo below.

If you have a vacuum head that looks like this, with bristles that spin, then you have a power head. 
Don't use this on your hand made area rugs.

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Pet Urine:

When cleaned up immediately and thoroughly, pet urine presents very little problem to your wool area rug. It's when it is not gotten to immediately or when it is not thoroughly cleaned and urine is allowed to sit in the rug for a length of time that problems can arise. Over time pet urine can be devastating to a rug, not only in terms of dye bleed and discoloration, but also in causing dry rot. It can cause the “skeleton” of the rug to essentially crumble apart.

Pet urine, because it’s warm and acidic, penetrates the rug’s own acid-based dyes, most often causing a permanent discoloration, yellowed stains and/or spots bleached of color. It will also penetrate the rug face fibers (typically wool) and sink into the inner foundation threads of the rug (typically cotton) which then leads to mildew and dry rot. If you pull up a rug and see large pet stains on the backside, and if when you knock it with your knuckles, it sounds like hollow wood – then you’ve already got dry rot.

 

Okay, so now that we have talked about a rugs worst enemies, what can you do to protect your rug from these menaces? Suprisingly, there are really just a few basic maintenance and care practices that will help prevent all four issues from arising. Check out the list of care recommendations below.

1.) Vacuum your rug weekly using only the hard surface head on your canister vacuum cleaner (up-right vacuums are not recommended for use on area rugs), paying special attention to avoid going directly over the very ends and sides of the rug. Remember not to use the power head! Be sure to move furniture every few months to be able to vacuum areas of the rug usually covered up. This will help prevent moths making a home in those dark and typically undisturbed areas. Occasionally moving furniture can also expose previously un-noticed pet accidents and give you a chance to clean the rug if need.

2.) When storing a rug, proper techniques will prevent moth infestations, dry rot, as well as unpleasant smells. When storing wool area rugs for more than a month, make sure the rug is professionally cleaned prior to being wrapped for storage. Uncleaned rugs are major moth attractors. Moths love the proteins in food or beverage stains, blood, urine, or perspiration residue left on unclean rugs. Tyvek paper is the absolute ideal material to store your rug in because it allows moisture out but not in. If Tyvek is not available, brown craft paper is an acceptable second option. If you are going to be wrapping your area rugs to store make sure that a good amount of silica/dessicant packets are wrapped inside with the rug, they will help absorb any excess moisture that may accumulate inside the wrapping. If excess moisture builds up inside the packaging it can cause the rug to mold, mildew and/or smell, and as we know mold and mildew can lead to dry rot. Do not leave stored rugs directly on cement floors (cement holds a lot of moisture!), if storing a rug in an unfinished basement make sure it is elevated off the floor. Also, if you are storing rugs for a prolonged period of time, make sure you take them out and inspect them every few months, this will prevent any moisture or moth issues that do occur from getting out of control and causing irreparable damage to your rug.

Silica or desiccant packets can be purchased or you can come get some from us @ Bradford's Rug Gallery for free!

 

3.) The quicker you get to it the better when it comes to pet accidents or spills on wool rugs. The more time urine has to sit in a rug the more damaging it can become. If you have non-house trained pets, puppies or seniors for example, that you know are likely to have accidents in the house it can sometimes be the best choice to roll up your wool rugs and put them away for a period of time until you know your pet is more reliable. If you choose to leave your rugs down when you know you might have frequent accidents, just make sure that you scan each rug daily to looking for urine spots. If you find one, the best method for cleaning is to flush the urine out with cool to lukewarm water. You can also try diluted white vinegar (Mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water) or the enzymatic cleaner Bac-out to help remove any potential for odor. Always remember BLOT, don't rub - rubbing will change the texture of the wool and make it appear as though there is a stain. If you realize you've missed some spots and your not sure how long they've sat, it may be time to consider having the rug professionally cleaned.

If you need any further assistance with spot cleaning, general maintenance, repairs, or professional cleaning of your area rug please check out the links below or Contact Us directly with any questions. We are always happy to help!

Cleaning Your Wool Rug - Quick Guide

- Protect Your Rugs from Moths

- Caring for Your Wool Area Rug

- Materials Matter

- Rugs 101 & Professional Cleaning Services

- Repairs and Restoration

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Rug Speak: Freckles

Ever wonder what those little white (or sometimes blue) spots that appear on the front of your hand knotted rug are? We call them rug freckles. Not all hand knotted rugs have visible freckles, but for those that do it's important to know that freckles are completely normal and do not indicate any kind of problem with your rug!

To understand what freckles are we need to understand how a hand knotted rug is made.

Hand knotted rugs are made up essentially of three elements, the warp (A - the vertical fibers), the weft (B - the horizontal fibers) and the knots (C - which create the pile).

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Sometimes the warps or wefts, as a result of the constant packing of the knots into place with metal weaving tools, can break during the weaving process. When this happens, two ends are tied together so that the weaving can continue. This means that there are quite a number of foundation fiber knots in every single hand woven rug.
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Above you can see five women working on a vertical loom. The warp fibers (threads) run up and down and the weft fibers run side to side. After each row of knots is tied around two warp fibers a weft fiber is woven through the warps and then packed down onto the knots to hold them in place. You can also see the tool they use to do the packing in the photo.

 

There are two major reasons that freckles will appear in rugs, the first is wear, the second is a good rug cleaning.

A good rug will last for decades, and wear over time is a normal thing. As the rug is lived on it's pile will slowly wear down, exposing the freckles that had previously been shorter than the wool pile surrounding them.

It is common that prior to a good washing the dirt accumulated on the surface of the rug obscures the whiteness of the freckles. Once the rug is washed and the dirt gets removed the freckles can become whiter (cleaner) and more visible. The freckles were always there, they just become more apparent after the washing.

What can be done about freckles? Some people just leave them as they are knowing that they are evidence of the rug's hand made nature. If you do want to lessen the appearance of your freckles, you can use textile dye or ink to cosmetically hide them (perhaps best done by a professional). Just remember when you have your rug washed you may have to re-dye the freckles after the washing. It is important to recognize that freckles are NOT a defect in your rug, they are indicators of the hand made quality of your rug.

 

We love vintage and antique rugs, these are the types of rugs that are most prone to having visible rug freckles. Hopefully helping you, our customers, understand how rugs are made and understand what things are common with age can help you better appreciate your old rugs. If you have any questions about your rugs, we are always happy to help! 

Feel free to stop by our showroom (M-S 9am-5pm - Closed Sunday) or contact us anytime!

 

Thanks to www.rugchick.com for photo and content contributions. 
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Our Latest Website Updates

Our Latest Website Updates

Lately, we've focused some energy updating our website to keep it relevant and helpful at a time when online shopping is at it's peak. Here is a look at some of the most exciting, recent happenings.

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Area Rug Inspiration

Looking for an area rug but you have no idea where to start? Sometimes you just need a little inspiration! With so many great design magazines, websites and tv shows, there is plenty of inspiration out there for the taking. We love when customers bring in their inspiration photos, it gives us a jumping off place to start their rug search.

Below is a range of inspiration photos, in various styles, that we have collected from some of our favorite design magazines. Along with the inspiration photos, we have included our picks for area rugs we think share a style, essence, or color with the inspiration photos. Which look is your favorite?

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"The goal was keeping it simple so the architectural details and natural surroundings could take center stage."

Maine Homes - "Good Spirits"

If you like this room check out: Alleanza, Cannes, and Atlas
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"The house is both open-plan and traditional."

If you like this room check out these awesome antiques: 

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"Neutral tones and simple, comfortable furnishings make the living room a favorite place to unwind." 

New England Home - "A Flood of Opportunities in a Boston Suburb"

If you like this room check out these neutral rugs with subtle pattern:

  

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“It’s a good place to put fun, eclectic things — just 30 steps to the slopes.”

Maine Homes - "Slopeside Retreat"

If you like this room check out these vintage tribal pieces, perfect for hanging on the wall:

 

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"The river is just outside the glass doors, and one can hear it burbling in the summer."

Maine Home and Design - "Neighbors, Friends, and Friends of Friends"

 

If you like this room check out these thick, soft Tibetan weaves in earth tones:

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"To trim costs, the couple cobbled together virtually the entire home from old, found, traded, and repurposed items."

Maine Homes - "Whoa, Nelly!"

If you like this tiny home, check out these well priced, one-of-a-kind vintage rugs:

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"Colorful patterns and a vibrant grass cloth bring a sense of joy to this bedroom designed by Kati Curtis Design." 

Elle Decor

"25 Ways to Instantly Change a Room with a Vibrant Pop of Color"

If you like this brightly colored room, check out these rugs with vibrant colors:

  

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"Warm, spacious, and inviting."

Maine Home and Design - "Hearth & Home"

If you like this room, take a look at these warm and inviting, traditional style, one-of-a-kind, hand knotted rugs:

      

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"Hurlbutt Designs did a complete overhaul of the space, giving it an air of contemporary elegance that works smoothly with the period details of the exterior."

Maine Home and Design - "Happy Place"

If you like this room, check out these broadloom products that can be custom cut and bound to size:

 

We hope you were able to find some inspiration here. Remember we are always here to help you find what you are looking for! Contact us anytime Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm @ 207-772-3843 or email us @ info@bradfordsruggallery.com. Email us your inspiration photos and we'll email you back photos and a list of options we think might work or come in and see samples for yourself!

 

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The Beauty of Un-Dyed Wool:

What is un-dyed wool you say? Un-dyed wool is exactly what it sounds like, wool that has never gone through the dying process. It is physically processed just like any other wool: cleaned, carded, spun, and plied. Once plied, the wool has become yarn. Typically, when wool has reached the yarn stage it would then be dyed, but for un-dyed wool this step is skipped entirely.  Continue reading

The Impacts of Light

Good design hinges on a few core principles: color, texture, proportion and light. Each principle has a balance and flow, and an influence on every other principle. This means that to isolate and focus on only one of these aspects of design, while decorating a space, will result in a less than satisfactory outcome. Considering each in relation to the other within the context of a specific space will help you create a balanced, attractive, and personalized space. What impact will lighting have on how you choose your area rug? Let's explore.

Natural and artificial lighting creates varying effects on the same object or room.

We say it more times than we can count, rugs will look different in your house than they do here in our gallery.

"Our perceptions of color are totally dependent on light. Without light, color would not exist, because what our brains translate as color is the reflected hue from light falling on an object. When we split uncolored or 'white' light by shining it through a glass prism, we realize this colorless light actually contains all of the colors of the spectrum. Even in its undivided form, what we take to be white light is rarely pure. Rather, it will have a slightly red/yellow bias, which gives it a warm tone, or blue/green bias that will characterize the light as being cool. Because true color quality is only revealed by pure white light, this cool or warm light will affect the clarity of colors in a room scheme."

- Homes & Gardens Book of Design; A Complete Resource, for Interior Style by Matthew Line

When choosing an area rug, the process of taking it home to see it in it's ultimate location, is invaluable. As the sun tracks across the sky the light within a house shifts, thus a rug in the early afternoon sun is going to appear much different than it does after the sun sets. What are the impacts of the artificial lighting on the rug? Whether you have a cool or warm artificial light, it effects the appearance of the objects in the room, rugs especially so. Whites may appear slightly yellow under warm lighting or slightly blue under cool lighting. The same goes for all the colors in the spectrum, for example under warm lighting blues may appear more green, or more purple under cool lighting.

"Colors are not static: artificial and natural light can exert very different influences over the same area and produce different effects within a few hours.This makes color matching in interiors particularly complex and is the reason why it should ideally be done after the installation of artificial lighting so that samples can be considered in situ."

Homes & Gardens Book of Design; A Complete Resource, for Interior Style by Matthew Line

It can seem like a lot to consider, but really it just comes down to these two specific points: 1.) Get your lighting situated before you make any final decisions on wall or textile colors. 2.) When choosing colors/textiles, especially an area rug, take samples or actual rugs home to try out before buying. See how the colors play throughout the day and after dark under artificial light. Seeing this will help you build confidence in choosing just the right rug for your space.

We have a whole showroom full of samples and rugs that can be taken home on approval. We allow you three days to spend with your rug/sample so you can see the lighting effects it at all times of day. Come visit us Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm at 297 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME 04101 to see what we have available!

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