These days there are many choices of rugs to purchase. Modern rugs are usually geometric or abstract patterns by nature. Often simple in design. As the worlds demand for modern rugs increased over the last 20 years, many options appear that are causing consumers some major problems. These rugs were made using techniques to cut time and labor. Many of the rugs are missing integral foundational components causing issues like dimensional instability, tearing, and shrinking. Instead of each yarn being tied around the warp(main foundation cord)to build the soft top pile, it is wrapped around. This procedure is done to save time. A weaver can wrap a whole row in the time it would take to knot 1/3 of a row of a traditionally built Persian rug. The knotting technique really locks in the components so they become one piece. The cheap, corner cutting technique I speak of is called hand looming. It is so weak that often a hand loomed rug will split and tear if a piece of furniture is dragged over it. A table leg will rip through this weak foundation. Another common problem with hand loomed rugs is that they are woven very loosely compared to knotted rugs. This means that when washed they can shrink considerably and not evenly. Almost no hand loomed rugs stay square after washing and drying.
Apart from Hand loomed rugs which are weak in construction, another problematic Modern rug is making up a huge percentage of the rugs purchased by the American market. Rugs made with Viscose pose several issues with maintenance, longevity, and health concerns. Viscose is also sold under the names art silk, bamboo silk, banana silk, and Rayon. This Material started off as a plant substance. Through harsh acidic transformation it is made into a Gel that can be extruded much like nylon or polyester. Viscose still contains enough lignon(plant sugars) to oxidize if moistened. Often an owner of a Viscose rug will spill just a little water and it will turn the area yellow as it dries. It is the same thing that happens to an apple that is cut in half and left out in the air. It turns yellow/brown. With Viscose rugs this poses a problem because any spot cleaning has great potential to make the spot worse in an attempt to get it clean. Professional cleaners even have challenges being effective while stepping around potential problems. Often times a centrifugal rug drying machine is needed to spin most of the water from a wet rug to start air drying the rug from already 90% dry. Cleaning companies who try other methods of drying almost always have problems. This has led the cleaning community to be wary of Viscose and to charge more money to wash these because of the extra labor and skill involved as well as the added liability. Viscose rugs are made in many designs and styles, often being mistaken for silk. The rugs have a place. They are much like disposable contact lenses, they have a place, but don’t last as long as the real thing. Viscose should be cheaper right? Most large rug companies are using the public lack of knowledge to cash in. They are charging more for Viscose rugs than for wool rugs. They are marketing this material as a luxurious silky yarn. This fiber does not hold up even 20% as well to foot traffic as wool. This means that viscose rugs that get foot traffic start to look old, dirty, and worn very fast. To spend $2000-$6000 on a rug to find out a short while later that its is not too cleanable and will look terrible in a short time is angering consumers across the country.