HELP! My Rug has changed colour after I cleaned it

When buying an area rug you have to consider the size, colour, design, checking for bad smells and fibers shedding. As if that doesn’t seem like enough I come along and write about one more thing to add to the list. This isn’t a new thing I’ve just seen, but it is the first time I have noticed it in a wool hand tufted designer area rug.

A lady brought her area rug that had an unfortunate pet accident in to Luv-A-Rug for a cleaning. She used everyday baking soda and a home steam cleaner to spot clean the affected area. After she was done cleaning it she noticed it had turned white in the area she spot cleaned, as shown in the picture below.

Now baking soda isn’t great for a wool rug to begin with, but it seemed to remove the colour way too easily.

Usually baking soda lightens only the spot where used not the whole area that was steamed cleaned. I was a bit baffled as to why the rug lightened so easily.

As I am wracking my brain for an answer for the client I separated the fibers of the rug and found the reason as to why her area rug changed colour so easily.
The picture may not show it too well

The tips of the fibers are a golden colour while the rest of the wool fiber is an off white. The other colours used in the design were the same all the way through except the white.

The reason for the is that after the rug was made someone decided that the white didn’t look right and changed it to a golden colour.

The process used is called “tea staining”, it is a good way to make a rug look antique. The manufacturer uses synthetic dyes, herbs or even tea in a wash to only dye the tips of the fibers to give the rug a warm yellow antique look.

When you are selecting an area rug check the fibers to see if the colour is uniform all the way down the fiber, especially when you are looking at a hand tufted rug (a tufted rug is a rug that has a fabric backing on it).

By checking a rug thoroughly before buying saves you money, time and the headache of finding out that your is ruined because of tea staining and improper cleaning.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

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