Forgive me Shag Rug Lovers…………

modern shag…but I am not a fan of Modern Shag rugs and here’s why.

The longer I work at Luv-A-Rug the more I get annoyed. I am annoyed at all the rug manufactures that make rugs out of fibers that cannot be cleaned. Some rugs once they get dirty and stained that is it they cannot be cleaned to look new and clean again.

I was looking at some rug selling websites this week and I was shocked at what they are using as fibers on some of these rugs. It looks like someone went to a craft store and bought all the fancy string, ribbon, felt, and cloth and then went and made rugs with it.

Don’t get me wrong the rugs look amazing, beautiful and modern, but they aren’t made to be walked on.

Shag rugs are not a bad rug choice when they are used properly. It would also be nice if not all shag rugs were off white, cream, or beige, at least the ones sold in Victoria BC.

I call Shag rugs the Divas of the rug world. They need to vacuumed and cleaned more often that other rugs, they are also sensitive to spills and pet urine. Plus some don’t like to be walked on.

My lack of appreciation for shag rugs may stem from the fact that even though I was born in the 70’s, I did not grow up with shag carpet in my home. Plus I am now looking at rugs from a cleaning point of view and an environmental one too.
When you are out looking for rugs think about vacuuming and cleaning it. If you don’t know how it can be vacuumed easily or how you would clean up a messy spill, you may want to keep looking for a more useable rug.

I know that in Victoria BC, because shag rugs are not expensive to buy that a lot end up getting tossed out and replaced, usually by another shag. I wrote about how we are a disposable/green society and the shag rugs I see fit right into that.

This is my plea to area rug makers to start making rugs that stand up to being used everyday and from fibers and products that last and are not harmful to humans, pets or the environment, Please!

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary- healthy, beautiful rug and environment lover

>Customer Service is about Service- A Shag Rug Story

>At about 2:20pm, June 2nd 2011, a lady came into Luv-A-Rug carrying her rolled up shag rug. I greeted her and told her that she had a great coloured shag. It was a charcoal grey and cream polypropylene shag rug that she bought from Scan Design in Millstream Village.

She said that her rug was new and it had a small yellow spot from where her friend had dropped a hotdog with ketchup and mustard on it. She wanted to know if we could just spot clean the area. it was  a small 3 inch circle of yellow and it smelled like mustard, ketchup and hot dog juice.

With it being a quiet day I said that I would try just using our own spot cleaner and see what would come off ,if she had the time. She said yes she did, so I sat down and started spot cleaning the area.

As I was doing it I explained to her that whenever she had to clean up a spot on her shag  you always have to wipe from the bottom of the fibers to the top as to not cause the pile to untwist and distort.

We sat there on her shag and had a good discussion about her shag, Scan Design and coffee tables, as she had ordered one from Scan design to go with her rug, and that is where I got my lovely dark walnut coffee table too. I had also found 30 cents and 3 bobby pins in her shag and I explained the best way to care for her shag.

I said that Shags needed to be vacuumed and cleaned more often that regular pile rugs and once a month she should turn her rug upside and vacuum the back. Here is a video I did showing the best way to vacuum a shag rug.

I spent about 10-15 minutes sitting there chatting and cleaning the mustard off each individual fiber. With a shag that is how you remove spots and spills is to WIPE EACH FIBER FROM BOTTOM TO TOP. When you wipe against the fibers you are spreading the spill further and it makes the fibers fray open and not lay right.

I succeeded in removing at least 90% of all the yellow mustard from her rug and made it almost invisible when you looked at the rug. I had good success because the rug was a synthetic fiber, she did not try to remove the spot herself and she got the rug to us the next day after it happened.

The client was thrilled that I could get the spot out and explained how to take care of her shag. She was also happy that I wouldn’t charge her for me doing it. It was such a little thing to do and took no time to do it that I didn’t feel right asking her to pay. She also said that when she did need her rug cleaned that she would be bringing back to Luv-A-Rug. That is the best compliment ever!

She asked the best spot cleaner to use and my answer was water and a white cotton towel. Vinegar is good for urine, salt is good for red wine same with dry oats for wet spills, baking soda is BAD! as a spot cleaner for rugs. Adding anything else just makes a layered sandwich and can make a spot into a permanent stain.

Next time you get a food spill on your rug don’t rub deeper into the rug. Wipe in the direction of the fibers in straight lines, blot, and if possible keep the area damp until you can get the rug in for cleaning.

Here’s to spot free area rugs, RugloverMary

>What does a Scandinavian Hooked Rug look like?

> I love it when we receive a different kind of rug for cleaning. Today we got a hand hooked rug from Scandinavia.

Rugs from the Scandinavian regions are also known as Rya rugs. They started out as a way for fisherman and hunters to keep warm and turned into area rugs.

The weaving technique is different from the rug hooking we do in North America.
They use a wool woven flat rug for their backing then they loop through the shaggy pile.

To get the multi-tonal look several wool fibers of different shades of the same colour were pulled through the same hole. To do a blended colour change several fibers of different colours would be pulled through together.

These rugs came in complete kits, same as you would buy here in North America. This particular pattern is called Birch.

From the back, you can see the fibers are hooked in straight lines. The weaver used every second line for a less dense rug.

I am curious to know if the pattern called for using every second line to be used or if you had the choice to use every line to make it thicker?

If you have family or friends who are from Finland, Sweden, or Norway ask them if they know of the Rya rug kits used to make hooked rugs back in the “Old Country” and post your findings.

Here is a close up of the front of the rug. You can slightly see the different colours of wool in each knotted tuft.
To keep these shags looking their best you need to vacuum between each row of fibers.

Shaking the rug will cause the loose dirt to get caught up in the fibers, not recommended.

As with all shag rugs it is near impossible to remove all the loose dirt trapped at the bottom of the fibers. The fibers fan out or lay down trapping the dirt.

The best place to use shaggy rugs is in an area that doesn’t get walked on a lot or near food areas.
I love seeing unique area rugs that have a history. If you have such a rug please bring it in to Luv-A-Rug and your rug can also be featured on my blog.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

I found two great blog written on Scandinavian/ Rya rugs:

The Textile Blog tells about the 1960’s rug trends

The Ouno Blog tell about the history of how these rugs came to be and how they changed over the years