Why You Should Avoid Rayon Area Rugs
Rayon rugs present many cleaning challenges. This type of fiber doesn’t hold up to foot traffic or consumer/do-it-yourself spot cleaning. Professional cleaning could even worsen pre-existing texture distortion and sprouting. Another problem associated with rayon rugs is that the dyes are not always colorfast (dyed-in colors that will not fade or be washed out). CLEAN Choice Cleaning & Restoration explains various reasons you may want to avoid buying rayon area rugs – from material issues to cleaning challenges.
What Is Rayon?
Rayon is a fabric made from purified cellulose fibers, which are typically created from wood pulp. Rayon is known by several names:
- Artificial silk
- Art silk
- Banana silk
- Bamboo silk
- Allo silk
- Cactus silk
- Soya silk
All of these names are a type of rayon made from regenerated (or reformed) cellulose.
Rayon in Area Rugs
What we as rug cleaners commonly encounter is either viscose rayon used as a design highlight, woven carpet fabricated into an area rug, or rugs made from 100% viscose rayon. The label should read “artificial silk” or be abbreviated as “art silk.” Unfortunately, many consumers overlook the “art” part of the label and are convinced they have a true silk rug. They might have paid a considerable amount of money for the rug (particularly if the rug dealer was not forthcoming).
A viscose rayon rug may have pre-existing pile distortion and sprout. Cleaning may not improve the look and may create additional distortion and sprouts. During the cleaning process, viscose rayon, when wet, loses 30-50% of its strength. Other natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, have a higher tenacity.
False Advertising of Rayon Rugs
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken several large retailers and manufacturers to court over false labeling. They have called it “bamboo-zling.” Maybe they do have a sense of humor after all. The FTC has been paid million-dollar fines for advertising of items “made from 100% bamboo fiber,” “antimicrobial fiber,” “biodegradable fiber,” and “eco-friendly fiber.” This includes such companies as Amazon, Leon Max/Max Studio, Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart, who continued to make those advertising claims after the FTC sent them a warning letter.
Avoid Buying Rayon Area Rugs
As you can see, viscose rayon is a problematic fiber. Read the label if it is still on the rug. Doing a simple burn test will tell you if it is real silk (burning hair odor) or rayon (burning paper odor).
To learn more about why our rug specialists don’t recommend having rayon area rugs in your home, contact our team at CLEAN Choice – we can help you determine the best rug for your home.
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