We’ve discussed the durability of wool for Oriental rugs, but what about silk?
Have you found what may be the perfect Silk Oriental rug, but you’re worried about maintenance or durability? We have answers to your questions about silk rugs and what it takes to make sure you treat your new or inherited silk Oriental rug with tender loving care.
Real Silk Rugs: What You Need To Know
Silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms and is admired for its luster and delicate beauty. Certain factors such as climate, the worm’s diet, and where the worms reside have an effect on the luster of the silk as well as its color retention properties.
Silk is a natural fiber like cotton and wool but it is the most delicate of the three. Silk fibers tend to break more easily, which is why special care must be considered if you really have your heart set on a silk Oriental rug. Another feature of silk fiber is that it has no “memory” and so has a tendency to lose its shape if it gets wet or is pulled. This adds to its overall delicate quality.
How To Distinguish Between Real And Artificial Silk
The price tag is often the most distinguishing feature. Real silk is expensive. Some manufacturers may try to mimic the sheen, luster, and softness of silk, but only real silk feels like real silk – smooth, luxurious, and with a slightly waxy texture.
Real silk will still have minor bumps or grooves in the weave, whereas artificial silk will have a smooth, even weave. Artificial silk doesn’t hold color as well as real silk, and it wears down more quickly. Viscose and acrylic tend to pill and pull apart, they show dirt more easily, and they yellow or fade as they age. Viscose, rayon, acrylic, and polyester simply will not feel as luxurious as real silk.
The fastest way to determine whether a rug is 100% silk or not is to rub its fringe vigorously. If the fabric feels warm, it’s silk. Silk retains some heat, whereas fake silk will not. Fake silk can’t withstand foot traffic the way real silk can.
How To Care For Your Silk Rug So It Stays Looking Good
When you own a silk rug, it pays to look after it. A silk rug that is well looked after will retain its good looks for a long time.
One of the best ways to clean a silk rug is to use a brushless vacuum attachment and low suction. Gentle sweeping with a broom is also a great way to pick up surface dirt and debris before it gets embedded deep within the pile and becomes more difficult to remove.
In case of a liquid spill, blot it out immediately with a clean, dry cloth. Be careful not to scrape at spills as the fibers may break or be pulled out of shape.
Other than a gentle vacuuming or sweeping, never try and shampoo or deep clean your silk rug at home. Using soap and water to clean your rug at home can leave it damaged beyond repair. It is always best to get your silk rug professionally cleaned.
Despite its delicate nature, real silk is surprisingly resilient when it comes to use, and it can withstand foot traffic without showing wear the way fake silk does. Learn how to care for your silk rug and it will age with beauty and grace.