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Potential Causes of Yellowing in Rugs

Sometimes , light colored rugs can appear to yellow over time . This can happen to carpets , rugs , drapes , and other textiles .
This yellowing usually happens gradually , and often is not particularly noticeable until after a rug is cleaned . This can lead a customer to naturally assume that the cleaning was the cause .
There are a number of potential causes of yellowing in rugs , and usually the cleaning process is not the culprit , but it can expose some pre-existing conditions in the rug , leading to the visible discoloration . Early forms of stain resistant finishes , especially those based on silicone , and early types of nylon are common causes of yellowing , especially with exposure to UV light .
The use of fluorescent brightening agents can lead to yellowing . These agents are found in many detergents and spot cleaners , sometimes used by professionals but more commonly sold to homeowners , and although they are not recommended for use on area rugs , many people still use them because their packaging does not make this clear . The latex used in the backing of tufted rugs can cause the face to yellow through a condition known as off-gassing .
Some fibers are prone to photo-oxidation where combinations of exposure to sunlight and off-gassing from home furnishings cause rug fibers the fibers yellow over time . Often , light colors are achieved through the use of several different dyes . Over time these dyes can fade at different rates , altering the color ’ s appearance . Finally , sometimes a rug has already yellowed but it has been covered up by soil and only after the soil has been removed does the discoloration reveal itself .
Call Clean As A Whistle if you are worried about your rug yellowing OR if you just need a safe and neutral pH spotter for your textiles .

Why Do White Knots in Oriental Rugs Occur ?

Did you know that “ white knots ” is a term to describe
a condition inherent in hand knotted rugs , where light colored spots appear over time , seemingly at random , in the body of the rug pile ? They are sometimes called “ rug freckles .” These spots are knots in the rug ’ s foundation that have worked their way through the rug pile and are showing through the pile yarns .
When a hand knotted rug is made , its foundation is made of warp and weft yarns . Warp yarns run the length of the rug and weft yarns span the rug ’ s width . Often the material the weaver has on hand is too short for the length needed , so shorter lengths are tied together until the necessary length is achieved . Also , in the weaving process some warp yarns can break , and the loose ends have to be tied together , the knots used in all of these instances will eventually become white knots .
When a rug is new and its pile is at full length , these knots can be hidden from view , but eventually regular foot traffic will wear the pile length down and begin to expose them . Although the term “ white knots ” is used generally , their appearance reflects the material used in the foundation of a rug , so depending on the material used , your rug might have “ blue knots ” “ gray knots ” or others . It is important to understand when you begin to notice them that these knots do not indicate that there is a defect , or lack of quality with a particular area rug , rather they simply reflect how your rug was made . They should never be cut as this will lead to a hole in the foundation of your rug .
Through foot traffic and regular soiling , these knots can become darker and less noticeable . With a thorough cleaning , the soils and stains that help to hide the knots will be removed , and the knots will reappear or become more noticeable . This does not mean there is a problem with the cleaning , but again reflects one of the physical characteristics of hand knotted rugs as they wear . Call us today if you would like a free consultation about your rug .