Removing Creases and Wrinkles from New Sisal, Wool, Sea grass, Cotton and other Natural Fiber Area Rugs
“I recently purchased an 8’6′ round area rug. It was shipped folded tightly. How can I relax these fold creases so the rug will lay flat without the creases showing”?
I receive a lot of email questions on the subject of creases and wrinkles, so I sought to write a short article for reference purposes.
Most Brand New Area Rugs are rolled or folded for storage and shipment and will inevitably have wrinkles or creases, whether shipped to your door or bought from the store… no matter what quality of rug, or fiber content. You can expect at least one slight to stubborn crease, even in a rolled rug. How do we handle these creases and wrinkles?
Here are my Top Three Methods to Reduce or Eliminate Creases and Wrinkles in almost any type of Area Rug.
1. The Solar Radiant Method:
The Sun shines close to three hundred days per year where I live in the high-desert of southern California and in the flooring industry we seek to take full advantage of the Sun’s natural Radiant Heat. When you receive creased area rugs, carpets, vinyl, etc… it’s time to let the Sun do most of the work removing those unsightly wrinkles.
Simply roll your rug out on a clean Concrete slab such as your driveway, patio, patio pavers or even asphalt. Concrete, much like natural stone, stores up energy during daylight hours. This energy is in the form of heat. Heat that is emitted directly from the Sun and from the concrete that is warmed during the day is a form of good Radiation. I use this form of Solar Radiation to eliminate creases and wrinkles from all types of flooring… and it is especially useful for Natural Fiber Area Rugs. We have a fairly large warehouse, and as you can imagine, rugs and other remnants of flooring do not always get stored properly. I depend heavily upon the Sun to flatten out these problem products.
Even in the winter, when we are experiencing night-time freezing temperatures, the Sun is still our greatest tool. The best time of day for a Solar Radiant wrinkle removal project is between 1pm to 4pm. This allows plenty of time for the concrete to soak up those hot cosmic rays. Then, heat is slowly radiated into the top and bottom of the area rug.
It usually only takes 1 to 2 hours to remove even the most stubborn creases and wrinkles in the average rug. Although, heavier rugs may require a little more exposure time to remove more stubborn creases.
2. Artificial Heat:
For those who live in climates where the Sun spends a lot of time hiding behind clouds and fog, there is always the Common Household Hairdryer. This can be a tool for crease and wrinkle removal if used with proper caution. I suggest use of a Hairdryer because of the lower heat settings as opposed to a Heat-Gun. But a hairdryer still emits melting and burning heat if not used with care.
CAUTION: NEVER USE A HEAT-GUN OR TORCH! NEVER APPLY HEAT TO THE RUG FIBERS (or actual walking surface of the area rug). ALWAYS TURN YOUR RUG OVER AND ONLY APPLY LIGHT TO MEDIUM HEAT TO THE BACKING OF YOUR RUG. Ignoring this caution can result in permanent rug damage. Heat applied to a rugs Surface Fibers can result in Melting of Synthetic Fibers (nylon, polypropylene, etc…)… Scorching, Burning or Fire in Natural Rug Fibers (sisal, wool, cotton, grasses, etc…).
The best way to apply the proper amount of radiant heat is to keep your hairdryer at least 6 to 9 inches away from the back of the rug in a 1 foot wide sweeping motion (always keep your hairdryer in motion while applying heat). It’s better to use Less Heat and More Applications than to Rush the Process and take the chance of damaging an expensive or irreplaceable rug.
3. Heat and Moisture:
A commercial style Steamer can also provide heat with moisture to remove creases and wrinkles in area rugs. A steamer can eliminate even the most stubborn crease and wrinkle problems in the average natural fiber area rug. This type of steam unit is most often used by dry-cleaners, tailors and curtain hangers. Careful Steaming can produce great results on creases and wrinkles… Improper Steaming may cause pile-reversal of surface fibers on cut-pile type rugs.
CAUTION: USE THE SAME PRECAUTIONS ALREADY LISTED ABOVE. USE OF A HOUSEHOLD STEAM IRON MAY RESULT IN DAMAGE TO SELF OR YOUR RUG. NEVER USE A STANDARD HOUSEHOLD STEAM IRON ON ANY AREA RUG!
Best results in Steaming creases or wrinkles can be obtained by Vertically Hanging or Draping your rug… so that steam is applied to the Rug Backing Only. Reminder: Multiple applications may be used in order to avoid rug damage.
Steaming of Rug Fibers may be used by professionals for some repairs but this technique should Never be attempted by the novice Do It Yourselfer. Although I have never experienced any problems with these methods, the Use of the above methods is At Your Own Risk! (I am just trying to provide answers and solutions, so nobody sue me, please).
*These Tips are from my personal experience. They are Not intended to replace professional assistance. Do Not attempt these methods on Antique, Priceless or Irreplaceable Area Rugs.
May God Bless your home,
www.RugRunnerBiz.com — Fine Wool Area Rugs and Home Décor Items