Silk rugs are made in many parts of the world with Persian Silk Carpets and Turkish Silk Herekeh among the top contenders. The most expensive silk rug ever sold was the Isfahan rug from Persia. Its outstanding craftsmanship, high knot density and use of pure natural silk made it a rare find. The selling price of $4,450,000 USD trumped all other rugs in its class when it was sold in 2008. Properly understanding what this material is will help you make a better decision when choosing a silk rug cleaning service.
What are the different ways silk is produced?
Natural silk is produced from the cocoon of the silk worm. It begins with an adult silk moth, which is raised solely for reproduction in special housings with temperature, light and air controls. When the silkworms mature, they spin cocoons from a jellylike substance in their silk glands. After about a week, the cocoons are steamed or baked to kill the worms inside. The cocoons are then heated, or boiled to unravel the silky fibers. Each cocoon consists of a thread about half a mile long. Once the cocoon fibers are unraveled, several are reeled together on a spool to make a thread strong enough for spinning into silk yarn.Natural silk is extremely high in tensile strength, exceeding that of nylon.
Artificial silk (Art-Silk) is made of mercerized cotton, or rayon fibers. It does not come from the cocoon of a silk worm. Cotton fibers are mercerized by being stretched under controlled tension, at room temperature, while being treated with a Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) solution. This causes the fiber to swell, making it much more lustrous and reflective.
Rayon (Viscose) is made almost entirely of pure cellulose. It is produced by first dissolving cellulose to a thick yellow liquid, called viscose. The viscose is extruded through tiny holes into a chemical bath that makes long filaments that are spun into thread or yarn. Viscose in recent years is used to make area rugs. It is used as an accent with wool, just like a silk highlight, or 100% viscose. Due to the cellulose-based nature of this fiber, traditional area cleaners are unable to handle Viscose rug cleaning.
Silk — Natural or Artificial?
Only an expert can tell if the rug you’ve got is made of natural or artificial silk. Regardless of which it is, the rug is valuable and must be taken care of properly.
Silk Rug Cleaning
Handmade oriental rugs and Persian carpets cannot be cleaned by your carpet cleaners in a home setting or exposed to steam cleaning. Whether your rug is made of wool or silk, you should contact a professional rug cleaning service to take of your rugs. Every type of rug and fiber has its own challenges and unique method of cleaning. A wool rug is cleaned and cared for entirely different than a 100% silk rug. Viscose rugs require an entire different category of skill sets and cleaning systems specifically developed to handle plant based fibers.
Who do I contact for safe silk rug cleaning?
RevitaRUGS, New York’s premier valuable area rug cleaner, is the only place you can trust to clean all types of silk rugs. Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote from one of our revita experts today! Call us at 1.855.5.REVITA or fill out our contact form here.