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Scary Fringes? How to Keep Area Rug Fringes Clean & Intact

Selvage edge coming undone

Missing fringe

Fringe tassels not only give an area rug an exotic or elegant look it serves an important purpose. The tassles that make up the fringe are part of the rug’s foundation. When the fringe is destroyed, the integrity of the rug can be jeopardized. If the rug isn't properly cared for the tassels may start to fray, shed, unravel or discolor. Once the fringe deteriorates, fixing it is difficult but usually not impossible. You can avoid this problem by taking good care of your fringed area rugs. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep the fringes in like new condition for years.

When you vacuum thhe rug with an upright "beater bar"-type vacuum, fold the fringe underneath the rug to protect from the vacuum which will pull and shred the fringe. Instead, vacuum the fringe with the nozzle attachment. Make sure to lift he rug and vacuum the floor beneath it to prevent dirt from transferring to the fringe. If your area rug is small enough to pick up, take it outside, hang it on a line and beat it, then vacuum it when it's back inside. This will help loosen dirt from the underside of the rug, including the fringe.

If your rug is antique or heirloom, don't vacuum it at home. Doing so may damage the rug's fibers.

Wipe up spills as soon as they happen so they don't spread to the fringes. Do not use soap or any type of chemical cleaners on a rug, read its care tag. Some cleaners, such as liquid carpet shampoo, can damage some rugs. It’s best to have it professionally washed.

Rotate the rug to allow it to wear more evenly. If you don't do this, the rug and fringes will get dirtier and more worn down in one spot than others. This will look unbalanced, and the dirt and damage will be more noticeable.

Avoid wear and tear on the rug by installing carpet padding beneath your area rug. This can serve two purposed; first, it prevents rug from sliding. Second, padding will absorb some of the weight of foot traffic preventing the pile from crushing.

Keep the rug out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Over time, sunlight will fade and weaken the rug. If you must put the rug in a sunny room, rotate it every few months, or install curtains to block out the sun.

If the fringe is very dirty, stained, knotted or worn and you there are options such as trimming, tea-washing and color correcting to name just a few. We do not recommend doing any of these repairs yourself. Don't bleach your rug's fringe, especially if the fringe is already old or damaged. Bleach may whiten the fringe well, but it also weakens it, causing it to deteriorate and fall apart. You should never cut all of the fringe off, and don't cut the knotted ends of the fringe. If you cut off the knotted ends, the rug may start to unravel. It’s best to seek a professional rug-care specialist like McCartin’s to perform the service for you.

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