Silk rug cleaning fills the heart of many cleaners with fear! Why is that? How are silk rugs different?
Silk rugs are some of the most beautiful pieces of craftmanship and art that you can find. Silk is a natural protein fiber. It is produced by silkworms as they make their cocoons. The Mulberry Silkworm is the most common producer of silk used in textiles.
According to Chinese legend, the Goddess of Silk (Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih) introduced Silk Worm rearing and the invention of the loom. That was one busy lady!
* Silk is iridescent and shimmery because of its architecture. Silk refracts light at different angles due to its triangular structure.
* It has a smooth soft texture but it's not slippery like synthetic fibers
* Silk is a very strong natural fiber, but it weakens when exposed to moisture. It loses 20% of its strength when wet.
* The monofilament of silk is too thin and fragile to use as-is on a commercial basis. Up to ten strands are combined to make one ready-to-use silk thread.
There are many challenges in successfully washing silk textiles. The one thing that is not a problem is silk's inherent strength! Silk is plenty strong enough to stand up to washing. The only caveat to silk's strength is it's not very elastic. If silk gets stretched out it will remain stretched out. It will not return to its former shape. In practical terms this means that while silk can be safely cleaned it can't be subjected to mechanical agitation or any other kind of action that would result in its being stretched.
Silk definitely has a proclivity towards dye transfer and bleeding. Successful silk rug cleaning depends on the cleaner being able to carefully control the cleaning process; the correct Ph needs to be maintained throughout the cleaning process, a dye-set of some kind must be applied prior to wet cleaning, an effective but very safe rug shampoo should be employed and last but not least the cleaner must maintain a tight focus on drying the rug down quickly after cleaning has been completed.
In some cases the use of specialty extraction tools can aid in cleaning delicate rugs (wringers, hydro-kinetic hand tools, teflon glides, etc.).
Pro Care Cleaning will always exercise the greatest standard of care when performing silk rug cleaning. Your rug will beautiful, vibrant and clean when we return it to you!
Most fake or faux silk rugs are made from Rayon or Viscose (two different names for the exact same fiber type). It is frequently referred to as "Art-Silk". A real silk rug is thin and pliable with amazingly intricate design patterns. Art-Silk, by comparison, is thicker with folded over "fringe" and ends, the fiber color is flat and it doesn't have the sheen of real silk. These rugs have multiple challenges for the owner. First and foremost, they don't stand up well to foot traffic. Rayon/viscose is a very weak fiber and as a result the pile yarns literally break off over time. From a cleaning standpoint Art-Silk can suffer from:
* Fiber shedding and breakage
* Fibers tend to dry stiff (requires post-cleaning grooming)
* Hidden ink steciling on the foundation (these rugs may need to be cleaned with dry compound)
Wow! Is there any good news?!
Yes! Even with these challenges Pro Care Cleaning can safely and effecively clean your Art-Silk rug! We have the expertise to make sure that each cleaning leads to the optimal outcome for a particular rug.