Sari Silk – The Ultimate Recycled Rugs

Sari Silk — The Ultimate Recycled Rugs
upcyclesariSome call it recycling; others think the process deserves a name with a more positive connotation. Thus, the term upcycling was born. Upcycling means taking something that would otherwise be thrown away — in this case, fabric — and making it into an even better product. In upcycling, the old parts do not equal the new whole.
Sari Silk rugs are an upcycling success story. Made from the silk that once graced the saris destined to be worn by Indian women, these rugs have become some of the most colorful, most imaginative, and most sought-after pieces on the market today. A sari is a four-to-nine-yard length of cloth, often silk, that women wrap around themselves as their garment.
sari5Upcycling Saris
The saris upcycled into rugs are typically composed of handspun silk. Since the rugs’ popularity has skyrocketed, women’s cooperatives in India have developed a cottage industry to create the vibrant silk thread that’s then used to hand-knot the fabulous rugs.
The women unravel unused saris by hand, fortify the extracted silk with cotton, wool, or other fibers, and then weave the threads into unique patterns that end up looking like pieces of art — which they are. The breathtaking creations, made entirely of this fortified sari silk, are saturated with colors and are so soft that you may find yourself wanting to leave the sofa to snuggle on the floor.
One-of-a-Kind Masterpieces
No two Sari Silk rugs are alike because of the variety of the source saris collected by the Indian women. Once the fabric has been hand-knotted into rugs, they become the one-of-a-kind masterpieces you can find at Rug & Home.
These hand-crafted works of art contain inconsistencies in their patterns and variations in their colors — elements that heighten their beauty instead of detracting from it. You will experience an infinite variety of sari1color in your Sari Silk rugs.
Caring for Your Treasures
These natural rugs are durable and will hold up for decades if you take care of them properly. Don’t place your Sari Silk rug in a place that receives heavy traffic, but do lay them on top of a quality rug pad, such as those sold at Rug & Home. You may also want to keep it out of direct sunlight.
Put your colorful work of art where it will be seen rather than trampled, such as by a corner sitting area, underneath a table or baby grand piano, or in your bedroom. Some owners love their rugs too much to walk on them, preferring instead to hang them on the wall.
Sari Silk rugs require gentle vacuuming with suction only, although you can have them hand-washed by a professional cleaner as needed.
It’s worth the little extra time and the effort it takes to care for a Sari Silk rug because they will last longer. In the end, you won’t think of them as upcycled or even recycled … you’ll just love and respect the beauty of your one-of-a-kind rug.

Fall Rug Care

Bring your outdoor rug indoors for the winter.

October means it’s time once again to get into the spirit for a big fall cleanup. What? You think spring is the only time to clean? That’s a myth. Spring is simply a time to open up the house from the hunkered-down months of winter, sweep away the dust, and uncover the patio furniture.

By comparison, autumn is a time for real cleaning. To prepare for winter, you have to clean everything before you pack it away. You have to rake the yard and cover the pool, bring in the cold-sensitive plants and slide the storm windows into place. Indoors, you perform some major cleaning, wiping down the windows, baseboards, fan blades, and vents. And for heaven’s sake, don’t forget about your rugs.

While the indoor/outdoor rugs on your deck and patio can withstand the harsh overnight chills, they will last for many long spring and summer seasons if you bring them indoors when the cold hits. Chances are you won’t be entertaining outdoors anyway (and it will be too cold to chill out next to your frozen grill), so put your removable outdoor rugs on the cleaning list and make room in the attic.

It’s fairly easy to clean most indoor/outdoor rugs, since they are made of synthetic materials designed to withstand mild soap and water. Lay out your rug and scrub it with a soft-bristled long-handled brush using mild dish soap that does not contain bleach. Turn the rug over and repeat on the backside. Hang the rug over a railing or on an incline so the water can drain until the entire rug dries.

Once it’s completely dry, roll up the rug, careful to keep edges even to prevent crinkling. Tape or tie the rug into a secure cylinder and store it in a cool, dry place. Come spring, your rug will look brand new when you once again unroll it onto your patio.

Your big fall cleanup should also include steps to maintain the other rugs in your home. At the very least, you should use the seasonal housework push to turn any rugs that have been exposed to the direct rays of the hot summer sun. Wool rugs are very sensitive to light. The natural fibers can fade or even discolor when exposed to ultraviolet light. Once the sun’s rays have bleached the dye in a hand-knotted wool rug, no amount of cleaning can restore its original vibrancy.

By turning your wool rugs, you help them fade evenly, allowing the aging process to occur gradually and gracefully. At the same time, you’ll appreciate your rug from the many different vantage points turning provides you. Here’s all you do: move the furniture off the rug and turn it 90 degrees.

For some rug aficionados, a faded look implies antiquity and adds personality to the rug. But uneven fading reduces a rug’s attractiveness. Be good to your rugs, and you’ll be able to enjoy them for many autumns to come.

A Rug Pad Primer

Q: Why and when do I need to use a rug pad? What type of pad do you recommend? – Gail from Johnson City, TN

A: As we mentioned briefly in Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 1 and Part 2, using a rug pad is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure that your purchase lasts as long as possible. A rug pad can offer protection from mildew (a concern for renters and homeowners in humid climates) by allowing air to circulate under the rug and preventing moisture from collecting. In the event of a small liquid spill, a rug pad can buy you time to blot the spill with a clean cloth and then keep air circulating so the spot dries without mildewing.

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Three Tricks of the Trade

Handmade Rug Edition

Not to toot our own horns too loudly, but the entire R&H team knows a great deal about rugs. After all, owners Rakesh and Dolly Agarwal have been in the rug business for over 25 years, and they share their passion and knowledge with all team members. That knowledge includes plenty tricks of the trade.

While the tricks aren’t trade secrets guarded as heavily as the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe (Remember when the national news followed its relocation in 2009 via a locked box handcuffed to its personal security guard?!), it’s likely you may not have heard them before. So, we thought we’d take this chance to share three insider tips!

1.  Put your rug on ice: Well, sort of. A great thing about hand-knotted rugs is that they’re made of wool fibers, which are resilient and can literally bounce back! If, over time, your furniture has left indentations on your rug and you’d like to get rid of them, take an ice cube and gently rub it over the depressions. You can use your fingers or even a brush as well once the areas are a bit moist to loosen the fibers and get them to fill the space again. Of course, you don’t want to soak the areas. While wool is naturally mold resistant, a saturated rug is never a great idea.
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Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 2

Handmade Rugs 101 Series
Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 2

We talked about several things you can do to keep your rug looking its best in Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 1. What else can you do to be sure your investment lasts a lifetime?

Keep Moths and Other Pests Away

Moths are pesky creatures. They love nothing more than to dine on the most costly fabric investment in a home. Fortunately, periodic sweeping or vacuuming of your rug can easily keep them at bay. Moths hate to be disturbed and will generally infest a rug that is in storage or areas of your rug that are under furniture. Just as rotating helps ensure consistent wear and tear, it also sends a clear message to pests: keep out!

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Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 1

Handmade Rugs 101 Series
Caring for Your Handmade Rug: Part 1

You may have noticed that handmade rugs typically cost more than machine-made rugs. But don’t let the cost deter you, as they’re a great investment. With proper care, handmade rugs can easily last for hundreds of years thanks to the high quality fibers, dyes, and techniques used to create them. We’ll go into more detail on the process in other posts in this series, but for now, let’s focus on just what proper care entails.

Clean Regularly

Regular cleaning plays an important role in extending the life of your rug. While heavy-duty cleanings are best left to the professionals and should be preformed on a semi-regular basis, there’s plenty you can do to keep your rug looking its best, too. Here are some tips:

  • Sweep or vacuum daily/weekly. We know that there aren’t enough hours in the day. If you can’t sweep or vacuum daily, do try to make at least a weekly routine of caring for your rug. If vacuuming, you’ll want to choose a machine without beater bars—those rotating plastic brushes found on the undersides of almost all standard vacuum cleaners. They’re not gentle enough for handmade rugs and can tug at the fibers. You may be able to turn off the beater bar on your vacuum. But, if not, make the broom your friend!
  • Spill? Act quickly. For a liquid spill, blot immediately with a paper towel or clean white rag to soak up as much liquid as possible. For a solid spill, quickly blot with a paper towel or clean white rag, then gently scrape any remaining debris away with the dull edge of a knife or spoon. Still there? You may be able to use products you already have at home—like vinegar and wax paper—to help remove the spill. Or, you may need to use a cleaning product specifically made for rugs. Rug & Home recommends Capture products by Milliken ( Their cleaners contain no bleach, solvents, or harsh chemicals and are easy to use. All you need is a vacuum! For a list of possible spills and how to clean them, CLICK HERE. It’s also possible that a professional cleaning may be needed to properly remove the spill or stain. Please call Rug & Home for our recommendations on the best professional cleaners in your area.

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