I like Pottery Barn. Pottery Barn has some excellent furniture and household items. Some of them are also good quality for a reasonable price.
The rug department is another story. In the rug cleaning world, “POTTERY BARRIER RUG” has become synonymous with “PROBLEM ROGS.”
Pottery Barn carries some lovely woven rugs, mainly from Afghanistan. In their Arzu collection, they have some beautiful wool hand-woven rugs. It’s great that they fund a craft that allows women in Afghanistan to make a living and supports education in the area. The ARZU Project is something that should be supported.
You can tell if a rug has been “woven” based on whether the pattern is the same on the front and back.
The WOVEN rugs sold by Pottery Barn are excellent. It’s only a tiny fraction of the rugs they sell.
Problems are caused by “other” rugs. These include TUFTED rugs and other special pieces made from “natural” fibers.
The back of tufted rugs is made from a similar material:
The people who run the TUFTED rug departments (including Pottery Barn Kids rugs) and “earth-friendly” rug departments are selecting some of, if not all, the most difficult rugs to maintain and live with.
If you’re a professional carpet cleaner or a rug buyer, these are the ones that you should avoid…or be extremely careful with.
TUFTED RUGS from India: RUG TO RUN
We wash hundreds of rugs every week. This means we can identify “flawed products” relatively quickly, as we wash natural and synthetic woven rugs and tufted rugs.
There is no doubt that there are serious problems with the tufted carpets coming out of India, especially the ones sold by Pottery Barn. Here are some issues we see with TUFTED rugs coming from India.
Latex Odor of “Burnt rubber”
This problem has been discussed on my blog before. The strong, pungent smell that comes from Indian tufted rugs. The latex may have either been mixed with filler containing contaminants that release gases over time or have been soured before being applied. The smell is similar to that of a mixture between burned rubber, asphalt, and dirty socks.
This is a terrible thing. It is not correctable to my knowledge.
If you don’t believe me, check out this post. Hundreds of people have shared their horror tales about these India-tufted rugs.
As you can see from the thread of several years, Pottery Barn has a “simple” exchange process for those who wish to replace their rug with one that does not stink (i.e., The rugs without latex in the construction).
I don’t understand that with so many documented complaints online, they insist on having so many TUFTED Rugs in their selections for Kids. Why would you allow your children to breathe in these *bad* smells when they are crawling on the rugs and playing?
The odors do not seem harmful, but if something is so bad that you want to run away from it, doesn’t that mean your body is sending you a warning?
The problem seems to worsen with time and is more apparent when the sock is rolled up or in an enclosed room without air circulation. The problem is also more noticeable when the carpet gets wet. This means that if it ever needs to be cleaned or if it has been spilled on, it will cause problems.
In the worst-case scenarios, these rugs cannot be cleaned. Why would you buy a rug that you can’t clean?
Here is an example of the backing on one of these types:
Delamination of Latex
Today, we are seeing many more “fillers” in the India Tufted Rugs. These fillers simply can’t withstand age, walking on them, or moisture. The latex cracks, crumbles, and delaminates. The latex material is used to cover up the mess that would otherwise be on your floor.
These inferior India Tufted Rugs are not only messy, but they also lose their shape when the latex crumbles. Suppose the owner wishes to keep using the rug. In that case, professional rug cleaners must carefully wash it, remove all the *bad* filler and latex from the back, and apply a brand-new latex layer (without any filler powder).
This type of repair IS NOT cheap. People who buy a TUFTED carpet because it is cheaper than a WOVEN carpet will have to pay more for the repair and wash.
Woven rugs can last decades, even a century (if they are well-made and cared for). As with everything, if it is cheaper, there’s probably a good reason.
You will soon find out
The backing material can become discolored and “ugly.”
The canvas, linen, or jute backing hides this ugly latex. This backing will get watermarks, latex discoloration, and browning when the rugs have been spilled or washed. The back of TUFTED carpets often have this common appearance:
The backing of a TUFTED carpet, especially those from India, will have a marked and blotchy appearance after cleaning. It is possible to replace the material, but most people don’t care if the rug is clean and looks nice. The cotton backing of the rug acts as a filter for latex, soil, and water when it is washed.
Buckling and shedding of fibers on the top side
The latex backing and material determine how square or not a TUFTED rug is. When it starts to delaminate, the shape of your rug is lost. It is possible to see waves on the top surface.
As mentioned above, tufts can come loose if insufficient latex holds them in place. If the rug is made from inferior-quality wool, you may find that the strands are pulling away.
On the Pottery Barn site, you will see that wool rugs are expected to shed “some.” It’s true. The rug will shed some wool because it is made with short strands of wool and then shaved to create an even pile.
A rug of higher quality will be WASHED after weaving to remove most of these short, loose clippings. The “some” shedding is very minimal. When you pull or press on a rug, it will break away. This is an indication of bad wool. You will often find it in cheaper TUFTED rugs.