This involves bleaching the wool fibers with various chemicals, such as sodium hydrosulfide and chlorine bleach. The goal is to “soften” a rug’s appearance. It is similar to highlighting the hair, as this solution dissolves the outer cuticle layer of the wool. This gives it a smoother look and makes it MUCH more reflective.
It creates a lustrous wash by highlighting the fiber tips and enhancing the sheen. Wool rugs from China, Pakistan, and India produced after World War II sometimes have a sheen-like silk.
This type of process highlights the wool’s cuticle layer, which is where its strength lies. The outer protective layer that would generally repel liquids is now gone. These luster-washed rugs are more susceptible to permanent staining (especially from acidic spills), color loss during spot cleaning, and fading if improperly cleaned or placed in direct sunlight.
The blue rug on this rug is now beige due to improper cleaning.
If you open up the fibers of many rugs and look closely, you’ll see that the threads differ from the base to the tip. The tips will appear lighter, and the ground will be darker. Nearly frosted.
These rugs will be more prone to permanent stains because chemical processing has weakened their fibers. The wig may not last a century (wool is the best fiber for a carpet), but you can’t use an over-the-counter spot remover on them. They will result in a color loss much worse than the original stain.
Regarding over-the-counter products, it is essential to note that you should NEVER use them on wool oriental rugs or any other natural fiber rug (such as silk or cotton). These chemicals were designed for synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting and are too harsh for natural fiber rugs. Folex, Resolve, Oxyclean.
Woolite can also cause discoloration or bleaching of colors when applied directly to particular wool carpets. This is due to the optical brighteners used in its formulation. Customers tend to maintain the product when using it, which almost always results in dye damage.
Wool rugs will not fade when washed gently and appropriately.
Direct sunlight or sunlight used to dry a rug after cleaning can cause a wool rug to fade.
Wool rugs can be faded by using cleaning products unsuitable for wool. This includes using high temperatures and chemicals used in synthetic wall-to-wall cleaning.
Wool rugs can be faded by cleaning them at home. You may leave cleaning chemicals in the fibers because you did not wash or rinse the carpet.