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A lot of misinformation is passed around on what to look for when choosing a superior, hand-woven carpet. The truth is, knot count and detail of design play a role in the look of the carpet, but have little to do with quality. I always tell my clients the most important factor determining quality is the material used in the weaving of that rug. It doesn’t matter if a carpet is finely woven if the wools and dyes can’t hold up to years of abuse. The quality of wool determines how long a rug will last, and gives the carpet a luxurious texture and finish.
The finest yarn comes from sheep that have been bred for centuries to produce lanolin rich wool. The wool is then carded and spun by hand, and eventually colored by master dyers. The wool is left in its natural form, retaining essential oils, which protect wool and keep it strong over time.
Most rugs on the market today are woven with highly processed New Zealand wool. The wool is bleached and stripped of its oils, and then machine spun into overly consistent yarn. Although these rugs are soft and can be woven with tighter knots, the yarn is dead and breaks down over time.
How to Buy
Most design professionals agree it’s best to start with a carpet and build the room up from there. It is far easier to pick fabrics and accessories based on a carpet than choosing a carpet after the fact.
Before visiting a carpet showroom, make sure you know the minimum and maximum size of the rug you need. It’s also helpful to bring paint samples, fabrics, or even a pillow off the sofa. What style of rug are you looking for—traditional, contemporary, or transitional? It’s good to consult home furnishing magazines and bring in photos of styles you like.
Reputable dealers will encourage you to try out rugs in your home before purchasing. When you visit our showroom we will take you through our inventory and keep records of any potential options. We offer a free delivery service and will deliver as many choices as you like for home viewing. It’s our job to make sure you are completely happy with the rug before purchasing.
Our knowledgeable sales staff is here to help, and is available for home visits. If you are looking for an interior designer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to recommend one to you.
We recommend having your carpet cleaned every 2 to 5 years depending on use. Never steam clean or dry clean a high quality rug. Always have your carpet cleaned by someone specializing in hand-cleaning. We are happy to provide a list of reputable rug cleaners in the Seattle area.
Vacuuming should be done on a regular basis to prevent dirt and grit from settling into the pile of the carpet. Appropriate padding extends the life of a rug and prevents a rug from slipping or buckling.
Blot, never scrub spots on a rug. Excessive scrubbing can damage and distort the nap on a carpet, and can set the stain further into the rug. With liquid spills, always remove as much of the spill as possible before adding spotting products. Blot the spill with a clean rag or towel. To clean a spot, always use cold water. If something stonger is needed, we recommend a mild detergent diluted with cold water. Useful detergents include, Bio-Clean all purpose cleanser, Planet Detergent, Seventh Generation, or a tiny amount of Ivory liquid. Some spots are better handled by professional rug cleaners. Examples include pet urine, vomit, ink or dried wine. The longer you let a spot sit, the harder it will be to get out.
GoodWeave aims to stop child labor in the carpet industry and to replicate its market-based approach in other sectors.
Driscoll Robbins Fine Carpets is a supporter and sponsor of the GoodWeave by RugMark Foundation. The organization was founded on a simple premise: If enough people demand certified child-labor-free rugs, manufacturers will only employ skilled, adult artisans and the exploitation of children in the carpet industry will come to an end.
GoodWeave recruits carpet producers and importers to make and sell carpets that are made without illegal child labor. By agreeing to adhere to strict no-child-labor guidelines and by permitting random inspections of their carpet looms, manufacturers earn the right to place the certified and individually numbered GoodWeave label on their carpets. If inspectors find children working on looms, they are offered the opportunity to go to school instead, and producers and importers lose the privilege to use the GoodWeave label.
When you purchase a rug with the GoodWeave certification label, you can be assured:
- No child labor was used in the manufacture of a carpet or rug.
- GoodWeave inspectors have visited the loom or factory where the rug was made.
- A portion of the price of your rug pays for the education of former child laborers.
- You are helping to build a market for humanely produced goods and to put an end to the use of illegal child labor.
- Your rug is beautiful, inside and out.