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Understanding Viscose Rugs: The Myriad Of Challenges

When selecting the perfect rug for your home, the choice of material is as crucial as the design. Viscose rugs, with their silky appearance and luxurious feel, have surged in popularity for those seeking to add an elegant touch to their interiors. This guide is dedicated to providing a detailed overview of viscose rugs, covering their benefits, drawbacks, care instructions, and a comparison with wool rugs to equip you with the information needed to make an informed decision. The advantage of this type of rug is that the fibres can made into materials that are incredibly soft. No other fibre feels like viscose and for this reason it’s popular with many designers and rug manufacturers. However, this softness is achieved through chemical processing that makes the fibres very weak. Despite its great look, it is one of the most fragile fibres on the market today.

The Impact of Water on Viscose Rugs

  • Fiber Swelling: Viscose is a regenerated cellulose fiber that absorbs water quickly. When it gets wet, the fibers swell and can become distorted, potentially leading to a change in the rug's shape and texture.
  • Color Bleeding: Viscose rugs often feature vibrant colors and intricate patterns. Water can cause the dyes in these rugs to bleed, which may result in permanent staining and fading of the design.
  • Reduction in Strength: Viscose fibers lose strength when wet, making the rug more susceptible to tearing and damage during cleaning or handling.
  • Increased Vulnerability to Stains: Once wet, viscose rugs become more vulnerable to staining as the swollen fibers can trap dirt and particles more easily.

We do not endorse viscose rugs and suggest that for the majority of our customers, choosing a wool or wool/viscose blend rug is a better decision. We typically advise against the use of viscose rugs for nearly all applications, believing that wool rugs offer a superior alternative without the challenging maintenance issues associated with viscose. Rugs produced from Viscose often begin to show texture distortion from light foot traffic even footprints and vacuum marks will show and create a blotchy look depending on your lighting.

Handmade rugs are unique masterpieces that embody the beauty of imperfection and individuality, characterized by color variations (abrash), slight imperfections, and loose threads that testify to their artisanal craftsmanship. Unlike machine-made rugs, each handmade piece is distinct, with no guarantee of an exact color or pattern match for multiple units due to differences in dye batches and handcrafting processes. Additionally, size can vary within a 4% tolerance, emphasizing the personal touch and traditional techniques in each creation. Choosing a handmade rug means embracing its unique characteristics, making it a statement of cultural history and artistry in your space.

Material Features of Viscose Rugs

Viscose, or rayon, is a semi-synthetic fiber made from cellulose, which is a natural component of wood pulp. This production process yields a material that emulates the feel and appearance of silk, resulting in a soft, smooth texture highly desired for its aesthetic qualities. Viscose rugs are lauded for their brilliant color saturation and sheen, which can introduce a luxurious feel to any setting.

Pros of Viscose Rugs

  • Aesthetic Appeal: The sheen and vibrant colors of viscose rugs closely resemble silk, making them a visually appealing option.
  • Softness: These rugs are incredibly soft, offering a comfortable surface in areas where you may frequently walk barefoot.
  • Versatility: Due to their elegant look, viscose rugs can complement a broad spectrum of interior designs, from classic to contemporary.

Cons of Viscose Rugs

  • Delicacy: Viscose fibers are less durable than other materials, showing signs of wear and tear more readily, particularly in high-traffic zones.  Viscose fibres are weaker and can break easily, leading to fraying or damage. It’s common for viscose rugs to yellow over time, and in high humidity areas this yellowing happens even faster. Dyed viscose fibres tend to bleed if you get them wet and this can be from improper cleaning or from spills. Since viscose fibres are so weak, normal everyday traffic can break the fibres and leave the rug looking as though it’s been shedding or become clogged. 
  • Maintenance: Known for their absorbent nature, viscose rugs are challenging to clean, as spills can quickly result in stains. Vscose is highly absorbent and can easily be damaged by moisture. Spills or excessive moisture can cause the rug to shrink, warp, or develop water stains. After viscose rugs have gotten wet, they can become matted and stiff turn yellow and shrink. This can be from an improper cleaning process or from spills in the home.
  • Professional Cleaning Recommended: The delicate constitution of viscose rugs often necessitates professional cleaning to avoid damage. 

    Cleaning viscose rugs can be tricky. They are generally not recommended for high-traffic areas or homes with children or pets. Professional cleaning is often recommended to avoid potential damage or discolouration. Spilled water will very often cause a permanent stain. Cleaning can be a huge problem for viscose rugs, particularly if they have a thick pile.

  • Rugs produced from Viscose often begin to show texture distortion from light foot traffic.
  • StiffeningEven though viscose carpets are made to imitate silk, and when you buy them, they are soft like silk, this softness does not last. Rug cleaning makes them look blotchy and flat very quickly. Vacuuming causes damage that might be irreparable. This can cause huge disappointment for consumers since their rug, which they expected to be pleasant to the touch and soft like silk, turns into cardboard.

Viscose Rugs will very often look like the below image - with pile variations, blotches and lines visible running the width of the rug, It is supposed to look that way. The variation in hue is supposed to be there. Footprints and vacuum marks will show and create a blotchy look depending on your lighting.

Cleaning and Care for Viscose Rugs

Maintaining the appearance and extending the lifespan of a viscose rug requires careful attention: If you accidentally spill a glass of water on your viscose carpet, this will result in a yellow stain that is impossible to get rid of! This is because the carpet’s material is derived from cellulose. When cellulose chemically reacts with water, it produces a yellow colour. Any amount of moisture or humidity can turn viscose yellow or brown. It’s only chemistry, and professional carpet cleaners can do nothing about it. That’s why if you decide to buy a viscose carpet, you should forget about steam cleaning your rug. You should also avoid using water-based carpet cleaning solutions, as even the smallest amount of water can ruin viscose carpets

  • Immediate Spill Response: It's crucial to blot spills immediately with a clean, dry cloth, avoiding rubbing that can spread the stain and damage fibers.
  • Protection Treatment: One of the most important things you can do is apply a carpet protector treatment. Since the fibers lose 50% of their strength if they come into contact with water, anything that can minimize moisture from getting into them will keep the carpet looking better for a longer time.  Apply Fabric Protector IMMEDIATELY! Fabric protection should be applied by a professional cleaning company and not left too wet, Fabric protection will buy you some time to clean up liquid spills before they cause damage. It will not prevent damage if liquid is left on the rug for extended periods.
  • Regular Vacuuming: Employ a vacuum without a beater bar to eliminate dust and dirt, preventing pulling and snagging of the delicate fibers.   it makes sense that our rugs should be able to endure being stepped on. However, this is simply not the case with viscose carpets. Viscose is a very weak fiber, and it easily breaks and sheds, Just walking on it and regular vacuuming can leave it looking shaggy and old. 
  • Professional Cleaning: For thorough cleaning, professional services experienced with viscose rugs are recommended to prevent discoloration and fiber damage. Viscose doesn’t hold dye and over time it bleeds. That’s why it can be challenging for cleaners to safely clean carpet without ruining them. Every time you clean the rug, you will remove some of its dye. So, you’re left with the choice of having a rug a few shades lighter or a dirty one.

Comparing Viscose and Wool Rugs

Viscose rugs offer a luxurious look, whereas wool rugs are renowned for their durability, natural stain resistance, and ease of maintenance. Here's a succinct comparison:

  • Durability: Wool rugs surpass viscose in durability, making them more suitable for high-traffic areas.
  • Maintenance: Wool's natural stain resistance makes it easier to clean, unlike viscose, which requires more delicate handling.
  • Comfort: Both materials are soft, but wool has the added advantage of being naturally hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating.
  • Aesthetic: Viscose rugs may boast a more luxurious sheen, but wool rugs offer a rich texture and warmth that can enhance any space.
  • In a fibre strength test, wool fibres can be bent and stretched 10,000 times before they break, silk fibres, about 2,000 times and viscose, only 70 times!

Further Considerations for Viscose Rugs

  • Durability Issues: Viscose rugs are less durable than natural fiber rugs like wool or cotton, prone to wear, especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Moisture Sensitivity: Highly absorbent, viscose can easily be damaged by moisture, making it a poor choice for spill-prone areas or places with high humidity.
  • Staining: Viscose fibers are susceptible to staining and can be challenging to clean.  When viscose gets wet, it loses approximately 50% of its strength, making it almost impossible to clean without causing damage. Breakages caused by cleaning leave the fibres looking dirty and discoloured, losing its brilliant sheen. Therefore it is not recommended that you steam clean a rug made of viscose.
  • High Maintenance: These rugs require more care, including regular vacuuming and potentially professional cleaning, to maintain their appearance.  Viscose rugs can shed quite significantly. Fibre pulls are very common, even just vacuuming can cause damage. Vacuums with strong suction and beater bars or power heads, should never be used on viscose rugs or carpet.
  • Fading: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause viscose rugs to fade.  This fibre can be prone to matting and crushing after getting wet. The nap will dry in all different directions instead of drying to a smooth finish like silk does. Because the fibres are weak, they do not spring back up and sit as they should.
  • Cost: While often less expensive than natural fiber rugs, the lower price point of viscose rugs may reflect their lower durability and quality.
  • Environmental Concerns: The production of viscose involves chemicals and can have environmental impacts, raising sustainability concerns.
  • Allergies: Some individuals may be sensitive to viscose fibers, which can cause skin irritation or allergies.

Viscose rugs are less durable compared to natural fibre rugs like wool or cotton. They are susceptible to wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. Viscose fibres are weaker and can break easily, leading to fraying or damage.

  1. Durability: Viscose rugs are not as durable as natural fiber rugs like wool or cotton. They tend to wear out more quickly, especially in high-traffic areas. Viscose fibers can break down and flatten over time, leading to a less attractive appearance.
  2. Moisture Sensitivity: Viscose is highly sensitive to moisture and can easily absorb water. When exposed to water or spills, it can lose its shape, become discolored, or even develop mold and mildew issues. This makes viscose rugs a poor choice for areas prone to spills or high humidity.
  3. Staining: Viscose fibers are prone to staining and can be difficult to clean. Common household stains like food, drink, or pet urine can leave permanent marks on viscose rugs. Special care and cleaning methods are required to maintain their appearance.
  4. High Maintenance: Viscose rugs require more care and maintenance than other types of rugs. Regular vacuuming is essential to prevent dirt and dust from accumulating, and professional cleaning may be necessary to remove stains and maintain the rug's luster.
  5. Fading: Viscose rugs are susceptible to fading when exposed to sunlight. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause the colors to fade, leading to a less vibrant appearance.
  6. Cost: While viscose rugs can mimic the look and feel of more expensive natural fiber rugs like silk or wool, they are often less costly. However, the lower price may reflect their lower quality and durability.
  7. Not Eco-Friendly: Viscose is a man-made fiber derived from wood pulp or other plant materials, but its production process involves chemicals and can have environmental impacts. If you're concerned about sustainability, you might prefer natural fiber rugs.
  8. Allergies: Some individuals may be sensitive to viscose fibers, which can cause skin irritation or allergies in rare cases. If you have known sensitivities, it's essential to test your tolerance before purchasing a viscose rug.

Rugs produced from Visose often begin to show texture distortion from light foot traffic

Durability: Viscose rugs are less durable compared to natural fibre rugs like wool or cotton. They are susceptible to wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. Viscose fibres are weaker and can break easily, leading to fraying or damage.

Moisture sensitivity: Viscose is highly absorbent and can easily be damaged by moisture. Spills or excessive moisture can cause the rug to shrink, warp, or develop water stains. Therefore, viscose rugs are not suitable for areas prone to spills or high humidity. If you already have some issues with the humidity at home.

Stain susceptibility: Viscose rugs are more prone to stains than other materials. They can easily stain with substances like water, food, or pet accidents. Special care and prompt stain removal are necessary to maintain their appearance. A small spill on a viscose rug can ruin it permanently and even the most experienced rug specialist cannot always restore viscose. To steam clean a rug made of viscose is asking for trouble! We suggest contacting an experienced specialist rug washing facility for advice on cleaning your viscose rug.

Limited sunlight exposure: Viscose rugs are sensitive to prolonged exposure to sunlight. UV rays can cause discolouration and weaken the fibres over time. It is advisable to place them in areas with minimal direct sunlight or use window treatments to protect them.

Cleaning challenges: Cleaning viscose rugs can be tricky. They are generally not recommended for high-traffic areas or homes with children or pets. Professional cleaning is often recommended to avoid potential damage or discolouration. How to clean? The short answer is – you don’t! Once you clean viscose, it will never look as good as it did beforehand. Viscose sheds, breaks, distorts, yellows, fades and wears away in a very short amount of time. Silk is strong and can last for decades, whereas viscose is more of a “disposable fibre” and is not made to last. Viscose is like paper, you can’t wet it, clean it, repair it and replacement is often the only option.

Overall, while viscose rugs offer a luxurious and affordable option for home decor vs silk, they require careful maintenance and may not be the most durable choice in high-traffic areas or households with specific needs.

Final Thoughts

Viscose rugs, embodying elegance and sophistication, come with considerations regarding their care and sustainability. Those seeking a blend of luxury and practicality might find wool rugs a more favorable option, offering resilience, ease of maintenance, and timeless beauty. It's essential to consider your household's dynamics, the intended rug placement, and your readiness for the upkeep involved. With a comprehensive understanding of each material's characteristics, you can select a rug that not only complements your home but also fits your lifestyle and maintenance preferences, ensuring a choice that beautifully marries aesthetics with functionality. In conclusion, choosing viscose carpets poses a myriad of challenges for homeowners and becomes a true nightmare even for professional Rug cleaners. The material's susceptibility to moisture and delicate nature make maintenance a formidable task. To save yourself from the hassle, opt for a smarter choice in Rug materials. Explore alternatives that offer durability and ease of cleaning.

We are not a fan of viscose and believe that for most customers, a wool rug is the superior choice or wool blend mix. We personally do not recommend viscose rugs for almost any use cases and feel that in nearly every situation, a wool rug is the better option without the difficult maintenance issues of viscose.

The Most Loved Rug Store

Welcome, we are Rug Love, The Most Loved Rug Store, your one-stop destination for the latest rug trends and styles including our exclusive Scandi-Boho capsule collection, Our moroccan berber rugs are the perfect way to give your space an insta-worthy update. We take pride in leading the way; our innovations and approach are widely adopted and have become best practices embraced across the industry, cementing our position as the standout destination of choice for today's Rug Lover.

Everything is conveniently organised – shop by style, colour, size, room or brand, making it easy to elevate your space. Discover the latest assortment of rugs for sale online. Enjoy free delivery...always, with no minimum spend. Transparent pricing means no surprises at checkout. Say good bye to waiting for return references & authorisation - We're the first rug store with automated returns for your convenience. Rug unavailable? We're the first rug store providing live pre-order dates and a 20% deposit option. Reserve your rug today! Plus, take advantage of flexible payment options including Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy, and PayPal, allowing you to get what you love now and pay later.

In 2021 Rug Love unveiled our innovative augmented reality Rug Visualizer—the first of its kind in the UK—With our virtual design tool you can view rugs in your room, No more guessing. Our customers love us: don't just take our word for it, sharing their homes with us through more than 1,000 5 Star Photo reviews. Rug Love proudly offers the original "Price Match Promise" in the rug industry; you won't get it cheaper, full stop...

Welcome, we are Rug Love, The Most Loved Rug Store, your one-stop destination for the latest rug trends and styles including our exclusive Scandi-Boho capsule collection, Our moroccan berber rugs are the perfect way to give your space an insta-worthy update. We take pride in leading the way; our innovations and approach are widely adopted and have become best practices embraced across the industry, cementing our position as the standout destination of choice for today's Rug Lover.

Everything is conveniently organised – shop by style, colour, size, room or brand, making it easy to elevate your space. Discover the latest assortment of rugs for sale online. Enjoy free delivery...always, with no minimum spend. Transparent pricing means no surprises at checkout. Say good bye to waiting for return references & authorisation - We're the first rug store with automated returns for your convenience. Rug unavailable? We're the first rug store providing live pre-order dates and a 20% deposit option. Reserve your rug today! Plus, take advantage of flexible payment options including Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy, and PayPal, allowing you to get what you love now and pay later.

In 2021 Rug Love unveiled our innovative augmented reality Rug Visualizer—the first of its kind in the UK—With our virtual design tool you can view rugs in your room, No more guessing. Our customers love us: don't just take our word for it, sharing their homes with us through more than 1,000 5 Star Photo reviews. Rug Love proudly offers the original "Price Match Promise" in the rug industry; you won't get it cheaper, full stop...

With a vast selection of cheap rugs in modern and traditional designs and a choice of high-quality materials including wool, viscose rugs & natural fibre jute rugs and sisal rugs, you're sure to find a rug to suit your décor and personal style. Whether you choose a small rug, large rug or extra large rug or you're shopping for a specific room, our collection of living room rugs and kitchen rugs has got you covered. You can even shop by room type – view rugs ideal for the living room, dining room, and kitchen, add a personal touch with a stylish bedroom rug, a children's rug, or update your outdoor space with a beautiful outdoor rug or garden rug

Browse our large range of rugs and runners including hallway runners & round rugs We also offer a variety of rugs in sale in our online rugstore outlet, including everything from modern abstract rug styles to classic persian rug traditional designs. You can also choose from a selection of durable washable rugs including ever popular hug rugs and hard-wearing rug materials in various rug sizes, such as shaggy and wool rugs, an exceptional choice of pile options, and colours. Go neutral with beige rugs or a white rug, black rugs or a black & white rug, grey rug, cream rug or add a pop with a colourful rug or choose popular shades like navy rugs, pink rugs or green rugs from our rug shop store.

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Upgrade your home with our lounge room rugs collection. The rugs we offer are some of the cheapest carpets available. For the little ones, we have colourful rugs and kids rugs and durable kitchen mats. Our black rug selection adds sophistication, while our cowhide print rugs offer an exotic touch to your rugs habitat. Brighten spaces with orange rugs or sage green rugs and get cosy with fluffy rugs. Don't miss our large rug sale, showcasing affordable rugs uk from red rugs to a shag rug, and explore cultural designs with moroccan rugs and teal rug options. Classic Persian or a kilims rugs bring traditional elegance, while rainbow rugs and brown rugs cater to all palettes. Add luxury with a faux fur rug, practicality with a jute runner, and safety with non-slip mats. Connect with nature with our nature rugs, vintage rugs, and purple rugs, and add a splash of colour with yellow rugs and mustard colour rugs.

For a subtle blend, consider our pink and grey rugs, or go vibrant with floral rugs and geometric rugs. Our Asiatic rug collection is popular with customers who love-rugs offering some of the coolest rugs and patterned rugs on the market. Add warmth with burnt orange rugs, emerald green rugs, and the plushness of area carpets. Crafted with care, our tufted rugs, rug blue and gray, and orient rugs speak of quality. Find the perfect shade with ochre rugs and flatweave rugs or choose the understated elegance of silver rugs and terracotta rugs. For a clean look, opt for off white rugs, or make a statement circular rugs or rug with circles or pink and green rugs. Ensure safety and comfort with rug anti slip underlay and the softness of a faux sheepskin rug, and complete any room with the sleek look of striped rugs. Rug Love provides a vast selection of alternatives to Ikea rugs, Ruggable rugs and Wayfair rugs, offering an expanded variety and greater options.

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