Today, hand-made rugs are produced from north Africa and Europe to China with many different styles and weaving techniques. Rugs can be hand-knotted, tufted, flat-woven, or machine made. Major rug producing countries include the United States, Afghanistan, the Caucasus region, Central Asia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Spain and Turkey. Today the majority of rugs imported into the United States & Australia are from India and China.
The United States produces machine-made rugs, which are mainly woven or tufted. 18.1% (Floor Covering Weekly) in 2005 if soft floor coverings purchased were areas rugs. This percentage represents sales of 2.72 billion and that figure may be on the conservative side. Rugs have been much more popular in Europe than in the U.S. for many years.
How does this history relate to rug cleaners? The majority of rugs that will be brought to a cleaning plant will have been made after 1950 Rugs made from 1920 to 1950 will be the second most common type, and rugs made before 1920 will make up the smallest percentage of rugs brought for cleaning. Since the late 19th century, specific types of oriental rugs have changed styles, design, construction and materials as demand and fashion have changed and as other external influences dictated these changes. In the study of rug identification, one has to learn the myriad of names and how each type has changed in the past 100 years.
Rug Cleaning can be very challenging because there are so many variables and manufacturers are continually creating new types of rugs that have their own special set of problems. When visiting 10 different rug cleaning operations, you will find 10 different methods of cleaning a rug, though the basic principles of cleaning are the same.
To clean rugs safely and effectively, you need to have a good working knowledge of fibres, construction, cleaning principles and procedures as well rug identification and what look for during the pre-cleaning inspection. This challenge is not an easy task but can provide a lifetime of fun, a sense of accomplishment, reward and satisfaction that comes with operating a successful business.