When you consider that the purchase of a good quality rug can be quite an expensive investment then you need to think about how to look after your rug and keep it in top condition for the longest time. One of the worst things that will damage your rug and shorten its life span is direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can bleach away the colours of your rug making it seem dull and lacklustre and it can also damage the actual fibres of your rug causing structural deterioration.
Rugs and large windows
If you have a room with many large windows then this will undoubtedly be a problem room for your rugs. Rugs that are in constant sunlight will fade and the fibres of the rug will over time become brittle and damaged. Specialist treatments can replace lost colour, however, if the fibres become too damaged then the rug will be permanently affected. It is possible to buy rugs in special fabrics where the colours are added to the fibres before the rug is assembled, and these can often be hardier and retain their colours for longer.
Colour damage can be seen in bleaching or fading of colours in your rug and a certain amount of colour loss is normal and acceptable. Some colours though are a mixture of hues and when one is more susceptible to bleaching than the other a colour change is seen rather than a colour loss. If you have a rug that is beneath a window you will see after a time that it becomes faded and this can be especially noticeable when the rug is only partly in the sunlight, a band or square will become significantly lighter or perhaps a different colour. Just turn your rug over and you will see that the underside is a much darker shade where it is protected.
Steps to avoid sun damage
It is impossible to completely protect your rugs from wear and tear but you can most certainly minimise the sun light damage by following a few simple rules:
- Rotate your rugs by moving them to different areas of your home so that the rug is not constantly in the sunlight. Try to do this every few months for best effect.
- It is possible to extend the life of your rugs by protecting them with a shop bought spray-on product or alternatively some manufacturers will use a protector during the manufacturing process, that will give a certain amount of protection from the damage the sun can inflict.
- Use blinds, shutters of curtains over your windows and make sure they are excluding the sunlight during the day. Bear in mind though that these shutters, blinds and curtains will they themselves become faded and discoloured as they block the harmful rays from your rugs.