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What Are Sprouts on Rugs? (And More Sprouting Questions)

/ peshawar ziegler / related-8-x-10-rugs

Rug buying should always be fun - you are making your home beautiful and buying something that will last generations. 

But sometimes, you will run across a term or phrase that is simply confusing. We are here to help. If at any point while you are rug shopping, you have a question, please contact us. We want to help you enjoy the experience of finding that perfect rug. 

One word that is commonly used with wool rugs is sprouts - or sprouting. This is pretty confusing because it makes you think your rug is growing something. But this simply isn't true! In fact, sprouting is totally normal and doesn't mean your rug has any defects of problems.

Our resident rug expert, George, explains sprouts in this video. We also hope this post answers even more of your questions too. 

What are sprouts on wool rugs? 

No, your rug isn't growing anything. Sprouts are what we call threads that appear to unravel from the rug and stick out longer than the other loops and threads. 

Basically, they are lose tufts that protrude above the surface of the rug's pile. 

Wool is hand-twisted on our hand-knotted rugs. So when it comes untwisted, it sticks up off the rug slightly. 

Is my rug defective if I find a sprout? 

No, it most certainly is not. It happens to almost all hand-knotted rugs and it is very easy to fix. 

How do I fix a sprout if I find one? 

First, be careful with your wool rug. Very carefully use scissors to cut the sprout down to the same size as the rest of the pile. Then use a vacuum to clean it. You won't even be able to tell there was a sprout there at all. 

Please, do NOT attempt to pull the sprout out. This will cause the entire wool thread to come out. Just clip it down to size. 

Why don't machine-made rugs have sprouts? 

Machine-made rugs won't have sprouts because they are looped by machines. Machines are able to do what human hands cannot - create an exact number of twists without any inconsistencies. 

Just like hand-spun pottery will have character that a machine made bowl will not, a hand-knotted wool rug will have sprouts and abrashes. 

Will my rug continue to make new sprouts as I use it more? 

Yes and no. It all depends on the wear and tear on the rug and how well you take care of your rug. If your rug is in a high-trafficked area, and you use the wrong type of vacuum on it, you could damage your rug and cause needles sprouts and unraveling. 

However, if you use the right vacuum and take care of your rug properly, less sprouts will show up over time. 

For tips and tricks on cleaning rugs, download our rug cleaning guide for free. Oriental rugs are made to last, take care of your precious investment. 

When do rugs start to show sprouts? 

Hand-knotted rugs can show sprouts the day they come home from the factory, or even a year after you buy them.  Sprouts are not a sign of a defective rug. If you have questions about your wool rug, contact us and we are happy to help. 

Buy A Wool Area Rug

We want to help you find your perfect wool rug. If you have any questions about wool rugs, contact us today. RugKnots sells authentic, hand-knotted rugs at low factory direct prices. We promise free shipping on all orders, price matching, and excellent customer service. 


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