Wool and silk rugs blends have always been and always will be in style. But, as technology progresses, so does our home décor elements. Just as we graduated from candelabras to electrical chandeliers, we are entering into a new age of bamboo silk. Are you wondering...

  • What is a bamboo rug?
  • How does bamboo silk compare to traditional silk?
  • Are wool and silk bamboo rugs the best fit for my home?
  • How do I choose the right bamboo rug?

We answer all of your questions in for you in this article


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The Ultimate Guide to Bamboo Rugs

1. What is Bamboo Silk?

You guessed it, bamboo silk is derived from… Bamboo! Bamboo silk is a type of natural viscose. Cellulose is extracted from the plant and formed into a sticky paste. After extraction, the cellulose is then left to dry. Once dried, it is expelled to become a soft silky fiber. The result is a fiber that feels like a cloud, and is soft and cool to the touch. It is extremely durable and has hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties.

2.The Difference Between Bamboo and Traditional Silk

The only difference between the two is the way they are made. So bamboo silk is extracted, dried, and then expelled... Right? Traditional silk is made the same way! Silk worms secrete a sticky liquid protein from their salivary glands. The secretion then dries while it is being extracted from their mouths. The only difference is that bamboo silk grows faster and does not require the hard labor (and death) of silk worms. Both materials result in extremely soft and luxurious fibers.


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3. Is Bamboo Silk More Durable Than Traditional Silk?

It depends. Silk rugs can be placed in high traffic areas and will not mat or wear down, IF they are not made of 100% bamboo silk. Traditional silk rugs must be placed in low traffic areas to avoid damage and matting. Because traditional silk fibers are more delicate, a traditional silk rug must be consciously placed on a wall as an art piece or in an extremely low traffic area. Refrain from placing heavy furniture such as armoires, china cabinets, and other solid wood furnishings on a traditional silk rug. The constant pressure will distort the traditional silk beyond even professional repair. Bamboo silk area rugs can be placed anywhere in your home and can withstand heavy furniture and foot traffic. With the proper maintenance tailored to the needs of each material, bamboo silk and traditional silk will both last 50+ years.

NOTE: Both bamboo silk and traditional silk will last 50+ years but traditional silk needs extra care and attention to last that long.


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4.What Percentage of Bamboo Silk and Wool is Used?

You might think a 100% Bamboo silk rug will result in the softest, shiniest, and most luxurious rug out there… Let me tell you why that is not true. If the ratio of bamboo silk to wool is over 30/70, you are going to have quite the mess on your hands. If a spill occurs, bamboo silk is extremely permeable and can cause the rug to instantly absorb the liquid making stain removal impossible. Although not as delicate as traditional silk, bamboo silk fibers are also too delicate to support heavy foot traffic or furniture on their own. Bamboo silk needs a durable, soft fiber like wool to help it retain its shape and resiliency. RugKnots wool/silks blends are always 30/70 or under. This results in the perfect amount of sheen and luxury without compromising durability.


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5.What Does Bamboo Silk Feel Like?

Believe it or not, it all depends on how the rug is washed. You know how when you forget to add the fabric softener to the laundry, your fabrics are quite brittle and stiff? Fabric softener was invented during the Industrial Revolution to combat static and brittleness that resulted from machine washing wool and cotton with harsh detergents. When we washed our clothes by hand with a very mild soap and water, softener wasn’t need because our hands softened the fabric. Rug washing works the same way. The perfect marriage of luxurious plushness and longevity in area rugs. However, hand washing the bamboo rug takes away some of the silky sheen. But, if the rug is not hand washed, the fibers will transfer dye onto clothing, pets, and carpeting below--the rug will not last as long, and, the rug will be hard or brittle to the touch. As we have all come to know wisdom with age-ahem- Wisdom with youth, Everything is give and take.


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6. How to Clean a Bamboo Silk Rug?

It's fairly simple. Spot treat the stains and professionally clean once a year. If you take anything away from this post, let it be this... Never, never, never NEVER try to rub a stain out with a rag or a brush. This damages the rug so gravely that even professional rug cleaners may not be able to reverse the damage.

[VIDEO] This Professional Rug Cleaner Shows What Happens When You Brush A Silk Rug!

The RugKnots family has spent decades crafting hand knotted wool and bamboo silk rugs. During this time, we've researched and created a comprehensive at home Rug Cleaning Guide. It is so jam packed with all of the information you need to know about cleaning your rug, it wouldn’t fit into this post!


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7. How Much Should Bamboo Silk Area Rugs Cost?

Knot Count = $$$. There are many determinants of price such as size, shape, pattern, age, and material. However, knot count is the universal determinant of value in the hand knotted rug community. Knot count is determined by kpsi.

kpsi= knots per square inch

The higher the kpsi, the softer, more durable, and more valuable the rug will be. Many places will charge an average of $50-$60 per square foot. Some rug retailers are even asking $70! This bamboo silk rug from starts at $85 a square foot! Because we are family owned and factory direct company, we don’t have to pay a middle man. Which means… you don’t have to pay a middle man!


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8. What Knot Count Should I Be Looking For?

RugKnots wool and silk blend rugs knot count averages about 81 kpsi. In a low quality rug you will see a knot count of about 40-50 kpsi. In a high quality rug, you'll see 75-200 kpsi. Again, the kpsi will determine the rugs value. If the knot count is higher, the price will skyrocket. If the knot count is lower, the price will plummet.

9. Are There Any Issues With Bamboo Silk Rugs?

No. If you are mindful that both wool and bamboo silk are natural fibers, you'll have no issues with a wool and bamboo silk rug.

10.Do Bamboo Silk Rugs Sprout?

“Sprouting” occurs when what appears to be a pulled thread or yarn “sprouts” up out of the rug. This is common with hand knotted rugs made with natural fibers. Do not panic! This occurs over time as you and your family settle into your new hand knotted rug. If sprouting occurs, do not pull the yarn. Pulling the yarn will only cause damage to the rug. Simply use a pair of small, sharp scissors and carefully clip the piece of yarn to the same level as the rest of the rug’s pile.


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11. Do They Shed?

Yes, but, ALL natural fiber rugs (wool, silk, bamboo silk, etc..) shed. Now, the amount of shedding depends on the quality of the rug. A higher quality rug will shed in the first few weeks of bringing the rug home but will taper off and eventually stop. A low quality rug that is not hand knotted will shed indefinitely. After 2 minutes of kneeling on her wool rug, Sarah’s pants were covered in wool! This is because Sarah’s wool rug is of lesser quality and was excessively vacuumed with a beater bar. To prevent excessive shedding, vacuum in the direction that the wool fibers are facing, and, never vacuum with a beater bar vacuum. The beater bar is meant to vacuum synthetic rugs and carpets which store dirt deep down into their foundation. Beater bar vacuums are too strong for wool and bamboo silk rugs. Vacuum gently using the bristle add on piece or a vacuum without a beater bar.


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[VIDEO] Learn How to Properly Vacuum  Hand Knotted Wool and Bamboo Silk Rugs!

The best part is, you're helping the environment! Wool and Bamboo silk is cruelty free, hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and renewable resources. In fact, wool and bamboo and are two of the earth's most renewable resources! Synthetic fibers such as polypropylene and nylon, release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, landfills, and ultimately, your home. Panda habitats are in danger of bamboo depletion not because bamboo is being harvested, ironically, but because of the toxic fumes caused by VOCs destroying the bamboo. As you can see, architectural and Decorative items such as synthetic rugs contribute to 42% of the VOCs released into atmosphere! Bamboo is a resilient crop that can grow tall, and plentiful in almost any climate without much help from farmers. The wool from sheep is sheared every year and the sheep are not hurt in the process. In fact, the sheep enjoy the haircut because it cools them off without all that hair! In natural silk rugs, the only way to release the caterpillar from the woven silk is to boil the silk with the caterpillar still attached. Approximately, 2,500 silk caterpillars are killed in the process of making 1 pound of silk. When we as humans consume plastic products such as water bottles, disposable plates and plastic silverware, and, yes, synthetic rugs, We are contributing to the toxic VOCs in the air and landfills.

The New York State Department of Health reports that: “[VOCs] caused cancer and affected the liver, kidney and nervous system” of laboratory rats when exposed to VOCs. The New York State Department of Health recommends: “Disposal of unneeded products containing VOCs” And use products ( artificial rugs) only outdoors. Indulging in natural, renewable products like bamboo silk and wool contribute to reducing the amount of plastic in landfills and toxic VOC fumes released into the air when synthetic products are produced. Be sure to always recycle and limit your plastic and VOC intake. So, now you quite literally know everything about bamboo rugs!

Get rugs in the most affordable prices at RugKnots. You can always contact  us in case of any queries!


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1 comment

Randy Hyde

Randy Hyde

While the feedstock may be from different sources such as wood pulp, Cotton, Bamboo or Banana all result in the same fiber. Often the term “silk” is used but in reality, these are all rayon fibers. Rayon is made by dissolving the cellulosic material in caustic soda to break down cellulose and then reconstitute it in a man-made fiber. As a rug cleaner, we clean lots of rayon & rayon blends every year and overall, they have poor performance from foot traffic. Typically, plant fiber and rayon rugs develop wear areas, stain easily from spills and exhibit exceptionally poor performance compared to wool and most synthetic fibers like nylon.

R Hyde
Past ARCS (Association of Rug Care Specalists) President

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