Is viscose a good material for rug ?
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Is Viscose A Good Material For Rugs?
Viscose, also known as rayon, is a man-made fabric produced by using carbon disulfide and sodium hydroxide to treat cellulose. Rayon is used to make shirts, curtains, jackets, area rugs, and dresses. It doesn’t trap heat and is cool to the touch. Viscose can be dyed in any color you can imagine. Viscose may be combined with wool for a more durable, attractive rug. There are many wool and viscose blend rugs available. Viscose and wool blends are another choice, although they aren’t as stain resistant or durable as the wool blends.
Noted for its genuine silk-like qualities (it is sometimes called art silk or bamboo silk), viscose is a versatile fiber which purportedly has the same comfort properties as natural fibers. It can imitate the look and texture of wool, cotton, linen, and silk though most often in rugs it is the latter.
Viscose rugs shed easily, so avoid placing them in high-traffic areas. Viscose fibers can be bent by being walked on about 70 times. For comparison, silk rugs can bend 2,000 times before they break. Take care to prevent spills on these rugs. Viscose tends to turn yellow when water or other liquids are spilled on it. If you see yellow spots on a viscose rug, it’s probably caused by someone spilling a drink or too much moisture in the room.
Does it have other names?
Oh yes. Bamboo Silk, Banana Silk, Rayon, Plant Silk, Art (artificial) Silk, and countless brand names which are copyrighted.
Why are viscose rugs so popular?
There is a growing trend amongst interior designers right now furnishing houses and apartments in top central London neighbourhoods with 100% viscose rugs. In fact, we maintain the fine fabrics and carpets in some of the most prestigious blocks in the capital and I can confidently estimate that in some of them at least 80% of the rugs are made of viscose. But why?
From speaking to our clients I’ve found there are two main reasons for the rise in popularity of viscose rugs, and none of them takes into account viscose rug cleaning issues down the line:
o Viscose looks and feels like silk. To the untrained eye they can be difficult to differentiate.
o It is cheap to produce viscose. Designers and homeowners love the fact that they can get that silk look without paying silk prices (although there are exceptions! see below)
o Huge range of designs. Due to the low cost of production you can find viscose rugs in numerous designs and colours. This is especially true of chromatic colours in modern designs which are very in fashion at the moment.
Why you shouldn’t buy a 100% Viscose Rug
Although the benefits listed above can seem too good to pass up, you may come to realise that 100% viscose rugs are a false economy. Viscose was developed to be an imitation of real silk at a lower price, however the attributes of silk far outweigh those of viscose. If you already own a viscose rug the points below will probably ring true. If not, think carefully before doing so:
o Viscose is a very weak fibre. Because it is made from a chemical soup of dissolved cellulose it has very little resilience. Spillages will ‘blow’ the fibres or cause them to ‘bloom’. Once this happens nothing can be done to return them to their original appearance. Silk and wool on the other hand are both naturally resilient and can actually look better with age if they are well made with good quality natural dyes. Wool and silk fibres spring back, whereas viscose crushes.
o Overpriced & doesn’t hold it’s value. Viscose rugs, although cheaper than a comparably sized silk rug can still be expensive when compared to a wool rug. I spotted a large viscose rug for sale, in excess of £20k, in a well known London department store which would be practically worthless once sold. The rug was labelled as ‘bamboo silk’, which while sounding like an exotic form of real silk is nothing more than 100% viscose. No doubt the pricey furniture that was sitting on the rug will further sway the unlucky buyer into believing they have bought something of real quality.
o Very difficult to maintain. Rugs are walked on. Therefore it makes sense to think about how they will look with use, not just how beautiful they are in the shop. Viscose rugs are extremely difficult to maintain. And viscose rug cleaning is not always as effective as wool and silk rug cleaning if too much damage has been done. They begin to look ‘flat’ and tired very quickly. Careless vacuuming can eventually cause irreparable damage to the pile. Even high humidity can discolour them as they readily absorb moisture.