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As design trends continue to change and new fibers are introduced into homes, us textile cleaners have the responsibility of keeping up on those trends and learning how to clean said new products. Unfortunately, there is a current boom in the home decor world and it is a fiber called “Viscose.” Let’s take a look at why this fiber is throwing cleaners for a loop… and why you should avoid purchasing it!

Viscose, which is also known as; art silk, bamboo silk, faux silk, rayon, modal, and other names, is a cellulosic fiber that is cleaning nightmare. It is sold as an environmentally friendly fiber, but numerous lawsuits and a quick examination of the manufacturing process will prove it to be the opposite. The major issues are that the fiber is not meant to be wet cleaned, and it has a very short usable lifespan because of its very poor wear characteristics. So why would textile mills start injecting this fiber into every category of home decor? Price, and how it feels. It is a very inexpensive fiber that can be sold as silk by some shady manufacturers and it even has the almost same feel of a high end silk fiber.

How has the cleaning industry responded?

At first, most rug cleaners tried cleaning viscose rugs with conventional cleaning methods that work for wool or synthetic rugs. We quickly realized that those methods only created issues when cleaning rugs containing viscose fibers. The fiber does not respond well to cleaning with water, due to the fact it turns brown/yellow as it dries and gets very stiff… Not the result you want! Most cleaners decided to turn away viscose rugs all together, while others kept trying to find  a solution to this problem as more viscose rugs hit the market. After experimenting with several different viscose rugs we purchased for the sake of test cleaning, we have come up with ways to clean these rugs and make them look great again! However, not all viscose rugs can be saved, and there can be a number of issues that arise from at-home spot cleaning procedures and traffic patterns that will never look like new again.

In summary…

Avoid buying a viscose rug if at all possible! They are over-priced and the quality does not match the price! It can be very costly to clean them, but if you have a viscose rug that needs cleaning, call the EXPERTS at Cleanville to discuss your options!