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Rug Shedding: How to Stop a Rug from Shedding

Picture the scene... You have spent months planning the changes you are going to make in certain rooms of your home. You may be looking to update your bedroom to incorporate a new design trend, or try and make your living room feel warmer for the colder months of the year. Whatever the reason for making changes, you spent months planning them and making sure you have all your ideas incorporated into the new decoration. You are thinking of tying the new room/s together with a beautiful rug, and spend countless hours searching for the right rug at the right price! Finally, you find it. The perfect rug for your home and you cannot wait to place it down and get to experience the look and feel of the rug first hand.

But wait, what's this? There's suddenly an issue that you didn't foresee! The rug seems to be shedding some of it's pile and you cannot work out how to stop it. In this article, we are going to take you through some of the reasons rugs shed their fibres, and more importantly, what you can do to stop this shedding!

First Things First... Is it a Brand New Rug?

In some cases, a rug may shed some of its fibres early on in its lifespan. This is completely normal and will stop within a couple of weeks or months depending on the material the rug is made from and the quality of this material. The shedding of a new rug should stop after light regular vacuuming and normal wear. If your rug is still shedding after a couple of months, there may be something else you need to look into to try and fix.


If you have spotted your shaggy rug, or any other type of rug for that matter, starting to shed then it can be very tempting to attack the shedding issue with a multitude of different vacuum settings and different attachments to try and bring up all the lose pile and stop the rug from shedding completely. The actual fact is, this may be doing more harm than good to your rug, and you may actually be causing the rug to shed more the more you vacuum it! The trick when it comes to vacuuming your rug is to do it right.

Using a brush extension on your vacuum cleaner or a beater bar attachment will simply pull the fibres out more and more. This can happen even if you aren't using any extensions on your vacuum and simply have it on a high suction setting! One of the things you can do to make sure you are vacuuming your rug in the correct way is to remove any brush or beater bar attachments, ensure any permanent beater bar is barely touching the rug's surface and using your vacuum cleaner on a lower power setting to ensure it isn't needlessly pulling fibres out of the rug.

Land of Rugs Top Tip: When you start to vacuum your rug, as a first point of call, vacuum your rug in one straight dimension that runs against the pile. Next, do the opposite by vacuuming in another straight line that runs against the pile. This method of vacuuming rugs is great as it ensures any loose fibres are caught and it has the best effect when it comes to loosening dirt that's embedded in the rug also.

The Placement of your Rug

Did you know that the placement of your rug can have an effect on the amount it sheds? If you are placing a rug in an area with very high foot traffic then you are going to experience more wear and tear than if it was placed in an area with low to no foot traffic. Try placing your rug under a coffee table where your feet are not going to be placed to attempt to stop the shedding. If your rug does need to be placed in an area with high foot traffic, routinely moving the rug and turning it can help even out any shedding and make the rug look more symmetrical. You can also try to remove the rug from high traffic areas temporarily, if you are leaving the house to go on holiday for example, then you can take the rug out of the room and leave it to 'cool off' and place it back down again when you return.

Invest in an Anti-Slip Underlay

Using an anti-slip underlay underneath your rug has a multitude of benefits when it comes to keeping your rugs in tip top condition. Firstly, they stop your rug from experiencing unnecessary wear and tear by keeping it in place. This helps especially in high traffic areas where the rug could slip regularly and the backing of the rug can become worn and damaged. Another major benefit of investing in anti-slip underlay is by adding an amount of safety to where the rug is placed. We have all experienced a rug slipping under our feet and nearly causing, or actually causing, a fall for either ourselves or our pets. This can not only damage us, but it can damage the rug also.

When it comes to sizing your anti-slip underlay, the underlay should ideally be around 2.5cm (or 1 inch) shorter on each side than the rug itself. This will allow the rug to be placed fully over the underlay (causing the maximum amount of slip protection) whilst also being completely covered by the rug. The less a rug slips, the less it will shed. This is a top piece of advice you can live by when you decide to place a rug onto a hardwood floor.

Actually Trimming your Rugs

This tip is specific for natural wool rugs. When you have invested in a high quality wool rug for your home, it is guaranteed that wool tufts will start to appear on the surface of the rug. This is completely natural and part of what comes with purchasing a wool rug. Please, please please resist the urge to pull out these tufts by hand! This will ultimately cause more damage to the surface of the rug, damaging fibres and causing the appearance of the rug to become fuzzy! Not something you want when you've invested in a brilliant woollen rug. Instead, what you need to be doing is trimming these tufts with a very sharp pair of scissors! Then, making sure your hands are clean beforehand, wipe your hand over the surface of the rug to collect any loose wool fibres and balls.

Know your Rug's Purpose

Did you know that not all rugs are designed to be placed on the floor? Strange, we know! In fact, there are many instances of expensive hand-woven rugs made of natural fibres which are designed to be used as wall hangings! This means you need to do your research and be 100% sure that you know the purpose of the rug before purchasing the rug. If you purchase a rug to use on the floor when it has originally been designed to be used as a wall hanging, you are going to cause unnecessary damage to the rug!

The Most Important Thing... Shop Smart!

When choosing a rug for your home, and more importantly, choosing a rug to match your floor type, it is very easy to be drawn to the lower priced synthetic fibre rugs. Whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with synthetic fibre rugs, there are some things you need to be aware of before purchasing. These are outlined below:

  • They will shed more than natural fibre rugs.

  • They can be damaged more than natural fibre rugs.

  • They will need to be replaced more often.

As stated before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a synthetic fibre rug if you have budget constraints with your project. This is completely down to your individual preference! However, as experts in this industry, we will always advise customers where possible to purchase a high-quality natural fibre rug for their space. It will improve the look and feel of your room no end, and although it costs more to begin with, with proper maintenance and care you can make your rug last a lot longer than a natural fibre rug in the same space!

If you're struggling to keep your rug from moving, read our blog post How Can I Stop Rugs from Moving On my Carpet.

  • Posted On: 29 April 2021