What types of carpets are at risk for Shrinking?
The most common types of carpets that shrink are Wiltons and Axminsters. Belgian Wiltons are usually made of a polypropylene fibre and a jute backing – since this material doesn’t hold onto moisture, it sinks to the bottom of the pile and makes the carpet shrink – to check to see if your carpet is a Belgian Wilton, peel it back and see if the pattern is the same on the back as the face – if you have this, you may have a polypropylene pile fiber, making it likely that the carpet can shrink.
Axminster carpets have wool faces and backing yarns made of jute, weaved through the wool face fiver. If the jute gets wet due to improper cleaning, the backing can shrink.
How does the Shrinking happen?
Usually, carpets shrink due to poor cleaning technique. Either the equipment isn’t strong enough to soak up all the liquid, or an improper technique was used for either hand or machine cleaning. If the machine being used to clean the carpet is super cheap, it can’t take out most of the water from the carpet, making it likely to shrink. Poor technique can also involve the overspraying of pre-clean sprays, or using too much water to rinse the carpet. When the jute backing which the face fibers are woven onto gets super wet, it swells up and expands, pushing and breaking the structure of the carpet, causing it to contract and shrink.
Avoiding Carpet Shrinking
If you have a Belgian wilton rug you can still clean your carpet – and we hope you’d want to from time to time! You simply must have it cleaned safely, and according to the proper technique. You need to hire a cleaning company with the necessary experience and expertise to handle cleaning rugs and carpets – as well as the proper, highest level of technology and machinery that they can implement to ensure your carpet is safely cleaned. A truly professional carpet cleaning company will check the carpet first to see if it can be cleaned according to their default technique – and if they suspect that it’s at risk for shrinking, they can use a specialized low moisture cleaning technique that will ensure it’s preservation.