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The objective of the Kathy's Braided Rugs "Rug Facts" page is to provide information on the following:
- cleaning instructions
- materials used
- basic production information
Cleaning Instructions: All of our rugs can easily be vacuumed or spot cleaned. When its time for a more thorough cleaning just throw them in the washing machine. Use gentle cycle, cold water and any detergent. Just lay flat to dry.
We recommend using a steam cleaner on any rugs too large for your washing machine.
All rugs are reversible so you get twice the wear between washings.
Materials Used: There are two basic materials used in the production of our rugs, yarn and thread.
Yarn: We use only Naturalized Polypropylene yarn in the production of our rugs. When you evaluate all of the qualities you are looking for in a rug yarn; strength, color fastness, attractiveness, resistance to bleeding, resistance to pilling, color consistency between dye lots and cost, then Naturalized Polypropylene is the undisputed winner. The method by which Naturalized Polypropylene is produced eliminates bleed and greatly reduces the pilling of the yarn
Thread: We use # 52 monafilamint thread for stitching our rugs together. We prefer monafilamint to cotton thread because of its resistance to dry rot.
Monafilamint comes in two colors; natural (clear) for light colored yarns and smoke (dark) for dark colored yarns.
Basic Production Information: There are basically two processes involved in making braided rugs. The first process is to make the braid and the second is to sew the braid.
Braiding:Our braid is produced using a piece of equipment called a "5-Carrier Rug Braider" (pictured at right).
The first step is to wind yarn onto a rug bobbin. The weight of the yarn dictates how many strands of yarn we will be winding onto the bobbin. In the photo below you will see a cone of yarn, in single strand form as we purchase it and next to the cone you will see a bobbin wound with 10 strands of yarn.
The bobbin is then placed on one of the 5 carriers on the rug braider.
When the braider is turned on it will rotate in a "figure 8" creating a braid exactly like traditional braided rugs. We produce only true flat braid for our rugs.
As a note:We would like to point out that there are only two types of braiding machines made specifically for producing rug braid. They are the 3-carrier and the 5-carrier rug braiders. We prefer and use the 5-carrier since it allows up to 5 colors in any strand of braid. Many braided rugs on the market today are braided using "harness braiders". If you take a second look at the rug and the braid does not appear as traditional braid or as you would braid someone's hair it was produced using a harness braider. These rugs are produced as cheaply as possible by wrapping a thin strand of inferior yarn around a tube. Tube rugs are hard to maintain and every time a strand of yarn breaks the tubular core starts to show. Also note the finishing technique employed with these rugs as well as the stitch length and stitch width. By using a long stitch length and a short stitch width these rugs can be sewn very quickly but quality is obviously sacrificed. Buyer beware the tubular braided rug!
Sewing: We sew our rugs using an industrial zig-zag sewing machine. The thread type as mentioned above is #52 monofilamint which we prefer over cotton because of its durability.
Our machines are set up for a 12mm stitch width. The advantage to a wider stitch is strength and reduction in the chance that you will miss a section of braid as you are sewing.
Our machines are also set to 4 1/2 stitches per inch (stitch length) which also improves strength.
One aspect of our rugs that we take great pride in is our finishing technique. We employ a three pass technique. The three pass method improves the strength of the finish, eliminates unraveling and produces a finish that looks just as nice on both sides of the rug.
The stitch length and width and finishing method that we use slows us down a bit but produces a significantly stronger and therefore a higher quality rug.
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