Let’s Talk about Rug Fringe

Rug fringe. Believe it or not, amongst rug enthusiasts this can be a controversial topic. Some people love it, some hate it. Professional rug cleaners know that the hardest part of a rug to restore is the fringe because dirt gets caught in it so easily. Most people prefer their rug fringe to be neat, clean, and clearly differentiated from the rest of the rug, but, generally speaking, the average rug owner doesn’t know what to do with the fringe when it gets nasty looking except to take it to a rug professional. So here we will explain what rug fringe is and why you may want to maintain the one you have or entirely replace it.

On a traditional antique or Oriental rug, the fringes are the warps of the rug itself tied together to finish off the rug. Rug makers hand tie strands of wool or silk into knots around these warps.  The warps are as long as the rug itself. The fringe is the way the rug maker secures the foundations of the rug. He gathers together bundles of warp strings at both ends of the rug after it’s been cut from the loom. The fringe knots keep the pile knots and end finishes tight and in place. It’s not supposed to be particularly decorative, but it can’t be cut off because those warps keep the wool or silk in place. Without them you will have an unraveling rug. That’s definitely something you do not want.

If the fringe on your hand-woven rug has become dirty or discolored, you cannot get this dirt out without really scrubbing it. The problem is that the chemicals used to clean rugs combined with the force of scrubbing often take a toll on the fringe. As stated above, you do not want the fringe to get too short or you take the chance of damaging the rug itself. If your fringe is short already or is disintegrating, you need to take it to a rug professional to have it fixed. Handmade rugs always require repair by hand in order to maintain the look and the value of the rug itself.

If you have a machine-made rug, the fringe itself is a detail that’s added in order to give it the look of an Oriental or handmade rug. If the fringe on your machine-made rug gets dirty, discolored, frays, or gets destroyed by your pet or your vacuum, then the solution is easy: remove the damaged fringe and replace it with a new one. This can easily be done using a special kind of lock-stitch TMB sewing machine we use or sell at Bond Products, and we have a video explaining the process on our website here.

The important thing to understand about your rug’s fringe is the purpose it serves the rug. If it’s a part of the foundation of the rug itself, it cannot be replaced, but if it’s a decorative addition to a machine-made rug, it can. If you have any questions about this or would like to know how Bond Products can help your rug look cleaner, neater, and newer, contact us today.


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