The corners and edges of rugs often curl up. These problems, unsightly and potentially hazardous, will only get worse with time causing wear and damage that is expensive to repair. Depending on the rug's worth, your options for repair differ. |
A carpet or rug should lay flat all around regardless of whether it sits on tile, hardwood or another carpeted surface. The flips that form at the corners could be from new, rigid material or from movement as feet shuffle over it.
Many lightweight machine-made rugs have sizing applied to the back that stiffens them preventing curling or wrinkling. Sizing treatments can be gelatin or thin coatings of adhesives which break down over time, or with cleaning, causing the rug to "soften" and curl at the edges. Foot traffic can make the problem worse, causing the edges of "Belgian" or face-to-face woven Wilton rugs to curl over and eventually break or split when left untreated.
Carpets that curl up at the corners are a tripping hazard.The causes are varied and understanding why a rug is curling is often the first step in determining how to correct the problem. The remedies are often blocking with sizing applied and sometimes sewing.
So what are the repair options?
Blocking and sizing can help most end and side rippling. Synthetic sizing products are typically white glue thinned with water or good quality carpet seam adhesive diluted with 3-4 parts water. Organic sizing materials are reversible and while synthetic ones are not, they are more effective in causing a rug to hold its shape.
Sides can be tacked and sized or entire rugs may be tacked and sized depending on the problem to be solved. Be sure to allow sizing to dry completely before tacking the rug up. Flattening the Curls
For an inexpensive rug, try to work the curled corner in the opposite direction. Dampen the corner using a wet rag, and tuck the curl under overnight or while you're at work, so the fold won't be a tripping hazard. If that doesn't stretch the fibers back into place, use double-sided carpet tape to fix a 12-inch, cork-backed ruler to the carpet's backside, along each edge leading up to the offending corner. The cork shouldn't scratch or damage the flooring. Ruler-shaped, thick strips of cardboard or cork should work on lightweight rugs. Along the same idea, find anti-curling carpet corners at home and building-supply stores. If you aren't concerned about residue on the flooring, tape the curl directly to the floor.
Avoid damaging antique or expensive rugs by seeking the services of a qualified carpet repair person; the rug's internal wefts may be pulling the internal foundation.
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