- THE MAGAZINE
One of the few mills not located in Dalton, Ga., Carousel was started more than 34 years ago in the Santa Monica, Calif. garage of founder Max Petrich. Soon after, they relocated to Ukiah, about 110 miles north of San Francisco. Carousel's rugs are private-labeled for several interior design showrooms, though by now you should know that, when it comes to cleaning, it is the rug's construction that counts, not the name.
Drying the rugs upside down with an air mover blowing across the back of the rug is an old trick of the trade. This will allow any browning to wick to the rug's back, and will not show when the rug is returned to the homeowner's floor (do not have the air blow under the rug; this will result in the browning on the face yarns). In good weather the rugs can be dried face up in the sun. Be sure all cleaning chemicals are completely rinsed out of the rug before putting it in the sun.
Another problem to inspect for is wear damage to the warp yarns. In Image 1, note how thin they are. When exposed to foot traffic they will break, causing the rug to fall apart. Also, check the warps for dry rot, which will cause the rug to disintegrate.
Carousel is also known for custom hand-tufted rugs (Image 6). First, a plain-woven cotton material is stretched over a frame. The design is sketched on the cotton primary backing, and then a pneumatic tufting gun is used to apply the face yarns. After tufting, the rug is removed from the frame and placed pile down on the floor. A back coating of latex is then applied. A secondary backing may be applied directly onto the wet latex to give dimensional stability and protect a wood floor from scratches.
Custom hand-tufted rugs can be cut pile or loop. The loop style is often called "hooked," but a hooking tool is not used for this construction, as a tufting gun is much faster. Hand-tufted rugs are always best dried flat - not placed on a dry pole. Marks or creases can result and may not be correctable.
Another important cleaning consideration for these products is the possible de-lamination of the backing material from wear and tear or animal urine. All latex contains a filler to reduce cost, like gravel in a concrete mixture. The filler (often marble dust) will take up space, but has no adhesive properties. Too much filler will cause a breakdown of the latex and a separation of the backing from the rug.
Also, keep in mind that the back hems (stitching of the primary backing to the secondary backing) can come unglued over time. This is a potential repair for the rug specialist, and should help reinforce in your mind why it is so important to always inspect the back of the rug in addition to the rug face.
Learn to recognize rugs from Carousel Mills. They can be expensive to replace if the proper cleaning procedures are not followed.