What Causes Wrinkles in Area Rugs


We have all seen it. A nice big wrinkle in your custom area rug that looks terrible, people trip over it and you just can’t get rid of it. There is a relatively simple reason for this.

Many custom areas rugs are made of all-natural fibers. Whether it is wool, cotton, linen, silk, or even a combination of these fibers. They all have one thing in common, they expand and contract as humidity changes. Some of these rugs may be woven and others may have a backing of other natural fibers including cotton or jute. So, in the rugs that are woven or have natural fibers in their backing for support, as they expand and contract with the changes in humidity, the rug will either expand or shrink a little. Perhaps a few inches even. 

Now we go and put some heavy furniture on the rug. Well, that will just prevent the normal expansion and contraction to take place in the areas of the heavy furniture, while other areas will continue to expand and contract. The result, yes you guessed it, wrinkles.

If this happens, quite often, the best solution is to remove any furniture from the rug and just let it sit and let nature take its’ course. Over the next few days, the rug fibers will relax and adapt evenly to the environment where all the fibers will absorb the same amount of humidity and you’ll see these wrinkles disappear. 

Sometimes after an area rug is cleaned, whether on location or sent out to be cleaned, it will expose the rug to a different level of moisture and humidity than its’ normal environment. So, after the cleaning and the rug is placed in its’ normal surroundings, it wants to now adapt and will want to expand or contract. Again, with heavy furniture on it, that makes it near impossible. Resulting in more wrinkles.

You quite often will see this even as a seasonal occurrence as the weather changes and or you turn your air conditioning or heat on. Just remember there is a relatively easy fix.  This fix will last usually until the environment changes again. As always Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning understands fibers and their behavior to help both understand and resolve issues.