About Our Rugs
We are thrilled that you have decided to work with our Cape Looms community – our rugs are entirely made by hand and we see each rug is an individual piece of art; full of life and character and no one rug is the same as another. There are a few simple guidelines and considerations to take into account:
Our rugs are made using a cotton warp and hand spun yarn in wool or mohair. Mohair comes from Goats and is available in various qualities – curly, flatweave and lox. Wool comes from sheep, we use the Karakul and Lincoln breeds specifically, and the wool fibre contains lanolin which is a natural oil or “wool wax” which adds to its durability, water and stain resistance.
All the fibres in our rugs are hand spun, felted and handwoven on site at Cape Looms.
Yarn thicknesses and finished sizes are subject to an acceptable variation tolerance test. Tolerances within the industry range from 1-5%. At Cape Looms we measure and check each rug methodically throughout the weaving process.
All rugs up to 3m in length are subject to a 1% acceptable width tolerance. This means there can be a variation in the margins of the rug. The length of the rug will always be as exact as it can be, once adjusted off loom.
Our workshop houses one of Africa’s largest hand weaving looms and we are proud to be able to offer such wide widths and lengths. The larger the rug the more the warps and the fibres can pull of their own accord during weaving, and therefore any rug over 3m in length is subject to a tolerance of up to 3% along the width margin.
We will always inform you of the tolerance variation with precise dimensions as soon as the piece is off the loom, so that you have all the information prior to receipt.
HAND DYED COLOURS
Given that mohair and wool are natural fibres, it is important to note that variations in colour can occur during the dyeing process. Although we do match to colour, the natural fibres take on dye in a natural striée and therefore there will be a tonal flow to the colour across the yarn. Ie, the colour is never a flat colour.
Mohair fibres inherently contain kemp, which possesses a hollow core and cannot be dyed. Additionally, when it comes to colour absorption, mohair and wool exhibit different levels of saturation and the natural sheen of mohair results in a distinct colour reflection compared to wool.
These variations are inherent to the nature of the fibres and should be expected.
WHEN YOUR RUG ARRIVES
We ensure that all rugs lie flat on the floor when they come off loom. They are then fogged and prepared for transportation.
As we use 100% natural fibres and no synthetic stabilisers or backing products, we are obliged to inform you that your rug will react to your climate, but the fibres will settle.
Due to their size, some of our rugs may arrive folded for transport and this may lead to crease lines upon opening or irregular laying. This is absolutely normal and will settle within a couple of days. If you want to expedite the process you can steam the rug to smooth any creases immediately.
Your rug may need underlay or a rug pad depending on location, we can offer advice on the most suitable option if you are unsure.
Cleaning and Care
Hand made rugs are incredibly durable and made to last a lifetime requiring very little attention to maintain.
STRAY FIBRES – Your new rug may shed a little fluff and need more regular vacuuming until any loose remnants from the weaving process have been removed.
As the fibres we use in our rugs are completely natural fibres, they will move and expand in their environment and at times a curly strand might come loose. This will not affect the integrity of the rug as each knot is individual and if you feel it is too long it can be snipped using nail scissors. Do not cut the cotton warp as this is the structural base of the rug.
STAINING – Both wool and mohair rugs can be pre-treated for stain resistance. Please seek out your nearest professional. Each region has a directory of carpet cleaners and Scotch Guard experts available online.
Should you stain your rug please do not rub or try to clean the area using household cleaners. Simply dab the area with a clean damp cloth. If you can’t remove the stain, soak it with room temperature tap or soda water, and for stubborn stains use a solution of soft soap and water and dab the spot away. For more serious stains we recommend you organise to get it cleaned professionally as soon as possible.
ANIMALS – Your animals will love lying on the rugs. As with any rug, the cat should be discouraged from using it as a ‘scratch post’ and any un-house trained animals should be kept away from rugs with saturated dye colours as urine can bleach the rug.
SUN EXPOSURE – Both dyed and undyed rugs are susceptible to fading and discolouration when exposed to excessive ultraviolet (UV) rays. Therefore, if the rug is placed in a room with continuous sunlight exposure, it is advisable to draw curtains or blinds to limit the ongoing sun exposure. This precautionary measure will help reduce the potential damage caused by UV rays.
Thank you for choosing to work with us, every rug we weave is a key chapter in our story.