Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Steps - No More Area Rug Wrinkles, Buckles and Bunching

5 Steps to Area Rug Behavior – No More Wrinkles, Buckles and Bunching ever again

Your new area rug can be a joy or a nightmare. Here are 5 steps to Area Rug Behavior. 5 tips to help you rid yourself of wrinkles, buckles and bunching forever.

  1. Buy a Decent Area Rug

Area Rugs are often bought as an impulse item. When you need a rug to accent your décor or to cover an ugly spot, don’t give in to the temptation of buying a chain store special, based on color and price only. An area rug should be a well thought décor item, not a cheap after-thought. You don’t have to break the bank. Most good quality wool fiber rugs are available in style and qualities that will fit most any budget. Fine quality wool fiber area rugs can be purchased Online and shipped right to your front door for about the same price as those chain store pretenders.

  1. Buy a New Zealand Wool Fiber Area Rug

Wool Fiber that has been shorn from New Zealand sheep is the best fiber for an area rug. Why a New Zealand sheep? Because they have been bred to produce “carpet quality” wool fiber. An area rug of New Zealand wool fiber will be soft on the feet and extremely durable. Most stains are not a problem; simply blot gently with clear warm water for best results.

  1. Make sure it is at least 12mm or More- pile density

An area rugs density will play an important role in its life and performance. A flimsy cotton or olefin (polypropylene) rug or a runner without a secondary backing is nothing but trouble. A rug without sufficient density will wrinkle, warp, buckle and bunch. Not to mention the battle for possession that takes place when you try to vacuum it. The vacuum almost always wins this battle as you try using your feet to keep it under submission and out of the suction tube. I don’t know anyone who enjoys constantly adjusting and straightening their rugs. If you buy a rug with sufficient pile density (or weight) it will remain where you place it and behave when you vacuum. I prefer rugs of at least 12mm. Especially if they are to be placed over wall-to-wall carpet. Buy a dense rug and let gravity keep it in position and under control.

  1. Cotton or Jute Backing is preferred

Although cotton or jute backing is preferred, many rugs are manufactured with a secondary backing. I prefer rugs that are woven without the secondary backing. Because you can tell if it’s a good quality rug when you can detect the pattern of the rug while looking at it from the back. Whether a rug is machine-made or hand-knotted it has to be woven into something. Cotton or jute is preferred, but polypropylene mesh is fine when used in the backing of a rug (but never the face fiber). However; some rugs need that secondary backing to add density and weight. Also consider how the are rug is bonded. Single backed area rugs only need a small amount of latex to keep them bonded while secondary backing rugs need more latex to secure the backing material. If the rug maker uses synthetic latex for bonding, your nose will be happy. It will only have a new rug smell for a short period of time. If your rug maker uses a lot of real latex to secure a secondary backing, it will most likely stink of burnt rubber for years to come. Especially when the weather gets hot. Most noses and eyes are sensitive to real latex in larger doses. If you have chemical sensitivities, stick to single backed area rugs that don’t use heavy applications of synthetic latex.

  1. Don't place Heavy Furniture on your Area Rugs

Area rugs are often intended to define and delineate space. If your rug is too big for the area you are decorating you will be tempted to tuck the edges of the rug under your heavier pieces of furniture. When heavy furnishings are placed on an area rug they can often cause bunching and wrinkling where the furniture legs are indenting their selves into your rug. This can cause the most beautiful and expensive rugs to look cheesy and warped. Indents, wrinkles and warping of rugs from heavy furnishings can also become more permanent. To avoid costly rug repairs down the road, keep four to six inches of distance from heavy furniture. (Coffee tables are fine; sofas, hutches and entertainment systems are a definite no-no). Although not often. Some rug applications may result in the need for a dense and firm rug pad (or cushion). I always suggest the use of all-felt or synthetic all-felt rug pads.

Avoiding the hassles of wrinkles, buckles and bunching in your area rug is as easy as pie when you consider applying these 5 tips. Your new area rug can be a joy or a nightmare. Always buy good quality (not museum quality) New Zealand wool fiber area rugs with a single woven and bonded cotton or jute backing, and never place it under any heavy furniture. Follow these rules and your new area rug will be a joy for many years to come. Visit our web site for more area rug and home décor items and information.

Charles Beason

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Dish Television - Spoiled Rotten and Unashamed

    Huge satellite dishes used to be a symbol of status. Dish technology has changed this forever. Everything connected with dish satellite is smaller and better and can even be installed in a rented or leased home or apartment. The only thing that is getting bigger is the size of your television screen. Those ten foot monster dishes are only worthy of the scrap heap. High Definition and DVR are here to stay and TV life has never been better. "My Dish Biz" is all over the Internet right now, and for good reason, people deserve a better media experience and a chance to make extra cash.

    Dish Satellite Television is leaping above the pack in service, quality and options. My first satellite dish was a monster that engulfed about one-third of my backyard. It had to be aimed directly and precisely to the satellite I wanted to view and then it had to be fine tuned to get the best reception. This required a receiver unit, a tuner unit and a satellite positioning unit (plus another black box, if I wanted to watch certain channels). At the time, this was thought to be hi-tech stuff, and a person was actually proud that everyone for miles around could see the behemoth ten-foot satellite dish, it was a symbol of status. The truth is, that we lived on the side of a mountain in a somewhat remote location so if we wanted any kind of decent television to watch, this was our best option at the time. It sure beat continuously turning a rectangular antennae that we previously had mounted atop a thirty foot pole. The truth is, that I am happy to finally be rid of my huge eyesore and all the cables and equipment it took to operate it.

    There have been huge leaps in satellite television technology since then. Satellite dishes are now no larger than 20 inches and can be placed in an obscure area on your roof. Large satellite dishes are no longer a symbol of status. Today is the age of Big Screen television. We purchased our big screen (54 inches) about two years ago. It came with High Definition capability, but at the time I did not know what I was missing, so I did not bother to check into HD programming. I never watched a lot of television until the past couple of years. First I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and my age is starting to really slow me down. After a day at work, I am wiped out, and it has become more likely for me to spend the evening watching the big screen TV. It was nice to have a big screen TV, but nothing special.

    Until the day that my big screen television was hooked up to high definition dish programming. Now all I can say is WOW! What a difference HD makes. The clarity of high definition television is about two-thirds better than traditional television. Combine this with a greater selection of decent channels to watch, a simple surround sound system and a DVR (which was free) and WOW! I feel absolutely spoiled rotten, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I even have a remote control that operates every piece of media equipment I own. I even got rid of my stereo unit because everything is now "hooked up" to the television. You used to have to posses five to eight different units for different kinds of media. With modern big screen televisions and a DVR combined with a simple surround sound system, you can do it all from the comfort of your chair and one universal remote control (the remote control is the only technology that has not been reduced in size, and that is simply because it controls everything). Between these three pieces of equipment I can watch, record and playback HD television. I can listen to my favorite music on dish satellite or plug my ipod right into the television. I can also view all the digital pictures I have of my grand-children by inserting an SD-Card into the ready made slot. I can even hook my PC directly to my big screen for awesome gaming or detailed graphic manipulation. I am really not a lazy person, these capabilities just free up more of my time for important things. Once you have it all set up, you control it all from anywhere in the room. There are even remote programming capabilities using the Internet or your cell phone (I haven't tried those yet).

    I mentioned set up, so let's take a moment to discuss that. The thought of having a new satellite dish installed probably delayed my decision about as much as anything else. When I got my first ten foot monster dish back in the nineties, it took several men several days to assemble, install, wire and tune all of the gigantic pieces of hardware that it took to simply operate the television. I had to pay the "satellite technician" several hundred dollars for his time, as well as supplying volunteer workers for the assembly and installation. When I finally made the decision to get "hooked up" with Dish TV, They sent a very young man to install everything. To my surprise and delight, he was able to install set up and fine tune everything almost as fast as he could explain how to use the remote control. Installation came Free with the dish package I signed up for, and it truly was, a surprise and delight.

    I am a simple and humble working drone like every other red-blooded American. I work hard for every dollar I earn and I believe that service is just as valuable as products. Self-serve has become an American way of life. I miss the days of gas station attendants that would pump your gas and check your car, hostesses and waiters that would attend to your desires and even bank tellers that you could have a decent conversation with. Today, we have to build our own furniture, pump our own gas, serve our own food and just try to get a real person on the phone when you need them (all you get is a maze of recorded prompts). The "kid" who installed my dish system would have spent the whole day with me, just explaining how everything worked. That means a lot to a man like me.

    If you are half the media hound that I am, you owe it to yourself to check out the features and offers that dish TV has for you. I am certain that you will be as pleased as I was with the service and the value that you will get (over one hundred HD channels. I will not worry about reruns for a long time to come). What are you waiting for? Get "Hooked Up" with Dish TV. By the way, my seventy-one year old father recently added dish TV to his sixty-one inch television. So, in the words of my father, "that's pretty cool".

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    I was so impressed with Dish TV that I signed up as an affiliate. You can earn extra cash (or a full-time income) just by sharing your experience with Dish TV. For FREE (without having to pay $50.00 for the useless visitor thing).

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May God Bless You,

Charles Beason

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why does my New Area Rug Smell like Gas?

    Brand New area rugs tend to have an exotic odor. This can be due to a number of factors, I will quickly list a few...

1. New Rugs are often packaged for shipment as soon as they are completed, whether hand-made or machine-made, they are quickly placed in an air tight plastic bag or container. These new rugs have not yet been allowed to outgas (allow smelly stuff to dissipate) before packaging and shipping directly to you. This can often be the number one reason for smelly New Rugs.

2. Some New Rugs will have an exotic smell based on the area or region that they were constructed. Certain chemicals in the dyes, washes and rinses used in rug manufacture can account for some smells. I have had people tell me that a rug made in India smells like India, and a rug made in Thailand smells like Thailand (I guess you would have to spend time there to know this. I can attest to certain decor items that smell like the countries or cities I have visited in the Far East).

3. Some of the Foulest smelling New Rugs have a very distinct odor and a very distinct reason for that smell. Most area rugs use some form of latex to insure a good bond between the fibers and the backing of the rug. This smell is directly proportional to the amount of latex used, some rugs have a solid latex layer on the back and these are the type that I am always warning people not to use over a cherished flooring such as vinyl, hard-wood and laminates, because they will eventually cause damage to such flooring not to mention that it takes them longer to outgas. There are also two types of latex used depending on the region where the rug was made. There is Natural Latex and Synthetic Latex. Natural latex has a stronger smell than synthetic latex. It can manifest as anything between a burned rubber smell to a smell that reminds us of gasoline.

    The best way to keep the strongest odors out of your home is to unwrap your new area rug outdoors, in the garage or a patio and allow it some time to outgas before you bring it into your home. Just a day or two outdoors can outgas a majority of the strongest smells, but your rug may continue to smell for a week or two. It can take some rugs even longer to outgas if the manufacturer used natural latex. Some rugs never do fully outgas or may seem okay until you spill something on it or have it cleaned and the smell gets stronger again. Many synthetic rug pads may also need out-gassing before interior use.

    You can minimize your chances of dealing with a really smelly rug by buying a wool fiber rug with a standard heat-set backing from a reputable source and ventilate the room by cracking open some windows for the first few days (72 hours) after you unpackage your new area rug.

Charles Beason,

Fine Wool Area Rugs and Home Decor Items

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A Unique Time in the History and Economy of Wool Area Rugs

We are living in an era where Oil Prices are driving the condition of our Economy. Overall, this seems to have a negative impact on the prices of every home decor item that we purchase. Flooring prices have nearly doubled in the past two years ("talk about sticker shock"). However, upon examination we find that there are some positive attributes that can only exist at this moment in History and in this present Economy.

    Area Rugs have had a special place in the history of mankind, and the economy of Home Decor. The Medo-Persian Empire is given much credit for ancient trade in area rugs. We have physical evidence of intricate hand-made area rugs from the 1st century BC. Although we perceive that rugs, in the form of fleeces and hand-made rugs of all types of fibers would have been produced and traded before this empire came to power, it was largely their influence that made it a commodity that was traded throughout the known world at that time in history. It would be hard to imagine any caravan traveling from one city to another that would not have been laden with "exotic" area rugs for their high-end clients. That's right, most area rugs in that era would only be affordable to the affluent members of society. In fact, area rugs would not become affordable to the average household until the 19th century AD. That is when machine production, and less expensive fibers would become used in the manufacturing processes of area rugs, eventually making them a more affordable home decor product.

    The economy of area rugs grew by leaps and bounds as machine-made processes reached a point where an imitation of hand-made rugs were affordable by the average middle-income family. In the beginning, these machine-made rugs were using cotton, wool, and even silk fibers. Area rugs became affordable as well as being a well built home decor product. In my estimation, things soon took a turn for the worse with the advent of petroleum based man-made fibers. When nylon fiber (a petroleum based fiber) was first introduced in the manufacture of area rugs, things could not have seemed better. I am trying to keep this short so I will not discuss other man-made fibers that were being experimented with and used. Nylon fiber had shown that it was a great economical replacement for wool, it was also a strong fiber that resisted soil and stains well. Crude oil was plentiful and cheap, so nylon became the "It" fiber for a generation of post-war, economically secure nation of consumers.  It soon became the industry standard for area rugs and wall-to-wall carpet.

    Fast forward a generation or two and oil is beginning to become expensive. This is where the story becomes sad for me. Rug manufacturers begin to use less expensive polypropylene, olefin and polyester fibers. In the beginning these less expensive and inferior fiber rugs were sold as a disposable commodity. The fuzzy bathroom rug and the "welcome" mat in your foyer were never meant to last long or clean well. You simply used them for a season and then tossed them in the garbage where they would begin their journey to the land-fill. Although I still consider these types of rugs to be disposable, the rug industry has managed to convince a generation of consumers that these fibers can be a good alternative to the now more expensive nylon, "after all, they are both man-made fibers" aren't they? Contrary to modern marketing, these fibers will always be considered sub-standard, as far as I am concerned. I was truly appalled when the Big, Brand Name Rug Makers were trying to convince me of the positive attributes of polypropylene and that they could be sold as a high-end home decor product as long as a pretty pattern of colors were printed on them. I see these rugs in the chain-stores and all over the Internet, marketed and sold as if they were a good quality product and part of that is due to our economy. As nylon fiber rugs become more expensive, they will simply pass off a polypropylene rug, as if it were a decent product.

    This is where the good news begins. A very unique circumstance of our economy is the fact that petroleum based, man-made fibers are becoming more and more expensive, while wool fiber has become abundant and economical. This means that you can buy wool fiber area rugs for the same price as nylon, and oftentimes less. Even hand-made wool rugs are competing with machine made nylon rugs. This is a unique time in history. I have extolled the virtues of wool area rugs for many years. Wool area rugs are simply a superior product for your money, and now they are more affordable than ever. Now is the best time to buy a fine wool area rug for your home decor. Conditions are perfect for finding a quality rug at a discounted price, and you can be assured that all the rugs we feature on our web site will be a great value and they will stand the test of time.

Charles Beason,  - Fine Wool Area Rugs and Home Decor Items

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