What are sprouts on wool rugs?

No, your rug isn't growing anything. Sprouting in rugs is what we call threads that appear to unravel from the rug and stick out longer than the other loops and threads. Basically, they are lose tufts that protrude above the surface of the rug's pile. Wool is hand-twisted on our hand-knotted rugs. So when it comes untwisted, it sticks up off the rug slightly.

Is my rug defective if I find a sprout?

No, it most certainly is not. It happens to almost all hand-knotted rugs and it is very easy to fix.

How do I fix a sprout if I find one?

First, be careful with your wool rugs. Very carefully use scissors to cut the sprout down to the same size as the rest of the pile. Then use a vacuum to clean it. You won't even be able to tell there was a sprout there at all. Please, do NOT attempt to pull the sprout out. This will cause the entire wool thread to come out. Just clip it down to size.

Why don't machine-made rugs have sprouts?

Machine-made rugs won't have sprouts because they are looped by machines. Machines are able to do what human hands cannot - create an exact number of twists without any inconsistencies. Just like hand-spun pottery will have character that a machine-made bowl will not, hand-knotted wool rugs will have sprouts and abrashes.

Will my rug continue to make new sprouts as I use it more?

Yes and no. It all depends on the wear and tear on the rug and how well you take care of your rug. If your rug is in a high-trafficked area, and you use the wrong type of vacuum on it, you could damage your rug and cause needles sprouts and unraveling. However, if you use the right vacuum and take care of your rug properly, less sprouts will show up over time

When do rugs start to show sprouts?

Hand-knotted rugs can show sprouts the day they come home from the factory or even a year after you buy them. Sprouts are not a sign of a defective rug. Some will exhibit, others not.