Luxurious Hotel Sheets made from Lyocell in your Home

Looking for those fabulous hotel sheets where you got your best night’s sleep?

I love them too! In the sanctuary of your bedroom, your bed sheets and bed linens are truly personal statements. The sheets we love have custom thread counts, beautiful designs, special materials and other soft crisp luxurious benefits that require careful consideration before your next investment.

Slipping in between soft, clean and freshly laundered sheets is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  The anticipation of a great night’s sleep on luxurious sheets cannot be beat! Again, those luxurious sheets we all love can be made with varying design elements like high thread counts, all-natural fibers, smooth finishes, and that special cool feel only add to the allure.

Currently, the most difficult decision when buying bed sheets is between materials. The highest quality options on the market are luxurious, silky and sumptuous crisp sheets. Yea, you know the ones. Maybe, on your last stay away from home you slept on a pair of those sheets and cannot stop thinking about them?

While searching for those sheets for myself, I ran across an incredible company that supplies those soft, sumptuous and inviting sheets, Living Fresh by Valley Forge.

Tencel or Lyocell fiber sheets are stylish, modern, and suited to any decor.

To my surprise the sheets I ended up getting, dreamed of and now dream in are made of Tencel or Lyocell fibers by the Lenzing company.

Interestingly enough, while I was an Adjunct Professor at the Philadelphia College of Textile & Science in the 1990’s, a fellow graduate student was working on her master’s thesis in Textile Engineering. Her focus was an overall  performance criteria around ring spun yarns and knitted fabrics produced with Tencel or Lyocell fibers. This was during the time of Tencel’s introduction to the fiber market.

If you need more comfortable sheets to get a deeper sleep, these are the sheets to consider.

The Tencel fiber integrated into Lyocell sheets from Living Fresh are designed to channel moisture away from your body. As such,  you will be kept cool all night long. The surfaces are smooth, and the layers do not stick to each other. All of this results in a comfortable, cool and less constricting sleep environment. I love these sheets!

What is the Tencel or Lyocell Fabric?

Natural fibers like silk or cotton may seem the most obvious options when choosing bed linens or sheets for the sake of comfort or luxury. However, Tencel, the brand name of the Lyocell fiber, deserves equal consideration for its affordability, versatility, silky feel and incredibly comfort-ability that keeps you cool at night.

Lyocell also has an environmentally conscious production process.  Lenzing Fibers Incorporated, the manufacture of Lyocell, boasts that their product is as Eco-friendly as it  is economical. Before we learn more about the fiber and it’s production, let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Tencel / Lyocell Fabric

  • Green or Eco-Friendly Print
    Lyocell fibers are made from the natural cellulose found in wood pulp. The fiber is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable.
  • Color Rich
    Lyocell was created with color in mind, because of the fibers’ high absorbency. The fabrics can be dyed to high quality standards.
  • Moisture Absorbency
    The Lyocell fiber Eco-friendly fabric has a natural air permeability or “breath-a-bility.”  Moreover, the fiber has a 50% greater moisture absorption rate compared to cotton. That reason alone has found the fiber to have tremendous market success in the baby wipes business. But, for those of us that love cool crisp sheets that remain cool throughout the night, Lyocell fabrics will provide us this comfort because of this property.
  • Anti-bacterial
    Due to its moisture management, Lyocell is also considered anti-bacterial.
  • Feel of Fabric
    Lyocell is very similar to rayon in feel (i.e., our fist synthetic Silk). Soft, breathable, lightweight and comfortable. Tencel has an extremely smooth, soft surface (i.e., the “hand” of a fabric) that drapes beautifully.
  • Great for Sensitive Skin
    Lyocell’s smooth fiber surface feels soft and supple against the skin, and its incredible wicking abilities keep the skin dry, making Tencel a great fabric for sensitive skin (i.e., the high moisture absorption property).
  • Versatility
  • This Eco-friendly fabric has what is referred to as controllable fibrillation (i.e., Fibrillation is the longitudinal splitting of a single fiber into microfibers). In other words, the very fine hairs found on the outer surface of the parent fibers can be manipulated to create a suede-like softness to a silky smooth finish. However, this positive attribute can lead to advanced pilling and early fabric deformation if not properly cared for. Follow this link for further information.
  • Durability
  • The Lyocell fiber can withstand a beating both wet and dry. Moreover,  Lyocell is resistant to wrinkles. Lyocell fabrics are easily treated with cross linking agents that create the wrinkle-free advantage.

Eco-Friendly Status

Lyocell is often considered an environmentally friendly fabric because it comes from renewable sources, is biodegradable, and is made in a closed-loop system that recycles almost all of the chemicals used. The raw materials needed to make it also take up much less land and water than those needed for comparable materials like cotton. Lyocell is made with eucalyptus trees that are grown without pesticides or artificial irrigation. Furthermore, the Eucalyptus trees are grown on farms certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (F.S.C.). This certification means that the Eucalyptus trees are grown and replaced on specialized tree farms in effort to support our forests and environment. To learn more about F.S.C. mission click here.

Within the solvent spinning process that produces Tencel®, a closed loop circuit recovers, purifies and reuses the solvent up to 99.5 percent, yielding very little by product.

How can a silky soft and supple fiber be made from a tree? Read more about the Lenzing process here

Are you looking for perfect bedding that won’t leave you feeling trapped?

Then, Tencel or Lyocell fabrics should be on your list.

Tencel keeps or wicks moisture away from your body. As such, you and your sheets feel cooler. Better yet,  those luxurious sheets will not cling to your body. Above that aspect alone, I love the light and comfortable feel of these sheets.

Feel & Comfort

The unique manufacturing process shows itself in the texture you feel when sliding into bed.

Tencel is smoother than silk, but some users report it’s more akin to cotton. This makes sense because of the natural items used in production. Lyocell fibers are typically supplied as staple fibers and blended with other natural fibers (i.e., like cotton and silk) to create or engineer specific textile properties. However, it is not as stiff as some cotton sheets can feel.

If you enjoy the unique feel, you will love the comfort it affords you. Because Lyocell fibers and fabric wicks moisture away, you won’t feel uncomfortably hot at night. Again, these sheets don’t cling to each other too, so you’ll also feel free inside the bed just like the first time you slip under the covers.

If this is the environment you love sleeping in, you have found your bedding solution.

Try them in your beach, shore or coastal home for that extra get-a-away feeling.

What are you looking for the most to improve your sleep?

If it’s about falling asleep faster and sleeping without waking up sweaty, these sheets will be valuable to you and worth the investment.

Again, bed sheets are highly personal. Compare your requirements with what these quality sheets offer you. Is it what you’ve been looking for all along?

Who Should Buy Lyocell Sheets?

If you need more comfortable sheets to get more sleep and a deeper sleep, these are the sheets to consider.

These sheets are designed to channel moisture away from your body. As such, you will be kept cool all night long. The surfaces are smooth, and the sheet layers do not stick to each other. All of the inherent Lyocell fiber properties and designed fabric performance results in a comfortable, cool and non constricting sleep environment. The feeling is reminiscent of our baby papoose.

Main Line Floors and Interiors is a premier source for high end residential and commercial hospitality ornamental rugs and home interiors.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors

Which Fiber is Best for Your Next Carpet Purchase

Carpet Fibers

Which Carpet Fiber is Best?

Fibers are the “building blocks” of textiles and carpets. Like the pixels on your computer screen, fibers are the millions of “mini threads” that when combined create the look and feel of a carpet. Fibers are used to create the color and pattern. They define the texture and softness, and they determine how long a carpet will resist wear and staining.

Bulked continuous filament vs Staple fiber

Bulked Continuous Filament & Staple Fibers

Yarn Production and Carpet Performance

Have you ever vacuumed your carpet and noticed millions of tiny fibers that now need to be disposed? Have you been on the floor only to notice the same fibers on your clothing? Maybe you don’t see or realize what is known as “shedding” at all.

Why do some Carpets Shed?

Some carpets are made from staple or spun fibers, and other carpets are made from continuous filament fibers. If a carpet is “shedding,” it is most likely from a staple spun yarn. This is seen time and time again from the cheaper selection or grade of Home Depot carpet.

Staple Fiber Carpet

There are many processing steps for a staple fiber spun yarn.

In carpet yarn processing, synthetic spun fibers are first created by the method of extrusion. Synthetic fibers like Nylon begin as plastic pellets that are then melted and extruded into hair-like filaments.  These filaments are then heated, cooled, and crimped to improve strength and impart other physical characteristics. In the staple process, the fibers are cut into individual lengths (e.g., 7-8 inches), packed into bales, and then sent to a spinning facility to process the staple fibers into yarn.

From the bale stage, the fibers require these additional processing steps to prepare for yarn spinning:

  • Blending – Blending mixes the fibers. An homogeneous blend improves the finished product during the dyeing process.  It prevents color streaking.
  • Carding – Carding is another stage of blending that properly orients the fibers for yarn spinning. This process imparts the true strength to a spun yarn.
  • Drafting – This step continues to blend the fibers and aligns them into a parallel orientation for spinning. Again, this process facilitates and imparts the true strength in the finished spun yarn.

After spinning, the yarn is further processed. Yarns are plied and twisted to develop certain characteristics. These additional processes create key textile attributes like the degree of luster, bulk, and texture. The spun yarn is then heat-set to establish or impart twist. Twist creates the yarn’s “memory” to maintain its appearance and further imparts strength.

Advantages

Carpet made from spun yarn can produce a variety of desired looks.  These designed or engineered values (i.e., “looks“) create carpets that exhibit very dense and luxurious finishes.

Spun colors are considered subtle and natural looking, as these fibers accept dyes much in same way as wool.

Prior to the technical processing advancements of bulk continuous filament textile technology, these desired looks were unique to spun staple yarn.

Disadvantages

Change in consumer tastes have moved away from the dense or tailored saxony look that spun yarns created. Furthermore, the numerous processing steps in manufacturing spun yarn outlined above make the process costly.

Perhaps, the most common complaint related to carpets of spun yarn is pilling and fuzzing.

Since the yarn is composed of millions of shorter fibers twisted together, the staple fibers tend to shed  those loose filaments. This creates the necessity for frequent vacuuming.

Bulked Continuous Filament Carpets

Today, most carpets are constructed with either man-made or synthetic polymer fibers otherwise known as “bulked continuous filament” (BCF) or  Staple fibers (i.e., a “Staple fiber” is much smaller, or shorter than a filament and typically refers to cotton). BCF fibers are long continuous filament strands of synthetic materials twisted together to form the carpet yarn. BCF fibers have the benefit of being  less prone to shedding and wear (or, pilling resistance). There are several  benefits of the BCF fiber predominately due to the always evolving engineered characteristics of the synthetic material, fiber shape and processing technology.

These benefits occur because the continuous filament is extruded as one long string. These strings are then twisted and heat-set together to form strands of yarn. The BCF yarn can also be texturized to curl, or kink. This secondary treatment increases the bulk of the yarn, can impart further twist for strength and creates more memory (i.e., “dimensional stability) for better texture retention and wear resistance.

BCF Advantages

Because the BCF fiber is one continuous strand of fiber itself, it will not shed the broken or loose fibers like a staple fiber spun yarn. BCF yarns are more cost-effective to manufacture today because there are fewer manufacturing steps involved.

Common Carpet Fibers

The majority of today’s carpeting comes in four primary fiber types: wool, nylon, polypropylene (otherwise known as olefin) and P.E.T. polyester.

Wool Carpet Fiber

Wool Carpet Fiber
From sheep to your floor, wool is considered by to be the finest fiber available for carpets. Wool carpets are the most expensive, but for good reason. Wool is a natural fiber that is durable, soft, naturally flame resistant, and water repellent. And shockingly, it doesn’t conduct static electricity. It’s also the most stain resistant carpet available.

Wool carpets come as Saxony, Berber or twisted frieze.

Nylon Close up

Nylon Carpet Fiber
Nylon is a petroleum-based synthetic fabric invented in the 1930s as a silk alternative by Dupont Chemical Company. Today’s nylon carpets are made from a newer generation of the product called “Nylon 6” or “Nylon 6,6.” These fibers are engineered to be even more durable, resist abrasive wear damage and offer almost a lifetime resistance to stains. Nylon 6/6,6 carpets can be pricey, but they’re perfect for any room — especially places where stains are likely to occur.

Olefin (Polypropylene)
Olefin is colorfast, prevents moisture damage, is stain resistant, and is low in static. But it’s not as durable as wool or nylon and should not be installed in heavy usage locations.

Created in the late 1950s and gaining popularity by the ‘60s, Olefin is the second most popular fiber after nylon. It’s soft and lightweight, won’t fade and stands up to strong chemical cleaning agents — even bleach.   It is less resilient than nylon and it has a low heat resistance. It’s also an oil-based product, so it attracts grease stains and may take on an undesirable sheen.

The best uses for Olefin include places with a greater amount of moisture or an informal space, like a child’s room.

Polyester (P.E.T.)
Save a sheep a haircut and buy P.E.T. Polyester. This inexpensive wool alternative is environmentally friendly, has built-in moisture and stain resistance, is colorfast and feels incredibly soft. Made from recycled P.E.T. products, like plastic soda bottles, polyester carpets are stronger than Olefin and can perform as well as nylon at a much lower cost. Polyester offers a way to enjoy a soft, plush carpet at a very affordable price.

Branded Vs. Unbranded Fiber
Carpet is not like clothing. When you buy a pair of jeans, a big brand name will set you back a lot more than a no-name pair, for about the same quality.

When it comes to carpet fibers, brand names rule. Why? Because branded fiber and treatments are manufactured to strict standards set by their respective companies. Branded fibers offer better performance characteristics, improved stain, static, and crush resistance. Branded fibers also offer extended warranties backed by the fiber company, as well as the carpet manufacturer.

To achieve the premium branded fiber label on the back of a carpet sample, manufactures have to meet construction requirements set by the fiber manufacturer. The result is a carpet that meets the high expectations of the consumer, as well as protects the reputation of the brand.

Triexta
In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTS) established the subclass name “triexta” as an alternative to the generic name “polyester” for a subclass of polyester fibers made from poly (trimethylene terephthalate).

This fiber, while having the same general chemical composition as polyester, has distinctive features of durability, resilience, softness and the ability to stretch with recovery that make it significantly more suitable than conventional polyester for carpet (and apparel). It also has superior water-based stain resistance. Triexta is marketed under the Mohawk brand name “Smartstrand.”

Recycled Fibers
Petroleum-based fibers slowly decay in our landfills. That’s why both carpet manufacturers and retailers have partnered to turn old carpets (and other plastic products) into new carpets. In 2007, one carpet recycler reported recycling of 5.5-million pounds of used carpet from our ever expansive waste dumps. This amount  has grown exponentially since.

Carpet recyclers can create premium new carpets without the loss of softness or durability. Something to consider the next time you’re carpet shopping.

When shopping for your new carpet, please consider the traffic or activity that carpet will have to endure. From this first decision, a selection of fiber can be considered relative to the processing technology of the yarn.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on the supply and installation of high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multi-family, Senior Living, Hospitality and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper. We proudly serve the Philadelphia, PA metro area, Delaware and South New Jersey region.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors

Jacquard Innovation

Joseph Marie Jacquard: a Textile Engineer Revolutionary

Joseph Marie Jacquard

Joseph Marie Jacquard was a French Textile machine inventor who revolutionized the automated weaving production process for patterned fabrics. 

In 1752, Joseph Marie Jacquard was born the son of a silk weaver.  He later entered the profession himself. However, Jacquard was a poor businessman and his weaving company failed. Most likely, it was his penchant for technological process improvement that led to his business decline.

After the French Revolution, Jacquard returned to his home, Lyon France. Lyon had been the silk weaving capital for almost 200 years. He went back to work in a silk weaving factory. While working in a factory,  Jacquard constructed an improved loom for silk fabric weaving.

Based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728), and Jacques Vaucanson (1740) Jacquard tinkered with those designs to create his concept of an automated weaving loom. In 1745, Vaucanson’s loom was introduced as the first completely automated loom in the industry. His loom used repetitive movements guided by holes punched in  cards that gave precise automation “instructions” mechanically to the weaving process. However, the loom was not adopted by the industry and was placed in a museum. Where Vaucanson’ stopped, Jacquard ventured on to innovation.

News of Jacquard’s work reached Napoleon himself, who then funded Jacquard to complete his loom. By 1801, Jacquard’s first loom was operational and considered revolutionary . The innovative Jacquard loom enabled each individual warp yarn (i.e., referred to as an “end” in textile terminology) to be lifted individually and simultaneously. This mechanization when applied in the proper sequence or “instructions” provided by the punch cards (i.e., the logic, or logical “instructions”) created the desired patterns in the woven silk.

Jacquard innovated the weaving loom by attaching each warp yarn to an assigned wire harness that could raise or lower each warp yarn independently. Each wire harness was connected to a needle. Above this linkage rested a bar capable of lifting the wires and their individual threads.

Check out these short clips to get a better understanding of the Jacquard loom’s intricate mechanical operation and versatility to create fantastic intricate woven designed fabrics:

Modern computer-aided Jacquard Loom:

A Jacquard loom utilizing punch card logic:

What set his invention apart from the work of Vaucanson was the use of needles. Driven by the mechanical action of the loom, the appropriate needles would enter holes punched in heavy card stock, triggering the lifting bar which would in turn raise the proper wire and its thread.

Needles that did not touch a punched hole would be forced backward, detaching that wire from the lifting bar. Only the threads specific to a particular portion of the pattern would be woven. As such, Jacquard had created a logic based mechanical machine that could provide the necessary instructions to weave intricate patterns.

For further definition of the principle of the Jacquard operation follow this link.

Better yet, check out this 6 1/2 minute youtube video. It covers some basic terms, concepts, weaving basics, loom styles and the Jacquard loom operation.

https://youtu.be/TyhDkd8Iabs

The “computer brain” of the Jacquard loom was this intricate punch card system.

 

jacquard2

The instruction cards were perforated according to pattern. All the preparation necessary for these perforated cards was extremely time consuming and considered the most difficult task of his weaving process. A new set had to be prepared for each new pattern.

The above picture depicts a few punch card patterns stored for further production.

Check out this video of a manual Jacquard loom in operation to gain perspective of the technological ingenuity:

Interestingly, the Jacquard attachment could be applied to almost any loom. The attachment, or mechanical computer,  is regarded as the most important apparatus ever adapted to textile weaving technology due to its automated production for several varieties of patterns.

Historical Innovation and Unacceptance

Upon seeing his loom in operation, the weavers of Lyon revolted. Fiercely protective of their skills and livelihood, these hand-loom operators attacked Jacquard and his mechanical invention. Jacquard survived the assault, but his machine was destroyed.

Jacquard was not deterred by the angry craftsmen and their fears. He continued to improve his loom and increased its operational efficiency. His punch-card instruction system was modified to be incorporated with existing looms.

Sales took off. However, employed weavers discovered that the loom’s guiding machinery could easily be rendered useless by dropping a wooden shoe, known as a sabot, into the works.

Such acts of disruption and destruction became commonplace, yet the Jacquard loom offered such a dynamic advance in textile manufacture that its acceptance proved unstoppable. Within a few years, the looms numbered in the thousands and Jacquard was not only recognized for his achievement, but was rewarded for it.

The rights to the loom with the punch-card process were sold to the French government in 1806 under an agreement that gave Jacquard a pension and a small royalty for each loom in operation. By 1812, there were more than 11,000 such looms in operation in France.

The acts of destruction aimed at his machine are among the first widespread examples of industrial sabotage.

There is a popular belief (i.e., however, a false account of the origin of the term’s present meaning) that the story of the French laborers throwing their wooden shoes, otherwise known as sabots, into Jacquard’s machinery was the origin of the word, sabotage.

Jacquard’s standardization of the punch-card system for instructing mechanical operation would come to be seen as perhaps the earliest precursor of computer programming. Essentially, Jacquard applied the first binary control logic to a manufacturing mechanism. Punch cards remained prevalent in the computer industry as current as the 1990’s.

Jacquard Raschel

Jacquard notable invention is the device that fitted onto a power loom and simplified the process of manufacturing textiles with such complex patterns as brocadedamask and matelassé.

Jacquard and Carpet

The technology of the Jacquard loom has been applied to weaving Wilton and Axminster carpets still present today fabricated into area rugs, as well as, lace patterns and tapestries.

My great grandfather would have been very familiar with the Jacquard Raschel pattern pictured above as he immigrated from England to Philadelphia, PA to work in the burgeoning lace manufacturing factories that once dominated the city to support his family.

Main Line Floors and Interiors focuses on the supply and installation of high end residential and commercial hospitality flooring, area rugs and fine home interiors.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors & Interiors

 

Wool Rugs and Moth Infestation

Moth Damaged Clothes?

Moth Damaged Carpets?

Fibers containing protein, such as the keratin in wool, are susceptible to damage by moths and carpet beetles. Silk fibroin is the major structural protein obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm and is also edible to these pests. However,  it is the cystine amino acid residues in keratin that are more vulnerable to moth attack than the fibroin of silk. Yet, carpet beetles will eat keratin, fibroin and additional proteins.

Of all the moths in this world, there are really two moths that should be considered the culprits to the majority of damaged wool and silk fabrics. And, they are the notorious “webbing moth’ and the “case-making” or “case-bearing” moth.

Welcome to the world of Wool devouring Moths!

Here are the four Clothes Moth Culprits to be concerned with:

  1. The Common Clothes Moth, Tineola bisselliella
  2. The Case-bearing Clothes moth, Tinea pellionella
  3. The Tapestry Moth, Tricophaga tapetzella
  4. The  Large Pale Clothes Moth, Tinea pallescentella

Although we can simply identify adult flying moths in our home and finger them as the culprit, it must be understood that it is the larvae stage that actually causes the damage. Typically, it is the Clothes Moth larvae. However, both species (i.e., the Clothes & House Moth) feed on wool. As such, all wool clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, drapes, furs, animal bristles, and wool felts used for pianos & pool tables are susceptible to damage.

Insects often damage fibers other than wool or silk in attempt to reach desirable food, the proteins. Synthetic fibers (i.e. like Rayon … created from wood pulp cellulose) or natural fibers such as cotton are fed or infested upon by moths only if they are blended with wool or silk. Often, the larvae use the cotton fibers to make their pupal cases (i.e. these cases are tell-tale signs of infestation). Generally, most of the moth infested damage appears in hidden locations such as under collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture or in areas of carpeting covered by furniture.

Of interest, fabrics that have been soiled or stained by foods, perspiration, or urine are more susceptible to damage.

Tapestries, coarse heavy fabrics and carpets are prone to attack, particularly by the Case Making or Case Bearing Moth.  Moreover, rabbit wool seems to be particularly attractive to moths too.

The Larva

As such, the larvae feed on the wool. The webbing moth and the case-making moth larvae are well known and identified because they spin a web tube (i.e., the pupal case) that acts as a protective barrier. The webbing moth larvae attach their tubes to dark crevices or seams. This action allows them to stay stationary to feed in one location. However, the case making moth’s larvae do not attach their tubes, or “cases.” As such, they like to remain mobile and can cause a greater amount of damage.

The life cycle of the clothes moth can range from two months to 2 1/2 years. Typically, an adult moth will lay their eggs on woolen textiles that the larvae will consume. Each female moth can lay 100 to 150 eggs. The larval stage itself can last from two to 30 months.

The lifespan of the moth depends on the availability of food (like wool). That is why moths can be so devastating to rugs. Rugs provide a huge source of food for the larvae and if gone unnoticed the larvae can feed for almost 2 1/2 years.

During the eating phase the larvae increase approximately 300 percent in weight.

Moths and their larvae thrive in the dark, undisturbed areas of a rug that get little traffic and are seldom vacuumed.

Since moths are attracted to the keratin in animal hair a dirty rug covered in dog and cat hair is a paradise for moth larvae. They can feed on blends of natural and synthetic fibers, but not on materials made only of synthetic fibers. They also tend not to consume cotton.

Identifying a moth infestation

Indicators to look for are a lot of flying adult moths; this shows the infestation may be considerable. Look for loose carpet fibers on top of the rug pile; this is a result of the larvae actually eating the knots off the rug foundation. Also, look for the cocoons: slightly fuzzy cylinders 1/8-inch in diameter and 1/2-inch long that are the same color as the rug pile. You may see the actual larvae squirming along the pile surface and underneath the rug.

Check out this short video to see damage & pupal cases:  https://youtu.be/66gBk6XeBso

 

Preventing or reducing Moth infestations

Good housekeeping is paramount. By periodically cleaning those areas of the home where clothes moths may harbor, you can simply prevent or control infestation. These areas include those seldom cleaned areas. Places like under the furniture, along baseboards, around heaters, the areas behind them, vents and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate.

Most importantly, remember to clean closets, especially those where woolens and furs are kept.

The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. However, please remember after using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag contents promptly because they will include eggs, larvae, or adult moths. Clothes moths may first become established on woolen garments or scraps stored for long periods. If such articles are to be saved, they should be stored properly, or periodically hung in the sun and brushed thoroughly, especially along seams and in folds and pockets. Brushing destroys eggs and exposes larvae. Larvae are strongly repelled by light, and will fall from clothing when they cannot find protection.

Although most can control small infestations in clothing, some infestations are best handled by a pest control applicator which has the equipment, materials, and experience necessary to deal with a difficult control job.

How do you stop a moth infestation? Kill the eggs and Larvae.

Start with a thorough, professional in-plant cleaning. The washing removes the larvae and a hot dry room can destroy the eggs. However, an infested rug will bring larvae into close contact with other rugs, which can spread the problem.

The larvae must be killed to prevent their migration from one rug to another. The safest and most effective insecticide the rug cleaner can use is pyrethrum. The product is the oleoresin extract of dried chrysanthemum flowers referred to as pyrethrins. These strongly lipophilic esters rapidly penetrate many insects and paralyze their nervous systems. These materials are contained in various commercial products.

Use a pyrethrum product specifically formulated to kill clothes moths, particularly those in the egg- and larval stages.

As with applying any material to a rug, first test it in an inconspicuous area. Spray the infested rug thoroughly on the front and back, preferably outside or in a well-ventilated room. Roll the rug up and put it aside for a day to allow time for the pyrethrum to work. Moreover, rolling the rug will keep the concentration high and potentially more effective.

The rug is now ready for a typical cleaning. A good vacuuming or a run through a beater/duster will be effective in removing the dead moth matter. The rug should then be washed using a typical in-plant method. If the only cleaning method available is hot-water extraction, be certain to thoroughly clean both sides of the rugs.

Some information on Moth Balls

Please be cognizant that moth balls, their flakes and crystals (i.e., naphthalene or paradichloro-benzene) are ineffective in moth control for rugs. These materials act only as a minor repellent to moths. Moth ball products do not kill moth larvae. Moreover, the naphthalene odor can be unpleasant and difficult to remove from the rug. As such, moth balls are essentially bad. The active ingredients enter the human system through inhalation, and may cause irritation to the nose, throat and lungs. Headaches, confusion, excitement or depression and liver and kidney damage may result from over exposure to moth ball vapors (or exposure to the vapors for extended periods of time).

How to Protect Rugs from Moth Infestation

The safest way to protect rugs from infestation is with moth-repelling agents containing magnesium silicofluoride, a moth repellent. It does not kill moths, larvae or the eggs. Instead, it makes the wool less appetizing by changing the taste. It is applied as a spray solution and should thoroughly cover the front and back of the rug. It lasts for up to three years (or until the rug is washed again), has no residual odor and is not harmful to people.

One of the major hurdles to preventing moth damage is consumer education. Too many consumers believe that periodic professional cleaning is not good for their rugs because they believe it leads to further deterioration. Today, people are home less and have less time to appropriately care for their rugs (e.g., vacuuming, regular housekeeping, and have even less time to inspect dark places such as under furniture for problems). However, it is widely known and mentioned in this article that:

Dirty rugs are targets for moth infestation.

 

What are the Differences in Hardwood Flooring Options

Wood floors add a certain elegance and style to any home, whether it is new construction or a home renovation. The right wood flooring that fits within a specific design style, color and lifestyle makes all the difference when bring home design elements together. Understanding the difference between the different hardwood flooring types can make the difference when making your wood flooring selection.

There are both subtle and significant differences between the various wood flooring types such as Hardwood Floors, Engineered Floors and Laminate Floors. It is our goal in this post to help define the differences between these wood floors and how to select the right hardwood flooring for your project.

The Difference Between Hardwood Flooring, Engineered Floors and Laminate Floors:

Hardwood Floors – One of the most common types of wood flooring is what is referred to as Hardwood flooring, or often Solid Hardwood Floors. Solid hardwood flooring is largely what the phrase indicates, in that the wood flooring is composed of solid wood.

Traditionally, hardwood or solid hardwood flooring is manufactured with more dense and durable wood species, such as oak, birch and acacia, however this is not always the case. For example, pine flooring is also included within the solid hardwood floors category, as it too is considered solid wood flooring as well. Most solid hardwood flooring is sold prefinished and ready to be installed.

Advantages of Solid Hardwood Flooring: By far the biggest advantage for choosing solid hardwood flooring over other types of wood floors is that of durability. Since this type of wood flooring is solid, it can withstand more abuse, longer than other wood floors. Additionally, because hardwood floors are solid, they can be sanded and refinished when and if they become scratched, worn or you decide you would prefer a different finish or color stain.

Disadvantages of Solid Hardwood Flooring: The largest disadvantage to hardwood floors is price. Given the fact that hardwood flooring is made from solid wood, it tends to be more expensive per square foot than other types of wood flooring.

Engineered Wood Floors – Another category of wood flooring is engineered wood floors. Engineered wood floors are designed to have the same look, feel and finish as traditional solid hardwood flooring, however they are not made from solid wood. Engineered hardwood floors are manufactured using a substrate of plywood, particle board or other cores, then covered with a layer of solid hardwood flooring. In addition, Engineered hardwood flooring is also completely prefinished and ready to be installed.

Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring: Engineered hardwood flooring is an excellent alternative to typical solid hardwood flooring in that they look and feel identical, but come at a substantial savings. If costs are a consideration in your wood flooring project, looking at engineered hardwood flooring can provide you with a durable, identical looking wood floor, at a lower overall cost. Most engineered wood floors can come in the same styles, colors and finishes as traditional hardwood flooring, so you will not have to sacrifice your design choices by selecting engineered hardwood floors.

Disadvantages of Engineered Wood Flooring: Though engineered hardwood floors appear identical to solid hardwood flooring, they are not solid. Using a layer of solid hardwood over a substrate, engineered wood floors may or may not be sanded and refinished, depending on the thickness of the hardwood layer.

Laminate Wood FloorsLaminate wood flooring is a completely separate category of wood flooring from both solid hardwood floors and engineered hardwood floors in that they typically contain little to no actual wood. Developed to be a cost-effective alternative to both wood floors and typical rolled vinyl flooring, laminate wood flooring gives you the look of hardwood flooring at a significant cost savings.

Laminate wood flooring is typically made using multiple layers of synthetic materials that are laminated together. Laminate wood floors are finished with a photographic wood simulation then covered with a durable protective coating.

Advantages of Laminate Wood Flooring: There are two distinct advantages to laminate wood flooring that offer excellent applications in certain situations. First, laminate wood flooring is significantly less expensive than both hardwood and engineered wood flooring. Additionally, the synthetic composite used to create laminate wood flooring holds up well under high traffic and wet environments such as commercial businesses, bathrooms and basements.

Disadvantages of Laminate Wood Flooring: Although the look of good laminate wood flooring can appear identical to actual hardwood flooring, it is not wood. With laminate floors, there will be subtle but noticeable differences in texture as well as a different feel when walking on them. Though they are not manufactured with wood, they can provide an extremely cost-effective alternative to natural hardwood.

Bamboo wood floors are an additional category that fall under the hardwood flooring headline. Similar to solid hardwood flooring, bamboo floors are extremely durable and offer a eco-friendly, sustainable option. On the high-end of wood floor prices, bamboo flooring is becoming extremely popular for its unique design and finish selections.

There are many types, styles and finishes of hardwood flooring on the market. Having an idea of the similarities, advantages and differences between hardwood flooring, engineered flooring and laminate flooring enables you to confidently weigh your options. Though solid hardwood floors are the most well-known, engineered and laminate flooringoptions are becoming far more prevalent in both home and commercial applications.

Before deciding on which type of wood flooring to purchase, it is helpful to be educated on what you are looking at beyond just specifications and price. Working with professionals that will take the time to answer your questions and understand your design goals is important. Let us know if you have any wood flooring questions we can answer for you.