Rug cleaning may cause some white knots to show up in a cleaned and washed hand made carpet. The foundation of a rug can be made of cotton, wool or silk. This foundation is a collection of vertical strands called warps.Sometimes strands are not long enough to go multiple times from one end of the rug to the other end and weavers have to tie knots to make a longer strand. These knots called the "white knots" if not trimmed may show up after the pile is worn out and may make the rug look ugly. Sometimes when a rug is dirty, these white knots do not show up but when we clean the rug, the white knots show up. There are two ways by which we can get rid of these white knots. One is to dye and re-touch them. This is an easy fix but if the rug is in use, the touch up may fade away so the white knots would show up again. Second, white knots are usually cotton and ordinary color markers cannot dye cotton or the color of the marker may not match the color of the pile of the rug.
Another fix is to cut and clip the white knots from the base and this is what we prefer and usually do. Of course this should be done by an experienced rug repair person otherwise by removing and clipping the white knots, you may create some holes in the rug which would make it look very ugly. I recently took care of the white knots on an Indian rug we cleaned. There were many white knots showing in the pile of this rug after we did the cleaning. I used a special type of rug weaving and repair sharp scissors to clip the base of the white knots. If I could not remove the base completely, then I would push the base of the trimmed white knots to the back of the rug by using a special type of hook.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)