Archive for February, 2020

Explanation of Piling
February 25, 2020

Loose fibers have a natural tendency to move to the surface of a piece of fabric, where they are subject to friction, which causes them to twist together into small balls. Fibers that are still secured to the fabric are also twisted into the ball, so that the pill is secured to the surface of the material.

Friction is caused in the normal course of people using the furniture, rubbing against the surface of the fabric. Laundering also causes friction – washing machines agitate fabric, causing the surfaces to rub together.

Pilling is more noticeable on man-made fibers. This is mainly because natural fabrics shed loose fibers easily and less noticeably, while man-made fibers are notoriously strong, so the pills are anchored strongly to the fabric. Please note that pilling is not a fabric defect or fault, and is not covered under warranty. It can be compared to the shedding experienced when purchasing new carpet – think about the way carpet behaves when newly installed, as there are constantly new loose fibers coming to the surface over the first few months of use. This is completely normal and will reduce once the excess fibers are gone.

The quickest and most cost-effective approach is to use a battery-operated pill shaver to remedy the situation. These small, cheap appliances are available in most sewing stores or the sewing area of large department stores. A pill comb is also effective and performs the same task manually. If pilling reoccurs, it can simply be shaved off again. This may occur several times, but the pilling will diminish and eventually cease once the excess fibers are removed.


Fabric Cleaning Codes
February 25, 2020

Your upholstered furniture should have a cleaning code that informs you of the best cleaning method for the particular upholstery. This is important to know when buying new furniture, even if that furniture is only ‘new to you’. After all, if you buy your furniture off craigslist, we highly recommend that you clean your furniture, as you don’t know what has spilled on those cushions!

The cleaning codes listed below are usually found on a tag attached to your furniture. The most common place for this tag is under the couch or chair cushions. If they are not removable cushions, then the tag may be found underneath your furniture. Be sure to check on all the tags that are attached to your upholstered furniture. If for some reason, you still cannot find the cleaning code for your furniture, you might want to check the manufacturers’ website or even google it.

If you still can’t find it, try calling a professional upholsterer or bringing a swatch of the fabric (cut from underneath your couch) to a fabric store to see if they can help you identify the fabric.


Common Upholstery Cleaning Codes (found on tag):


If there’s a “W” on your furniture, be thankful, as the W stands for water and is typically the easiest to clean. With a ‘W’ Cleaning code, you should be ok to clean your furniture with an upholstery/carpet cleaner (best to use the attachments) on the stain or spot. This is typically the most durable fabric and is ideal for furniture that might see a lot of use or is likely to be spilled on (living room couches and chairs, dining room chairs, loveseats).



An “S” cleaning code on your furniture means that it MUST BE cleaned with upholstery dry cleaning solution (S is for solvent i.e. dry clean only) This fabric typically does not respond well to water and should not be cleaned with water. If you clean ‘S’ cleaning code furniture with water you may lose color, or have water rings on your cushions. Furniture spot cleaning is suggested using a dry cleaning solvent intended for home dry cleaning.

TIP! Dry the cleaning solvent with a hairdryer to avoid leaving a ring! Do not allow your piece to become outlandishly dirty if you want to be happy with the professional cleaning results you will get. Stains, spills or dirt on this kind of furniture should be cleaned as soon as possible to maintain the life of the fabric and keep the colors looking vibrant.



S/W cleaning code means a mixture of water and/or dry cleaning solution may be used. This code is uncommon and should probably be left to the professional upholstery cleaners. Though it says solvent or water, we believe it is better to use a solvent furniture cleaner if you can and make sure to clean stains as soon as possible. “X” A rare cleaning code, X means the item is NOT cleanable with any liquid solution and should be vacuumed. No exceptions. Check with Furniture Repairman or your local furniture professional on the best methods to clean a piece of furniture with an X cleaning code.



What are Sprouts on Wool Rugs?
February 25, 2020

Rug buying should always be fun – you are making your home beautiful and buying something that will last generations. But sometimes, you will run across a term or phrase that is simply confusing.

One word that is commonly used is sprouts on rugs – or rug sprouting. This can be confusing because it makes you think your rug is growing something. But this simply isn’t true! In fact, sprouting is totally normal and doesn’t mean your rug has any defects or problems. 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 loose tufts that protrude above the surface of the rug’s pile. Wool is hand-twisted on our hand-knotted rugs. So when it becomes 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 rug. Very carefully use scissors to cut the sprout down to the same size as the rest of the pile. Then use a strong suction vacuum, but not the beater bar 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, a hand-knotted wool rug will have character that a machine-made rug will not.


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 damage your rug and cause sprouts and unraveling. However, if you use the right vacuum (do not use a beater bar) and take care of your rug properly, fewer sprouts will show up over time. Oriental rugs are made to last, take care of your precious investment.


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. If you have questions about your wool rug, contact us and we are happy to help.

Wood Furniture Care
February 12, 2020

Because it is naturally abrasive, dust is probably wood furniture’s biggest enemy, as it leaves microscopic scratches that dull a finish over time.  Guardsman Revitalizing Wood Polishes clean and renew, leaving a rich, low-luster shine, but it’s also important to dust regularly—even when it’s not time to polish! Weekly dusting prevents the build-up of dust that can result in fine scratches when everyday objects come into contact with the surface. All smooth surfaces should be dusted regularly—furniture, cabinets, walls, floors, electronics, appliances, and even leather furniture.  Guardsman’s Ultimate Dusting Cloth is specially treated to pick up and hold onto dust without the need for dusting sprays.  Soft and 100% cotton, it’s washable and reusable—and leaves no lint or dust-attracting residue!  For best results when dusting, always wipe in the direction of the wood grain.


Entertaining Can Be Tough on Wood Dining Furniture

Wood furniture isn’t just for admiring—it’s meant to be used for family and guests.  But entertaining also means accidents—water rings from a glass, or heat marks from a hot dish or a pizza box—that can leave your furniture looking abused.  When the unexpected happens, Guardsman’s reusable Water Ring and Mark Remover easily eliminates minor blemishes from many wood surfaces including white rings, and other marks and stains caused by water, heat, alcohol, cosmetics, and paint.


A Few Easy Tips to Keep your Dining Table Looking Great All Year

Scratches—To avoid scratches, never slide anything (vases, plates, serving dishes, etc.) across a wood surface.  Light surface nicks and scratches can be treated with Guardsman Liquid Scratch Cover or Wood Touch-Up MarkersGuardsman Wood Filler Sticks quickly repair scratches and blemishes that go beyond the surface and require filling and won’t shrink, dry out, discolor, or rub off, but deep scratches can be costly—even requiring professional restoration.

Liquids—Wipe up spills immediately, and check to be sure liquid hasn’t seeped under any objects, such as a vase, where it can “pool” and dry, causing damage to the finish.

Use linen or cotton tablecloths & placemats—Vinyl and plastic materials can damage some wood finishes or leave residues behind that build up on the surface of your furniture.  Over time, these materials can make surfaces sticky and cause discoloration.

Centerpieces—Use cork or felt pads under decorative objects, and swap them out several times a year.


Click HERE for recommended Cleaning and Care Products

New England Style Farmhouse: Great Room Reveal
February 6, 2020

After building their dream home on an old Arborvitae farm in their hometown, Jen and James (from Red, White & Denim) were introduced to Saybrook Home to begin their search for furniture pieces. The couple knew finding good quality and priced furniture would be imperative in their first and forever home, so they decided to work with one of our Designers to get the professional guidance and advice they needed! Check out Jen’s posts about her experience with our Design Services and the final reveal of their Great Room!


Design Services

Great Room Reveal