Joanne’s Chem-Dry of NJ is a locally operated carpet cleaning service in Toms River. We provide several services including area rug cleaning (joanneschemdry.com/area-rug-cleaning/). Learn more about white knots on area rugs below:


Many rug owners and actually a few cleaners are unaware that many rugs marked 100% wool on the label actually have quite a bit of cotton in them.

When the face yarns are 100% wool, the foundation of the rug is usually made of cotton. All the white strands on this wool are cotton, and you can see the blue wool face yarn being tied around these strands. In addition to the cotton ropes that run lengthwise along the rug, there are cotton weft yarns that run side to side.

Weavers don’t have an endless pool of cotton yarn to use so as the rug is being woven when the weavers come to the end of a strand of cotton, they simply tie a new one on and keep weaving. If a yarn happens to break during the weaving process, the two ends are tied together, and the weaving continues.

These knots are called foundation fiber knots, or white knots, and are found in every hand-woven rug. These knots are not damage, they are a normal part of the weaving process. They are usually white but would be the same color as the foundation of the rug, whatever that is. There may be a few of them or many of them but they are always there, and many times they can be seen on the rug.

There are four ways to deal with white knots. The first is just to leave them alone and appreciate them as a natural part of the rug.

If the weave of the rug is loose enough, sometimes these knots can be pushed to the back side of the rug. This has to be done carefully to avoid making a hole in the rug.

Sometimes it’s possible to click the ends of a knot strands lower than the surrounding pile, making them disappear, and it’s fairly common to apply a dye on the ink to the knots to make them blend into the rug.

There are two ways that white knots can become more visible; age and a real good washer. With age, what happens is that the wool pile begins to wear from foot traffic and the white knots that used to be shorter than the wool pile can now be seen.

Many rugs are shared with a very low nap. This is common today, and this can make the white knots more visible even in a relatively new rug. Dirt causes the cotton to become dull and less noticeable. Washing the cotton also washes away any ink that has been applied to reduce the appearance of white knots. This may cause a newly clean rug to seem to have more white knots than it did when it was brought to the cleaning facility.

The important things to know are: first, white knots are present in every hand-made rug, and after washing, the white knots are clean, and any ink that may have covered them up is washed off so they may be more visible after a wash.

If you have any questions about white knots or anything else about your rugs, please call (732) 244-8080, and we’ll be happy to help. And please let us know if you like this video.