Monday, March 30, 2015

The Mystery Behind Lanolin in Wool as a Stain Blocker

You may hear from rug dealers that the lanolin in the wool in their rugs repels liquids...that it is a natural stain blocker.  Well, wool does have lanolin in its raw state.  In the case of our hand-knotted rugs which are made in Nepal, the wool is imported from Tibet and comes in 2 forms...cold-water washed and chemical-washed wool.  The lanolin content in chemical-washed wool is low compared to cold-water washed wool.

However, here's what happens in the wool dyeing process:

Step 1: Washing the wool...along with the lanolin, there are a lot of impurities in the wool like dirt, soil and even sheep feces (sorry...but it's a big issue!)  The wool needs to be bathed in hot water and detergent to remove these impurities and to allow the dye to absorb well into the fiber.  This process strips off a large percentage of the lanolin content in the wool.

Step 2:  Dyeing the wool...this process totally removes the lanolin content in the wool.  For the wool fibers to absorb the dyes, the water needs to be boiled consistently over 100 degrees.  Lanolin melts at temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 degrees and thus at this stage, the lanolin dissolves into the hot water.

LESSON 1:  Don't believe those rug dealers that tell you that their dyed wool rugs have lanolin that helps to repel stains.  This would only be possible if the lanolin was massaged BACK into the wool rug once the rug was finished and washed... think of it like putting conditioner on your hair after shampooing.


Note: If the wool rugs are UNDYED, then they may still have some lanolin in the wool.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful interior designer clients who give us the opportunity to create beautiful rugs for their projects!  Here is our Livorno pattern with a lovely merlot colored silk in the scrolls of the design.

Chinese silk in a merlot color woven into the scrolls in the Livorno design

Our Livorno design, an oversized damask pattern

Thanks to our expert craftspeople in Nepal who produce an exquisite product

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dare to be special! A custom stair runner and landing rug for a Kenwood home in Minneapolis

Here's a stair runner project we recently completed with interior designer, Janie Delaney, in Minneapolis.

The client wanted something colorful and fresh for her Kenwood home staircase and landing which can be seen as soon as you enter the home.  Janie thinks it is lively and fun but has depth and character so that it works with the house.  In Janie's's "KILLER"!!  Better in person of course and the client loves it!

Installation--the runner was made in 4 sections so as to get a perfect match on each stair.
The project was templated and hand-knotted in Nepal by our wonderful weavers there.

Here is the hand-drawn template and the 4 sections of the runner.

Picture of the landing rug

Close-up...heavy abrash striation in the background of the rug

Landing the zebra pillow

Original digital rendering with final colors selected
Pattern by Julie Dasher

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanks to COVER magazine for featuring our design

Thanks to Lucy Upward at COVER magazine for featuring our new Lacy Maple Leaf design in their 2015 Trends report.  We are very excited to be included!  The Lacy Maple Leaf design was inspired by a beautiful tree in our new home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  The leaves look like fine lace.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rug pads are important

An often overlooked add-on to a rug purchase is a pad.  Rug pads, however, are very important for a variety of reasons which include increasing the longevity of the rug.  If you make an investment in a beautiful area rug, it is well worth it to spend a few dollars on a rug pad.  In addition to increasing the life of the rug, the pad secures the rug in place so that you, your friends and family will not slip on the rug and it also adds a cushiness under foot and makes the rug look more luxurious.  Finally, depending on the type of rug you have...hand-knotted, hand-tufted, bound carpet to mention a few...a rug pad can protect your floor from the backing on a rug that can scratch a floor.

The type of rug pad that I recommend is the Durahold rug pad.  It has a rubber backing on one side...that side sits on the floor...and a recycled felt pad on the other side.  See pictures below.

A great source for these rug pads is

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Visiting Cardinal Gibbons High School to inspire teens

I spent the afternoon with my daughter's art class at Cardinal Gibbons high school with 2 messages to share with the teens:

1. Pursue your passion, follow your dreams, you can make a living with a creative business and do what you love!

2. Look deeper into how products you purchase are made.  GoodWeave makes sure that no child labor was used in making a rug.

Julie Dasher Rugs is a licensed importer with GoodWeave.  We donate a percentage of our profits each year to GoodWeave to help with education and community services in our weaving communities.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Just finished our debut at Highpoint market.  It was a wonderful week of sharing our design aesthetic and products with interior designers from around the world who attended market.  All 50 of our press kits at the Media Center were taken which was totally unexpected!

Networking opportunities were amazing...met Gary Inman of Glave and Holmes who is creating some beautiful furniture designs and has become a "style spotter" extraordinaire.  Visited with Jamie Schactel who created COUEF.  They had a divine space at Inter Hall and a new globally-sourced line of ottomans, tables and chairs that are chic and modern.  Met Sarah Stroh, editor of Rug News and Design, who organized a lovely breakfast billed as the Women's Rug Roundtable...I was with my "tribe" as we chatted about global issues surrounding the rug industry.  Most of my time was spent "manning" the booth and meeting interior designers who were on the hunt for the latest and greatest resources for their projects.

It was so exciting and fun to be at the center of the home furnishings industry.  I can't thank my husband, Thom, enough for all of his support and hard work in making this happen.  I couldn't have done it without him!  xxxoooo