A Possible Solution to Lessen or Eliminate Edge Curling on Light-Weight Area Rugs

Here is a recent email consult I had with a very nice individual that was having Edge Curl Problems with his Area Rug. Here is the Substance of our email and a possible solution for this problem. This is a DIY Tip from me to you.

    I thought this might be a typical consult on edge curling problems in light-weight area rugs. In this instance it was quite fortunate that this individual sent some pictures of his area rug for me to look at, as it turned out that he actually had what appears to be a Wool Fleece (not a Shag rug), and not an average light-weight area rug. Dealing with edge curl on a light weight Fleece can really be a challenge, once the edges begin to curl it becomes increasingly difficult to get them back into position so that they lay flat against the floor, this is . Edge Curl, Bunching and Wrinkles are  problem for many light-weight rugs. Aside from Fleeces, there are a variety of rugs that may defy gravity and generally give you a hard time, when you just want them to lay flat and behave. Examples of light-weight rugs include some needle-punch or flat-weave rugs and some Kilims and Soumaks are more similar to a tapestry in weight and points per square inch. Many cotton or polypropylene (olefin) rugs that do not have a solid latex backing tend to exhibit these problems. Latex or rubber backed rugs can cause even greater problems, you can read about them in my blog or on my web site. My Advice: Do Not Buy Any Area Rug With a Solid Latex Backing (unless it’s for use on a patio or outdoors)! Okay, back to light-weight rugs and one possible solution for them. Here is the actual email response as I sent it…

Fleece Here is a picture of the Fleeces backing. Notice that this is the actual hide from the animal.

Hi (Mr. Example),

What you have is not actually a standard area rug per se’, it looks as though you have an actual Wool Fleece which is great except for problems with edge curling. Most rug pads will not be of any help to you with this type of rug. One of the best solutions I could offer you would be to add substance and weight to your fleece by applying a secondary backing. You could use any heavy fabric or even a fabric painter’s tarp (or canvas) for your secondary backing. Using a latex based adhesive (a multi-purpose flooring adhesive will work fine) and a stiff paintbrush to apply it and bind your secondary backing to the back of your fleece rug. Here are the steps I would take.

1. Turn fleece rug over so back faces up.

2. Cut your fabric slightly larger than your fleece rug to allow for expansion or contraction of the fabric while the adhesive cures. Dry fit onto the back of the rug and be sure to allow 1 inch or so around all edges (you will trim it exactly after everything is done).

4. Roll back half of the fabric and apply your adhesive (approximately 1/32 to 1/16 inch layer of adhesive, you don’t want the adhesive to ooze through the fabric or the fleece), then roll and press fabric back onto the fleece.

5. Repeat this step for the other half.

6. Before you turn the fleece back over you will probably want to lay out some newspapers or a tarp so you don’t get adhesive on your primary flooring – Then turn the fleece back over.

7. Press and push from center of fleece to the outer edge with your hands to make certain the adhesive binds to the fabric and the back of the fleece.

8 After the adhesive dries completely (follow directions on container for drying time) approximately 4 hours for many adhesives, you can then use scissors to trim the fabric edges to fit the fleece rug. As you trim, make certain you have a good bond between your fabric and the back of the fleece. (You can peel back and re-glue any edges that may need reinforcing).

    Now you have added enough substance and weight to your rug to keep the edges from curling, you should get many years of use out of it without fighting edge curling problems. Many people also use the technique I described above, but only apply a 6 inch strip of canvas to the edges. Since your fleece is so light-weight, I would suggest covering the entire backing according to the steps above. Hope this helps you… write me if you have more questions.

Charles Beason


PS. Be sure to use a Fabric, Canvas, or Jute that is heavy or dense, but will still allow the rug to "breathe", this will help prevent the type of problems that occur with solid latex backings. It is very important that moisture and gases can pass through the rug and dissipate into the indoor atmosphere.



About Charles Beason

Flooring Consultant/ Estimator, Bi-vocational Pastor of Oasis Missionary Baptist Church, Internet Business Owner, Webmaster.

Posted on September 9, 2008, in Area Rugs, Flooring and Home Design, Q&A, Info, Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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