Sunday, June 21, 2015

What rug should you use in front of a wood-burning stove?

I have a friend who imports and sells multifuel wood burning stoves. He tells me they efficient and look superb as they glow and radiate with warmth in the winter. So, I asked him; “why don’t you have one in your home?” Apparently his wife did want one but he said no, because; “they are hard work as they need a thorough cleaning at least every two weeks”. And, there is also the constant opening and closing of the stove door to refuel.
A well covered traditional designs in man made fabric 
Prime place for rug you would think, but as you open the stove door to refuel, out spits some hot ash. And that’s another black spot on the rug! It has to said, fire and fabric just don’t mix. While it is highly unlikely that any rug would actually ignite, it will get damaged if hot cinders make contact with the pile surface. So what is the solution?

I have spoken to many customers about this very problem. Many have a sheet they lay on top of the rug before they open the stove door, while others move the rug to one side, providing it is small enough. Some even have a small rug to go on top of the large rug. But human nature as it is will mean we open that door the one time we don’t have any protection, and out spits the cinder.

Many customers will buy cheaper rugs and just replace the if it gets burnt, this often means using a rug produced with man-made fibres. Which on fabrics like polypropylene that have a very low melt rate, will burn black and turn to a consistency of hard toffee. If you choose a rug made of manmade fibre, get one with random black spots and a heavy traditional design that will hide small singes.

See how wool burns compared to other fabrics


If you choose a wool pile for your rug you will have the peace of mind that small singes will just dust off, leaving just a slight scar. It is still best to go for pattern that has good coverage. Back in the days when it was legal to smoke in public places wool was always the specified fibre for social areas such as pubs where it was likely that cigarette could be discarded in the floor.

To sum up: using wool is preferable in front of a woodburning stove as it will resist small burns and protect your fitted carpets, if you must choose manmade fibre go for a buy design.

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