Rug Tip Shearing

D. A. Burns offers a rug tip shearing service that restores the brilliance to your rug when its appearance has been diminished due to exposure to light and wear.  Tip shearing can also remove face yarn damage of rugs that have been subjected to harsh chemicals during manufacture or have loose tufts “sprouting” from the carpet pile.

These conditions usually require removal of only a tiny fraction of the end of the carpet yarn.  It is possible to remove more pile height if a change in appearance is desired.  A thick pile rug that is no longer in style can be reduced in thickness or pile height.  With our shearing process, rugs that have little value due to heavy or uneven wear, can take on the look of the “exposed backing” rugs that have gained current popularity.

NOTE:  The rug must be cleaned prior to tip-shearing.  Dirt and grit will damage the shearing equipment.

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  • UV light, even if not direct sunlight, will bleach the tips of the rug pile over time.  Removing the smallest portion (tips) of faded yarn with our tip shearing service can restore your rug’s original, vibrant color and pattern.

  • Often called Luster Washing, Antique Washing or Chemical Washing, this is a once popular, chlorine bleaching process designed to give a new rug the faded look of an old rug.  Chlorine can damage the tips of the yarn and reduce the stain resistance of the wool.  Shearing (shaving) the damaged yarn tips not only restores hidden color, but it can also remove stains that have not penetrated deeper into the pile of the rug.

  • All rugs are sheared when they’re woven to provide an even pile, but longer yarns can work up from between other yarns and stick up higher than the rest of the pile.  Sprouting is normal with rugs woven with hand-spun yarns and is not a defect.  Do not attempt to pull out any sprouting tufts; use sharp scissors and carefully trim each “sprout” level with the rug’s pile height.


  • Foot traffic will change the original “flat top” of a carpet yarn into a stretched out chisel point, which can then tangle with surrounding fibers and give the carpet a matted look.  Removing damaged fiber brings back the rug’s original, high-definition pattern and feel.

D. A. Burns Example of Rug Tip Fading
D. A. Burns Example of Rug Tip Fading

What is rug shearing?

Throughout the history of hand-woven rug production, rug shearing is a technique performed after weaving to reveal the distinct pattern of the hand-knotted rug, remove yarn fuzz and create an even pile height appearance.  Rug shearing can also make minor weaving imperfections less conspicuous. 

Other reasons for rug shearing are to give a new rug a more “aged” look or transform a rug with a thick pile rug into a more desirable, thinner rug.  Rug shearing may sometimes be employed to even out the appearance of rug wear.

Tip shearing of a rug is a deliberate, meticulous process to restore the original beauty of your hand-knotted rug by “shaving” the tips of the rug’s face yarn system.

Rug Tip Shearing

Drop off your carpet at our Seattle or Bellevue locations and receive a 20% "cash and carry" discount or schedule our pickup and delivery service.

D. A. Burns on-location technicians service Seattle, Bellevue and the surrounding areas (view map of our service area). For questions or to schedule an appointment, call (206) 782-2268 or use our online scheduling form to request an appointment.

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