The Truth About Tencel Carpet and Rugs

Manufactures understand that there is a marketing advantage to positioning a product as “new”, “different”, “green”, etc. The more of these buzzwords that can be applied the better.

In the field of textiles, one of the newest items on the block is the new fiber called Tencel. Let’s take a look beyond the hype and see what makes this new fiber tick.


Manufactured fibers often have two types of names: A generic name and one or more trade names. Polyester, for example, is the generic name for a synthetic fiber that is sold under various trade names including: “Trevira” and “Dacron”. “Herculon” was a trade name ( WAY back when) for an olefin fiber produces by Hercules, Inc.

Similarly, “Tencel” (rhymes with “pencil”) is the trade name for the generic fiber called lyocell. Produced by the Austria based fiber giant Lenzing, local was developed in the 1970’s and was first commercialized in the 1990’s. As the newest thing on the block, it makes sense that the fiber was first incorporated in uber-chic couture fabrics. Over the years, it eventually made its way into home linens and upholsterer fabrics.

Lycell didn’t really gain significant traction until 2005, when Lenzing bough the Tencel business that had been started by rival Courtaulds. Lenzing brought formidable efforts to bear – both technical and marketing in support of the Tencel brand.


There is a LOT of hype in the Tencel marketing we’ve seen. Antibacterial, manages indoor moisture, sustainable, biodegradeable, etc. Distilled to just facts, tow things stand out:
The manufacturing process for viscose ( the most common form of rayon) is considered “dirty”. The manufacturing process for Tencel recovers and reuses the majority of the spinning chemical, making is a “greerer” fiber.
2. Unlike viscose, Tencel does not lose its strength when wet. Tencel also shrinks significantly less than viscose

What really matters, however, is: How does Tencel carpet perform?


While we have given a general “thumbs up” to Tencel upholstery fabrics, Tencel floor coverings are an entirely different animal.

Textile floor coverings are often used in very demanding environments which get foot traffic, pet traffic, outdoor soils, indoor soils and stains. The best floor coverings will do two things very well:
Resist crushing from foot traffic, and
Respond well to water-based cleaning methods

The first point has to do with resiliency. Generally, wool is considered best in this category, with many nylon products rating very good as well. Olefin is known for its poor resiliency. Also known for crush-resistance are the cellulosics: cotton, linen, rayon….. and Tencel ( lyocell).

To be fair, the Tencel carpets we have seen are mostly dense constructions, meaning they will hold up somewhat better than the would otherwise. It’s a moot point, however, because the real stumbling point is cleanability.

The manufactures’ cleaning instructions we have seen are very specific in their recommendation for cleaning Tencel carpet: “Dry Clean Only”. This type of limitation is far from ideal, butt let’s look at how it relates to Tencel carpets.

First, the “dry clean only” suggestion does not always mean that other methods are not always mean that other methods are not also safe. Many upholstery fabrics carry this instruction but are safely wet cleanable.

Based on the testing we’ve done, we believe the manufactures are on the right track and the Tencel carpets should NOT be wet cleaned. Routine wet cleaning methods tend to leave the surface of the carpet distorted / shaded. Also, the Tencel fibers can become stiff after being wet, causeng a significant texture change.

What about the viability of dry cleaning? HOST is the most commonly recommended dry cleaning process for Tencel carpets. A moist powder ( looks like damp sawdust) is sprinkled on the carpet surface and then worked through using a machine with counter-rotating brushes.

Once the HOST product has dried (usually about an hour), the dried material is vacuumed from the carpet.

The problem with this method are multiple:
It does not do the thorough, rinse-type cleaning that water extraction does.
The method relies on a relatively aggressive brushing action which may be too severe for Tencel carpets.
HOST powder can be very difficult to completely remove from the carpet without very thorough vacuuming.


The very limited cleanability of Tencel carpets should be respected. Though we would like to recommend otherwise, it is our opinion that Tencel carpets should be installed only in areas that receive minimal traffic.


How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Carpet

Dang, there’s coffee on the carpet — this is so not what you needed today. It’s easy to lose heart. It’s easy to panic and hit the stores like Ace Hardware and Home Depot in the hope of a magic cleaning solution. But there is hope.

Coffee is one of the most persistent stains, and it’s even been revealed that some manufacturers add darkening dyes to produce a “richer appearance.” Might make for a tall, dark, and handsome cup of joe, but it makes getting coffee stains out of your carpet that much harder.

From basic carpet and rug cleaning to hot water extraction cleaning, Beacon Carpet Cleaning are experts at making stains go away, but we’re also happy to let you in on how to remove those stains yourself.

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Stains

Cleaning Carpet with a sponge.jpg

Every second counts when it comes to removing coffee stains — you’ll want to get moving in a hurry to prevent the stain from spreading wider and soaking deeper.

Use a piece of clean white cloth to blot up as much as you can. Keep using clean sections to make sure as much coffee as possible is soaked up. Pouring a small amount of cold water onto the affected area can help by diluting the coffee, but don’t over saturate the carpet. Work from the outside of the stain towards the middle to prevent it from spreading, and press downward instead of scrubbing to protect the fibers.

When you’re done, you can use a carpet stain remover to get rid of any lingering marks.

Cleaning Old Coffee Stains

Maybe you need to rid your carpet of a coffee stain that has been around for a while. The bad news is that this is going to be harder, but the good news is that the process is just as straightforward. Just use the same method described above, but treat the stain before getting started by lightly wetting the area. Keep in mind that the process will take a lot longer.

In some cases, you’ll need extra cleaning firepower. For wool or wool blends, try adding three drops of mild washing-up liquid to a cup of water and blotting with that. If your carpet isn’t wool, try adding a tablespoon of ammonia to a cup of water, but make sure you test a hidden spot to be sure it doesn’t cause any color changes.



Wools of New Zealand Premier Partner Sale

It’s time for the Premier Partner Showroom of Excellence Wools of New Zealand carpet sale! Save on Nourison, Hibernia, Masland, Stanton, Fabrica, Concepts International, Prestige Mills, J Mish, Karastan, Godfrey Hirst, Weave Tuft, Ascend, Missoni, and more! WNZ_Ebanner_2015

HEMPHILL’S RUGS & CARPETS 448 E 17TH STREET COSTA MESA, CA 92627      949-722-7224


Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets Showroom Virtual Tour – 448 E 17th Street Costa Mesa, CA





From Grass to Wine Glass

vineyard wool carpet Wool carpet in vineyards? Bellbridge Wool Carpets, Benicia, CA has launched an exciting recycling project with a leading Napa Valley wine producer, Nord Vineyards. Following the impressive results from ‘Wool… the blooming success’ project with Pleasanton Middle School in California; Bellbridge has partnered with Nord Vineyards who have ‘installed’ Bellbridge wool carpets among their Cabernet Sauvignon vine. The goal was to investigate additional sustainable practices for reuse of wool carpets. The carpet is laid in some areas face down to the soil and in other areas with backing to the soil. Wool carpet is expected to deliver 4 benefits to the growing of the vine and the grapes. Weed Blocker: Carpet laid between the vines will inhibit weed growth that would otherwise take moisture and nutrients away from the vine. Fertilizer: As wool degrades it releases significant amounts of essential elements, including high levels of Nitrogen that promote vigorous plant growth. Carpets will be cut around the vines to ‘feed’ the plant. Moisture Barrier: Wool carpet will act as a barrier to help hold the moisture in the soil reducing evaporation during the peak hot weather in California, thereby conserving water consumption. Erosion Mat: The carpet will help prevent erosion of the land as hilly exposed terrain is a common feature of the Napa Valley. This could be a major benefit.

Julie Nord, owner of the Nord Vineyards is also a qualified soil scientist; this large scale project involves thousands of feet of used and scrap wool carpet that would otherwise end up in landfill. The project will be closely monitored and is an exciting use for Bellbridge wool carpets.

Nord are also introducing sheep to the same vineyard. The sheep will feed on the grass between the vines, reducing the need for manual cutting with equipment, and thereby completing a sustainable recycling model. From fine carpets to fine wine!


Designer Tips

Do you have a design dilemma pieces that fight, colors that are not quite right, a room that never seems to come together? You need help. You need inspiration. You need encouragement.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets offers a houseful of decorating and design tips to guide you to new peaks or just get you back on the right track. So read away. Learn, dream, and have fun.

Make your own design statement with the help of Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets. Our sales associates are brimming with ideas to help you take your spaces from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Here you’ll find tools such as our Rug Planner, which enables you to create your own room layouts, as well as tips on adding accent pieces to your rooms, bringing the outdoors in with strategic greenery, and using color from pillows to walls to create inviting décors.


Welcome Guests with a Smile and a Sense of Whimsy!

Sometimes home interiors can get very serious and formal, be sure you let your sense of humor show. This can mean showcasing your children’s artwork in an ever changing wall collage, or simply finding pieces that have an inherent sense of fun and can bring a smile. The colorful chest of drawers featured in this foyer looks like something straight out of Dr. Seuss. The lamp is crafted of crushed fuschia paper and has metal grommets that allow the light to peak through in an entertaining way. Certainly the table almost dances in place on its curved legs, and the assorted sculptural pieces fairly burst with stories of their own. Stories and humor engage people, and will make them feel at home often much sooner than a formal, stiff setting missing the smile. Look for ways to add a dash of wit and whimsy to your home.

White Trim

White Trim Makes Everything Look Fresher

White trim makes everything look fresher and when paired with bold color, it veritably pops! Whether you are contemporary or traditional matters not, white in high gloss is the best color and finish to truly frame any room. Molding is designed to shape a space architecturally and when it is painted either the same color as the walls or a beige or ivory hue it lacks the emphasis and definition that white brings. High gloss gives an almost wet look and adds an extra richness to any design. High gloss is also a harder and more durable finish that semi-gloss or flat. You can certainly choose from a range of whites, a favorite among the design trade is Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White. It has a drop of black in it for an even more intense brilliance to make any color it frames appear clearer and brighter. White becomes far less of a neutral and more of an image maker, whether you want an elegant formal look, a relaxed blue and white beach casual, or a colorful contemporary collage. Including white on the trim of windows, doors, built-ins and more will be sure to keep your interior up to date longer.

Family Heirloom

Creative Ways to Display Family Heirlooms and Treasured Collectibles

Often collections get banished to storage because of a lack of a creative solution to showcase them. Quilts are a great example of this, in fact any textile from lace to a kimono, from hats to Indian blankets can be easily and beautifully featured on a wall. While it would have been simple to leave this collection of quilts folded in a chest, they provided such great color, texture, and pattern they become artwork on the walls. Clearly this is a bold focal point in the dining room complemented by the art glass light fixture; another was placed in the hallway and still another as a headboard over a bed in the guest bedroom. Think outside-of-the-box when it comes to showcasing favorite treasures. Textiles, in particular, add a great acoustical buffer, can provide bold or subtle pattern and color depending on the piece, and it is a great way to balance a lot of framed artwork and pieces under glass. Quilt holders can be easily found online, either hand crafted often through Amish resources, or at one of the large linen and bedding retailers. Hooks and decorative hangars can be found in similar places. Get your cherished textile mementos out of their boxes and free from the closet, adorn your walls and your mind with precious memories.

Home Theater

Save Time and Money with Your Own Home Theater!

It can be as simple as a big screen TV and surround sound in front of a sofa and chairs, or you can truly make it a destination within your home with plush movie seating, movie themed posters adorning the walls, and a custom built-in wall unit to contain not only the screen but all the latest electronics for a complete movie experience.

With tickets often well past $12/person and once you add in a jumbo popcorn, a box of candy, and a soda you’ve invested close to $25 per person, creating a space that feels theatre like, but the munchies come from Sam’s Club and the movies from Netflix or Redbox really makes an economical difference! Add to that the gas you save by not leaving the house, and the comfort of knowing where you kids are when they’ve got their friends at your place, and it adds up to convenience, cost effective fun, and parental peace of mind.

You can add themed lighting, signage, even a red velvet rope for those Academy Award evenings. Popcorn carts, soda fountains, and snacks can be added or not depending on dietary desires and needs. Since you are likely to already be investing in the technology of a flat screen, go a step farther and create your own home theatre.

Game Nook

Create a Game Nook

Too often old fashioned board games, cards, and pastimes like dominos are replaced or hidden by the electronic gameboys, gadgets, and gizmos of the tech age. To return to that time when games were social, and family and friends from gathered after dinner or on a Saturday afternoon to play Monopoly, Scrabble, or Chess carve out a nook just for game playing. Crafting a cozy place that is just right for two or more to embrace a true game without the distraction of electronics is bound the bring your family closer together, as well as bridge the generational gap.

Whether you make room for two or twelve is up to you, but by decorating a space specifically for these types of activities, you’ll foster greater family interaction and even encourage learning beyond the confines of a computer and a keyboard. A game nook can be as simple as a table and a couple of chairs, or as elaborate as multiple tables with a variety of seating and a wall unit stocked with a variety of board games, cards, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and more. Make it a tech free zone to encourage non-electronic interaction and learning!


Greenery Adds Life

Greenery adds life! Now you may have a black thumb or the challenge of pets in the house that would make a real mess with live plants, but silk botanicals are a great option. It is vital to add greenery to every room as it represents life in the room even when no one is in it. If you can use live plants, you’ll get the added benefit of an air cleaner, as healthy live plants (no dead or dying ones please) will act as air purifiers. Including even a tree in the corner or greenery nestled in a bookcase or on the mantel will really renew the energy in a room.

Do get creative and go for more than the standard ficus or fern. Today there are a wealth of lush live and permanent trees and plants available for your home interiors. Consider a mango tree (no fruit!), or a raffia palm, bamboo is also a fresh option most often in a brighter green and symbolizes long life. Take your cue from the area you live in, indoor plants should mirror what is possible outside. One or two plants in every room is a good rule of thumb, you can overdo it. And if you include a floral, no more than one floral arrangement or plant per room or it is too much. Have fun and get growing or just place selected permanent plants.

Dining Room

Add Invitation to Your Dining Room

Add invitation to your dining room! Most dining rooms are very static; they have a big table just stuck in the middle of the room surrounded by chairs. Most dining rooms also are large enough that you can turn the table (without the leaves) on a 45 degree angle and immediately open up the room. Turning the dining table creates a sense of motion and invitation that truly beckons family and friends to come in and sit down at the table. Often you can also change the direction of the rug to also be on an angle, but it isn’t essential as long as the rug is large enough if left on the straight.

Now most often, this change will feel a little strange at first, so be sure to leave it alone for three days as you get used to it. You can always move it back again and certainly you can adjust it as needed for larger gatherings when you need to add the leaves.

Be sure to keep your dining table dressed at all times with at least a runner (and this must literally run off the ends of the table, otherwise you’ve got a sprinter!) And you need a centerpiece. The easy way out is candle holders and a permanent floral arrangement. If you want to get creative you can instead use a collection of porcelain objects, art glass pieces, or even a metal sculpture. Do not keep the table set as that looks too much like a model home and simply collects dust.


Add a Mirror to Add Space

Add a mirror to add space, or at least the illusion of space. Mirrors are an invaluable tool in decorating to make a room feel longer, wider, or even taller. The key with mirrors is to realize that the art of the mirror is in the frame. A beautifully framed mirror can truly make a room. The frame is the art of surrounding the reflection.

Avoid using mirrors as a substitute for artwork, they aren’t! Instead look closely at your rooms and think carefully about where you truly need a mirror to expand space. Over the mantel is often the worst place to put a mirror as it usually reflects and empty wall, the stairway, or a ceiling fan! None are worth of reflection.

Be sure that the mirror reflects something worthwhile at all times, not just your good looking face passing by occasionally. In a dining room it needs to reflect a well dressed table. In a bedroom perhaps it reflects a beautifully made bed; in a foyer it can reflect a piece or art or lovely botanical arrangement. Mirrors expand what they reflect so you want to use them to reflect abundance, style, and beauty.


Repetition Makes It Easy!

One of the five essential principles of design is repetition but it is often lost in an attempt to be eclectic, an excuse for adding everything to your interior. Using repetition to pull a room together is as easy as featuring a collection you have.

Collections are always much more dramatic and more important when they are kept together in one room rather than scattered throughout the house. Take a look at this kitchen. The collection is roosters! The fun part is that the window treatment fabric has tiny roosters scattered across it, there is a great big canvas with a rooster portrait, and in the glassed in cabinet are blown glass roosters. By repeating the rooster motif and showcasing the collection it is fun, stylish, and easy to see that the homeowner enjoys roosters in their many forms. For an easy way to pull a room together, find a collection or one element that you can effectively repeat.


Yacht Carpet – Yes. We Do It.

IMG_0001_2 IMG_0003_2 IMG_0004_2 IMG_0005_2 IMG_0006_2 IMG_0007_2 IMG_0009_2 IMG_0011_2

McKinna Yachts  94′ – Stunning yacht.  We were fortunate enough to play a small role in providing the owner a magnificent interior

in this fabulous yacht.  Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets can assist you with your flooring needs as well.