How to Cut Shag Area Rug Nap Down How to Cut Shag Area Rug Nap Down

What You'll Need
Shag area rug
Broad tooth comb
Fine tooth comb
Scissors

The nap of a shag area rug is the direction in which the pile of the rug lies. Stroking a shag rug with the nap will give a nice, smooth flowing motion while stroking against the nap will have the pile building up ahead of your hand and making the movement harder. Some people confuse the words "nap" and "pile." Since it is impossible to cut down the nap of a rug, it must be assumed that it is the pile that needs to be cut.

Step 1: Ask if You Really Want to Reduce the Pile on Your Rug

Shag pile rugs are renowned for their luxurious feel, a result of the depth of the pile. It is not always a good idea to buy a cheap rug if you are going to have to make basic alterations to it.

Step 2: Decide How Much the Pile Needs to be Cut

If you are sure that the pile has to be cut back, decide how deep (or shallow) you want the pile to be. Alternatively, you can try reducing the pile in small increments until you have the result you want.

Step 3: Clean the Rug

Before you start cutting, make sure that the rug is clean and free of dirt and grit.

Step 4: Comb the Rug

Using a broad toothed comb, comb the rug with the nap so that the pile is lying as flat as possible. The pile should not be totally flat, more likely it will be at about 45 degree or more.

Step 5: Start to Cut the Pile

With a fine toothed comb, comb a little way into the nap and then tilt the comb and raise it slightly. The comb will have separated a small strip of the nap. The fibers of the pile will be standing proud of the comb. If the amount of pile above the comb is the amount you want to cut off, cut it with a pair of scissors lying against the comb. The comb will slide of the pile and you will see that you have a section of pile shorter than the rest.

Step 6: Second Cut

With the fine toothed comb move along the cut pile then comb into the pile near the end of the cut section. The fibers of the pile will be standing proud of the comb and you will see that at the end there will be a small section of pile shorter than the rest. Raise the comb until the shorter pile is just above the comb then use the scissors lying against the comb to cut away the pile.

Third Cut – Third Cut

As before, with the fine-toothed comb move along the cut pile then comb into the pile near the end of the cut section. The fibers of the pile will be standing proud of the comb and there will be a section of pile shorter than the rest. Raise the comb until the shorter pile is just above the comb then use the scissors lying against the comb to cut away the pile.

Continue in this manner until you have shortened the whole pile.  

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