Monday, March 19, 2012

Carpet in the Sewing Room: Okay or Nay?

Hello, readers! I'm back from a week of moving into our new house (!) and I really have nothing to complain about: it's gorgeous, roomy, brand new, and did I say roomy? Henry had to learn how to navigate stairs, but he's now a pro.

I'm in the midst of getting my sewing room worked out. There's one little problem: it's carpeted. And I am a DISASTER at losing pins all over the place. (If Jeff ever decides to leave me, that will be the reason, I swear.) I worry about pins and needles getting lost in the carpet and getting embedded in my feet (this comes from someone who once had to have a toothpick removed from her foot in an emergency room; just ask my mom).

I had hoped to put in some sort of hard flooring before we got completely moved in, but it's not quite in the budget. So I'm curious: do any of you sew in a room with carpeting? How do you handle it? I've heard of some clever methods of pin sweeping that include a large magnet attached to a broom--anyone?

P.S. So as to not completely ignore the formality of including a picture with a blog post, here is my new dining room table, along with some paint chips that I'm thinking about for the sewing room (1, maybe 2 walls of it). Did you know there's a paint color called "couture"?  I'm surely not the only lady who's chosen a paint color based on its name, right?


118 comments:

  1. Lovely, I sew in my bedroom - carpeted floor. I find all my pins tend to end up lying flat, and whilst they do dig into the carpet (flat), they're not too hard to see when you look for them. My sewing scissors tend to pick them up just fine.

    You'll be fine!

    Katie

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  2. I favour the glass/plastic headed pins as they are easier to see. But I think it's just what your'e used to! X

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  3. How exciting, choosing colours with so many options (not to mention tempting names like Couture!) As for the carpet, you might just need to be prepared to lose some pins & vacuum a lot! Otherwise the broom magnet sounds like an option. PS that table looks beautiful! x

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  4. I was in a carpeted room for a while, but then (this is in the house, not the studio) I moved to a wood-floor room. What's under the carpet? Could you take the rug up and just use what's underneath?

    Love that Couture color! I think it's a bit much the way they show it with bright tangerine on the window, but it could work beautifully as one wall.

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  5. i have a carpeted sewing room, the pins and neadles dont bother me, i like to think of it as one big pin cushion. Although it does bother my other half, but this is a good thing as he has moved all his crap out of my room.

    the only thing that does annoy me with a carpet is that i can never get it hoovered, the bits of thread inbead them selves and even with my super dooper pet hoover it just doesnt pick them up.

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  6. I always paint my kitchens a food color- Marshmallow (off white), celery (light gray-green) or cantaloupe (sort of pale orange).

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  7. The room where I sewed in my last home had carpet. My saving grace was a magnet roller (the kind you use for picking up roofing nails). I'd just run it over the room after each sewing session. Worked like a charm. Think I picked mine up from Northern Tool, but I imagine most hardware stores would have one. I think they are called a Nail Sweep. Good luck! Can't wait to see how your room turns out. ☺

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  8. i put down a flannel sheet over the carpet and lift that when the room needs cleaning, stops any pins hanging around. The flannel attracts the bits and stops them straying out of the room.

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  9. I use flower head pins so that I can see them on the carpet, you can't miss a massive red plastic flower compared to a pin head. Ha, pin head.

    Or you could try a plywood rug like Mandy from Sugar Bee http://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2011/03/plywood-rug.html

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  10. I also sew in a carpeted room. I drop surprisingly few pins, and they always seem to fall point-down. I would get a little magnetized "pincushion" for cleanup. It's nice because you can find them all without having to HUNT for them all!

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  11. I have a carpet rug about 9x12 and when something falls I can roll it up slightly and see if anything moves, most times I find it quickly, so if you have an extra rug this might lay it down until you get hardwoods. Good luck!

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  12. I sew in a room, where´s a carpet and it´s ok. I´m losing pins all the time, so I use pins with color heads, which make them easy to find. But I have to keep an eye on my needles…

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  13. Ugh, my sewing room has carpet and I hate it! (I do hate carpet in any room though, which is part of it.) We can't afford to put down other flooring and underneath the carpet is just subflooring.

    I drop pins all the time, but have taken to using the long quilting pins for everything so they are easy to find.

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  14. My boyfriend has a roller chair for sitting at his desk and that doesn't take well to carpet so he's got a transparent plastic mat from Ikea which his chair sits on. It's not such a pleasant floor surface as carpet and pins could always roll off the edge but it might be worth a try?

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  15. One of these:
    http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/44881100/

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  16. How exciting! I've always had carpet. I use the pins with the colored ball on the end so they're easier to see. If I drop one, I find it right away. I've only had one bad experience - my 2-year-old stepped on one and I felt really bad, but it didn't hurt him much and he recovered quickly. :-)

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  17. I have carpet in my sewing room, but it's a low pile berber which I chose because it still keeps my feet warm (the room is in the basement), but things don't get lost too much in the nap (including threads, which vacuum up easily). I also tend not to use too many pins.

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  18. I sew in my basement. I laid a large carpet remnant over the concrete floor but I discovered that my pins would get lost in the large pile. But even worse than that were the threads and fabric scraps that no amount of vacuuming could ever pick up. It was such a mess that I just decided to get rid of it. Now all it takes is a broom and a dust pan. I must say it's much neater and more enjoyable, despite the cold concrete floor!

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  19. Hi Gertie
    Congrats on the move and i just wanted to say it is fine to choose wall paints by name, I'd do it...
    Barbara

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  20. I have one strategy for pins on carpet that hasn't yet been mentioned. I count all of my pins after every sewing session. I have yet to have more than 60 active pins, so it's a reasonable task.

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  21. With the exception of my college dorm room, all my sewing rooms have been carpeted (one in shag carpeting! It was the '70s, sue me, lol). So I guess I've just gotten used to being vigilant, especially since I like to sew in my stocking feet. And I use pins with glass heads, which are easy to see if they fall. I'm less vigilant about vacuuming ... too busy sewing! ;-)

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  22. Best thing we ever did was rip up all the carpeting in our home. Yes, I have an area rug in the livingroom under the couches but no place else and I am very glad of it.

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  23. I have carpet (low pile) with a roller chair mat next to my machine. I also use pins with a large/decorative head on them and I have a magnetic pin dish, so far so good. I also have a pair of 'scuffs': little low shoes more sturdy than slippers that I wear in the sewing room just in case!

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  24. Go with a tight berber carpet. Commercial style loop carpet. The kind that's found in an office. It's tightly woven and the pins tend not to get as lost in them. If you go to the big orange home center they should have something in stock. They will also have a magnet roller that will help as well. Good luck!

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  25. I have carpet in my sewing room and it's not in my budget to go hard floor either. I do find it a bit annoying but not too much, although I need to vacuum more than I'd care to! As for pins the tend to lay flat so don't worry too much about that

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  26. I tend to sew in my room, where I have carpet and cleanup is AWFUL. I don't even have problems with pins, loose threads and small tiny frayed off bits are a nightmare to remove, even my vacuum doesn't pick some and they tend to get EVERYWHERE in the house. I strongly suggest that for your own comfort you try to get rid of the carpet :) Unless you have somebody else to clean for you :)

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  27. Just a thought...what is underneath the carpet? Is it something that could be painted or stained for now until a more permanent flooring could be afforded? I love the pretty saturated pink that 'Couture' is.

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  28. My studio is carpeted. The good thing is it gets vacuumed weekly when my lady comes to clean - otherwise, I'm not sure the floor would ever get cleaned in there! Only once did I have an issue, when a sewing machine needle landed straight up, and I stepped on it wearing slippers. It went thru my slipper, but not thru my foot. The pins with the large flower heads are easy to find.

    Love your colors!

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  29. What type of carpet are you dealing with? Shag, plush or a low pile like berber? I currently have low pile berber type (almost office carpet) and it's working out OK. I do keep a mat under the chair at the sewing machine, and I can at least hear when I drop a pin there. I don't have a magnet, but do use a flashlight on occasion to find dropped pins. It does keep the room a bit quieter, and is nice on the feet, but if I had a do-over, it would be hard flooring.

    Someone else commented about pulling up a corner and checking what's under there - that's what I'd do. I think if it were carpet with long pile, I'd pull it up and paint the subfloor if new flooring was not doable immediately.

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  30. My carpet is pale and very flat so it's easy to see the pins - the problem I have is all the little bits of brightly coloured thread which worm their way down into it. Dysons are good, but they're no match for my escape threads.

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  31. CARPET IS AWUFUL! I just moved in the beginning of this year, and my last sewing room had carpet. I sew daily, and large amounts. (I am a home decor seamstress) I used pins with bright heads that showed up on the carpet, so that wasn't the issue. The issue was with all the threads everywhere. From sewing and from cutting, my carpet was so covered with threads that you really couldn't tell what color the carpet was. I couldn't vacuum because the threads wrapped around the brush and broke my vacuum more than once. I ended up having to get a rubber broom and rub up the threads in handfuls to throw them away. Such a pain. My new sewing room has old wood floors that I want to paint white and paint a bright color stencil all over them. Good luck!

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  32. I have carpet in my sewing room and hate it- not so much because of the pins but because you cannot roll your chair easily. I have tried to mat under my chair and it was not very helpful and ultimately just cracked. My carpet is a medium pile- a low pile would probably be easier but I am planning on pulling it all up as soon as I am able. Good luck and enjoy the process- moving into a new home can be fun.

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  33. i have carpet in my sewing room, and it is an abomination! cannot wait to get rid of it.
    Not only do some pins get stuck down into the weft, but strings and all sorts of little things get stuck and it is a pain to have to vacuum often.

    Also, its fairly plush so accurate floor-hem measurements aren't really possible since everything sinks down a bit.

    I hope to replace it with something else soon!

    oooo... go with Couture: sounds fanciful & inspiring!

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  34. I am also due to renovate my sewing area...and have a sort of curdroy (although it's more burlap) stripes rug. The only way is to use colored-head pins. And yes, my partner may join Jeff in leaving me for exactly the same reason...
    Can't wait to get my wooden floor!

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  35. You need a big magnet. Pass it over the carpet occasionally to help pull up dropped pins.

    Personally, I loathe carpet as a general concept. I cannot imagine a more disgusting, less-hygienic, concept than having germ- and dirt-trapping textile permanently installed on the floor. I would rather have concrete, linoleum, varnished plywood, almost any hard surface than have carpet.

    However, the house has carpet and I a) don't own the place and b) couldn't afford to re-do the floors even if I did own it, so carpet it is. That includes the sewing area. Mostly, I try not to drop pins, and I pick them up immediately if I know I've dropped one. My pins have flat, rather large, butterflies on the ends so they're easy to see in the beige carpet.

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  36. My daughter has a science kit that came with a very large magnet in it. I borrow it from time to time to pick up pins from the cracks in our ancient hardwood floors.

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  37. I also have carpet, but do have a large office mat under my chair and the desks where I sew, it seems to work fine. I find most of the pins there. That being said, pins do get in the carpet, but I never step on them and everyone else is smart enough not to go in there...

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  38. You can also try Kolon Floor protector from Ikea. I use it to protect the wooden floor in another room
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/44881100/

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  39. Sorry--me again.

    How about putting down a few plastic chair mats under your immediate sewing area, so pins don't drop into the carpet?

    Also--do you have one of those magnetic pin dishes? Might help you drop fewer pins to begin with.

    Re: Paint colors. I painted my room a color called "Early Grass". I have a big collection of Breyer horse figurines and, yes, I held up paint chips to see which green was most flattering to them.

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  40. I have to sew in my room, and can never get the threads off the carpet, either under the sewing machine or where I cut out on the floor! I now have an extra rug, that I put upside down under the machine area, so pins don't stick in and I can sweep everything off fairly easily, and then when people come over I turn the rug the right way up and put it in the middle of the room over the cutting out thread areas!

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  41. My sewing room was carpeted for 8 years (that's how we purchased the home, which was new at the time). The glass head pins are much easier to see on carpeting. The obstacle I ran into was that all the fabric 'dust' and threads would end up in the corners and along the base boards. Pain to keep clean. I now have walnut flooring in there. My recommendation to you is to live with the carpeting, but only until you can afford wood or tile flooring. Then go for it, get that carpet out of there!

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  42. I have a carpeted sewing room. I prefer it. When I sew upstairs my foot pedal slides all over the place. Plus, since I cut my patterns on the floor I can just pin straight down into the carpet to hold the patterns in place.

    I drop pins all the time, and I think I'm just immune to them. I've stepped on a few, but just pull them out of my heel. My husband knows to never come into my sewing room without shoes. I just try to grab pins off the floor at the end of each sewing session, sometimes I'll run my magnetic pin cushion over the area around my machine table. I do always use the ones that have yellow heads though, never the kind that are just metal.

    The biggest problem is really vacuuming up threads. They just get everywhere, and it isn't as easy as sweeping.

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  43. My sewing room is carpeted too. We have lived here for 2 years and I have yet to step on a pin. This coming from the girl that has a magnetic pin "cushion" that I drop often. I have the glass head pins in bright colors so it makes them easy to see.

    The Couture paint color would definitely be my choice based solely on it's name!

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  44. So many opinions!

    I rent, so I have to deal with carpet in my sewing space. It is USUALLY not a problem.

    Pins with large heads on them are easiest to see when they fall. I have a harder time keeping track of needles.

    And uhm, vacuuming can be kind of a nightmare, given that I tend to have threads all over. But I try to keep them from getting too out of hand by keeping a wastebasket next to my sewing machine so as I'm clipping seams and stuck all the bits go straight into it.

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for you :)

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  45. I've had a carpeted sewing room for more than two years, and I have never stepped on a pin. But, my poor husband claims to find them everywhere; although, I think that's mainly because we share the office/sewing room, so they fall near him (except the ones he finds in the living room on occasion--those would happen whether the sewing room is carpeted or not!). Pro: pins are MUCH easier to pick up from a carpeted surface than a hard one.

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  46. what about getting one of those plastic mat things? you know the kind that people like to put under computer desks, so their office chairs can roll? probably much cheaper than hardwood :)

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  47. My comment is on the wall color: go with a white. Why? because the walls will reflect their color and affect your work, and if you are making color choices, then what you choose in there, won't look the same outside of those 4 walls.

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  48. I have a pink sewing room with carpet! While I love the color (so cozy and fun) the carpeting I hate. Hard wood floors aren't our first priority either, so using colorful headed pins has worked fine so far. Good luck and have fun!

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  49. Why not use one of those chair mats until a new floor can fit in the budget? You would still have to "sweep" for pins at the edges, but it could save your feet from the loose pins in the major areas where you sit and stand.
    Congrats on the new house!

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  50. I used to have a rug in my old sewing room, but I don't have one anymore. I definitely like sewing without it better, but both setups have been great. The trick is to keep strong magnets around to pick up the pins afterward. That way, when you're done sewing, you can wave the magnets around underneath your workspace and pick up all the pins. Even the ones you can't see will get picked up. Magnets are one thing I can't live without in my sewing room.

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  51. I sewed in a carpeted room for 2 years and honestly, for as many pins and needles as I dropped (believe me, it was an obscenely large number) I found the bigger problem to be thread. By the end of a really productive afternoon, you couldn't see the forest through the trees, if you know what I mean. As far as stepping on pins, I found that I felt the less painful (though still annoying) head of the pin more than the point. Maybe it was just my luck, but pins were the least of my worries with that carpet

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  52. I sew in my spare bedroom so it is carpeted (wooden floors upstairs make too much noise downstairs) and I'm very messy with my sewing; I'm always treading on dropped pins and try as I might to put all cut threads in a bag taped to the table right by the sewing machine, with a bin on my other side I find the carpet is always littered with thready bits, I've found a lint roller good for getting these out of the carpet, if you could somehow fit one onto an extendible paint roller you would probably save your back too, I could definitely do with a magnet contraption for the pins though!

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  53. I have carpet in my sewing area (the move to California means I've temporarily lost my sewing room) but I decided to go with the pins that have the colored heads on them. That way, I can see them much easier.

    I love the colors you choose. I'm not that brave to paint that boldly. I stick with neutrals and then add splashes of color in pillows and pictures and such.

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  54. i sometimes choose nail polish because of the name :) My sewing room has wood flooring, but I put down a large area rug (just because I had the rug and I like to walk barefoot on carpet). I haven't had trouble with loosing pins, but I keep a close eye on my pins--if one falls, I stop to find it immediately. The rug has very low pile though, so the pins don't have any where to hide. You could always try putting down any area rug with low pile if the installed carpet is high pile--that could help.

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  55. Congrats, Gertie--so nice to have more room! I just moved from a all-wood-floor house to one with carpets in some rooms this year. I don't like it aesthetically at all, but the cats love it. (Pluses: don't see cat hair everywhere, litter doesn't track all over the house...) And the same with pins--they don't fall and travel all over the place! Once a week I usually go through with a pin magnet and brush along the carpet. And I use those little tiny glass head pins that are impossible to see.

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  56. I have carpet in my sewing area. I hate it, but not for the pins reason - for stray thread. It is so annoying. The thread gets stuck in the fibers of the carpet (it's pretty standard carpet, I don't know what "type", though) and the vacuum doesn't do such a great job at getting it out. I do have a magnetic pin "cushion" that I like quite a bit.
    Tear the carpet out.

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  57. I would keep magnets and vacuum handy-but it will work. What if you pulled up carpet and painted the subfloor? Then when you can afford wood do it? I did that in our home office because I think the previous owners had a naughty cat I there and it smelled. I painted it a chocolate and then did cream colored diamonds. You could even do splatters etc to tie colors together.

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  58. Oh I'm with Miss Tessa Melissa. I have carpet in my sewing room and I don't find pins to be that much of a problem, but the thread. The carpeting is light grey and all the multitude of threads are now essentially woven into the carpet and won't come up.

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  59. I have carpet in my room, and when I am finished sewing for the day, I lock my Roomaba in there and it cleans the carpet very nicely.

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  60. Oh Gertie! Can't help but worry about Henry's little paws! I'd lose the carpeting, even if it's just plywood underneath. Had the same issue with my solarium, and ended up using a tinted stain on the floor, maintenance was a cinch with a broom or dustbuster! A word of warning concerning your paint. I painted a focal wall a deep Cranberry Zing (I'm a Sucker for cool paint names as well!) and when the light hit it at certain times of the day, everything looked like cotton candy pink!!! After a while it really did a number on my eyes, and my partner said "it's like being trapped in Barbie's Malibu Beach House!". Live and learn, I guess...

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  61. Basement = concrete floor, but too cold in wintertime to sew down there. Spare bedroom = carpet and proximity to bathroom. A magnet catches the few pins that fall there. Vacuum cleaner gets the rest, as well as thread snippets and lint. Also cat hair, but that is another problem. Haven't stepped on a pin in years -- they're easy to pull out. Just try not to bleed on your project.

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  62. My sewing room is also the cat room and not being able to have laminate because the floor had a bump in it, I went for some scrubbable carpet in the event the cat threw a sicky. It doesn't have much of a pile on it so pins are reasonably easy to see. I tend to have a quick pin hunt after a sewing session. Fortunately the cat is not really into sewing so he never goes on that side of the room. I also use glass headed pins so that helps.

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  63. I used to sew in a carpeted room for a while and sadly I have no advice for you but wished somebody had given me some. Pins kept getting stuck in the carpet and literally buried themselves in the carpet. They were also much more prone to getting lodged in your feet because they stuck out of the carpet in all sorts of directions. Removing them with a magnet, like I do on my wooden flooring, was also not that easy, because the pins were literally entangled by the carpet hairs. Perhaps my carpet was particularly bad.

    But I guess I do have one recommendation: wear slippers!

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  64. There is carpet almost everywhere in my apartment, I hate that (a parquet floor is so much better). And of course, when my pins or my needles fall down, I have some problem to find them. But I guess this depends of the thickness of your carpet. Sometimes I find them immediately, sometimes a few weeks later when I organized a massive rescue mission (which involves having your nose 2 inches to the carpet, or using a magnifying lens). Like Katie said, usually they laid flat.
    To solve this annoying fact, I am thinking about buying a plastic carpet, kind of solid, to protect the area around my sewing machine. I know you can find some at Ikea, it is supposed to make the area around your office flat and sound-absorbing. My only concern is: Can that kind of carpet stay flat on a woolly carpet ?

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  65. First of all I once I narrow my paint selection down to a few I always pick the one with the coolest name. Second carpet and pins is a disaster (my aunt once had a pin lodged in her foot!) But I'm sure you'll make it work if you have to. I will say we installed that laminate flooring that looks like wood and is really cheap maybe that's an option? Lastly are you sure there isn't wood under the carpet already?

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  66. Beware. I visited a family friend who's a retired professional dress maker. I stayed in the sewing room which had a carpet of pins. It was impossible to be in there without shoes. So horrible. I tried to pull a bunch out but they were well embedded. Rip up the carpet. You can paint the sub floor a nice color w/ floor paint.

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  67. My former sewing room was carpeted, yes a problem with threads and pins so I vacuumed at the end of the day if I sewed in there, that worked well. Now I have hard flooring in my new room and I have a dust mop handy to move out anything that drops. You see I have two boys that sew with me my Weimaraners and they will grab anything that drops to eat so I must be diligent on keeping it cleaned up.

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  68. Hi Gertie, I have carpet too but I replaced all my pins with the ones with flowers at the end so I could see them. Same problem - wanting to hold onto the hubby as smoke billows from his ears at the mere thought of stepping on a sewing pin... :)

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  69. Nay! If you are lucky enought to have a dedicated sewing room, of course you want hard flooring there.

    In our house, we have carpet everywhere on the first floor... except in the sewing room. We put down some quite cheap laminate (literally translated, so perhaps not the right word, I mean the pressed sawdust-made-to-look-like-wooden-floorboards) flooring there.
    I sometimes work in a place where the sewing area is carpetted and I'm forever loosing pins and needles because there's just no way I can find them all and pick them up again in the carpet. I wouldn't want that at home, where I'm sometimes sewing bare-footed.

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  70. Are you going to be joining the ranks of other sewing bloggers, such as Sarai, who now have their own "dressing rooms" to house their collection of clothes and shoes? Something to think about if there's an extra room in that house!

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  71. As someone who's stepped on multiple dropped pins on carpet, my advice is to get the biggest chair mat you can - I don't ever seem to step on the ones that hit the plastic mat!

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  72. Be careful of choosing too intense a color for the sewing room - it will make color matching more difficult. If you choose hot pink, pretty soon everything in the room glows hot pink. and blues sorta look muddy brown. Anyway, my .02. :) Congrats on the fab new sewing room!!!

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  73. I stepped on a sewing needle that hid in the carpet of my old sewing room. Had to go to the emerg to get it out. So,I'm saying "no" to carpet in the sewing room.

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  74. We got rid of all the carpet in the house when the kid came along - best decision ever. Now I can't believe I ever liked carpeted floors, so gross! We couldn't afford NICE floors, so we went to Lowe's (are they national?) & picked up some laminate vinyl tiles. They're fairly cheap & easy to work with. If you want to be even more thrifty, see if they have any already open boxes or discontinued tiles - we're in ALASKA, where everything is more expensive, and we picked up some discontinued tiles for 1 room at about $1/tile. The tiles are usually 12x12".

    Other than that, I'd 2nd (or like 50th) the chair mat idea. The clear plastic thing's kind of atrocious though - maybe paint it or put some stickers on it for pizzazz!

    It's not the most dazzling floor, but with walls colored "couture", no one will notice the floor!

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  75. I'm with everyone who recommends large-heads for your pins (it's much cheaper to buy new pins than new flooring!).

    I've never not sewn on a carpeted surface, and I've never had trouble. I bought some glass-headed silk pins (super-sharp, super-fine gauge steel, no melting if you accidentally iron over one) years ago, and they're easy to find if you drop one.

    OTOH, as pretty as those paint chips are, I'd like to warn you against the optical affect of being surrounded by such a rosy glow when you're going to be trying to color match in the same room. It's bound to affect the quality of the ambient light, making color decisions harder than you might think.

    If I were lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing room, I'd want to think of it as my art studio -- and would want to make the lighting conditions as close to daylight as possible.

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  76. My sewing room used to have carpet. I was forever losing pins and needles in it -- not to mention the fiber scraps and thread. I ripped the carpet up and repainted the plank flooring that was in there originally. I love it. Pins are easy to see, and I have a large bar magnet I use to clean up my spilled pins/needles. I also admit to hating to vacuum. I'd rather sweep, so less carpet in the house makes me happier.

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  77. Ugh! I hate carpet with a passion. I have terrible allergies & carpet is an allergen magnet. My parents bought a house with carpeting in EVERY room, including the bathrooms & kitchen. I was shocked that the garage wasn't carpeted. :P

    I couldn't convince my parents to rip up the carpet & just stain or paint the subfloor, because that just isn't "proper." As if my parents care the slightest bit for propriety in dress or food.....

    Anyway, I have seen pictures of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) stained dark brown. It looks a lot like leather. Then there is always painting a black & white checkerboard on the floor--VERY retro. I think a painted gingham pattern would look quite amazing. If you have a bit more money & less time, shop for the best price on adhesive linoleum tiles. Large black & white squares are very common at remaindered goods or odd lot stores. They are very easy to apply, & don't require as much work to clean up the subfloor.

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  78. Top tip for removing lint and threads from carpet - a wire bruch, the kind that looks like a brush and shovel brush only made of metal bristles. A quick an very gentle flick of this removes all the threads. I learnt this trick when working ina silk shop - silk frays and the resulting floss has supergluelike qualities whe it comes to carpet. The more you vacuum, the more it sticks as the static builds up! And I agree re flowerhead pins - I love them to bits anyway and you neve rlose them!

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  79. I have a strong magnet with a handle that I wave around over the carpet.

    As to the flooring,are you sure there isn't hardwood under the carpet? Our house was carpeted in the wall-to-wall 60's/70's style and when we pulled it up there was beautiful oak flooring underneath! If you'r not sure, you might just pull up a little in a less conspicuous place & take a look-see. Maybe you'll get lucky like we did. And congratulations again on your new home! There's always something to tweak, but the equity is YOURS, not a landlord's. :-)

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  80. I hated the carpet when I had it. It lasted the first six weeks in our (then) new house. Thread and fabric dust just love carpet and even the best vacuuming every day can't keep up. I ripped out the carpet and pad and lived with a plain, painted subfloor for a year. Over that year, I bought 144 square feet of cork tiles (the 4 mm thick, 12 inch by 12 inch, used for cork boards). They ran about $5 per pack of 5, but since they're identical, I just stashed them until I had enough. A pot of flooring adhesive, a small trowel and a quart of polyurethane turned it into the greatest floor ever. Cork is slightly yielding, warm, and beautiful.

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  81. NO CARPET ANYWHERE.
    OK you live in the frozen north so you either need underfloor heating or carpet. NEVER in a sewing room. Carpets are dirty harbor dust and mites and animal hair if you have them. Lino, tile laminate all are strong, easy to clean and find dropped stuff. Who wants to waste sewing time vacuuming.

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  82. I've had a pin lodged in my toe for three weeks and it was awful. Don't risk it.

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  83. Hi Gertie - just discovered your excellent blog. I sew in a carpeted room, and I put one of those large plastic office "floor protectors" under my sewing table and chair, since my chair has wheels. It works great, and if I drop pins it's usually on the plastic thing.
    BTW, I chose my kitchen paint color based on its name, which was Apple Crisp (Behr). After I got it up I changed the name for my purposes to Butterscotch Pudding, which it looks as luscious as. Go for it, color is inspirational!
    Dana

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  84. The Vintage SeamstressMarch 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Hey Gertie, I have a carpeted sewing room and a cat. Yes, there are pins in the carpet but somehow I never seem to step on the pins and the cat lies around everywhere and it doesn't seem to bother him either. PS Love the idea of a colour called "couture"!

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  85. I have a carpetted sewing room and it's not ideal, but like you, it's not in my budget to change it. Congrats on the new house. Carpet certainly ain't the worst think to deal with.

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  86. I have carpet in my sewing room, an awful mottled blue/grey that hides EVERYTHING. If I drop something I can't hear where it went like I could if it were a hard surface, and I usually can't find it, even after looking for quite some time.

    A magnetic wand does gather up some stray pins, but it doesn't help me find beads and other small bits.

    I highly recommend a solid surface floor in your sewing room if you can manage it.

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  87. My craft room has a carpeted floor. The pins usually behave and lay quietly on their sides and catch the light so I see them. Six years in this house and no one, not my husband, my child nor myself has been injured by a wayward pin. I use glass or plastic headed pins and I always spot the bit of colour on the floor. Not a biggy.

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  88. Do not fret about the carpet, I sewed for years with a carpet. I now have a hard floor, and that also has its drawbacks. Just go with it, unless it is one of those 'sticky' carpets, which hold every thread. uggh! If it does, then get an offcut of lino (cushionfloor, or whatever, and put that nunder the sewing area its most needed, as a temporary fix.

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  89. Well, you certainly have no lack of opinions. :) I used to sew on my kitchen table and use pins with balls on the end. I've only dropped a few pins in the last couple of years and always pick them up right away so my two year old won't get to them. Now that I'm upstairs in a carpeted room, I agree with the commenters above that the pins aren't a problem but all the little threads. I try to throw them away right away and keep my sewing space clean. Anyway, about the wall color, I'd recommend trying out a sample first before painting the whole room. I'm so glad I did in our room- the first color would've been too orange. Eek.

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  90. Love the colors. And names also influence me.

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  91. After 16 years (!) of having carpet in sewing room I finally got laminate flooring installed, and I am delighted! I can't tell you how many times I stabbed my foot right through the shoe with stray pins, not to mention clogging up my vacuum with bits of thread and fabric scraps. Carpet in a sewing room reqires you to vacuum DAILY, and who's going to do that? Please, whatever you do, get some hard surface in there even if it's the cheapest vinyl! Down with carpet!!

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  92. Well, I've had carpeted sewing-spaces since forever, and I actually think carpet is WAY better than wood floors. The carpet kind of absorbs the needles, while wood floors just leave them out as potential feet-traps...

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  93. Until you have the money to remove the carpet and put down new flooring, invest $6 in some new pins with brightly coloured heads that will stand out on the existing carpet.
    I've sewn in all kinds of rooms and found that pins get lost on every surface - carpet, hardwood, vinyl, tiles - so my trick has been to buy coloured pins and just get rid on pins that will blend in to the floor when they are inevitably dropped.

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  94. Carpet is terrible, it won't vacuum and (since I'm very clumsy and drop my box of pins at least once per project) stepping on pins can be very painful (sticking them under your thumb too, but that's a whole different matter).

    Magnets do help a lot, but mine isn't on a stick, so I have to go down to the floor and risk pins in my knees. Also I generally prick myself when I attempt to take them off the magnet. Again clumsy and more me than anything else.

    Good luck finding a solution or working with the carpet as it is!

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  95. two hints I have heard about sewing in rooms with carpets... one is but the leg of a hose around a vacume tube, then it catches stuff in the hose. keep it kind of loose around the tube. The second is to have a very strong magnet and sweep with your hand over carpet to get lost pins.

    Nadine

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  96. I'm sure I heard somewhere that if you cover the nozzle attachment of a vacuum cleaner with a really thin material... like a pair of stockings pulled tight over it, when you turn it and run it over the carpet it'll suck the needles onto the material but not into the vacuum cleaner. Would probably work for the backs of earrings too... I'm always dropping those! Hope it helps!

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  97. I'm in the "pull the carpet up and paint whatever is underneath camp" we did this in our kitchen when we first moved in (who puts carpet in kitchens????). An annual repaint kept it tidy until we could do the whole shebang properly. I love sewing in my space with hard flooring - a broom to sweep up the detritus and pick the pins out of the pile before the thread and fabric goes in the bin. So much easier than carpet. Years ago in a rental we had super industrial strength carpet and that wasn't too bad to keep clean, the icky shag pile at my parents was the worst!

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  98. When I first started sewing, I did so in a carpeted apartment. NEVER AGAIN! I didn't have that much problem with pins, but cleaning loose threads and lint on beige carpet was a nightmare. The carpet always looked dirty and I had to convince the apartment complex that the carpet wasn't dirty.

    Now, I sew in my basement which is outfitted with vinyl tile. I *love* it. It's so much easier to maintain.

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  99. I say "NAY" I've done both. It's not just pins that "hide" , thread is a real monster along with the dust generated from my serger & general cutting/sewing. My hubs put in hardwood in my work room and it is sooooo much easier. Just one girl's opinion.

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  100. Gertie, I have a terror of needles in carpets! My mother had a sewing machine needle snap off in her foot, it had to be cut out. eek!

    Also I'm clumsy, I drop needles and would surely hurt myself if I sewed on carpet. And, well, I am biased in general against carpet because of the hygiene thing people have already mentioned.

    I like the flower-head quilting needles for visibility, clover makes some very cute ones.

    I also like the idea of seeing whats under the carpet, hopefully it's something you can live with until flooring pennies are saved.

    I'm glad for your excitement in your beautiful new place! x

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  101. Nix the carpet but go with the paint.

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  102. Hey Gertie,

    I find that random threads tend to be more of an issue with carpet than pins...of course I once stepped on one and it went THROUGH my toe and toe nail.

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  103. I'm a carpet person. I would rather feel that under my bare feet. I don't have any problems with carpet in my sewing room. I rarely drop pins or needles and when I do they seem easy to find (colorful heads on the pins). I like cleaning carpet better, just run the vacuum. Good luck with your decision. As with everything there is no right or wrong answer, it's just whatever you like better.

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  104. I once had a sewing room that had shag carpeting. Let's just put it this way- I was lucky that I never required a trip to the ER.
    I would just make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus shot.
    If wood flooring is not in the budget yet, maybe you can rip up the carpet and put in a cheap linoleum for the time being.
    Congrats on the new house!

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  105. ooh, that couture is amazing! If I ever get married that is the colour I want my dress to be :).

    Maybe you could put down those plastic mats for rolly chairs on carpet at your main work stations, either so you can see the pins or so you have safe footing while you look for them?

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  106. If you are concerned about the pins on the carpet maybe you can get one of those clear plastic floor savers that go under office chairs. Or a low pile area rug under the areas you use pins.
    I love the colors that you are looking at for the walls! Yum!

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  107. When I was a kid, my mom was forever losing pins and needles in the carpet, then finding them with her feet. I always got stuck pulling them out! I always keep needles threaded for that reason - I need to see them!!
    I bought a house built in the 1920's, and one small bedroom (6 by 10) had three layers of carpet, and every layer was full of pins, needles, and thread. We painted the plank floor, and after my oldest moved out, it was my sewing room. Still needed a magnet to get the pins out of the cracks.
    You are getting lots a great advice. Fun post!

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  108. To me the wooden floor has much more advantages than the carpet. Pins are pretty easy to pick up but also you can through your threads as you sew. The wooden floor is super easy to keep clean and nice.

    So pins are not a problem for me but thread!!!!! And I hate carpets in my sewing space. Currently I sew in our living room which has a small carpet and it's impossible to vacuum. The carpet is black but it looks almost white from all the thread that stuck in it. Luckily in a month we are moving to a new apartment where I'll have my own sewing room.

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  109. I use a magnet. I don't know if you have children about but its a great game. Gran used to pay us a cent per pin.

    Maybe diff thickness of carpet is different but I dont have too much problems with my carpet. Granted i wear slippers mostly but the pins tend to sit on top of it unless i'm lazy and leave them there for ever to get trampled.

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  110. We are just about finished re-doing my basement to create my new sewing center and I chose laminate wood flooring. It is really beautiful. In the past, I had carpet and stepped on one to pin to many! Easier to clean with a swifer, then I use a magnet to get the pins out before I sweep it all into the dust pan!

    I've got pics on my blog of our progress:
    dressed2atee.blogspot.com

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  111. I sew in a carpeted room - I find it makes the pins easier to pick up because they sew. I have three cats as well - none have got pins stuck in their feet.

    You could do what the Queen (of England) does - she carries a magnet with her most the time to pick up pins (she has her clothes tailored - naturally) and doesn't want the corgis getting pins in their feet.

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  112. Put down a laminate floor. I bet if you price it out it will be close to what new carpet is going to cost.

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  113. Haha nope your not the only woman, I've done that before! Oh yeah I'm just like you, I'm always getting pins, needles and thread stuck in the carpet and it all goes throughout the house! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk/

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  114. Gertie, my MIL sews over carpet and has one of those wands. Then she goes over the carpet again with a hand vacuum! (She has pets.)

    I have horrible allergies and an autoimmune issue so carpet and I don't get along. In our old home, we had hardwood, so no troubles. In this house, though, we moved in and had the original-to-the-house carpet upstairs and I lost my ability to breathe.

    So I tore out the carpet in the two rooms I'd be in most—our bedroom and my office/sewing room—and painted the floors. It's labor-intensive, but inexpensive compared to even new carpet, to say nothing of laminate, bamboo (my dream flooring), or hardwood. It's not permanent, but does the trick for me...and I see those needles (and threads) quite easily!

    And my new office/sewing room is painted "Ballet Slipper" pink with grey accents. Love the choices you've got there, though! Beautiful...what fun!

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  115. Some color psychology- I've heard RED is better for attention to detail, methodical, calculated tasks. BLUE is good for imagination and creativity. I have to admit my bedroom is painted a pinkish red and I LOVE it!

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  116. Roller chair mat plus a long-handled sewing magnet has solved the dropped pin problem at my house.

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  117. While I like the colours you chose, people are RIGHT about them interfering with colour matching...the great couturiers all had their salons painted "pearl gray" so the walls would not compete with the clothes. But, do what thou wilt!

    And, yes bare floors are best unless you get one of those "broom magnets" and never use anything except colour-head pins to make them more visible! I have a pin tray with a POWERFUL magnet I got at the dollar store; I can throw pins at it from a distance and the tray will draw them in! The only down-side is, is that the pins themselves become magnetic so when I go to pick up ONE pin, a few others tag along, as often as not!

    And ,. people with cats: F'r gawdsake be CAREFUL about your thread/thread leavings if you have a cat! Cats like to EAT thread, and it can KILL THEM in a horribly AGONIZING fashion by tangling up in their guts!! I still remember with horror how I discovered a NEEDLE and thread in one of my cat's droppings; she was incredibly LUCKY! I have even caught her twice in the act of EATING a thread (with a needle on the end!)when I was careless about leaving my pincushion with a threaded needle where she could get to it!>wipes forehead<

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    Replies
    1. I am glad to visit your blog. its really great information about new carpet and it is good for me before buy new carpet from market. this site

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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