Hunters like their trophies. One popular prize is the bear skin rug, which has been an item of home décor for centuries. Such a rug gives a rustic, masculine feel to a room, as well as warmth, informality and coziness. Many people place their rugs on the floor in front of a fireplace, while others prefer to hang them on a wall.
Taxidermists who turn a bearskin into a rug try to make the skin look like an actual bear lying on the floor. Usually the head is still attached to the skin and the mouth open in a snarl, as if the bear were growling. A professionally mounted skin will have a felt backing, which is sometimes very thick and extends several inches all around the edge. A moderately sized rug can be 5 or 6 feet long, while a large bearskin can spread out up to 8 or 9 feet.
How to Hang
One way to hang a bearskin rug is to drive finishing nails through the edge of the skin. Though it might seem that this could damage the rug, if enough nails are used the weight will be distributed well enough so that the skin doesn't pull away from the nails. When taking the rug down from the wall, it slips right over the nail heads. Sometimes large staples are used, applied with a stapling gun and placed every 6 inches or so. One highly recommended solution is to sew five or six rings of an inch or so diameter onto the back of the rug. Key rings are ideal for this, and come in packages of several. Be certain to sew through the skin itself, or the felt will pull away with the weight of the rug. Some taxidermists provide hanging mounts on the skins they process. If yours is one of these, it's a simple matter to hang the rug from wall hooks.
A floor rug naturally will require care and cleaning, but one hung on a wall will also need maintenance. They'll collect dust, and occasionally need more than just a dusting. According to Timberline Furniture (Reference 1), you'll need to take the rug down and lay it across a table where it can be reached. Remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner or a soft, damp cloth, and never rub against the direction of the fur. Non-fur parts should be wiped with a damp cloth. For a more involved cleaning, use a bucket of water and mild soap, and wipe with a damp sponge. Let it dry for one day, then brush in the direction of the hair. Never saturate or soak the rug. Handle it with care, and don't ruffle the fur. Don't handle the rug unnecessarily, and when moving it, avoid touching the fur if you can.
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