Because Oriental rugs are valuable, people assume rugs must be pampered like fine china. On the contrary, Oriental rugs have earned their reputation of being “magical” in part because of their sheer endurance. When carpets become dirty, they can be washed. If they are torn or worn, for example, they can be repaired or re-woven. Their dyes resist fading and running and their wool, full of natural oils (lanolin) keeps many potential stains from penetrating. Carpet owners do need to take some care in the handling of their rug. Though good quality rugs are resistant to sunlight, they tend to mellow softy over time and develop a soft and warm patina. However, direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight will fade your rug. If your rug is in a very sunny room, it is best to occasionally rotate it so that its UV exposure will be minimized and even. We suggest using blinds or shades and /or treating windows with UV lowering film. The UV filters block many of the harmful UVs while not changing the quality of light. Keep in mind, your rug can withstand a normal amount of sunlight exposure without any noticeable effects.

Vacuuming a rugVacuum your rug regularly is important. Dirt that is trapped inside a rug’s pile leads to premature wear. Some of today’s vacuum cleaners are made for industrial carpets and have a very aggressive “powerhead” or “beater bar.” Set the vacuum powerhead on a setting for thick carpeting or (my suggestion) use only the suction attachment without the powerhead. Be mindful of the fringe when vacuuming (try to vacuum side-to-side to avoid the fringe). Several times a year, I recommend flipping your rug upside-down and vacuuming the underside of the carpet to remove dirt that works its way into the pile. The trapped dirt, sand, etc., can be abrasive to the rug fibers.

It is good to rotate your rug (ie: turn in 180 degrees) occasionally. This keeps wear patterns from forming in a rug that may get uneven use. If your windows are on one wall, rotating a rug exposes different areas to the sunlight and promotes a more even and uniform pattern of wear.

Water will not harm your rug. It is best to avoid mildew by thoroughly drying damp areas within 24 hours. I also suggest not placing a potted plant directly on your rug. (Be sure to use a plant stand with a saucer). The dampness from a potted plant can become trapped between the pot and the carpet, sometimes causing rot your carpet.

Moth on leafThe moth discussion. If a rug is used regularly, there is little chance of an infestation. Moths prefer undisturbed, dark, humid places. Therefore, be mindful of spaces under furniture or beds. Occasionally move the furniture and vacuum these areas well. If you rug is small, placing it outside in direct sunlight for an hour from time-to-time can help. Remember, moths (larvae) prefer munching on dirty wool, so occasional washing of your rug will help to prevent moth damage. Storing rugs…. if you are storing a rug for any period of time there are steps to prevent insect damage. Rugs should be washed before storage. Ask your rug washer to insect-repel you rug after washing. Next, wrap it in semi-porous wrapping such as “Tyvek” brand. This product breaths but does not allow water infiltration. Do not use plastic because it does not breath and may result in mildew. Some moth flakes or dried lavender can be sprinkled on the rug.  We highly recommend using rug padding under your rug. Padding will extend the life of your carpet or kilim. A good quality padding will prevent your rug from rubbing and abrading against the floor in addition to helping to prevent slipping. It will also help to dampen noise. Professional washing of rugs is recommended. Generally, every three to five years is enough. If, however, your rug seems dirty (or is it an entrance rug? do you have animals? etc.), have it washed more often. Entrance rugs for example or rugs in households with pets may require more frequent washing. Washing your rug will prolong its life and always looks better. We can always recommend a carpet cleaner who specializes in Oriental rugs. Steam cleaners and carpet shampoos are not acceptable and can actually harm your rug.

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