FAQ Part 4: The care and feeding of your carpet

by Danielle Freudenthal on March 23, 2009

Up until now, we haven’t had a section for FAQs. We certainly DO have frequently asked questions, so we’ve prepared a series of posts which we hope will address some of those. Eventually we’ll compile a standard Q&A format for our FAQ page.

This is Part 4 in the series. (See Part 1, Part 2 , and Part 3 .) We’d appreciate it very much if you’d leave a comment if you find the posts helpful, or if you have followup questions.

Hand-knotted woolen rugs, which are made using the same technique as fine Persian (“oriental”) carpets, are very durable; their construction and the particular qualities of wool fiber make them especially resilient to the rigors of normal household life. Fine carpets are art to walk on, and were borne out of cultures whose conditions were far harsher than those we have in modern-day homes.

Lanolin, the natural oils coating wool fiber, is so moisture- and stain-resistant that Scotchgard, a synthetic version, was invented to mimic this effect on other fabrics. Quality wool carpets are easy to clean up, even when children or pets get to them. When you buy a real, hand-knotted wool carpet, they can easily last for 50 years or more, especially when properly cared for. However, they are not indestructible. Cumulative abrasion caused by dirt, grit, and traffic is the main source of damage to a hand-knotted rug. There are several simple things you can do to care for your rug and extend its life of beauty and usefulness.

Proper padding. The first step in protecting a rug from abrasion is to cushion it with a proper underlay. If the rug is placed over broadloom carpeting or other soft surface, a pad may be omitted, but may still be helpful if the rug tends to “scoot”.

Go “Eastern.” Many other cultures do not wear shoes indoors, and most hand-knotted rugs think that its owners shouldn’t, either. A no-shoes policy is helpful in minimizing abrasion, but if you prefer shoes, your rug can handle it just fine if you pay special attention to the next tip:

Regular Vacuuming. Vacuuming helps remove the dust, dirt, and grit that can act as sandpaper on the rug’s pile. Vacuuming should be done laterally (across the narrower part of the rug) to prevent raising the pile, which could allow dust and grit particles to settle closer to the rug’s foundation. Never vacuum the fringes of your rug. Instead, try brushing off the fringes with a small brush or the gentle hose attachment. Beater-brush vacuuming of the fringes can cause more rapid deterioration, and there’s always the risk the fringe will get caught in the vacuum.

Location and Rotation. It’s best to keep your rug out of direct sunlight as much as possible; extended exposure to sunlight may cause wool fibers to become brittle over time and can harm the dyes. We advise rotating rugs once or twice a year to minimize wear from sunlight, traffic patterns, and furniture.

Cleaning. Professionally cleaning oriental carpets is always a good idea. It removes embedded dust and grit and restores luster to the pile. Do not use self-service machines or commercial carpet cleaners; hand-knotted woolen carpets need specially formulated cleansing agents to protect the wool’s lanolin and dyes. We recommend cleaning every three to five years, more often if you have kids, pets, or a high traffic area.

SPECIAL PROBLEMS

Spills and Stains. Liquid or solid spills should be blotted or scraped up immediately. Try to remove stains yourself by using only water and a gentle detergent—hand dishwashing liquid is fine. Be sure to rinse well, and provide circulation to aid thorough drying. Treatment is most effective on fresh stains, so contact a professional right away if you can’t clean it yourself.

Unraveling. If the fringes, ends, or selvages of your rug begin to unravel, try to secure them as best you can and seek professional help before you lose your rug bit by bit. This is another case where an ounce of prevention (a $40 repair) is worth a pound of cure (a $500 restoration).

Mildew. Never place a plant on your rug. Water seepage from plants or pots will almost certainly cause fouling, mildew, discoloration and deterioration. Also avoid storing rugs in basements or other damp areas for the same reason.

Insects. If you suspect a problem with moths, bring your rug in for cleaning and moth-proofing. To “decontaminate” small rugs yourself, put them in the freezer below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for a few days. This will kill moths at all stages of development without harming your rug.

If you have specific questions or need more details not addressed here, please contact us and we can advise the proper course of action for your situation.

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StuccoHouse
February 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm
GoodWeave by RugMark
May 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Norbridge
May 30, 2010 at 7:16 am
Laura Sampson
May 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Wendy Hoechstetter
June 1, 2010 at 12:41 am

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Passion for Rugs March 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

Tracy, this info is spot on!  I was just extolling the virtues of a good wool rug to a shopper yesterday, explaining how resilient wool is to spills and such.  If only the general public would take your words (and mine) to heart and invest in good quality rugs that last instead of thinking it’s better to purchase a “cheap” rug that can be tossed out after a year or two.  (Our landfills are going to be filled with discarded carpets) Afterall, there’s a reason old Oriental rugs are still around…Quality craftsmanship & materials~~!!!  Jane T.

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Guildcraft Carpets October 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Information on the care & feeding of your fine rug: http://bit.ly/qgou

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catherine grison October 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm

#FF Tracy! RT @GuildcraftRugs: Information on the care & feeding of your fine rug: http://bit.ly/qgou

Reply

Micro Mike October 17, 2009 at 8:00 pm

RT @GuildcraftRugs: Information on the care and cleaning of fine rugs: http://bit.ly/qgou

Reply

Bozena Chorazewicz November 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm

RT @GuildCraftRugs: How to care for your fine rugs: Much easier than you might think! http://bit.ly/qgou

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Marcy Feld February 25, 2010 at 10:46 am

gr8 tips RT @GuildcraftRugs: Caring for fine wool rugs is not difficult – quality pays. More info: http://bit.ly/qgou

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StuccoHouse February 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

RT @GuildCraftRugs: Caring for fine wool rugs is not difficult – quality pays. More info: http://bit.ly/qgou

Reply

Carolyn Lawson Low February 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

RT @GuildcraftRugs: Caring for fine wool rugs is not difficult – quality pays. More info: http://bit.ly/qgou

Reply

RugImporters.com March 10, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Good advice for cleaning our rugs! http://ow.ly/1gDm4 RT @GuildCraftRugs: How to care for your fine rugs: http://bit.ly/qgou

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