Consumer Guide to Oriental Rug Cleaning
Oriental and custom area rugs are truly “Art Under Foot”. You made a wise choice adding to the beauty of your home’s interior décor that will provide enjoyment for several generations to come. That is, if you properly care for them. The purpose of this message is to inform consumers on how to properly care for their Oriental rugs: 3 potential problems to avoid that can cause irreparable damage and 4 easy steps to follow to keep your rugs in tip-top shape!
Now, let’s identify the first of the 3 potential problems:
Problem #1: Dye-bleed. Many of the old rugs in circulation, and even some new ones, have been dyed with vegetal dyes. There are dyes from vegetables, roots, minerals, and even some insects, to give the rug that special hue of color. Synthetic dyes usually do not cause problems. You can usually expect bleeding in some rugs due to the type of fiber they come from. For example cotton and silk rugs are quite often bleeders. What does it mean when we say a rug is a bleeder, and can anything be done to prevent it? Bleeding is when one color migrates beyond its border, and mixes with another. Red and blue are well known for that. There are several things that can be done to keep rugs from bleeding. ONLY a true professional should even attempt a rug that is a known bleeder. We at Artistic Associates clean rugs that bleed all the time, but are able to minimize or eliminate the condition. By the way, wetting a towel and placing it on the color and obtaining a transfer is called “crocking”. This simply means there is an abundance of dye in the yarn. Is it possible to guarantee 100% that a rug will not bleed, even a little? No! This is because without knowing the history of the rug and to what it has been exposed (like pet urine, etc…) it is impossible to predict how it will react. In some cases, we will continue to flush rugs with clean fresh water until it stops releasing dye. That is just one reason why it only makes good sense to trust your one-of-a-kind rug to a professional IN-PLANT facility. What if the rug already has bled? Can anything be done to correct it? Anything is correctable, but usually at great cost. So, you must determine whether or not your rug is worth it. Problem #2: Felting of wool. Wool is a protein fiber, made up of overlapping scales that protect the inside of the fiber, while repelling most foreign substances. A wool fiber is made in a zig-zag, crinkle shape that helps it spring back into shape, unlike any other fiber. Even carpet mills try to duplicate wool, because it is so resilient. Because it comes from very short staple fibers, it has to be spun to make a yarn that is then used for rugs. Wool is damaged by temperatures above 150 degrees, and so should be cleaned at lower temperatures to prevent felting. Felting is the process of causing a texture change that is permanent, by using heat and agitation that makes the fibers lay flat. Therefore, you must be cautious about letting just any carpet cleaner clean your wool rugs. Problem #3: Never do anything to your rug. Oriental rugs were made to last several hundred years, and therefore don’t need any attention whatsoever, Right? Wrong! The absolutely worst thing you can do is nothing. There is no excuse for not properly maintaining your rugs. We have cleaned rugs that were never moved for 10-20 years. Guess what happened? Moths and beetles practically consumed the rugs. Wool and Silk are protein fibers, and therefore provide a food source for moths and beetles to lay their eggs. We recommend 4 simple steps to keep your rugs looking their best, maintain their value, and capture the admiration of your friends and relatives. A good reason for inspecting your rugs frequently is to avoid unwanted water intrusion, which can cause the foundation (usually cotton) to be totally consumed by fungus, making the rug simply fall apart. For example, do your have a live plant suspended above or sitting on any of your rugs? Now is a good time to check.
4 Simple, easy steps toward preserving and protecting your Oriental and wool area rugs:
- Reposition your rug every 6 months, 180 degrees. This will allow for even wear over many years to come. It will also permit you to inspect your rug, carefully checking under the rug, pad, and floor for critters or other evidence of parasites. You will also be able to clean your floor!
- Vacuum very carefully. Vacuuming should be done with a vacuum having a beater bar only, no brushes. Also, be careful not to catch the fringe in the beater bar. If this is done by someone other than yourself, be sure to give them proper instructions. Again, always be alert to infestations of any kind.
- Interim maintenance (between washings) air-dust & deodorize. This is to freshen your rugs in between regular thorough washing. AIR-DUSTING & DEODORIZING will remove impacted soils, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. This is an investment in your rug for about half of our rug washing service.
- Thorough washing of rugs every 1-3 years. Authentic hand-washing of rugs should only be done by an in-plant facility. Never, never should you entrust your rug to an on-location carpet cleaner.
So, remember, a rug is a terrible thing to waste. Take good care of your rugs, and they will provide you with years of enjoyment and pleasure! I hope you found this consumer awareness message to be helpful. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free in home audit, please call us as 916-483-7400. Why do Homeowners Abuse and Neglect their beautiful Oriental and other Area Rugs, instead of Properly and Regularly washing them?
Here are some reasons why consumers don’t clean their area rugs:
- Fear of not knowing who to call, and whether they are qualified.
- Fear that washing too often or too aggressively will wear out their rug.
- Fear that their rug will be damaged, ruined, or shrunk.
- Fear that the company is not adequately insured to cover any losses.
- Uninformed as to proper and regular washing cycles.
- Uninformed on what to do when pet accidents and other spots occur.
- Uninformed as to importance of proper padding used under the rug.
Artistic Associates provides solutions in caring for your woven treasures!
- Appropriately insured and bonded to protect your valuable family heirlooms while in our care.
- Comprehensive training to provide real peace of mind, knowing your rugs are in good hands.
- Our in-plant cleaning facility provides the right environment for gently and thoroughly cleaning, deodorizing, and decontaminating rugs.
- 8 step authentic hand washing and compressed-air cleaning, to effectively and gently remove the soil without affecting the integrity of the rug.