CARING FOR YOU RUGS
If oriental rugs have survived centuries in comparatively good condition, it is because of careful treatment. Oriental rugs will give remarkably long service if treated with proper consideration. Their two enemies, apart from the inevitable destructive effect of wear, are moths and dampness. The former is best kept at bay by frequent moving or handling and by regular exposure to light and air. If rugs must be stored, then inspection at intervals is essential. A carpet in use is rarely in danger from moths. Certain chemical applications will render the wool inedible to moths. Dampness will in time rot the threads and destroy the fabric but it can be avoided by obvious means. If any mechanical damage is sustained such as cut or burn, the damage should be dealt with as soon as possible by a competent person for such lesions get worse very quickly. In ordinary use, quite apart from accident, the ends and sides often tend to wear and fray in which case the parts should be reovercast. Places in the middle of the carpet that are locally worn or damaged can have new knots inserted and even large holes can be restored so as to be almost as good as new, though such work is rather expensive. In carpets of lesser value, instead of new knotting, patches cut from a suitable rug can often be inserted at less cost and sometimes a serviceable small rug can be made from a larger worn one by cutting away the bad parts.
Frequently rotate the rug from sunny areas to the other side of the room to equalize the effect of the sun. Continuous exposure to bright hot sun rays and even indirect sunlight will cause damage to the dyed fabrics used in Oriental rugs. On bright sunny days, use window shades, shutters or heavy curtains to reduce the sun damage. Also, in terms of fading, sometimes gases and fumes (from furnaces, cooking stoves, chimneys and auto exhausts) mix with oxygen and humidity in the atmosphere to form an acid. This acid reacts on the wool and causes deterioration and discoloration. Usually faded areas are hidden by soil and will not be apparent until the surface has been cleaned. In this case, contrast of color fading could be avoided by rotating rugs from time to time to make fading or soiling uniform and by changing their places so that all parts of the rug will have a chance for equal exposure.
Good quality padding protects the rug especially in heavily trafficked areas. The best padding is a hair or fiber filled pad with rubberized surfaces to keep the rug from moving or wrinkling. The life of an Oriental rug can be doubled with the use of a good quality pad.
Before hanging carpets on the wall, one should be certain that the warp threads could stand the strain. Do no use nails or staples at the top of a heavy rug to hang for a long period of time. Use a strong poster holder to distribute the weight of the rug evenly.
If a rug is to be stored for a long period of time, use sheet or cloth to wrap it, but do not use an airtight plastic bag. Oriental rugs need to breathe and they will sometimes rot or mildew in a plastic bag. They could also be rolled up and kept in a chest with some paradichlorobenzene crystals, which will have to be renewed every few months. Ideally large carpets should be rolled around poles, the protruding ends of which should rest on blocks or trestles. It is advisable to let carpets lie flat on top of one another for any length of time. Do NOT store rugs in a humid, damp, warm or poorly ventilated room. This causes mildew that usually has a musty odor, discolors fabrics, and weakens them so that they fall in pieces. Never leave an Oriental rug wet. Failure to remove all of the moisture might result in mildew. Do NOT store an Oriental rug in a hot closet. The base of a rug can dry out and become brittle destroying the strength and durability of the rug.
Moths can cause extensive damage to Oriental rugs. Not only do moths eat the pile but they also eat the knots on the back of a rug. Moths are especially attracted to areas such as those under furniture that remain relatively undisturbed. It is quite simple to eliminate these pests and safeguard against their return. Both front and back of a carpet should be sprayed about every six months with any one of a number of available moth sprays.
To up-right the piles that are indented or crushed by legs of heavy furniture, brush the depressed area with a soft brush and faintly moisten the area by a spray and follow-up by brushing.
The beauty and life of Oriental rugs are vitally dependent on their cleanliness. Lack of maintenance will contribute to loss in the potential of investment.
Never vacuum against the nap of the rug (the direction of the nap can easily be determined by running the hand across the pile from fringe to fringe). Vacuuming against the nap also presses dirt back into the rug. Never vacuum the rugs’ fringes. The continued catching of the fringe in the suction of a vacuum cleaner causes the fringes to break and tear. Sweeping with a broom will give the best result. As a general rule always vacuum with a low-level suction using a new bag.
Always rub or brush lightly from the outer edge toward the center of the stain to prevent spreading or causing "the ring" when using solvents especially on twist rugs and pile carpets. On old, dry or stubborn stains, saturate, blot, and brush. Repeat this operation as often as necessary to remove the stain completely.