The world's fascination with Oriental rugs has been going on for centuries. We cherish these highly expensive, expressive works of art that are hand-knotted from many countries around the world. They offer a certain elegance and comfort that rarely come from any other aspect of home decor and are expected to hold their value from generation to generation. Unfortunately, not every Oriental rug will hold its value over time, but there are things you can do to ensure that this heirloom can be passed down to the next generation. Knowing how to care for an Oriental rug means understanding what issues are common and how to prevent them from happening. We'll cover the issues with each of the 5 Best Oriental Rug Store tips below.
1.) Don't walk on your Oriental rugs unless you're giving it the support of a rug pad.
We've suggested this many times before; don't spend money on an Oriental rug and then not purchase an appropriate rug pad, available on amazon that we recommend, that offers adequate protection for your rug. The pile of your rug is made of fibers, most often hair fibers. These materials can get brittle with time and slowly break down. Walking on a rug is similar to squeezing the rug in a giant vise which is very hard on your rugs pile. If you're using an adequate rug pad of at least a 1/4 inch thick, then the pressure from walking on it is absorbed by the pad and in turn increases the live of your rug's fibers. Check out this other blog we wrote, Do Oriental Rugs Need Pads?, to see if you're using the best type.
2.) Don't suck the life out of your rug while using the vacuum cleaner.
This is one of the biggest dangers to your Oriental rug and it happens with the best of intentions. You're doing your regular house cleaning and trying to keep your rug looking beautiful. In the process, you're vacuuming the fringe and selvedge of your rug. You think you're cleaning your rug, but you are aging it in warp speed. Oriental rugs tend to come apart on the ends (fringe) and on the sides (selvedge) the quickest. Often times these parts of the rug are torn up by regular cleaning with the vacuum cleaner. We recommend never vacuuming the ends or the sides of your rug but vacuum everywhere in between. If your vacuum has a beater bar, then raise it to the highest point to vacuum. Flip your rug upside down and vacuum the back. You will be amazed at how much more debris comes out of your rug while vacuuming the back than the top does. After vacuuming the back several times, clean under the rug and then vacuum the top of the rug as a final measure.
3.) Don't use harmful chemicals to clean your rugs; professional washing is a must.
This can be an expensive mistake to make but often is done and goes unseen for a long period of time. The pile and foundation of your rug can absorb a great deal of moisture as well as chemicals used to clean it. When you apply a chemical to your rug, it becomes near impossible to remove the chemicals without the proper equipment for extracting them. These chemicals now become a part of your rug and whatever you were attempting to clean from it. Some simple food stains may be cleaned with vinegar and water, if you dare, but the safe answer is to always hire a professional Persian rug cleaner to do the job. The effects of urine and chemicals in a rug over time can cause irreversible damage to the pile and the dyes. There's one company in Florida that specializes in pet urine removal and has a system that is truly designed around the understanding of an Oriental rug, not to mention that they use no chemicals in the cleaning process and can tell when your carpet is clean of all urine crystals: there's no guessing.
4.) Place your Oriental rugs in low traffic areas to reduce pile deterioration.
Most Oriental rugs simply aren't made for high traffic areas and over time you will begin to see some signs of age and wear. Part of the problem with high traffic areas is the volume of debris that is devoured by the rug's pile. The debris acts as sawblade teeth vibrating back and forth against the fibers in your rug's pile causing the fibers to break. Bidjar rugs from Iran have been called the Iron rugs of Persia due to how dense the pile is packed down. This dense pile helps keep debris from invading into the rug's pile. Most Oriental rugs aren't lucky enough to share this unique characteristic and care should be taken to prevent an early demise of your rug. It's important to rotate your rugs to help even out any wear or sun exposure. This will extend the life of your rug(s).
5.) Turning your Oriental rugs into wall art is a great way to preserve their beauty.
Wall hanging Oriental rugs is a great way to display these lovely works of art. There are many different and acceptable methods for wall hanging a rug. If you're unsure, ask a local Oriental rug store near you. Some of the benefits of hanging rugs are:
Reduce traffic to zero
Eliminate stress to worn areas like fringe that may be coming undone
Protected from pets that can't climb
No more accidental spills
Less cleaning needed
While the benefits of hanging a rug outweigh the negatives it's important to understand the possible risks. Make sure the rug is well supported to prevent damage to the sides of the rug. It's also important to inspect your rug regularly for signs of clothes moths, which like wool and silk rugs in areas where they're undisturbed, such as under furniture and on walls. If you follow these 5 Best Oriental Rug Store tips, you should be able to enjoy your Oriental rug for years and years to come.
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