Tips on How to Take Care and Protect Handmade Area Rugs
In this rug blog post we'll discuss the maintenance and long term care of hand knotted or handmade wool area rugs including carpets and oriental rugs.
Some people think that because oriental handmade rugs are valuable and worth much more than machine made rugs, that they must also be pampered and taken care of like fine china.
Handmade rugs have earned their reputation of being magical and luxurious pieces of art because of their sheer endurance.
When handmade area rugs get dirty, they can be washed.
When handmade rugs are damaged, they can be fixed or repaired.
The dyes on handmade rugs can resist fading and their wool, which is full of natural oils, keeps many potential stains from penetration and setting into the rug.
In the Middle East, it is not uncommon to see new rugs being thrown into the streets for aging purposes, where they are literally run over by cars and camels.
The handmade area rugs come through the ordeal looking much improved and even look older.
Some even come back looking more valuable than before.
Still though, rugs need a positive atmosphere and just a bit of attention to help fight their natural enemies which include sunlight, moths, carpet beetles, moisture and of course naughty pets.
Sunlight can fade Handmade Area Rugs
A pleasant atmosphere for a handmade area rug includes protection from constant sunlight.
Although moths might be considered a rug's greatest enemy, sunlight going through a window can also harm it.
Consistent lighting from the sun can spoil a good rug in less than a month.
If the rug itself is very light colored, it may not harm the rug as much.
You can prevent sunlight from damaging the rug by keeping your curtains closed or by adding some tint to your windows.
Moths and How to Stop Them
Arguably the biggest enemy for rugs are moths.
What makes them such natural enemies towards rugs is that they are very small and hard to notice.
They are the same kinds of moths that can raid food pantries and clothes in closets.
The moths can often eat right through the rug if the rug has a wool foundation.
On the bright side though, moths tend to only infest rugs and carpets that are not in regular use.
Moths never want to be bothered so they only go after rugs that are usually stored or under furniture.
Regularly vacuuming or sweeping rugs is one of the easiest ways to stop moths before they can attack.
Make sure to always check underneath the rugs for moth larvae.
Vacuum underneath the rugs if needed.
Another tactic in the fight against moths if to place moth balls in hard to get areas.
Have a rug hanging on a wall?
Make sure to check the back of the rug at least once a month for moth larvae.
Wall mounted rugs can easily attract moths since they are never touched or disturbed.
If your rug does get moth damage, take it to a local rug cleaning expert.
Stored Rugs Make Easy Prey
With regards to moths, rug that you store away can easily be attacked by moths.
You can help prevent them from going after the rugs by putting mothballs into the rugs while rolling them as well as spraying the rug with moth spray.
Another tip which we highly recommend is to wrap the rugs in paper or even a garbage back, almost like a present.
If the rug is sealed, nothing that attack it.
Just make sure to put the sealed rug where nothing can pierce it and where it can't be exposed to water.
Dry Rot and Mildew - The Silent Rug Killer
If your rugs gets wet for too long, they get mildewed and suffer what's known as dry rot.
A common dry rot example is when a potted plant is placed on top of a rug.
It eventually causes a rotted circular area to a rug that is otherwise in great condition.
DON'T PUT A POTTED PLANT ON A RUG!
Even if you think you found a proper way to put a plant on a top of a rug, it won't work.
The rug will get wet and you won't even know it.
Another common problem with rugs getting water damage are those rugs that are stored in a garage.
Moisture under a house can cause rugs to mildew.
Make sure to wrap those rugs.
If you're some reason you spill water on a rug, just dry it with a towel.
It shouldn't leave any permanent damage.
Rugs can take a beating of course.
No need to panic.
But what if your rug is REALLY REALLY wet?
In that case you need to dry it before it mildews, hopefully within a few days if possible.
Use a water vacuum or even high powered regular vacuum to suck up as much water as possible.
Another option is to take the rug outside and flip it.
Then grab a squeegee and push the water out.
If it's sunny outside, let the rug get soaked by the heat.
If there is no sun, use a hairdryer, high powered fan or even a small heater to eliminate the water.
Got any questions or need some advice on rug care?
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