Maintenance of a rug is advisable so cleaning regularly is essential because dust and grime hides the beauty of your rug. Vacuum weekly or use the old fashion stiff hand brush and pan, working in the direction of the pile ensuring you avoid the fringes. The fringes actually hold the rug’s pile together, damage by a vacuum will do little for the rug; to avoid damage to the fringes fold them under the carpet whilst you are cleaning. An antique rug may need specialist cleaning, Modern rugs and factory made rugs will withstand a robust cleaning regime and treat as any modern carpet. A good beating of the back of the rug will remove any deeply impacted dust. A vacuum to the front will them remove any dust not beaten out on its surface.
It is recommended that every 5 or 10 years a rug is given a thorough clean. If they are antique or particularly valuable this process needs to be undertaken by a professional carpet cleaner. Do not send your rug to the dry cleaners!
Rugs should also be turned regularly. This simple process avoids the patches of variable wear and at least every 12 months rotate them through 180 degrees so the tread paths are altered. It appears an innovation to exchange the rugs in different rooms which will extend their life-span, thus adding a new lease of life to each room’s decor. Exposure to bright sunlight will inevitably result in the colours fading. Spillage is a common accident and it is vital that prompt action should be taken. Besides red wine the household pet will have the inevitable little accident. If it is a Great Dane, the accident becomes a large one! The acid present in wine will be extremely damaging, it bleaches the dyes and eventually rots the base fibres. The famous rug guru Essie Sakhai recommends the following action. Use white paper towels to mop up the excess liquid until the patch is nearly dry. Prepare a foam from, “a solution of 2 teaspoons of soap, washing-up liquid or baby shampoo” and add to half a gallon of cold water. Brush with a stiff brush and allow the patch to dry. Spills of alcohol, coffee or tea may also receive the above emergency measures. Use white wine on red wine spillages then wash the area as above. If outside, mud or food happens to be trodden into the pile, remove the debris as much as possible without making the ingress of the matter worse. Leave it to dry and it may be possible, with the aid of a stiff brush, to clear up the mess.
The infestation of moths into rugs is another serious problem. The moth finds dark and undisturbed places, a comfort and egg laying zone, especially on the backs of the rugs be they sited on the floor or wall. Exposure to heat will often put paid to these pests. Putting your rug out on the washing line in bright sunshine occasionally will help prevent an infestation of these unfriendly house guests. Modern chemicals can also achieve the same result but beware they do not damage the rug and are not injurious to your pets and more importantly to young children or adults with breathing ailments. Moths prefer feathers to rugs upon which to lay their eggs. If you cannot stand feathers, disregard this piece of advice. Put some feathers near to your priceless rug and burn them regularly to kill off the moth’s eggs. (No Madam, there is no need to keep chickens in the drawing room!) In the event of the moths eating a small patch of your rug a “stitch in time will save nine” and eradicate these pests.
Side cards are an intricate part of the construction of the rug and may be subjected to wear and tear. Every 10 years or so they may need attention when they become separated from the main body of the rug. Like the fringes, which are also liable to wear, immediate action is require. No matter what the problem is, immediate remedial advice and action is recommended by a professional, not by you, unless of course you are a professional! One unscrupulous carpet repairer has been known to take your carpet away to be repaired and disappeared with it. Any rug repairer needs to have current insurance to cover his work. An old Persian saying gives a warning “I am not rich enough to afford the cheap option.” If you love your rug, it will sure love you!