If you give it minimal care, a good quality rug will last for generations. First, and foremost, you should always use a rug pad. It will protect the underside of the rug, make it softer to walk on, and keep the rug from sliding around the room. Different types of padding should be used, depending on the where your rug will be placed. Carpet cushion or padding is a critical flooring component. It is the foundation for your carpet, responsible for enhancing both comfort and durability. Padding is constructed of several different materials, including sponge rubber, foam rubber, urethane foam, bonded urethane, and felted combinations of hair and jute. In addition, you should use protectors on the feet of any tables or chairs that will be resting on top of the rug. This will prevent indentations and wear.
It is also important to keep your rug clean. Dirt and grit settled in the rug work like sandpaper to wear away at the knots. Regular vacuuming should be sufficient. However, be careful of the fringe! If your rug sustains serious damage such as a tear- this is not something to be handled by anyone less than an expert. The same thing is true if your rug is stained. Since many dyes are made from organic substances, it takes a great deal of experience to clean a rug without bleaching it. Finally, note that all rugs, no matter how fine, will fade somewhat over time. But in high-quality rugs, this process is similar to the aging of a fine wine. The colors become mellower and the pattern more subtle.
HANDMADE CARPET CARE AND MAINTENANCE
VACUUMING: An area rug receives a lot of wear and tear from dirt, sand, dust, various spills, and foot traffic. Vacuuming area rugs with a quality machine will go a long way towards prolonging the appearance and life of your carpet. Vacuuming is the best way to remove everyday dirt and dust. We recommend vacuuming once a week or twice a week if the carpet is in a high traffic area.
When the carpet is first installed you will notice an accumulation of fuzziness from vacuuming. This s perfectly normal and will not shorten the life of your rug. It is merely the result of loose fibers created during the weaving process. "Pilling", is a condition of the carpet face, in which fibers from different tufts tangle with one another, forming masses of fibers and tangled tufts. DO NOT USE A VACUUM WITH A BEATER BAR BRUSH. USE ONLY A SUCTION VACUUM.
VACUUM TIPS: Check the vacuum bag regularly. A vacuum becomes less efficient if the debris bag is too full (over half full for most machines). Vacuum across in both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting. Vacuuming removes most dry soil, but street grime, oily soils, and air pollution can build up eventually and your area rug may require cleaning. The accumulation of these particles can cause gradual dulling.
STAIN REMOVAL: If an area rug or carpet becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing. Contact a hand-made rug cleaning professional immediately.
SPOT CLEANING: By hand, a clean cloth towel and spotters containing MILD (pH range of 5-9) WOOL ONLY dilute detergents that do not leave residues to spot. When performing spotting, blot the affected areas. Rubbing can cause fiber damage. Immediate attention to spills and spots will give the best results.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WOOL CARPETS
INSTALLATION: Due to the technical complexity of the job, the installation must be done by an experienced professional carpet installer.
MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING: The following hints on carpet maintenance will add considerably to the carpet’s life:
VACUUMING: Weekly vacuuming is recommended so that soil does not become embedded in the pile causing accelerated wear by grinding at the base of the tufts. There are three types of vacuum cleaners: plain suction, beater bar, revolving bristle strip. All are efficient for regular cleaning, particularly dense pile carpet. For loop pile carpets, use a suction only vacuum. The last stroke of the vacuum cleaner should be in the pile direction. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
CLEANING: If you have taken care to vacuum your carpet regularly and remove spills, you may not need to clean your carpet for a year or more, even if it is a light color. However, when the carpet does start to look soiled have it professionally cleaned. We cannot support the results if you decide to do it yourself. No matter how careful one is, there is usually a small residue left on the pile after drying and the residue from a poor quality cleaning agent accelerates soiling.
FACTORY/PLANT CLEANING: Professional factory cleaning is ideal for rugs and carpet squares because all the dirt can be effectively removed. It is not as suitable for wall-to-wall carpet as on - site cleaning because of the inconvenience and expense of removing and refitting the carpet.
OTHER POINTS TO REMEMBER
LONG TUFTS: If you find a stray tuft protruding from the surface of your carpet, do not pull it out. Instead, cut it with scissors to the level of the surrounding pile.
SHEDDING: With a new carpet, short pieces of fiber will work loose from the pile during the first few months. This is to be expected and does not mean that there is a defect. The amount of fiber lost represents a very small fraction of the whole carpet.
SHADING: Light and dark patches often appear on a cut-pile carpet shortly after it has been laid. This shading is usually most noticeable on plain velvet carpet. It is not a sign of wear, but simply the results of the new tufts being trodden down in varying directions.
STATIC ELECTRICITY: When the atmosphere in a room is dry, static electricity can build up in the carpet. This may be counteracted by keeping humidity high with a humidifier or pot plants in water strays.
HANDTUFTED CARPET CARE AND MAINTENANCE
DAILY CLEANING: Regular vacuuming is a primary consideration in carpet care. On a cut pile we recommend an upright, beater-type vacuum cleaner. Make sure that the beater bar on your upright vacuum is not set too low. This can cause an irritation of the pile surface and cause sprouting of some tufts of yarn. For loop pile carpets we recommend suction-type vacuum cleaner to minimize fuzzing and sprouting. Vacuuming once a week in a residence or medium traffic office is generally sufficient. But, no harm will be done if you vacuum more frequently. For heavy-shag or silk-shag type carpet use a suction-only type vacuum. A beater type vacuum may cause the long pile lengths to tangle in the vacuum rotors.
SPOT CLEANING: While there is no guarantee of a stain’s removal, the sooner you tend to a spill or spot the better. The longer the spill remains on the carpet the harder it will be to remove. A general caution in the treatment of any spill is “BLOT; DO NOT RUB”. Take a white paper towel or some absorbent material and cover the spot with the paper towel. Blot the paper towel over the spill. Continue this process until all of the excess moisture from the spill absorbs into the paper towel. Keep using fresh, dry paper towels. When you think you’ve spent enough time blotting up the spill, continue for another 5 minutes. Make sure when you blot the paper towel over the spill that you barely pick up additional moisture. Now take a slightly damp paper towel and repeat the above process to dilute any residual moisture from the spill. Then take a dry paper towel and repeat the process to remove all excess moisture. If the stain is still visible it is time to call a professional cleaner. Remember, “BLOT; DO NOT RUB”. For stains sitting over an hour, there are some mild spot removers on the market. However, use caution when applying these products and make sure they apply to wool carpets. In doubt, call a carpet cleaning professional.
PROFESSIONAL CLEANING: Clean carpet as needed. This depends on how much use the carpet gets and how dirty it is. A regular cleaning every two - three years is a good rule of thumb. For hand-tufted carpets and carpets made from wool or wool and silk, we recommend a water based cleaning method. This is the most effective cleaning and gives the least damages to the carpet. Make sure to hire a qualified professional with experience in cleaning wool carpet.
SHADING: Almost all cut pile carpets shade. This effect, called watermarking is caused by a slight directional change in the pile forcing light to reflect differently on the surface. It is similar to shading in beautiful, velvet fabrics and may be mild to extreme. THIS IS NOT A MANUFACTURING DEFECT. Although shading cannot be eliminated, regular vacuuming can help.
SPROUTING: After some use you may experience various sprouting of small tufts of yarn: when loose tufts of yarn pop up or extend above the surface of the pile. This may occur for several months on a new carpet. On our silk carpets or silk and wool blends some sprouting of the silk fiber may occur because silk is a very smooth fiber and small fibers can slip slightly and sprout to the surface. THIS IS A NORMAL OCCURRENCE AND IS NOT A MANUFACTURING DEFECT.
Check to see if the beater bar on your vacuum is set too low. This may cause irritation of the pile and more fibers to loosen. These individual threads can be cut even with the pile surface. In addition, it is possible to experience the unraveling of some yarn in loop-pile carpets. If it is only one tuft, it is okay to cut this. If a piece of yarn unraveled it may require reweaving. This is a simple process and IS NOT CONSIDERED A MANUFACTURING DEFECT. Contact our office if this occurs.
SHEDDING: In the first several months a new wool carpet may experience some shedding of fiber. When vacuuming the carpet, you may notice the entire bag filled with this fiber. This should cause no concern as it is normal and expected. Loose fibers, which are not held tightly by the yarn, are removed by vacuuming. The amount of fiber removed will decrease with each vacuuming and finally be very minimal.
METHODS FOR CLEANING VARIOUS AREA RUG FIBERS
Natural fibers may require additional consideration before cleaning. Do not use oxygen cleaners on wool or silk.
WOOL: Avoid excessive agitation and heat. Generally wool fibers may be cleaned by most cleaning methods. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents and dried quickly. Use special care when using household cleaning products, as bleaches and other alkaline products such as bathroom cleaners easily damage wool.
VISCOSE/BANANA SILK/BAMBOO SILK/RAYON: These are cellulose fibers and may be cleaned using a very gentle soap, blot with a fine cloth in the direction of the pile. To avoid shrinking and possible browning, avoid excessive drying and agitation. As with wool, take care with alkaline products.
COTTON: Do not use harsh chemicals on cotton. When stain initially happens blot it, do not apply water or any other cleaning solvents which would allow the stain to spread. Professional cleaning is recommended where they will use soft soap on both sides. The area rug will be rinsed, and then put in the temperature room for drying.
SILK: Clean silk using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by natural and synthetic acids (e.g. lemon juice), and sunlight. Consult a rug cleaning specialist for additional information about cleaning silk.
SISAL/JUTE/ABACA: Never saturate your carpet with water or cleaner as this will stain the natural fibers. Whenever possible, clean up a spill immediately after it occurs. A liquid spill left untreated will act as a magnet to any dirt particles that are in the rug, causing the dirt to rise to the surface. This dirt may cause a dark stain. If liquid, blot up as much as you can with a clean, undyed cloth, pressing firmly all around the spill to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. If the material is solid, scrape up what you can with a spoon or the dull edge of a knife or spatula.
FIBERS CHARACTERISTICS, MAINTENANCE & CLEANING
PLEASE NOTE: Weave lines, shear marks, and striations may appear in the carpet or rug. These natural irregularities are inherent characteristics of handmade and hand tufted carpets and are not to be considered manufacturing defects. Shading or watermarking on cut-pile and loop-pile carpets is a normal occurrence. Shear marks or random shearing on loop carpets or cut-and-loop carpets are inherent characteristics. Shedding of loose fibers can occur for several months after use. This is caused by excess yarns that appear on the surface after use. Clip, DO NOT PULL loose fibers. Frequent vacuuming with a quality machine will prolong the appearance and life of your carpet. A suction vacuum is preferred. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar brush on carpets with either a loop pile or silk or viscose fibers. Fading can occur in all carpets and is a result of carpet being exposed to direct or indirect sunlight. Ozone fading or oxidation can also occur. Carpet cushion or padding is a critical flooring component and is highly recommended. It provides the foundation for your carpet and adds both comfort and durability. If an area rug becomes spotted or stained, address immediately. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing. Contact a rug cleaning professional. Area rugs should be cleaned as needed. It is suggested every 3 – 5 years depending on appearance. Be sure to use a qualified professional experienced in carpet cleaning.