Oriental rugs are a beautiful addition to any room, adding a touch of color and intricacy to bland greys or creams. Their eye-catching colors and patterns are artfully crafted, making each thread part of a small masterpiece.
Oriental rugs look amazing when you first purchase them. However, like anything, the years of wear and tear can take their toll. In this post, we are going to take a look at steps you can take to look after your rug so that you can keep it looking great for years to come.
The problem faced with maintaining your rug is obvious. It is going to get walked over, wine spilled on it, as well as the daily build-up of dust and dirt that bury themselves into the fibers. The ends might fray, or heavy furniture can cause a dent in the rug that can be difficult to get out.
How to Restore Your Oriental Rug
On occasion, your rug may become damaged, especially if it’s in a high footfall area. If your rug becomes damaged, you should:
Speak to a specialist rug repair professional
If your rug has received significant damage, you may be best advised to have it checked by a specialist such as J & J Oriental Rugs. They will have expert knowledge, experience, and the tools to achieve the best results.
On the other hand, if you want to look after the rug yourself, then read on, because this post will explain exactly how you should approach repairs and maintenance.
Repair ASAP to prevent further damage
Leaving a problem never makes it better. As soon as you notice an issue, it’s important that you work to fix it as soon as possible. This will mean it’s easier to salvage the rug and will cost you less money in repairs in the future.
Repair a hole
- To repair a hole, you need to repair the base fibers that connect the colored fibers making up the pattern. Without these strong base fibers, the rest of the rug may unravel. This may mean extending broken fibers to reconnect.
- The fibers that hold together the base fibers are then woven over in the opposite direction to create a patchwork framework.
- The final step is to weave the colored fibers around this base to create the exact pattern to match the rest of the rug.
Repair frays and unraveling
Fringe repair is one of the most essential parts of saving your oriental rug. If your fringes unravel, then the rug’s integrity is compromised.
The fringe must be secured and knotted before cutting to the correct length. If the fringe is looking a little threadbare, make sure you add some additional fibers to secure it. If your fringe is implanted in the body of the rug, a Zangera stitch will need to be used to maintain its strength. Again, seeking the help of a professional in this case is essential.
Repair moth damage
If your rug is made from wool, rather than cotton, it can be prone to moth damage. Normally, it’s the wool that creates the pattern that gets eaten away.
If you notice worn sections of the rug, ensure that the base fibers are still intact. If not, then you may need to strengthen these first. Once you have your criss-cross pattern with no gaps, you can start to rebuild the rug using the same colors that match the pattern.
If you feel you aren’t skilled enough to build up the exact pattern again, seeking the help of a professional weaver is advised.
Spills are common in a busy home. It might be an accidental coffee spillage, the dreaded red wine, or even paints if you have children. It’s not a disaster though, as long as you know how to correctly remove a stain and leave no lasting damage behind.
It’s important to recognize that the traditional scrubbing and spot-bought products won’t remove the full stain from the fibers of the rug. In fact, they’re likely to cause fraying and may damage the rug more below the surface.
Instead, you should follow these steps:
- Initially, you should blot away as much of the left-over liquid as possible. Do this using a dry dishcloth or towel. Never use toilet paper or paper towels. If this gets too wet, it will leave small particles of tissue on the rug.
- Once you’ve taken away the excess, you should make your own homemade cleaning solution which will be kinder on the fabric. Use:
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ½ tsp of washing up liquid
- 2 cups of tepid water
Most oriental rugs are acid enforced, which means that the vinegar can reinforce the bond between the dye and the fibers, keeping your colors vibrant.
Once you’re confident most of the stain has gone, dab with some clean cold water. Be quite firm to ensure the water rinses away the vinegar. Leave it to dry and repeat if needed.
If some stain still remains, lightly wipe with a wet towel in the direction of the fibers. Never wipe against the fibers as this may cause them to come loose.
Your rug is exposed to dirt on a daily basis. You may tread in mud, your pets may shed, and other crumbs and particles might get stuck in the fibers over time.
Sometimes, simply vacuuming the space won’t get rid of all the dirt that’s hidden deep within, so it’s beneficial to get your oriental rug cleaned professionally on a regular basis. This is especially important if you have your rug in storage, as it prevents the material from getting moth damaged.
It’s also crucial that you visit a professional rug cleaner if you intend to wash your whole rug. This is because oriental rugs often contain colors made from vegetable dyes which can easily run and merge with other colors if you don’t use the right equipment.
A professional rug cleaning service will:
- Do a dye stability test on your rug before washing to ensure that the colors will remain vibrant.
- Wash your rug by itself. Combination washing could put the rug at risk.
- Wash without heat. Using hot water can cause the structure to warp and shrink, making your rug distorted. The water used by professionals is cold with a neutral pH level, so the structure and dyes remain intact.
Professional rug washing services will assess each rug on its own merits and decide the best way to remove stubborn stains or dirt.