Sunday, April 18, 2010

Color Run in an Oriental Carpet - help!

My Oriental Carpet was damaged in a flood - can it be saved?  This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from worried clients that have the unfortunate experience of having rugs damaged in a flood.  One of the worst things that can happen to a rug is to leave it sitting in water - which is by definition what a flood entails.   One of the biggest problems for a rug in a flood is that quite often, the colors in the rug will run and colors will bleed into each other.  The pictures illustrate this problem.
Notice how the blue, red, and orange dyes have bled into the white background.  The picture above shows how almost half the rug has suffered from the color run.  If you ever have this unfortunate experience with a flood, I recommend you do as my mother taught me which is the following:  (1)  immediately remove your rug from sitting in water; (2) with a clean towel, blot the excess water; do not rub!  (3) do not hang your rug to dry; instead leave it lying flat somewhere so that it is exposed to as much sun as possible; and (4) call a professional oriental rug cleaner as soon as possible.  A professional oriental rug cleaner may be able to help you minimize the damage and remove some of the color run; but there is no guarantee.  Always try to deal with someone whom you trust and who gives you a realistic assessment of what she or he can help you to do.  It may or may not be a complete restoration to what your piece was before your flood, but at least you'll know what you're in for and won't have to pay a lot of money for something you may or may not get. 
Indeed, when you are looking for a reliable oriental carpet cleaner, you should always ask him or her to explain to you the risks associated with color run.   Color run (which can happen in any quality rug, but especially in lower quality rugs) is one of those pesky problems that every professional handmade rug cleaner worries about - indeed, even the most experienced and careful oriental rug cleaner can never guarantee you that a rug will not experience any color run in the cleaning process.  Of course, experience and skill will help a handmade rug cleaner minimize this risk; but no one can entirely eliminate the risk in the cleaning process altogether.   I wouldn't trust anyone who promised something different. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

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