Every circumstance will be different, but in general we recommend handmade rugs be professionally cleaned every two years if the rug is subject to average foot traffic. We recommend antique rugs be cleaned every three to five years, again depending on how much traffic the rug gets. The reason a professional cleaning is important for handmade rugs is that regular vacuuming is insufficient to extract deeply embedded particles that can lodge themselves deep in the pile. These particles can wear on the base of the pile causing friction that could eventually damage the yarns and, over time, damage the rug causing holes or worn areas.
If a rug is not in a heavily trafficked area, and if no outdoor shoes are worn in the home, a professionally cleaning can be done less frequently. Conversely, if outdoor shoes are worn in the home and the rug is subject to more foot traffic, then a yearly professional cleaning is recommended. In between professional cleanings, we recommend weekly vacuuming (taking care not to damage fringes and edges), and periodic rotations of the rug to even out any wear or sun exposure. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com