Saturday, August 20, 2022

Five Ways to Protect Your Oriental Rug from Moth Damage


A good quality Oriental rug (what hand knotted rugs are often called) can last for generations.  It can withstand decades, even centuries, of wear and tear.  But even the best quality wool rug can be vulnerable to the mighty moth.  We are often asked what can be done to protect a wool rug from moth damage.  The answer is fairly straightforward, and can help ensure your new rug will one day be an antique, and your antique rug can see another few generations:

1.  Do not store your rugs for an extended period of time.  Most of the moth damage that we see occurs when a rug is kept in storage for months and even years.  This is because moths thrive in dark enclosed spaces where there is little air circulation.  Whenever possible, it is best to use your rug and not keep it in storage for an extended time.  If you absolutely must store your rug, be sure to have it professionally cleaned before storing it as moths are attracted to dust and dirt.  

2.  Regularly inspect your rugs for signs of moths or moth damage.  This does not have to be an onerous process - spending just a few minutes every few months or so can go a long way to preventing moth damage.  Be sure to take special care in checking the areas of the rug that are hidden from plain sight, such as those areas beneath heavy furniture such as sofas or beds.

3.  Clean your rug regularly.  This is best done with a regular home vacuuming schedule.  In addition, a regular professional cleaning will extend the life of the rug as well.  Professional cleaning only has to be done every two years or so - more often if the rug is in a highly trafficked area; less often if the rug is in a less trafficked area and if no shoes are worn in the home.

4.  If you spot signs of moths or moth infestation of other items in your home, have your rug inspected and cleaned as soon as possible.  This is to prevent any damage from occurring or ensuring that moths do not have a chance to cause severe damage.  The home should be cleared of any infestation before returning the rugs to their original place.

5.  Check all wool items for signs of moth infestation before bringing them into your home.  This is true of newly purchased rugs, woolen blankets or other textiles.  Moths will spread where they are allowed to spread so taking care not to bring them into your home is important.  If you purchase a "new" vintage rug, be sure that it has been professionally cleaned before placing it in your home.  

Friday, April 15, 2022

What Happens If I let My Rug Sit in Flood Water For Too Long?


Anyone who has lived through a hurricane, heavy rain, or pipe problems and has suffered a resulting flood knows the worry that comes along with having to clean up a home and address all the damage.  When a flood occurs, there are so many items to be cleaned up and cared for, among them, hand knotted rugs and kilims.  It is extremely important that a flooded rug is removed from sitting water as soon as possible.  If at all possible, it is best to lay the rug somewhere flat.  Almost as important, it is best to have all flooded rugs professionally cleaned as soon as possible.  This is because you want to prevent the rug's fibers from rotting as occurred with the rug photographed above.  Even if the fibers do not rot, a flooded rug should be cleaned to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.  We often care for flooded rugs and are very successful in saving them for future use and enjoyment.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

How to Clean a Wool Kilim Rug


Kilims are similar to hand knotted rugs in that they require very little maintenance to keep them in good condition and appearing as vibrant as they were when they were first woven.  Regular vacuuming (without a beater bar), regular inspections (looking for any wear, holes, damaged edges, or signs of moths or carpet beetles) coupled with periodic professional kilim cleaning is all that is required.  
The first step we take when professionally cleaning a kilim or a rug is to do a color run test in a small discrete area.  This color run test helps us identify which kilims and rugs are too risky to clean.  While the risk of color run can never be eliminated entirely, a color run test is a great tool in helping us manage poor dyes that can run during a cleaning.  The next step is to brush the kilim with soap and minimal water to ensure that all dirt or particles that can be embedded within the kilim's warp and weft are dislodged.  Next, the soap is removed from the kilim.  The cleaning is followed by a thorough drying - a critical step to ensure that the kilim will lay flat and will not lose its shape.  Undertaking a professional cleaning such as this every two years or so will help ensure that a fine kilim can be enjoyed for decades to come - if not longer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

How Often Should I Have My antique Persian Rug Professionally Cleaned?


The general recommendation among rug conservationists and rug cleaners is that a fine Persian or Oriental rug should be cleaned approximately every two years.  For antique rugs, generally it is recommended for a professional cleaning to be scheduled every three years or so.  But much depends on the individual circumstances in which the rug is located and used.  An antique rug in a space with minimal foot traffic can go much longer without a professional cleaning; an antique rug in a foyer with heavy foot traffic, especially foot traffic with outdoor shoes, should be cleaned more often than once every three years.  No matter how long one waits to have an antique rug professionally cleaned, it is very important, however, to regularly schedule inspections of antique and all other rugs.  Inspections will reveal any moth infestation that could be damaging the rug, or any small holes that could extend quickly and result in more costly restoration bills.  With just a few small preventative steps such as regular cleaning and inspection, an antique Persian rug can easily last another century, and maybe even more. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Repairing a Persian Rug Damaged by Moths


This lovely Persian rug was damaged by moths over what must have been quite a significant period of time.  Several areas were carved out by the moths causing extensive damage.  Pictured above is a repair project mid process after we professionally cleaned the rug, rebuilt the warp, and started reknotting the missing and damaged pile.  During the final stages, we sheared down the excess pile so that it was the same length as the original rug's pile.  A project such as repairing moth damage can be fairly straightforward if caught early.  The longer moths are allowed to eat away at any rug, however, the more challenging and costly a repair or restoration will be.  For this reason, we highly recommend doing period inspection of all handmade rugs and kilims and avoiding long term storage of rugs and kilims whenever possible.