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.