Oriental Rug Care Instructions
Please note that Ten Thousand Villages can assume no liability for damage to your Oriental rug caused by improper care or treatment. Also note that these care instructions are intended for rugs purchased through Ten Thousand Villages only. We do not know the dyes or techniques used in Oriental rugs purchased elsewhere and so cannot speak to care of those rugs.
Padding is a western invention. Padding is only necessary to keep Oriental rugs from slipping or wrinkling on hardwood and tile floors or to provide more cushion underfoot. Padding does not add to the life of the carpet. We usually suggest that customers first try placing their rugs on their floors without padding. If the rug slips or wrinkles, we suggest purchasing a mid-grade pad, cut _" shorter and narrower than the rug. This padding is available at most wall-to-wall carpet stores as well as home-improvement stores. If you want to lay your rug on carpet, make sure to sandwich a layer of underwebbing on a sticky pad between the rug and carpeting to reduce wrinkles and stop it from "floating." Tribals and Bokharas tend to float or wrinkle more when placed on top of wall-to-wall carpeting; Persians (due to their greater density) tend not to wrinkle.
A high quality, handknotted Oriental rug will retain its original color for many years. Evenly distributed sunlight actually helps the colors in your rug to become more brilliant. After many, many years, your rug will begin to fade gracefully with age. This age-related fading will only add to the beauty of your rug.
Vacuum with a regular vacuum cleaner as necessary. We find that the suction wand on vacuum cleaners is especially helpful for lifting pet and human hair from the carpet. When vacuuming, try to avoid going over the fringes. If, over time fringes become damaged, do not fret. They can be repaired. Most fringes are made of cotton and are not as durable as the wool knotting. Ironically, worn fringes only add to the value of the carpet. If the kilim end of the rug is still intact, do not be concerned about the wearing fringes; as long as the kilim edge of the rug remains strong, the rug will remain strong. You can trim fringes to a shorter length (never shorter than one inch from the fringe knot) but never cut a fringe off as this greatly decreases the value of the rug and may cause it to come apart.
Although you may take your rug to an Oriental rug shop for cleaning, a quality handknotted Oriental rug may be washed on a sunny day on your driveway with regular soap and cool water. Before washing, note the direction your rug pile is laying. Using very little soap (regular clothes detergent, hair shampoo, etc.), scrub down the rug with your fingers or feet and hose it down with water. Rinse very thoroughly as soap that is left in the carpet makes a very stiff pile. Squeegie the pile in the direction it was originally laying with your hands or with the side of a dustpan to remove excess water. Using your hand, brush the pile down in the direction it was laying before it was washed. The rug needs to be dried on a flat surface. Once the rug is dry, with your hands or with a vacuum cleaner, raise the pile by stroking/sweeping in the opposite direction. Our staff has also found carpet steam cleaners (either those intended for home use or those that can be rented at grocery stores) to work very nicely, using the approved cleaner soap that comes with these cleaners.
Most rugs will not need major cleaning for at least 10-20 years. Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaners on the rugs as the chemicals may react with the dyes. This is especially important for natural dye rugs. Ten Thousand Villages cannot be held responsible for rugs cleaned with materials other than gentle soap and water.
Soap and water work well on most stains. Adress the stain as soon as possible after it is created -dried stains are much more difficult to deal with, though dried mud (and even blood) can often simply be brushed away. In the case of candle wax, place two paper towels over the surface of the wax and iron with a hot iron until the towels soak up the wax. Continue this process with more towels until the wax is totally lifted. The pile can then be cleaned with soapy water.
For questions regarding care of your Oriental rug, please contact our Main Rug Gallery at Ten Thousand Villages, 240 N Reading Road, Ephrata, Pennsylvania, 17522 at 717-721-8800 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support of the Oriental Rug Program at Ten Thousand Villages.