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Protecting Your Valuable Rugs and Carpets

Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant and traveler, while traveling through Turkey said, ?They weave the choicest and the most beautiful carpet in the world. They also weave silk fabrics of crimson and other colors, of great beauty and richness, and many other kinds of cloth.?

The Pazyryk Carpet of Siberia dates back to 5th century B.C. and is the oldest specimen of ancient weavings in the world. Rugs have evolved from tools to protect us from the elements into articles of art to decorate our dwellings.

Many different materials and methods are used to create rugs. Whether you purchased a rug at an antique show, carpet dealer, flea market, or garage sale, find out all you can about the material composition and recommended care for your valuable.

Casual, Common (Replaceable) Rugs

When you purchase a new rug, make note of the materials. Keep the care tag intact, or file it with your household maintenance and furnishings file for later reference. You should expect several years of wear with spot cleaning. Small rugs are difficult to vacuum. Take them outside and shake them vigorously until dust and dirt are no longer evident.

Basic Care Tips

  1. Imported rugs tend to require dry cleaning; colors may bleed otherwise. Test before spot cleaning.

  2. To lessen the problem of long rug fringe becoming tangled and knotted in the washer, divide the fringe into several hanks, wrapping each hank with white string. Place the rug in a mesh laundry bag or zippered pillowcase and wash in cold water cold water.

  3. Hanging a wet rug over a single clothesline will distort the shape of the rug as it dries so drape over a slatted picnic table, or several bricks stacked on a porch, patio, or breezeway.

Fine Carpet Definitions-

Technically, the terms ?rugs? and ?carpet? are used interchangeably across the world. However, in America, a carpet usually means a floor covering that applies to wall-to-wall flooring, and rugs are smaller movable floor coverings.

  1. ?Antique Carpets? can refer to those woven before circa 1920. The terms are also used for the traditionally woven carpets made with natural dyes or before the introduction of the synthetic dyes about 1860.

  2. ?Semi-antique carpets? are those that were woven from 1860-1870 to the early 20th century. Usually, Turkish and Persian weavings have fully or partially displayed traditional decorations and motifs.

  3. ?Modern carpets? are those woven from 1920-1930 till today and have been inspired by the Western choices and demands. Quality and tradition vary widely with the genre.

Not all oriental rugs are created equal. The different weaves, styles, and dyes dictate how they are cleaned. Use special care with delicate vintage or antique rugs. Rotate rugs to ensure even wear; direct exposure to the sun will cause fading.

Immediately treat wine and other beverage spills with club soda; use baking soda to soak up gravy, sauces, and liquid foods. Consult Sincerely Yours Carpet Cleaning, or a reputable Oriental rug dealer for additional food stain removal advice.

Coir and Sisal

Rugs made from coir (coconut), sisal, rush, grass, and other natural materials tend to have an open weave, allowing dirt to sift through to the floor beneath. Vacuum frequently. Remember that water weakens the fibers so work quickly and dry thoroughly to extend the life of these natural rugs.

Remove the rug occasionally to vacuum the floor and if possible, take the rug outside and gently beat it to loosen dirt trapped between the fibers. Many of these rugs are reversible so flip rugs over often for even wear. Since some natural fiber rugs are constructed in squares, buy a few extra squares. If a rug square is stained, clip the threads that hold it in place, replace with a new square, and hand-stitch with heavy-duty carpet thread.

Insurance Tip

Most homeowners and business owners policies do not adequately value art and antiques. To be sure that you will not be surprised at a time of loss, ask your insurer about the valuation method that will be used when settling any potential claims. Consider a ?rider? for your new investment.

Should I use a professional cleaning service or do it all by myself?

A mix of both will help. It is always advisable to vacuum your carpet regularly to take off dust and sand particles. Also, if you spill something, wipe it immediately before it soaks deep into the fabric. When looking for help caring for your rugs, pre-spotting, and fringe cleaning ensure that the company you choose is experienced. In Columbia, SC there are many households that have area rugs and other types of oriental and antique rugs. Be sure to contact a local professional carpet cleaning and rug cleaning company that has the proper equipment and qualifications to take care of your precious materials the right way!

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