Saving Treasures: 5 Things to Know About Oriental Rug Repair and Restoration

Given that the most expensive oriental rugs can go for up to a million dollars, it's clear that the tradition of making these rugs ensures a long life. There are few home furnishings that gather as much interest as oriental rug repair and restoration. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to ensure that your carpets last for decades and can even be passed down to family if you take care of them.

Here are five things you need to know about keeping your rugs in good order and what it means to repair or restore them at home.

1. Rotate it Often

Your oriental rug takes on a lot of pressure from furniture, walking, and even the surface being cleaned over and over. While you might think that rotating it every year or two is enough, that's not going to allow it to keep its lively look over time. You need to consider rotating your rug more like every one or two months.

If the rug is in a high traffic area, this is especially important. Not only do you need to move your rugs from one location to another, but you also need to rotate the rug itself. A rug that gets worn too much in one area is going to deteriorate much more quickly than one that's been rotated.

Once it starts to fall apart, the deterioration happens fast.

If you rotate your rug to suffer more even deterioration, you'll actually maintain its look. A rug that's evenly worn will actually look much better than one that has clear and heavy wear in one spot.

2. The Sun Is Not Your Friend

If you get lots of nice bright sun in your home, that can be a nice way to start your day. It's especially great in the winter when the floors get cold and your rugs are going to keep you from freezing your toes off. However, that sun is the enemy of your rugs.

It won't take more than a season before you start to see some real visual degradation from your rug. To prevent premature fading, do what you can to block sunlight from hitting the rug directly. This is hard if you live in a moderate climate where a seasonal change can bring very different light throughout the year.

If you want your run in that spot where the sun is and don't want to block the sun with curtains, then make sure to rotate your rug accordingly. This allows the fading to at least happen evenly over time. Direct sunlight hitting your rug for years on end can do as much damage as a bleach spill does.

3. Flip it Over

Most rugs have fringes that get tangled or twisted up over time. It doesn't take much traffic or jostling for these rugs to end up having issues. While you might be tempted to comb out your fringes to get rid of the tangles, this is bad for the natural fibers that are part of the fringe.

Instead of doing that, just flip over the rug to allow it to straighten out more naturally.

Take one end of the rug with a helper and then walk it over to the other end. Then do the opposite with the end that's on the ground. This process is going to help you to detangle your rug.

You should also shake your rug gently as you do this. This helps to straighten out your fringe so that you can get more life out of your rug. Be gentle with your rug and it'll give you years worth of value.

4. Understanding White Spots

On some rugs, you see a bunch of stiff white dots underneath. In these handmade older rugs, they were constructed by tying a lot of individual threads together. Since these knots are more likely to have contact with the outside world, they're more likely to suffer wear.

If your rug has this problem, it can be solved by being dusted and shampooed. Some restoration houses will even trip the ends of the knots close to the base of the rug. This keeps them from sticking out.

Then they add more wool to a rug to help thicken it. In cases, they'll add vegetable dyes to help enrich the original color.

5. Vacuum and Spot Clean It

Your rug deserves to be treated well and cared for. Some of this comes down to vacuuming it as often as necessary. You need to regularly vacuum the rug not just to clean it but also to give it life. The fibers can become compacted on the rug and when you vacuum, you pull those fibers apart.

Turn off the beater bar on your vacuum to keep from causing tears in the fibers.

When there's a stain or a spill on your rug, it needs to be immediately spot cleaned. Avoid common household soaps and bleaches. These can damage the fibers and leave you with a permanent issue.

Use just plain water or sparkling water in some cases. Baking soda is another good ingredient that won't leave you with anything but a fresher smelling rug that's free of a stain.

Consult a professional if you're dealing with a tough stain and wipe it down regularly. This will keep the rug clean in general and also remove any discoloration that isn't yet noticeable.

Oriental Rug Repair and Restoration Should Be Left To Professionals

If you're looking to have serious work done in the way of oriental rug repair and restoration, you shouldn't try to do it at home. The pros have the tools and the know how to make sure your rugs are well cared for and end up looking as good as new after they're treated.

To learn more about what the pros do, check out our guide.

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