Properly caring for a rug maintains its condition and value. There are several actions that you can take to preserve your rug, some that you will be able to do at home and some that must be undertaken by a professional.
1. Rotate your rugs at least twice a year; doing so will prevent uneven wear. It may be helpful to remember this by planning to rotate the rugs seasonally. Every handmade rug has light and dark sides due to the weaving process. We suggest displaying the light side of the rug as you walk into a room during the darker winter months, and the dark side of the rug during the brighter summer months.
2. Vacuum your rug every 1-2 weeks. Use only suction, as a vacuum cleaner’s power head will not only break the fringe, but it can also damage the wool pile over time. If you want to vacuum the fringe occasionally, do so from the base of the fringe to the ends. Sweeping with a corn broom is a good way to bring dirt to the surface of the rug prior to vacuuming and may be used for occasional clean-ups as well.
3. Depending on the frequency of use, have the rug professionally dusted and washed every 1-5 years. Dusting and washing a rug should not damage the rug in any way. The one risk factor from washing might be color run, which occurs from either the use of low quality dyes or dyes that have not been properly rinsed from the wool prior to weaving. When there is a risk of color run, this can be tested for in advance. See our “Frequently Asked Questions” page for more information.
4. When the rug is being cleaned, it should be assessed for further restorations such as binding to prevent the rug from unraveling or reinforcing the foundation in worn areas. Proper restorations will increase the rug’s longevity and prevent it from losing value. A high quality rug with good workmanship has a lifespan during which it should require few if any restorations. We usually calculate this “lifespan” as one year for every dollar per square foot that you paid to buy it. For example, if you paid $40.00 per square foot, depending on the traffic the rug receives, only routine maintenance like cleaning and blocking will be required for up to 40 years. When weighing your restoration options, take into consideration factors like the rug’s sentimental value, importance in your décor, and your future plans for the rug.