Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do little white knots appear on the surface of a rug after cleaning?
White knots are caused by breaks in a rug’s foundation when it is still on the loom. The breaks are spliced together by tying two knots at each end of the break. When the rug is new, the full length of the pile can obscure these whites knots. Eventually foot traffic, as well as a thorough cleaning, will reveal these knots. They should never be cut, which would create a weakness in the rug’s foundation. Our best advice is to embrace them as part of history of your rug and testament to their handmade origin. Request a Free Estimate
Q. Is it common for the latex on the back of a rug to deteriorate?
Very! Latex is an adhesive that anchors tufts to the primary backing, adds dimensional stability, and attaches a secondary backing to the rug. Unfortunately, latex will commonly break down due to things like gases in the air, floor waxes, traffic in sunlight. This deterioration will appear as bubbles, powdery residue, crumbling, or backing separation. Short of replacing the backing, there is not much that can be done to preserve the backing, but we recommend a rug pad. The rug pad we offer has a non-slip coating so that you won’t have to give up the stay-in-place nature of your rug.
Q. Are Persian (Iranian) rugs better than rugs from other countries?
Given the overuse of the term Persian, you’d think so, but not necessarily. Some older, traditional pre-work War II Persian rugs, such as Ferahan Sarouk, Moteshem Kashan, Tabriz, Bijar and Heriz pieces, will always have market. However, beginning in the 1960s, the quality of Persian rugs has gradually deteriorated. Since the fall of the sHah of Iran in 1979 and the embargo on Persian goods in 1987, which was lifted in 1999, other countries have improved the quality of their rugs and increased their output. It is our opinion and hope that the quality of Persian rugs will return slowly.
Q. Are all old rugs valuable?
There’s no such thing as a sure thing. A rug’s value depends on many things, including the type of rug, how and when it was made, its artistic merit, and its condition. An old rug in poor condition is just an old rug; however some old rugs are worth repairing to restore their beauty and usefulness
Q. Do all oriental rugs appreciate in value?
No. In fact, most oriental rugs made after World War II, including those made today, will not appreciate in value. Purchasers most likely paid more for some rugs in the 1950s than the rugs are worth today.
Q. Are oriental rugs identified only by design?
Yes, but it can’t be relied upon exclusively; as in everything else, a good idea is often copied and many weavers borrow popular designs from neighboring regions. A design is but one of many components used to identify oriental rugs. We identify rugs by technical analysis that includes the materials used to make the rug, method of construction, dyes, and design.
Q. Is padding necessary for oriental and area rugs?
Most definitely. Al rugs, from family heirlooms to estate sale finds, to new purchases, need a protective rug pad. Rug pads minimize slippage, increase the life of the rug, make rugs feel thicker and more luxurious, and absorb noise.
Q. Why do oriental rugs have color variations that appear as horizontal bands?
Fear not; your rug simply has character! Oriental rugs have variations in color because they are made by hand. Variations in surface color, knot density, pile height, shape, and end finishes make hand-knotted rugs more interesting and spontaneous than those made by machine. One of the most common characteristics of oriental rugs is the color variation known as abrash. These variations may appear as bands of horizontal bars and can vary from very subtle shade differences to distinct or even bold variations in certain colors of the rug. These distinct color variations are not defects but are characteristics of the many variable and dye lot differences that went into knotting the rug.
Q. Why do rug fringes darken and wear so quickly?
Fringes are the Achilles heel of rugs because they deteriorate with normal foot traffic, vacuuming, cleaning, and other conditions. In addition, many rug cleaners with improper drying equipment rinse and dry rugs by handing them over a pole. So much dye bleed and soil is run through the fringe that they either A) return a rug with darkened fringe, or B) Disguise the problem by applying harsh chemicals or bleach which rots the fringes and accelerates wear. Because of their tenuous nature, fringes need to be replaced periodically.
Q. What causes dye bleeding in rugs?
Depending on the origin and construction of your rug, it could be caused by a number of things. When some rugs are washed during the cleaning process, the dyes may weaken and bleed. There are many causes of dye bleeding in rugs. Some of them, such as defective dyes and dying methods and after-market “painting”, may bit be apparent at the time of purchase. Other causes of bleeding dyes are pet urine, sunlight, certain fumes, and common chemicals and over-the-counter spot removers.
Q. What are the various soils found on my rugs and carpets?
There are three types of soils found on rugs and carpet. The first are spots, which can be removed, and stains, which are often permanent. The second is attached surface litter, such as gritty dirt tracked in by feet, pet hair, lint, and the like. Gritty soil scratches and dulls fibers and should be vacuumed at least once a week to reduce damage and extend the life of the carpet. The third type of soil is sticky oil and greases containing tiny pieces of soil material which adhere to the fibers in rugs and carpets. Professional cleaning can remove this type of soil, however, the longer it is on the fibers; the more difficult it is to remove.
Q. Can oriental rugs be vacuumed and cleaned?
Absolutely. Oriental and other rugs should be vacuumed regularly, particularly in high traffic areas. Eighty percent of soil in rugs is dry particulate matter, which acts as sandpaper and accelerates wear if it is not removed. Thicker rugs that are not regularly vacuumed can become impacted with dry soil over time, making it difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
Q. My pet had an accident on my rug. What should I do?
Act fast! It is critical to immediately absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Then apply a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar and blot – do not rub the area with white tissue or white towels. Resist the temptation to use over-the-counter spot removers. Most are too aggressive and contain some tpe of bleach. Spotters applied directly to the rug can leave soap residue and cause rapid resoiling.
Q. Are all rug cleaning businesses the same?
Sadly, no. The rug care industry is no different than other industries. The most qualified rug care specialists distinguish themselves by their experience, in-depth knowledge of rugs, technical excellence, and customer service. For example, the best rug care specialists will be able to identify your rugs based on rug type, where and when it was made, and how it was constructed. This information is necessary to determine the best cleaning method. Before having your rugs professionally cleaned, ask a few questions:
- How long has the company been cleaning rugs and how experienced and educated is their staff?
- Are they active in industry associations, such as the Association of Rug Care Specialists?
- Do they have their own cleaning plant or do they subcontract the work?
A cleaner actively involved in the industry association is not only likely to be better educated on the most current industry knowledge, they are also well networked should they encounter a problem they haven’t seen before.
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