Every interior designer’s space reflects curatorial style — though the best, in our not-so-humble-opinion, build rooms from the rug up.
Our biases aside, whether you do or don’t, the rug is almost always the first thing you notice when walking in a room. Ours is, while unsung, one of the most visually intricate crafts when it comes to the unmistakable, irreplaceable handmade process. The blend of colors, textures, artistic interpretations and sensibilities woven together reflect a considerable investment time and effort. While the focus of the design remains centered on effortlessly bringing those elements together to harmoniously manifest the vision of the interior, it becomes imperative that a handmade rug has regular and proper maintenance and cleaning to ensure its long-term material symphony.
Whether timeless antique rugs, mid-century rugs, modern rugs or with simple, solid rugs, regular accumulation of dirt, dust, pet dander and other foreign materials on the surface of your rug is inevitable. Wool — the most ideal and celebrated foundation of hand-knotted rugs and handwoven flat weaves — lives and breathes over time, after all. Even beyond time, where there’s life there’s accidental spills and stains that can spread and intensify, ultimately ruining your rug, if not handled immediately and with the appropriate care.
After all, what’s worse than a beautiful rug with a jarring food or drink stain in an otherwise clean and curated living room or dining room?
Having your pieces cleaned on a regular schedule will resuscitate and prolong their original aesthetic appeal, and dually improve your environmental hygiene.
Given the vast categories and types of rugs, there is a need to understand and apply the best rug cleaning technique for the specific style you have in your home. Before cleaning, you should take note of the rug’s country of origin and lineage, the weave, the color, the material, and its age. Identifying as many of these things as possible will help reduce the chances of selecting the wrong method of rug cleaning, which will avoid the damage and headache caused by an abrasive cleansing agent or harsh treatments that will permanently affect the rug’s foundation.
At Rug & Kilim, we acknowledge the love you hold for your home, and we understand how difficult it can be to trust someone with any of your furniture needs, let alone a large and highly visible piece like a rug. Over 40 years of direct experience in rug weaving and cleaning, R&K Principal Josh Nazmiyal has earned the confidence and credence of his esteemed clients and colleagues who have employed his services, both personally and professionally, for decades.
Our passion sprouts from experience and thrives on an eye for detail. The attention paid to maintaining rugs is unparalleled for designers, dealers, and homeowners alike. While there are some things only direct experience can teach, the Rug & Kilim team has put together some examples of common questions about rug cleaning for your benefit here.
Believe it when we say — it’s easiest when you know the right questions to ask!
The first indication is the loss of vibrance in the rug’s color and the presence of visible stains. Another indication of dirt and more significant wear is the formation of visible traffic lines and patches. These “low spots” often appear in higher pile rugs, but you can see visible loss of color and patches of fiber wearing, with the naked eye, in rugs that experience consistent regular foot traffic.
Apart from the usual, if the room and carpet itself develop a smell, even after proper cleaning, it could be a sure signal of mold or mildew formation, pet dander, or significant dirt accumulation. With the latter situation, a professional cleanup is strongly recommended to improve both aesthetics and negative impacts on your health.
Our personal liaisons at Rug & Kilim make it a point to reach out annually to check in with clients on turning and cleaning, but we welcome you to get in touch any time.
The stain resistance of a rug or carpet will largely depend on the color and material of the rug itself. For example, silk and silk-blend rugs may show water stains, while wool or more natural fiber rugs will more easily evaporate water. More commonly, deep stains can come from flower pots, spilled food or wine, and tracked dirt or mud. Small children and pets also have a way of discovering the best ways to stain rugs with unexpected materials. It is therefore wise to avoid ink, paints, bleach, blood, and other dyes.
Home remedies are usually not sufficient in handling the deeper stains, and therefore it is best to first call a professional service like Rug & Kilim to evaluate and help remove the stain.
The easiest home remedy for treating rug odor is with baking soda. As soon as an odor is noticed, quickly remove furniture and anything over your rug and continue to liberally apply baking soda across the length. Once the area of the rug is covered, let the baking soda sit for up to three hours, before lightly vacuum cleaning the rug. Often this method is all you need to have a fresh and deodorized rug. Intense odors, and odors obviously emanating from deep staining on the rug should be dealt with professionally to ensure the best result. As always, best to consult a professional.
Since rugs commonly have either wool face and jute backing, or a polypropylene fiber with a jute backing, they may be prone to shrinkage. Additionally, antique and vintage rugs crafted with natural fibers run the risk of slight contraction after a wash. Thankfully, these problems can be tackled by hiring a trusted cleaner who is well versed with rug composition and adequately armed with a bevy of cleaning materials and methods.
At Rug & Kilim, our team takes the necessary steps to identify the material construction of every piece to devise appropriate cleaning techniques that will not affect the foundation and overall appeal of the rug.
Kilims and other flatweave rugs are ones that must be cleaned regularly. If a regular cleaning schedule is not maintained, spot treating these rugs will become an annoying necessity. For regular maintenance on Kilim rugs in low residential traffic areas, the best technique to keep the Kilim rug bright is to lightly vacuum clean them on LOW suction to avoid straining the fibers. If there is regular or high residential traffic on a Kilim, an alternate method of cleaning Kilim rugs is to gently brush them on BOTH SIDES to loosen the debris before a light vacuum.
To avoid damaging the rug, and to avoid frequent in-home cleaning, it is highly recommended that Kilim rug owners schedule a licensed cleaner for a maintenance visit every 12-18 months. A deep professional wash is recommended every five years for fine Kilim Rugs. If you do intend to spot treat, we always advise you to contact our team first, since every spot is different regardless of common tools of the trade.
The strikingly beautiful antique rugs must be treated like pieces of art, worthy of appreciation adorning the spaces that have less foot traffic to prevent further wear. Antique rugs have already passed the test of time. However, it is important to vacuum clean them at regular intervals to ensure longevity. This can be done on a bare floor setting or on ordinary suction without bristles to avoid pile damage.
A stitch in time saves nine – One must strive to treat spills immediately by blotting with a damp undyed cloth to prevent the stain from settling in the foundation and becoming too stubborn to deal with.
These coveted rugs should be kept away from sunlight whenever possible to avoid fading, though turning on a regular basis will even out exposure to natural light on all side. If you wish to store your antique rug, never place them in a cupboard, attic, or other damp places. Always store such rugs in breathable cotton fabric instead of plastic.
To maintain your area rug, remember to air the rug in the open regularly, keep pets away, rotate the rug to maintain the body, avoid smoking near/on the antique rug as it could spoil the foundation with burns and always invest in good padding as it prevents buckling and helps to maintain the value of the rug.
Our team has earned familiarity and unparalleled expertise in caring for exemplary period pieces. With knowledge of the finest detail, we at Rug & Kilim restore the aesthetics of institutional pieces to their former glory – catering for every piece by hand. For more information, contact our team and we shall be glad to help!
Silk rugs are made with delicate silk fibers, as the name implies. Silk rugs have always been considered luxurious and fine due to delicate sheen and soft touch of the weave. Silk rug care starts with prevention. Silk rugs, even contemporary silk rugs, should be treated in the same manner as fine antique rugs. Most notably, silk rugs should be placed away from high foot traffic areas, and should avoid regular contact with pets, high humidity, and direct sunlight. UV restricting film in rooms with large silk rugs are often used to avoid the effect of sun bleaching on silk rug pile.
While the field of the silk rug is delicate, they are also often decorated with fragile silk fringe at the borders, which provide an added dimension of grace and poise, but also carry an added need for protection. Silk fringe should never be run directly under a vacuum as it is at risk of pulling or detaching from the silk rug foundation. Silk rugs are also often woven with lighter patterns and are therefore more prone to dust and dirt discoloration from foot traffic and regular use. Due to the nature of the construction of silk rugs, and their delicate fiber material, it is important to have a thorough pre-inspection of the field and fringe, as well as potential dye testing before proper cleaning techniques are employed.
Generally, suction-only vacuum cleaners are the best types of vacuum model to clean area rugs, room size rugs, runners and area rugs. It is important to remember to clean most rugs on both sides, as gently as possible without the use of hard bristles in order to remove dirt, dander, dead skin and other particles that have settled into the weave.
If you stain your rug, it is important to treat it immediately before it settles into the fibers, regardless of pile height. The first step is to blot or dab the affected area with a damp undyed cloth to absorb or “pick up” the stain. It is important not to wipe or press the stain too hard, as you risk moving the stain deeper into the carpet fibers and making the stain in the rug worse. If you wish to spot clean your rug on your own, stay away from chemical cleaners and always start with the gentlest cleanser available.
Warm water and diluted vinegar, or gentle soap, will often suffice. If you only have an option to use chemicals, you should always start by diluting the cleaner with a dash of white vinegar to avoid the rug color from bleeding. This should be followed by cleaning the remaining chemical residue with water. Here, it’s noteworthy to keep in mind that you are “washing the spot” and not “soaking the spot” on the rug.
If you wish to keep a white & ivory rug crisp clean, ensure that no one walks on them with shoes on to prevent dirt build-up. If this isn’t possible, place your white rug in a room that sees less frequent foot fall, like study rooms or guest rooms.
In addition to the placement, make certain to vacuum clean your white or ivory rug regularly with a suction only vacuum on low setting. If your white rug or ivory rug looks dull, get in touch with Rug & Kilim so we can evaluate your white rug and suggest the best method of rug cleaning to you.
To maintain fringes, gently brush them. Avoid vacuuming them as they can either detach or break even with low suction. Train your pets to keep off the area rug as they can damage the delicate fringes. If that isn’t possible, try to fold and hide fringes underneath to protect them from detaching. Furthermore, one must address any stains on the rug immediately as this controls the spread of the stain to the fringes.
Yes! Most rugs and area rugs can benefit from semi-regular rotation. It is common that rug placement results in irregular wear and pile damage from foot traffic or from the pressure of heavy furniture on the rug. Similarly, irregular color damage can happen when there is consistent exposure to direct sunlight. For uniformity in appearance and wear across the scale, rug rotation is extremely important. Once in every six months is a good frequency to switch the sides of the rug.
Storing rugs is easy, especially when following a few helpful tips. Perhaps the most important first step to properly storing a rug is to clean the rug thoroughly on both sides before it is rolled, wrapped, and/ or stored. For longer term storage, it is also important to consider treating your rug with insect repellents, like cedar moth balls, to keep them safe from moths. This is an especially important step for wool fiber carpets.
After cleaning your rug, and treating your rug against moths, firmly roll your carpet with the pile inwards. Next, wrap your rug in a breathable cotton cloth (not plastic) and secure it with removable ties. Again, make sure that you aren’t tying it too tightly as this could affect the structure. Lastly, store it in a dry place with consistent and mild temperature.
Humid places are to be specifically avoided. Also avoid storing them in cupboards, attics and garages as these places are often prone to moisture and bugs. It is important to store them away from sunlight to avoid fading over a while. Lastly, we recommend unrolling the rug once every six months to check their condition and prevent damage.
Even if you opt for a gentle cleanser, diluting it in room temperature water with a dash of white vinegar is a good idea, as it minimizes chances of color bleeding. Using such a mixture further reduces the chances of abrasion that can be caused due to chemicals present in cleaners even if they are in a less proportion. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!
A rug pad is an important part of rug installation as it acts as a barrier between the floor and the rug, while protecting both from spoilage and allowing air to circulate between the layers. It provides cushioning that acts as a shield against dirt and pathogen attacks that could ruin the indoor air quality. Rug pads also help in noise reduction by absorbing sound in an echoing surrounding. Furthermore, these pads eliminate chances of buckling, slipping, and curling underfoot, thereby prolonging the life of your rug. Confused about what type of rug pad to choose? Rug & Kilim’s team can make specific suggestions based on your rug material and flooring!
A rug’s pile can be kept in good shape over a long period by simply keeping them away from heavy furniture. If you must place light furniture, keep in mind that you should try to spread the weight. To disperse the weight, using a furniture slider underneath the legs of a couch or table will also help. or maintaining a “fluffy” feel, you can employ the light baking soda method of cleaning and vacuuming on a regular basis for your rug.
Solid rugs are generally easy to maintain. However, it is important to remember that solid rugs look best when they are uniformly clean and without wear or discoloration. Depending on the color of the rug itself, solid color rugs are often prone to a combination of wear and staining risks. Color rugs should be protected against light-dark patches, water stains, traffic lines from feet and heavy furniture, and especially against prominent stains and spills that blotch the aesthetics of such elegant pieces so obviously. Consistent and uniform vacuuming is your first defense against these risks.
Also, regular rotation can guard against sun exposure and minimize chances of wear caused by exposure to only one side. Lastly, spot cleaning is a must as it helps maintain the longevity and beauty of such pieces.
Area rugs mainly buckle when there is excess moisture in their environment. To keep buckling against foot traffic at bay, ensure proper installation, acclimate your rug to the space before allowing foot traffic, keep moisture in check, avoid dragging/pushing heavy furniture on the rug, and invest in a rug pad or a double-sided carpet tape.
While these measures help you to prevent buckling, the only way you can fix this issue is through professional re-stretching to restore its foundation. You should not attempt to re-stretch at home as the most common result is more severe buckling, much of which is irreversible. The best way to ensure resistance to buckling or shifting is to buy custom-cut padding from Rug & Kilim. Our team offers the most ideal 40 oz. dura-hold padding in the industry for this reason, as well as to protect against dust, help posture, and complement the longevity of any piece.
Rugs with good pile height bearing anti-slipping traits can be placed near the shower cubicle or bathtub for a strong grip underfoot. You must remember that your bathroom rug must have a good backing which not only reduces the chances of you slipping but also reduces the possibilities of floor damage with moisture and dirt deposits. Washroom rugs also require an even more regular cleaning schedule as they are exposed to more moisture, mildew, and water staining than any other rug.
We at Rug & Kilim comprise a team of experts with quality experience in caring for area rugs belonging to a wide spectrum of all styles, colors, origins and history. From rare antique and vintage pieces to sophisticated and stylish modern rugs, every piece is delicately taken care of by hand while adhering to industry standard practices of cleaning and maintenance.
All pieces shipped to and from Rug & Kilim’s cleaning facility are fully protected under our insurance in transit. Our team maintains constant communication at every stage of the cleaning process, and costs of cleaning and potential restoration vary upon each piece. Clients are responsible for shipping costs to and from our facility, with tracking information available from our logistics department as soon as the process is complete.
Shreya Peshawaria — Copywriter, Rug & Kilim
Shreya Peshawaria is celebrating her first year as Rug & Kilim’s newest editorial voice, and continues to play a vital role in our team.
Being a published author who holds an MBA degree in marketing, Shreya acknowledges the importance of expression for effective communication. She is an explorer at heart who roots her craft in quality research reflecting her detail-orientation. As an individual, Shreya finds joy in admiring art & novelty – inspiring her to work with us. At Rug & Kilim, she couples her educational background with her flair for writing and aesthetics to honor the exclusivity of every masterpiece we curate.
Vi Sciandra — Editor, Rug & Kilim
A proud native of Buffalo, New York, Vi Sciandra originally joined Rug & Kilim as Copywriter and quickly rose to the role of Editor, supported by a diverse background in multimedia writing, a studious passion for our field and a natural affinity for leadership. An honors cum laude bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing from SUNY Purchase, Sciandra’s experience as an award-winning reporter, published author, and multidisciplinary editor in news, publishing and education were linked by a common love of art and creation that led to joining our team.
In working with Josh to put a voice to the beauty of our collections, Sciandra believes in the immutable value of research, communication and education in sharing the beauty and history of every piece with our discerning clientele; essential tools to tell its story.