How is an antique Persian rug cleaned?

Mar 25, 2019 11:40 AM 0 Answers
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Muhammad Zeeshan
- Jul 31, 2019 01:13 PM

Antique Persian rug

If it is a rug that you really care about, you absolutely need to take it to a professional for cleaning and possible restoration. Depending on the origin, age materials (wool, silk, cotton) and dye used, a professional will assess how best to approach the cleaning process. Also, any issues with the actual foundation of the carpet, the edge (selvedges) or the pile can be corrected by restoration, and prevent further degradation.

The problem with cleaning it yourself is that often antique carpets are coloured with vegetable or aniline dyes which can be unstable and run if soaked with water (and bleached by sunlight for that matter). Often professionals will dust and steam clean if the colour is apt to run, or the carpet cannot handle being soaked with water because of wear.

Technically speaking (a professional antique rug dealer’s advice to me) you shouldn’t even vacuum the rug. It should be hand brushed (with a clean dust brush for instance) and carefully turned over. Then lift and sort of roll/shake it gently from one end to the other. That will release any dirt trapped in the pile as well as “loosen it up” so that the pile is matted down.

Keep a good rug mat under it, rotate it every couple of months, and blot out any spills immediately (moving from the edge to the centre of the spill). I recently had the unfortunate experience of dumping a full glass of red wine on one of my rugs; after blotting it dry and covering with salt I read somewhere that white wine “nullifies” the colour in red wine when still wet. I didn’t try that – would have been drinking the white instead! – but the salt seemed to prevent it from soaking in and I could continue to blot with a moist towel. Not worth the effort of professionally cleaning, but if your rug is, certainly have it treated that way.

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