How to care for oriental rugs

I know that I am biased, but I firmly believe that there is no one item that can complete a house - a home, actually - like a beautiful hand woven kilim or a hand knotted rug.  A fine rug, with its beautiful texture and exquisite color palette, can instantly warm a room and connect it to a rich, distant past.  It is true that fine rugs can be costly to purchase, but given that they can last decades - centuries even - their initial cost should be balanced against how many years they can enrich our homes, and, moreover, our families.  Nevertheless, because fine rugs can be costly to purchase, it is important to take some steps to ensure that they stay as beautiful as long as possible so that future generations are able to enjoy them.  How does one properly care for an Oriental rug?

(1) First, it is important that you regularly vacuum your rug, taking care not to use an overly high suction setting.  It is imperative also to not vacuum the fringe as this can quickly compromise the integrity of the fringe and pile.

(2) Depending on how much traffic the rug is subjected to, take the rug to an outdoor space every 6-12 months and either shake it thoroughly (if a smaller piece), or vacuum it on both the reverse and front sides.  Again, it is important to not vacuum any fringe.

(3)  Rotate the rug every six months so that wear and sun exposure is more evenly distributed.

(4)  Every two years, have the rug professionally cleaned.  Vacuuming alone can not eliminate all the embedded fibers that will eventually wear on the pile.  Only a professional cleaning can eliminate embedded fibers thereby preserving the piece for longer.

(5)  Avoid storing any wool rug in dark, humid conditions for any extended period of time.

(6)  Avoid allowing repeated stresses on the pile (for example, dragging heavy furniture repeatedly on the same spot on a rug).

(7)  Periodically check your rug for signs of moth damage and/or infestation.  This is especially important if your rugs have been in storage.

(8)  Periodically inspect your rug for any damage.  Often, repairing damage when it just starts to occur or appear is significantly less difficult and costly then waiting until the damage has worsened.

By following these simple steps, a fine Oriental rug will be among the longest lasting items you will have to treasure.