Rug Washing In London and Around UK

How to Take Care of Your Handmade Rugs and Carpets

How often should you have your rugs washed? On the average of every two to three years, but the real answer is that you should wash them when they are dirty and not before or long after. You can tell whether your rug is dirty by testing it with a white, wet cloth. Rub the rug’s pile vigorously with the wet cloth and check to see how much dirt is transferred to the cloth. Don’t worry about a little discoloration; any rug has a little dust on its surface. A dirty rug will transfer a lot of dirt to a cloth, and the results of your testing will be unambiguous. Dirty rugs may not look especially dirty, but typically they look flat and lustreless.

Professionals should wash your rugs. We do a better job than you can do and carpets clinic are better at dealing with color-run when that occurs.

Here is a summary of how we wash rugs and carpets professionally. First, as much dirt and dust as possible is loosened and separated from the rug before it is exposed to water. We use giant tumblers to accomplish this. Then, we professionally test colors for fastness before we wet a rug to determine how we will approach the job. We may protect weak areas of the rug, perhaps by sewing gauze around them. If the rug’s dyes are stable and the rug can be washed, the rug is laid out flat and thoroughly wetted. We filter chlorine out of the water. When the rug is wet, it is scrubbed by hand- that is, by brushes, usually on poles, operated by hand. Machines never should be used for the scrubbing so we do it by hand. Rotary type machines often tangle the wool pile, and no machine can sense where scrubbing should be lighter or heavier depending on the condition of the rug.

Ends, Edges and Holes

Ends and edges are often the first parts of rugs that need attention as rugs age. It is critical to maintain them in good condition because problems with them soon lead to more expensive problems with the body of a rug. Typically, a rug’s fringe begins to wear away noticeably within a few years from the time the rug was new and is nearly gone when the rug has aged for years. Fringe can be replaced, though, often, new fringe on an old rug looks inappropriate. Many people who are accustomed to old rugs simply get used to seeing eroded fringes and they don’t worry about it. Fringe is not structural, and your rug will suffer no harm from its absence. On the other hand, worn fringe is a sign that the end finish of the rug may be threatened by wear. Rugs are bound on their ends in a number of different ways, but each is designed to keep the foundation threads intact. When the foundation is frayed, a rug begins to lose its pile, and that requires expensive work. So, typically, a rug needs “end stopping” to secure the end from ravelling, usually after sometime.

Likewise, the edges of a rug, called selvages, need to be maintained. Selvages are wrapped with wool, silk or cotton to protect the edges of the rug, and eventually this wrapping wears out and has to be replaced. This is routine work and not terribly expensive. To maintain a rug’s value it is important that a new selvage looks just like the old selvage: the same color, material and so on. Resist the temptation to replace the original selvage with a cheap, machine binding.

A variety of other problems that need repair may beset a rug during its lifetime: holes, wrinkle lines, curling edges, visible wear, moth damage and so on. There is nothing that cannot be fixed.