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Oriental and Area Rug Cleaning

Certified Technicians Get Results

OUR PROCESS

We take multiple steps to make sure that each oriental or area rug that comes through our doors receives the safest most thorough cleaning possible.

 

PRE-WASH INSPECTION

Each rug is inspected for pre-existing conditions. The inspection takes place at our shop. We look for conditions that can be covered up with soils such as dye variations (abrash), staining, prior dye bleeding, wear and white knots. We will discuss any areas of concern with you.

Abrash

Abrash

Abrash is color variation in the rug. This happens when the weaver runs out of wool to complete a rug, a new batch is taken that does not match the first batch, so you have what appears to be a stripe of a shade of different color that runs left to right. This is not a flaw or damage, it is a characteristic of ALL hand made rugs. It adds character to the piece.

White Knots

White Knots

White knots are part of the foundation of the rug. Rugs have cotton warp threads that run the length of the rug, cotton weft threads run left to right. The wool fibers are then knotted through this foundation. During the weaving process, the weft and warp threads may break and there is no way of replacing these threads, so a knot is tied from the two broken pieces.

After the weaving is complete the knots are hidden by the face yarns of the rug. Over time, the wool fibers are worn down revealing these knots. They appear as white dots on the face of the rug.

Asymmetry

Handmade rugs are rarely symmetrical. Rugs can be out of square or there can be shifts in the pattern. Sometimes this can be helped a little, but not much, by drying out on a special blocking table.

DUSTING

Dusting

After the pre-wash inspection is complete, the first step is dusting.  A wool rug may hold pounds of dry dirt that is not visible to the eye.  Wool fibers have fish scale-like pockets which hold many times their weight in soil, dander, mites, and grit.  This is not just “dirt”, but bacteria, germs, oils, and many other contaminants deposited by your feet.

Simply washing a rug full of dirt in the foundation and face fibers creates a muddy mess.  This is why each rug needs to be dusted before it gets wet.

IMMERSION PIT WASHING

We test all rugs for color fast dyes and if the dyes are not stable, then we stabilize the dyes in a special solution. The rug is then pretreated and washed using a mild shampoo and lots of water. The rug is then given an initial rinse and rolled up and placed in our centrifuge wringer where the dirty water is forced out and fresh water is introduced for a final rinse.

Agitation in the Wash Pit

Soaking in the Wash Pit

Centrifuge Wringer

Inside Centrifuge Wringer

DRYING

Because rugs are all different we chose the correct drying method for each. This could be laid flat face up or down or hanging in our drying chamber where the temperature and humidity is monitored and controlled. Most rugs can be expected to shrink up to 5% during it’s first washing.

DETAILING & FINISHING

The fringes, which are usually part of the cotton warp fibers, and the foundation of the rug are very absorbent and show soils much more than wool. Fringes need more work to get clean. They are scrubbed during the wash process, but occasionally need more detailing after the rug is removed from the centrifuge wringer. Then, any other spot and stain treatment are done. After we determine the rug is 100% dry, we groom the fibers leaving a very soft feel.

Oriental and Area Rug Cleaning Results Gallery