Persian Speciality Rugs – Why We Insist On A Detailed Pre-Cleaning Inspection

Many of the specialty rugs brought into Australia originate from the Persian Gulf area, bordered by Turkey and the Caspian Sea. Rugs from these areas with a few exceptions, are hand -knotted with the three most commonly used fibres being wool, cotton and silk.

As each individual rug, has very specific cleaning considerations, the most important ‘first’ step is for the technician to do a detailed written Pre-Cleaning Inspection.

This is important for us as the cleaners, and you as the owner, so we know before we begin cleaning, what condition the rug is in and what, if any concerns there may be.

The list below, shows several examples, of how the condition, method of manufacture and the specific textile (fibre content of the face yarn and foundation) of the rug, determines the cleaning method.

This list, is not by any means exclusive; however, it gives a great snapshot of the potential risks of handing over your rug to inexperienced cleaners.

  • we check for pre-existing dye run as this may be permanent or problematic to remove.
  • we also check for ‘light fading’ which occurs if the rug is placed in an area which has direct sunlight streaming in and causing dye leaching.  This fading, unlike heavy soiling, which causes the rug to look less vibrant, will not improve with cleaning
  • rugs from some regions may have used a specific brown dye; the yellow component of which, if these rugs are hung to dry can bleed into the fringe.  If this is  identified a low moisture method of cleaning is required
  • it’s also a known, unscrupulous practice, for some vendors to ‘paint’ rugs – luckily this is rare, however, we still need to be alert for it. This painting, is done to cosmetically enhance the look of high quality rugs, manufactured pre-World War II. It’s important to identify this, as painting is usually not colourfast
  • the fringe, which is often referred to as the ‘Achilles heel’ of every rug, are vulnerable to damage from foot traffic, pets, vacuuming and over enthusiastic cleaning with ‘across the counter’ detergents. Careful inspection is necessary, so further damage, is limited and repair options discussed
  • and then there’s a myriad of ‘nasties’ which may appear on the rug, including chewing gum, dried food, kids crayons, candle wax and drink stains. These all need specific, but different stain removal and cleaning treatments

We’ve talked about the hidden problems that can occur if cleaning techniques are inappropriate, or misinformed, however, the good news is, that most rugs can be cleaned and restored to their former grandeur with our knowledge and a little bit of TLC.

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