With proper care, Oriental rugs can last for generations. We recommend the following basic steps for all rugs but particularly for hand-made and costly machine-made rugs:
General Rug Care Tips
Vacuum rugs regularly… get professionally cleaned at least every one to four years, depending on the amount of traffic, kids and pets, environmental conditions, etc... use proper rug pad… examine your rugs periodically (both front & back) and get repairs done ASAP… give immediate first-aid-treatment to spills, stains and pet accidents (see below) and immediately get professional help… rotate rugs periodically to even out wear, sun-light discoloration… air rugs once in a year or two... no plants on rugs even with a protective dish below… use soft, felt-lined coasters under heavy furniture feet on the rug…
Rug Care Details: Why, When & How
1. VACUUMING: Depending upon usage (pets, kids, traffic, etc.), vacuuming your rug regularly will remove harmful grit, foreign materials and loose soil. If your rug is fringed, be careful to keep the vacuum off the fringe to prevent damage. For antiques or delicate or loosely woven rugs and flat-weaves, avoid using vacuums with beater-brushes. Instead, it is preferable to use a carpet sweeper.
2. USE RUG PAD: to avoid slipping or bunching and to provide support . It also acts as a barrier to moisture from the floor to the rug and discourages insect attacks. Avoid using too cushiony pads but it should have enough cushion & thickness.
3. WASHING & CLEANING: Despite regular vacuuming, dirt and other particulates keep accumulating deep in the pile at the base of the rug and it gradually gets somewhat compacted, especially in densely knotted rugs. No amount of vacuuming will take it all out. This gradually weakens the foundation and shortens the rug life. It also acts as an invitation to insects/moth etc. Depending upon the traffic, kids, pets, etc., get your rug washed and cleaned by a professional oriental rug cleaner once a year to once in 4 years. Cleaning techniques (like steaming, etc.) used by wall-to-wall carpet cleaners are not suitable for oriental rugs. Avoid cleaning oriental rugs at home (especially costly rugs) unless you are thoroughly familiar with the process – you may permanently damage your rug. Even dry-cleaning is not suitable for most oriental rugs.
4. TIMELY REPAIRS: Carefully examine your rug once in a while. Is the binding un-raveling or the fringes missing/fraying or are there bald or partially worn-out patches (missing pile or nap) due to excessive traffic, etc.? If so, take the rug to a professional oriental rug repairer ASAP. Just like any delayed-repair job, it may cost you $50 today but it may magnify to $500 down the line! Unfortunately, repair costs increase exponentially with time because all repairs are highly skilled jobs done entirely by hand.
5. ROTATE YOUR RUG: Every 6-months or a year, rotate your rug 180 degrees or, if possible, re-arrange furniture to even out the wear & tear due to traffic patterns of your home. This will also help avoid discoloration due to sun light falling on the same portion of the rug day-in & day-out. Or, pull the shades down when you go out for long periods or on vacation, etc.
6. AIRING THE RUG: For fine, costly & densely knotted handmade rugs, especially ones with long pile, air the rug once in every one to three years. When it is dry & sunny outside, prop it up about 9” to 18” from the ground using any supports like small stools, etc., for the whole day or about 6-8 hours (don’t leave it out overnight). Before bringing it in, just examine the back carefully to see any unusual thing or damage, especially damage by moths, which eats the wool at the base of knots, leaving cotton warp intact & visible. Unfortunately, moth damage occurs mostly at the back or base of the rug and remains undetected for a long time because it is usually not visible on the face. This kind of damage, if not detected early, can render a fine rug virtually worthless or very expensive to repair.
Spills, Stains & Pet Accients
If a spill or pet urination occurs, try to take care of it immediately. Carefully blot spills using clean white tissues, napkins or towels. Be sure to blot only - do not rub. Rubbing can cause permanent damage to the rug fibers. Work from outer edge of the spill to the center. Similarly, with other pet accidents, clean up the mess as best as you can with water mixed with a little mild neutral soap or shampoo. After this first-aid treatment, take the rug to a professional rug cleaner as soon as you can because delays may worsen the situation. Avoid handling serious situations yourself because unless you know what you are doing, you may aggravate the problem or even do permanent damage.
We do professional rug washing, rug cleaning, rug repairs, rug restoration and rug appraisals.
How to Buy a Rug
Doing the spade work mentioned here will you save you a lot of hassles and time. For a new home, start with the rug first because it is easier to match it with other things like furniture, upholstery, curtains, wall colors, etc., since there is wider range available for these. Next, ascertain the size and shape (rectangular, square, round, octagon, runner, etc.) that will fit the room/place and take measurements. Whether you want a traditional, transitional or contemporary rug? An all-over or one with medallion pattern? Geomatrical or floral? Would you prefer dark or light colors (earth tones/terracotta, pastel, jewel tones are some examples).
If it is an existing home, note down the colors, pattern, texture, etc., of the other items in the room like furniture (Modern, Victorian, etc.), upholstery, curtains, walls, paintings and other important accessories. Carry swatches, if available. If possible, draw a rough sketch how furniture, doors, floor vents, etc., are placed, especially for oddly-shaped rooms. Note down these details as these will greatly help you in decision making. Finally, make a mental note of your budget range because an 8x10 dining room rug can be roughly from $500 to $5000 and much higher if wish to go for a very fine or antique rug.
Whether to use a traditional, transitional or contemporary rug depends entirely on individual liking & taste. Obviously, the décor of the room or place should coordinate with the rug. Outdoor rugs should preferably be made of sturdy fibers not prone to rotting or weather related degradation. Darker rugs with more pattern & less open field are generally suitable under dining room tables, high-traffic or entry areas as they are less prone to show stains. Flat weaves like Soumaks, Dhurries, etc. are frequently used for less formal areas.
Why Shop With RVA Fine Rugs?
The following factors give our customers distinct advantage for shopping with us over the competition:
Unlike other retailers, we practically import 100% of our handmade rugs directly from the overseas producers thus eliminating all middlemen. We are, therefore, able to give you the best quality for a given price without sacrificing our margins;
With Us, It Is More Like Buying “Factory Direct”!
We are deeply involved in designing, developing and producing our own rugs with the result that our customers get the latest styles and colors much before the competition can offer the same;
A sizable part of our operations is wholesale – supplying rugs to other retailers nation-wide.
Because we wholesale, we continuously receive multiple overseas shipments every month. Therefore, our inventory never goes stale but is perpetually being rejuvenated, meaning you get the latest patterns, colors and styles;
Our philosophy of cutting down on overheads and frills, which do not add any value to the product, without cutting corners on service and quality, has served our customers and us well for the last 28 years. We would rather pass on these savings to our customers giving them the best value for their money.
Not Convinced? Just Visit Our Showroom/Warehouse and Then Visit Others… You’ll Notice The Difference… And You Will Come Back.
Rug FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. How does rug quality affect rug price?
For hand-knotted rugs, quality basically depends upon factors like knot-count (knots in 1”x1” square area), How intricate or detailed the pattern is, how fine or expensive is the wool/silk used, how many colors are used, etc. Higher these values, higher is the quality and, therefore, the price. In fine rugs, labor (in putting the knots) alone may be 75 - 85% of the cost whereas raw materials may only be 15 - 20% and the rest being finishing, shipping, other overheads, etc. However, many other factors may greatly affect the quality vs. price question, like: is the wool hand-spun or mill-spun, are the dyes used synthetic or vegetable, kind of wash or finish given (Herbal, Tea-wash, Antique, etc.), is the rug commercially produced or a tribal rug, is it exotic or the supply limited, country or the region it comes from, etc., etc. Like any work of art, there is no simple yard-stick to assess quality & price of hand-knotted rugs. This is the reason we recommend shopping at places which are well-established , trustworthy and stand behind their rugs.
2. What is the difference between a hand knotted, hand tufted and machine made rug?
strict sense, an ‘Oriental Rug’ is a hand-knotted rug with pile or nap on the face side, with the exception of flat-weaves like Needle Points, Chain-stitches (Crewl), Dhurries, etc . Sometimes, some other types of rugs are also categorized as ‘Hand-made’, like hand-tufted rugs. One simple guideline is: If you cannot see the pattern on the back, it is not a hand-knotted rug. Instead, you will see a fabric or similar backing (See picture 1). However, you can also see the pattern at back of most machine-made (or Machine- loomed) rugs but (a) the back of a machine-made rug (Picture 2) will be more uniform or perfect (Or machine-made like) whereas hand-knotted one will show imperfections & irregularities, (b) side edge (binding) on machine-made will again be perfectly done (Picture 2) whereas it would not be so in hand-knotted one, (c) if you look closely, the fringes on a machine-made will be sewn on to the rug ends (Picture 3) whereas they would be a part of the hand-knotted rug (Actually, warp threads, extending beyond the pile-edge form the fringes), (d) the back of a machine-made is generally rougher than a hand-made one.
3. What are the differences in the fibers used in rug making?
Most hand-knotted rugs have wool pile (nap) and cotton foundation. However, there are rugs which have wool or silk in both pile and foundation and other combinations of these and they generally tend to be more expensive. Wool pile rugs are generally more durable, stain resistant, easier to maintain & clean, etc. Machine-made rugs mostly have synthetic pile (Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Polyethylene, etc.) but some are also made with wool pile (more expensive). Flat-weaves are generally made of wool (Surface fiber with pattern – foundation may be other fibers) but also use cotton, jute, sisal, etc.
4. What is the difference between pile rugs and flat-weave rugs?
Pile rugs have pile or nap on the face which is generally knotted to the foundation threads (as in hand-knotted rugs) or anchored to the foundation fabric by some means like adhesives (as in hand- tufted rugs) whereas Flat-weaves don’t have any pile and are either woven like a cloth (Kilims, Soumak, Dhurries, etc.) or are made by embroidering (Chain-stitches) or by needling (Needle-points) or by hooking (Hooked rugs) the decorative threads on to a piece of cloth or backing.
5. What are acceptable "defects" in rugs?
Unlike machine-made rugs (or anything else which is made by machines), hand-knotted rugs will always have some minor imperfections and that’s what makes them distinct from machine-made ones, more valuable and much-sought-after. For example, a rug may not have a perfect straight-line edge, or the knots at the back may look uneven or there may be slightly different-colored bands in the ground or border color (known as ‘Abrash’), etc. ,etc. In fact, the latter is intentionally duplicated in rugs made currently to give them look of an old/antique rugs. Unless they are excessive and undermine the character of that particular type of rug, they should be acceptable. However, what is acceptable to one may not be so to another person. So use your own judgment and opinion of an experienced store personnel.
6. Why are hand knotted rugs dark from one side but lighter from other side?
All hand-knotted rugs look darker from one side and lighter from the other because the pile on the rug is not standing vertically up but is inclined towards one side. The side to which it is pointing will be the darker side. This gives you an option to place the rug in a position you want it to look darker or lighter.
7. What is the meaning of oriental rug patterns?
Names like Kashan, Saroukh, Heriz, Bokhara, etc., etc., generally relate to the city/town/region of a country where that kind of pattern or weave originated and was generally made. However, presently, it is no longer true since a typical Kashan pattern can come from India, China or Pakistan.