Antique Rug Cleaning
A Job Best Left to Professionals
Antique rug cleaning requires specialized knowledge, tools and techniques. Floor coverings of this type are often worth tens of thousands of dollars. Attempting to clean one yourself can easily diminish its value. Artisans generally chose silk or wool fibers to create these masterpieces. They also may have used easily faded dyes. Always protect rugs of this type from ultraviolet rays when displaying or using them. Temperature extremes should also be avoided. Protecting a valuable old floor covering from light, temperature extremes and harsh chemicals during cleaning is also imperative. They must be handled at all times with extreme care.
A professional experienced in antique rug cleaning knows that even incorrect vacuuming harms this type of carpet. The floor covering should be vacuumed very gently, going with the fabric grain. Extremely fragile carpets require extra protection from the vacuum's suction. Hand knotting distinguishes authentically produced rugs from their less valuable counterparts. Care must be taken not to break any of these knots during the cleaning process. Harsh solvents used to remove stains can weaken carpet fibers resulting in broken knots. Hot water can also cause the knots to break. Once one tie slips or breaks, the entire weave is at risk. Raveled fabric must be repaired before further cleaning begins.
The best antique rug cleaning procedures are minimally invasive. Spot cleaning a lightly soiled carpet sometimes proves sufficient. Still, older rugs may appear mottled if you attempt to clean just a few areas. Professionals know how to clean older floor coverings without leaving them streaked. All over cleanings must be tackled with extreme caution. Allowing a rug to soak is hazardous. You may wind up with a carpet that falls apart after the cleaning process. The floor covering must be thoroughly dried without using excessive heat or light. Residual moisture may cause the rug to mildew. Mold also quickly grows on damp carpeting.
Antique rug cleaning requires striking the right balance in all areas. Cleaning it too roughly endangers the integrity of the fabric. Not cleaning it deeply enough allows dirt to accumulate. It is sometimes impossible to remove deeply embedded grime. Drying older carpets with intense heat causes them to fade and breaks fragile fabrics. Floor coverings that aren't dried sufficiently may fall victim to mildew or mold. Both of these culprits can completely destroy the carpeting. Removing a spot can make that area look fresher than the rest of the floor covering. Washing the entire piece often results in having the carpet come apart. In most cases, handing the task to a professional is the best way to clean a treasured old carpet.
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