Rugs are not simply small pieces of carpet placed in the middle of a room which has a hard floor. They are an art form practiced for thousands of years by people from all over the world.
OK, so the nice modern rug bought for £40 from your local home store, with bright colours and a funky modern pattern, isn't really art. Most of these rugs are made from man made Acrylic fibres, so we can clean them the same way we clean your carpets. We can usually clean this type of rug in your home whilst we are cleaning the carpets.
If you have spent a little more on your rug, you have probably opted for a tufted or woven rug made by machine. They can be made using man made fibres, but the best quality are wool or wool / nylon blends, just like carpets. These are usually excellent quality, with traditional designs and colours and they make very attractive additions to the decor of a room. They look very much like hand woven rugs and come in a huge variety of styles and designs, often copied from Chinese, Persian and Turkish rugs. They can even mimic the colour variations or "Abrash" found in hand made rugs.
With these types of rugs, we usually prefer to take them away to our workshop to clean them, as we can control the cleaning and drying processes more effectively than we can if we are cleaning them in your home. This prevents some problems like cellulosic browning which can occur during cleaning.
The best quality, most beautiful rugs are hand made. Each tuft in the rug is made by knotting a short piece of wool or silk on to the warp threads which make up the length of the rug. Persian and Turkish rugs use a different type of knot. Each knot is packed down using a special comb, and a weft thread pulled across the width of the rug and packed down to help hold the knots in place. Once completed, the warp threads are tied off at each end of the rug to form the fringe. These rugs can have 400 knots or more per square inch, each one individually tied by hand, and the higher the knot count, the better quality the rug. Some rugs can take years to make, they are are incredibly hard wearing and can be extrememly valuable. However, improper cleaning can damage them beyond repair.
These hand made rugs require specialist knowledge and methods to safely and effectively clean them. The dyes can bleed in to each other if the wrong cleaning products are used. They can change shape or distort if they are not properly washed or dried and the fringes can discolour. Silk rugs are especially delicate and difficult to clean
So whether you have a £40 modern rug, or a 200 year old work of art on your floor, we can look after it in the safest most effective manner. Call us for a survey and quotation.
And don't forget that we have a specialist website for historic and high value rugs and carpets, not just for cleaning but general maintenance, storage and training on how to look after them. www.historiccarpetcare.co.uk
So how do we clean rugs?
Well, some rugs we can clean using Hot Water Extraction, just like most carpets. Some we need to clean using special shampoos and a rotary brush. Others which have problems like dye bleed, we might dry compound clean.
For the best quality, hand made Persian and Turkish rugs, we back beat and vibrate the rug to remove loose soil, before placing the rug in a wash pit, submerging it in cleaning solution, agitating it, and then rinsing it with flowing water. This mimics the traditional methods of cleaning these rugs used by the tribesmen who make them, who place them in a river and scrub them by hand!
We then extract the water using a centrifuge or vacuum process and dry them using heat and air movement. Once dry, we inspect the rug and hand finish the fringes. The rug is then packed and delivered back to you in pristine condition.