Do-It-Yourself Home Rug Care Tips
How can you dust your small and large rugs? The best way is with a vacuum cleaner. If done on a weekly basis you can greatly reduce the amount of damage caused by dust and grit. Use a vacuum attachment (you don’t need the beater bar brush for this) and run over the top of the rug. Go from end to end (the end is the part with the fringe tassles), and run the attachment along the length of the rug WITH the nap of the face fibres. Pet your rug like you would your dog to determine which way the nap goes. As with petting an animal, you will know when you are going with the nap, and when you are definitely going against it. Run the vacuum attachment “with the nap.” This picks up the dust that has settled on top but has not yet reached its way down to the base yet. Another plus with the attachment is that you don’t get the fringe tangled in it and torn as with your regular upright vacuum cleaner.
Once a season (i.e.: quarterly), you need a stronger rug beating. The smaller rugs and the flat woven pieces (Kelims, Dhurries and Navajos) can be taken outside and shook or smacked lightly on the backside with a broom. The larger ones should be placed face down (fuzzy side down) on to a hard surface. Then a beater bar upright vacuum should be slowly run along the back of the rug from side to side (don’t go from end to end because there is a chance that fringe will get sucked up into the beater bar). Make sure the vacuum is at the “normal” or “high” setting level. All you want is the vibration of the vacuum to do the work, and this can be done at these settings (don’t use the “low” setting). The vibrations shake the dirt loose from the base and onto the hard floor. You can then flip the rug to the other side and sweep up what has been shaken out, and then vacuum the top from side to side. If nothing has been shaken out of the rug, then you are doing an excellent job with your routine weekly dusting.
Dusting is the first and last step of our cleaning process (there is ALWAYS, even after we have dusted for hours, more dirt and loose wool fibres loosened up to shake out after a bath … especially if a rug has not been washed for many years). It is the key step in cleaning, which is why having your rug cleaned in the home is an absolute no-no.
Many rugs make striking wall hangings, and showcasing them as your piece of art is a popular choice for many textiles from silk rugs to tapestries to small wool rug weavings. Some fragile pieces that cannot be walked on any longer can also be prepared to hang so that you can continue to enjoy them.
The Textile Museum recommends using velcro to hang textiles, so we offer this to our clients to hang their textiles for display. The velcro is attached by hand to the rug, and then the mate piece is attached to a piece of wood that you can then secure to your wall. The advantages of using velcro are:
1) The rug can be adjusted to hang evenly (rugs are rarely symmetrical, so this allows you to make slight adjustments).
2) The rug lays against the wall more evenly.
3) It makes it easy to take down to dust (at least once a month to ensure no insects are making a home behind them).