Caring for Your Fine Rugs

The allure of the recent trend of “slow living” has captured the heart of most of us wannabe horse girls and urban cowboys. While one does not need to uproot and buy acreage (at these prices?!) for a taste of the slow life, we can still strive to care for items that have taken time, effort and attention to detail to produce; this being directly applicable to the realm of finely-made rugs. Intermittent care and attention can prolong the life of such valuable articles, and Anna Augusto of Augusto Fine Rugs shares this very ideology for these grand pieces. “It can be money well-spent to protect your investment rug for years to come,” says Anna. Here, she shares her tips to give a little proactive TLC to the fruits of the loom.   

Contributing Editor // Claire Meyer

To begin, what are tips for keeping your rugs and carpets looking their best?  

The way to keep your rugs looking their best is to frequently vacuum to remove debris and dust. There is not a hard-fast rule on what type of vacuum or vacuum setting is best for your rug. I have found it is best to try different settings and find what seems to work. If it seems like the vacuum/setting is too aggressive, it probably is.

Anything else? 

In addition to frequent vacuuming, rotating the rug every few years is ideal. Naturally it can be difficult to get this done if the rug is under a bed or full room of furniture, although rotating the rug does make a difference on how the overall rug wears from traffic patterns to sun fading. There are many local delivery companies that can be hired to come and help with this.   

Are there certain products or chemicals people should avoid on their fine rugs? Say some of us spill a little wine… 

This is a tricky question as there are so many factors that dictate the type of spot cleaning needed for a rug. If you are unsure, it is vital that you refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or call us or a professional rug cleaner (not carpet cleaner) for the best spot cleaning methods.” 

In general, a mixture of about ¼ water and ¾ white vinegar works well to remove most stains. Although any rug with either a bamboo silk, viscose, or real silk composition should steer away from vinegar as it is too acidic. In that case, a mild solution of water and a drop or two of mild dish detergent is best. 

Sounds scientific, yet achievable!

We are happy to provide spot cleaning tips based on your situation. If you are ever in doubt, call first as major irreversible damage can be done if improper cleaning is performed. As far as actual chemicals are concerned, it is safe to say never use anything with a peroxide base or bleach. 

No bleach, check. If DIY fails, who is your go-to professional for rug care?  

We strongly recommend Fiber Specialties in Boise for all your rug cleaning needs. They have the facility and the training to wash and handle fine rugs. In addition, they can perform nearly all repairs needed on your rugs. Fine rugs should not be cleaned in the home. There is a specific process for washing, drying, and ensuring the rug shape is maintained. This must be performed at their facility. Although there are many wall-to-wall carpet companies that can handle most synthetic rugs, any hand-knotted or wool rug should be washed at Fiber Specialties. 

Fine rugs deserve to have a rug cleaning professional determine the proper cleaning technique, so they will continue to perform and inspire for years to come. 

You must have seen your fair share of rugs. Any favorites in there? 

I have seen so many beautiful rugs over the years, although I have always loved Chinese rugs from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Whenever I come across one, I consider myself lucky. Another category of rug I always enjoy is any tiger, dragon, or animal rug. Especially if they are woven in Nepal. I have this handsome Nepalese dragon piece in the showroom shown with typical tools used for hand-knotting rugs. I appreciate the detail, the vibrant colors and the quality of wool used which is evident in the field of the rug.

Photo Courtesy of Augusto Fine Rugs

Consult with Anna about rug care, sales and questions on Instagram or Facebook.