Brief introduction to Conservation and Restoration of Carpets

The Oriental rug is made to last. A good rug could be used for several generations, depending on the use and maintenance: if the rug covers the floor of a drawing-room, it will naturally stand up against the years better than if it is laid in an entrance hall. With regard to rugs hung on walls, these can last for centuries, as is borne out by the wonderful examples in museums of Florence, Milan, London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris and those in American museums and in private collections throughout the world. Some of these, almost in perfect condition, date from the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth century. Consequently, it is traditional to remove shoes before treading on a rug to prevent unnecessary wear and damage, especially Persia.

The correct conservation of a rug poses hardly any special problem. It is sufficient to take some very simple precautions against dust and moths, the most insidious enemies. A carpet should be beaten only very rarely. Vacuum cleaners ensure sufficient cleaning and dispense with this laborious and often inadvisable task of beating a rug. In fact, the warp and weft threads suffer from beating a carpet that has been slung over a rail. Simply vacuum the front and back of the rug regularly is sufficient maintenance. Take care to always hoover parts of the rug hidden underneath furniture or armchairs to prevent moths accumulation and damage. 

It is inadvisable to wash handmade rugs the same as a machine made rug. Temperature control, moisture control, colour conservation are a few of the issues one encounters when washing a handmade rug. Oriental Rug Gallery, Nottingham offers professional handmade rug wash service.

Antique rugs and silk rugs require special consideration. They must never be beaten but simply run over lightly with a vacuum cleaner. During the summer months, if a person leaves his home for any length of time, he runs the risk of having his rugs attacked by moths. To prevent this, commercial insecticide should be used. As soon as the carpet shows the slightest tear, or when the pile has been eaten and the warp and weft become uncovered, one must call in the services of a specialist restorer who will fill the empty spaces by remaking the missing knots. 

Frequently, particularly with carpets of recent mass production by rug centres, some of the weft threads adjacent to the fringe become loose, so that they leave the row of knots unbound; these latter gradually become undone and risk destroying the carpet little by little. When this happens it should be seen by a specialist promptly. 

Here at Oriental Rug Gallery, Nottingham, NG1 3FN we are fortunate to have one of the handful of oriental rug specialists in the UK, he has more than 30 years experience in weaving and mending handmade oriental rugs. Please email us ( or ring us at 07768616666 for a free quotation on mending your handmade oriental rug. 

Please note, some machine made rugs are made with wool and cotton and may appear similar to a handmade rug to a lay person. In some instances these high-end machine rugs weaved in minutes, if purchased from prestigious venues, cost even more than authentic handmade rugs that has taken years to produce. We can mend these machine made rugs at Oriental Rug Gallery in theory, however, as machine made rug does not carry any financial value, it is inadvisable to mend these rugs unless it carries significant emotional value. 

In the last decade or so, the rise and prevalence of online rug shops have streamlined the rug buying process. Many tremendous looking rugs are simply one click away. On the flip side of the coin, customers sometimes pay more than the true value of the rug, or become disappointed with the quality and colour once the rugs arrive in the post. It is indeed tricky to identify the true quality of the rugs only through marketing photos even for specialists like us. Photographs can be misleading at best and deceiving at worst. To avoid disappointment, we recommend all our customers to see the rugs in person, especially for high value rugs. We also offer try at home service, where we deliver several rugs to your house in person. Our specialist will help you to choose the best rug for you. In our experience this is the best method that guarantees absolute satisfaction. Ring us on 07768616666 for further details.

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