Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello All,

Sorry for not posting sooner we have just been so busy. Busy is a good thing!

The summer season will officially be here this weekend with the Memorial Day weekend and it is also time to think about the care and feeding of your fine oriental rugs. In the winter we worry about things like snow and salt on the fibers - but in the summer we need to worry about a whole new set of problems.

If your rug is near a family room door to the outside pool area please remember to rinse your feet before you come in. You could bring in some chlorine from the pool that will bleach out areas of your rug. Bleach and wool do not get along! The bleach will also cause the wool fibers to disintegrate as wool is a protein and bleach eats protein.

Remember to vacuum often to remove the dry particulate dirt and always bring in your rug for a good old fashioned scrubbing.

If you have any questions please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lets talk about good old fashioned soap and water today. So many people think that you can not clean a rug with soap and water. They are afraid of the wool shrinking - similar to a what happens to a sweater when washed in the machine. Rugs are a whole different ball game compared to clothing.

Lets start with the anatomy of a wool fiber. The wool fiber has scales on it that are similar to fish scales. In wool clothing, if the wool is agitated then all of the scales become tangled and the clothing begins to shrink. This is called felting. Felt fabric is made of wool that has been rubbed together so that the scales become entangled and the felt is produced.

Oriental Rugs are gently cleaned flat with a mild detergent that is made for the Oriental Rug. It is applied and the rug is then scrubbed. This process will not felt the rug and thus it does not shrink. Soap is actually good for the rug! It allows the dirt particles to become suspended above the soap so that they are easily rinsed away. Soap is sometimes like a double edge sword - you can either use not enough or too much. Not enough and the dirt is not removed and too much and there will be a residue that will dull the look of the rug. That is why it is important to have a cleaning professional evaluate your rug and make the decisions on how and what to clean it with.

The soap and dirt is thoroughly rinsed out of the rug - which is the most important part of the cleaning procedure.

Soap and water is not "rocket science" but there is a "soap science" that we apply to be sure that you are getting the cleanest possible rug.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today I want to talk about a protecting coating for the rug. There are many people out there who think that protectants really do not do the trick but from a professional cleaners stand point - get everything in your home coated in a protectant! I have had customers call me to thank me for applying the protection for their rugs. They were able to first hand see the effects of blotting a spill up rather than seeing it soak in the rug and leaving a large stain. You must act quickly with any spill and begin to BLOT it up almost immediately. DO NOT RUB or you will get to live with the stain forever as well as a "fuzzy" looking area on your rug. With a protecting coating of product you have a much better chance of getting the liquid up.

The process is very simple - when you bring your rug in for cleaning we will apply the product after is is washed and still in a damp state. After an evening in the dry room with temperatures at one-hundred twenty degrees the product has cured and it is ready for every day use. The product will not change your rug in anyway - the colors will be the same, you will not be able to feel it on the fibers and you will not be able to see it. But what you will see is when you have a spill the liquid will "bead up" on the surface. There are some exceptions, i.e. a whole pot a steaming coffee will almost immediately penetrate the surface as will large quantities of any liquid. But for the every day ins and outs of life I can only recommend a protective coating on your fine home furnishings.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I recently talked about wet rugs but a rather interesting one came in today that I wanted to share with you.

This rug is an 8 x 10 hand made Oriental Rug that has a vibrant blue background with a floral design in reds, browns and greens. It is a lovely piece except for the mildew problem that it has. It was in a basement family room which is very seldom used and while getting ready to entertain the owner found the rug in deplorable state. Over half of the rug has disintegrated from exposure to water over a prolonged time. There is nothing that we can do with this rug except to discard it.

It is really ashamed because it was a lovely rug and it is sad whenever one has to be thrown away. I again want to remind you to check areas of your home that are not used often - for water damage. All it takes is one good storm or frozen gutter or downspout and you can have water infiltration.

If you rug has water on it please call us or bring it in as soon as possible so that we can clean and dry the rug to prevent further damage. if you have any questions please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Flokoti Rugs

If you have been to Greece you know what a Flokoti Rug is. They are usually all one color (natural) have longer fibers and come in many different qualities. A Flokoti looks good in almost any decorating scheme and some how seems to be the favorite rug of the family pet.

Cleaning them is somewhat tricky but it can be done. You must, like any other rug, vacuum them often. This is hard because of the length of the fibers – but it must be done. This type of rug will catch and hold the dirt deep down if you do not vacuum it regularly. We wet clean the Flokoti Rugs – scrub and rinse them completely before they are sent to the dry room.

If your pet has urinated on the rug we are able to do an enzyme bath to get the urine and odor out. Be aware that often the stains will not come out.

If you have any questions about Flokoti Rugs please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Antique Hook Rugs

I wanted to tell you about a very good friend and also a client of mine who has many very old hand hooked rugs that were made by her Great-Grandmother. I am as old as the hills and she is my age so that will tell you about how old these rugs are.

When her GG-Mother made them she took old clothing that the family had out grown and cut them into small strips and then turned each under and sewed by hand the wool cloth. She then hand “hooked” the rugs to form the rugs using a piece of burlap as the base of the rug. She did several nautical motif rugs, the family dog and also a very lovely little cat on a rug.

Through the years these little “gems” were passed down from family to family finally coming to my friend. We clean these rugs very gently as they have become fragile through the years.
So if you have an old rug that needs to be cleaned please bring it in so that we can do an evaluation of the rug and see if we are able to clean it.

Please call me with any questions at 513-251-2351 email me at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hello, If you are having a problem with an Oriental Rug or just have a question about rugs regarding cleaning, repairs, or general care and feeding please leave a comment below and I will answer them on the blog. Have a great day! Ben

Last week in all of the snow, ice and horrible winter weather I had water damage due to an ice dam in my box gutters. Water running in - damage to the floors and ceiling - but this reminded me that with the melting snow and ice check your windows and lower level floors for water infiltration.

If you have an Oriental Rug in the finished lower level check it for signs of water damage. Often time we do not go down stairs and it is an easy area to over look. It the rug is damp get it dried out as soon as possible. Use a small fan and try to raise the damp area off the floor. Water, when allowed to stand on a rug for a prolonged time, Will cause color run and also mold and mildew. It the mold is allowed to grown unchecked you could end up with a major problem in your home.

If you have any questions please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New fringe on an old rug is often just the ticket to make that old piece look alive again. The fringe on a rug is not only decorative but it also helps to preserve the body of the rug. As we walk on our rugs we will walk on the fringe and eventually this will break down and wear away. With out the fringe you will begin to wear the body of the rug which can be very expensive to reweave.

Let me tell you about a little rug that recently came into the plant that we placed a new fringe on and it looked great. It was a small old Kerman - jewel tones and very distinct pattern. It had a somewhat long but abusive life on the floor of a larger home. The rug was passed down to the next generation and the new owner brought it in for a much needed cleaning and repairs. The fringe ends of the rug were almost worn off completely and there was minor damage to the sides of the rug.

Our customer chose a ready made fringe with a single knot in a off white color for the ends that would be applied after we cleaned the rug. This poor little guy had not been cleaned in many years and when we floor scrubbed it there was a river of soil streaming from it. After several rinses and a re-scrub the lovely jewel tones of Sapphire and ruby began to really look good.

After drying the rug went to the repair department where the new fringe was applies as well as serging to the sides. This little beauty was now ready to grace the floor of it's new owner's home.

If you have rug that is dirty and well worn please bring it into our plant for an evaluation. We may be able to turn it into your newest treasure.

Any questions please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rug Washing Questions

I know I have talked a little about rug washing but today I have had several questions about our cleaning methods.

1. “Why does the wool rug NOT shrink - when my wool clothes will shrink in the wash?”
Wool fibers have a cuticle an each fiber. This is a natural element of the wool. When you wash a wool sweater the cuticles become all twisted with each other and thus the item looks like it shrunk. This is called “felting”. When we clean a wool rug we keep the rug flat for scrubbing and rinsing so that the cuticles do not get all twisted up. Wool rugs have been wet cleaned for thousands of years and I have seen rugs cleaned by all means out there - steam, dry cleaning, and semi-wet- but the best method is good old fashion soap and water. We are able to wash away grit and grime leaving the rug fresh and clean.

2. “Will my rugs look brand new again after they are cleaned?”

My answer to that is “No.” But there are several factors involved that will keep your rug looking good. If you have purchased a higher quality rug, regularly vacuum it, have a good pad under the rug and rotate the rug in the room then the cleaning process will make the rug look great. Kind of like when you have new shirt and after it is washed it will never look brand new again but it looks clean and crisp. We take great care in the cleaning of the rugs and it will look fantastic. Part of the “mystery” of Oriental Rugs is watching them evolve and change over the years.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at Email me your questions and I will answer them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Repairs on Oriental/Area Rugs

I had an interesting rug in the other day that I wanted to tell you about. It was a really old and worn Painted Sarouch from about 1925-30. It was a “loved” rug and had graced an elegant home for many years. But had begun to look pretty bare and rough.

After a good cleaning there was a sparkle in the yarn that made me want to repair the rug. Previous repairs had been applied such as a binding sewn on by machine on all sides so the fringe was gone and the sides looked awful.

I removed the machine binding and got to work. I serged the sides of the rug in a matching cranberry yarn and frayed the ends of the rug out so that a small fringe was created. It was reinforced on the ends with stitching and the curling sides were eliminated with leather strips applied to the back of the rug.

Our customer was very pleased to see the enormous transformation that her little rug went through. We did not make it look new but it sure does look a lot better than when it came in. She told me that she is going to move it from the front door to a spot next to her bed so that it will get a little less wear and she can put her feet on it in the morning when she wakes up.

If you have a question about Oriental Rug repairs please call me at 513-251-2351 or email me at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dyes - Where Does the Color Come From?

The appeal of a rug has always depended on the colors of the dyes - their brightness, muted colors, reds, greens, indigo, orange and on and on. Originally all dyes were made the from natural sources such as madder red came from the root of the madder plant, cochineal red from the cochineal insect, yellow from the weld plant, vine leaves or pomegranate peal, brown from the walnut shell or oak bark, orange from henna leaves, blue from the indigo plant and green from a combination of weld and indigo. There are people today who still use the original items to dye yarn and the colors are fabulous!

In 1856 aniline dye was discovered in England by William Henry Perkin. The early color was violet and soon were followed by many more shades and colors. These proved to be popular because suddenly there were plentiful easy to use dyes. However these were very unstable and colors and faded into unwanted shades. Blues turned to brownish grey, red to mauve and yellow became an awful greenish brown.

During this period of time the Oriental Rug market became very unstable as people stopped buying the rugs. In 1903 the use of aniline dyes were banned in Persia with severe penalties for those who did continue to use them.

The 1920’s and 30’s brought new synthetic chromatic dyes with extremely good results. The quality of this new dye was very good and actually became more reliable than the natural dyes.
Natural dyes are not used as much now in the weaving of rugs but there is a project in Turkey - The Dobag Project - which encourages weavers to use vegetable dyes.

If you have a question about dyes please feel free to email me at

Next time that you are relaxing in your favorite chair in your living room take a look at your Oriental Rug. Look at the vibrant colors, the designs, and how the rug is framed by the floor. A rug is really no different from a piece of art work on the wall - only you walk on it, play on it and it feels really good under your bare feet.

If you maintain your Oriental Rug properly over the years you will have many, many years of use. If you vacuum your rug weekly (if not more) and then have it professionally cleaned by us using our wet full immersion cleaning method to flush all of the dirt out of the rug and also rotate the rug and pad, there is no reason why you can not enjoy your rug for many years.

There are "rug cleaners" out there who are very skilled in wall-to-wall cleaning but they are not skilled in cleaning Oriental Rugs. They will pick up your rug and take it to their warehouse and simply steam clean the surface of the rug. This is not good for two reasons, 1.) They only clean the surface of the rug leaving deep down dirt still in the rug and 2.) There will always be a soap residue in the pile of the rug that will eventually lead to dry rot of the fibers.So if you take care of your rugs they will last all of your lifetime and you can pass the rugs onto future generations. Many of our customers are still bringing in Great Grand Mother's rug for cleaning. Please give me a call at 513-251-2351 or email me at with any questions you may have about cleaning.