Tag Archives: carpet

How to Take Care of Oriental Rugs

It’s the time of year when boots come out of the closet, salt and sand are spread on the roads and sidewalks, and everyone is trekking ice and dirt into the house. So how do you protect your antique rugs from damage without rolling them up and putting them into storage?

  1. Regular vacuuming. Vacuuming your rugs weekly or more often will help prevent abrasive sand and salt from being embedded underneath the pile of the rug causing premature wear. If you are unsure of the best method of vacuuming your carpet, read our rug guide on vacuuming.Vacuuming rugs
  2. Spare Mats At Entryways. Having a few spare mats around 2′ x 3′ laid out at doors and entrance ways will help remove some of the dirt and water on your guests’ boots.
  3. Rotating. By rotating rugs placed in high-traffic areas or areas in direct sunlight, you allow for an even distribution of wear. Ideally, rugs are not placed in direct sunlight as it may cause fading. Rotating your rugs monthly is a good idea so they don’t end up with an unsightly area of wear from foot traffic.
  4. Common Repairs. Inspecting your rug for damage every once in a while is important. Catching moths early before they eat the wool pile can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Also, simple repairs such as overcasting to protect the fringe ends from losing knots, or re-binding of edges to secure them will also save your rug.
  5. Professional Cleanings. Whether you have your rugs professionally cleaned or follow this DIY guide, it is important to clean your rugs yearly or every two years depending on traffic. Springtime is often the most popular time to clean rugs after a long winter of grime and dirt.

 

Spanish Carpets and the New England Rug Society

Mike and I joined the New England Rug Society (NERS) last year. It is a great organization for both new and seasoned Oriental rug lovers. There are several meetings throughout the year and each meeting features a speaker, or sometimes speakers, who talk about a specific type of rug or textile. Most recently we attended a meeting on Spanish carpets. Many people are not aware carpets were woven in Spain, and even some rug enthusiasts have never seen one in person.

synagogue carpet

Synagogue Carpet at the Museum of Islamic Art, Berlin Source: Rugs of the Lost Ark by Horst Nitz http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00114/salon.html

The oldest known carpet woven in Spain is the Synagogue carpet as seen above, which was most likely from the 14th century and is now at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin. Rugs woven in Spain in this time period are known for their unique knotting-style. Unlike Persian and Turkish knots, Spanish knots are tied to single warp threads rather than two threads. Rugrabbit has several wonderful photos of the Synagogue carpet which can be seen here.

Popular types of rugs woven in Spain during the 15th century are known as the Armorial rugs, which bear a coat of arms or heraldic device. The carpet below features heraldic devices with two castles and a lion, and is on exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Spanish Carpet

A 15th century Spanish Admiral carpet Source: “Admiral” Heraldic Carpet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/55491.html

 

 

After the 15th century, quality and style began to decline. Weavers in Spain copied Turkish rug designs such as the famous Lotto and Holbein carpets.  By the 17th century, Spanish carpets conformed to Western tastes with decorative lattice patterns and lighter color schemes like the carpet below.

 

What Are Oriental Rugs Made Of?

People often wonder what Oriental rugs are made out of. Depending on the type of Oriental rug in question it could be any number of natural or synthetic substances. A typical hand knotted Oriental rug will have a wool pile woven onto a cotton foundation. The wool may be dyed naturally with vegetable dyes, or it may be dyed with synthetic dyes. There are different qualities of wool ranging from coarse and dry to soft and shiny. The best wool can sometimes be mistaken for silk. The quality of the materials often contributes to the value of the rug itself.

wool persian rug

High quality wool Persian rug woven on a cotton foundation.

pakistan bokhara rug

Lower quality wool in a Pakistan Bokhara rug with a cotton foundation.

 

Note the shiny and lustrous appearance of the rug in the top photo compared to the coarser appearance of the rug in the bottom. A finer quality wool was used in weaving the rug in the first picture. A handmade rug may also be woven with camel or goat hair. These natural materials can also be used as accents in the design of the rug, or as binding on the edges.

bokhara rug

Finer Bokhara rug with silk accents.

 

Silk is another common material used in finer handwoven Oriental rugs as the pile, foundation, and often to highlight designs in wool rugs. There are materials referred to as artificial silk which are common in machine-made rugs but can also be found in hand-knotted rugs. Nylon, mercerized cotton and polypropylene are all synthetic materials used in machine-made rugs.

 

More Rugs and Several Lilihans

We have been busy again picking up rugs for our customers!

Persian and Oriental rugs

Just a few of the rugs we picked up over the past week.

We recently came across a beautiful collection of Lilihan Persian rugs. Lilihan has several different spellings including Lilian, and Lylyan.

Pink Persian Rug

Pink Persian Rug Lilihan

Lilihan rugs are Persian and are made in Iran. They are a type of Hamedan rug. To learn more about other types of Hamedan rugs, check out our previous post here.

Pink Persian rug

Persian Lilihan rug held by Mike in the photo above. Shop Now >

Small Persian rug

Small Persian Lilihan rug Shop Now >

Persian Lilihans have a Hamedan weave and are single wefted. This means you can see the alternating warp threads (the foundation threads which run up and down the rug making the fringe at each end). Check out the picture below of the back of one of the Lilihans we just got in.

Single Wefted

Back side of a Persian Lilihan rug. Single-wefted Hamedan weave.

Lilihans typically have curvilinear patterns with traditional floral sprays or geometric designs. They may have a pink or red weft and typically have a cotton foundation. They are similar to Persian Sarouk rugs in design as well as often being washed and painted leaving them with a purple-magenta or pink colored field.

Persian rug for sale

Persian Lilihan close-up, note the curvilinear and abstract patterns throughout.

 

Check out our other Lilihan Persian rugs for sale >

Do you have a Persian Lilihan at home?

Red, Pink and White Rugs

Valentine’s Day is coming! Here are some of our Oriental rugs with Valentine’s Day color schemes:

First is this beautiful Ivory Persian Kirman rug. Traditional delicate and intricate floral sprays and soft red and pink highlights add a feminine touch to this vintage Oriental rug. Many floral patterns in Kirman rugs were derived from patterns found in shawls.

Persian Kirman Rug

Persian Kirman rug c. 1950 Shop Now >

Persian Kirman Rug weave

Weave of the Persian Kirman Rug

 

Next is this deep red Dergazine rug. The design features an ivory center medallion accented sharply with blue surrounded by pink flowers.

Red Persian Rug

Red Persian Dergazine rug Shop Now >

 

This traditional Persian Serabend was woven with soft and luxurious wool. The design features a cream-colored field filled with an all-over pattern of botehs or pear motifs. Repeating botehs is the most common design of Serabend rugs.

Serabend Persian Rug

Serabend Persian Rug

Persian rug

Soft and thick wool on a Persian Serabend Shop Now >

 

JessiesRugs.com wishes everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to prevent moth damage: Tineola bisselliella AKA the Webbing Clothes Moth

We recently attended a lecture on caring for and cleaning Oriental rugs with an emphasis on protecting rugs from moth damage. One of the biggest fears shared by all rug collectors is the webbing clothes moth or simply the clothing moth.

Webbing Clothes Moth

Webbing Clothes Moth; The wool eater. Original Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tineola_bisselliella#mediaviewer/File:Tineola.bisselliella.7218.jpg

These little pests feed on many natural fibers, especially the wool found in your prized collection of antique Oriental rugs. Unfortunately there is no sure way to keep them out, but here are several methods to fight those bothersome insects:

Wool Oriental rugs

A collection of wool Oriental rugs

1. Before storing your rugs, please get them cleaned! Whether you go to a professional or choose to DIY, make sure you thoroughly clean your rugs before putting them into storage. After years of being on the floor exposed to the elements you really have no idea what kind of dirt, grime or moth eggs may be lying in the foundation of rugs at home. This is why it’s important to clean them every two years or so. If a rug is rolled up and put in storage without being cleaned there is a good chance it can come out with a whole lot of moth damage.

When storing them it is a good idea to wrap them in a paper and muslin cloth. This creates an extra barrier to deter the insect. Wrapping in plastic is not advised as plastic will trap moisture and could cause mold.

2. It is important to distinguish whether your rug has live moth or if you are looking at the webbing moths leave behind. Adult moths do not feed because they get all of the nutrition and moisture they need in the larval stage. This does’t mean if you see a flying moth you’re out of the woods. Flying moths can lay eggs in your carpets, and when those eggs hatch you can bet the larvae will be feeding on the wool.

Moth Balls

Mothballs, Original Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/64/Mothballs.jpg/800px-Mothballs.jpg

3. Mothballs are no guarantee and can be hazardous to your health as well as your children’s and pet’s health. They also make your rugs smell like chemicals! Try using a bug repellent on your rug if you absolutely have to use a chemical.

Something like “Hot Shot” or “Raid” for flying insects will kill the live moths in your rug which can then be vacuumed up. If you have a very large collection kept in a separate room or work space you can try a moth bomb, or Fogger. This is a can placed in the center of the room that releases a very fine mist throughout. The fog will kill all flying insects, but it is also very harmful to humans and pets, so it is really only best for desperate situations. You should always follow the instructions explicitly stated on the package of whatever you are using.

4. If you don’t want to use chemicals, your best bet is to agitate the carpet. Moths like to live undisturbed, especially in dark areas under couches or ottomans. By inspecting areas under the couch once a month and shifting furniture to vacuum the entire carpet, you can put your mind at ease.

5. What to look for? The most obvious sign of an infestation is moths flying around your home or work space. If there aren’t any flying, it does not mean you are in the clear. You should check your carpets every month or so for webbing or larvae. Trust me, it is not a pretty sight and you will definitely recognize it. The webbing can be on the underside of the rug or the top. It will look like a cocoon and is a creamy white color. The larvae use this as a covering to feed under. It sticks to the rug and needs to be vacuumed up. There may be larvae in or around areas with webbing.

Bokhara rug

A large area of moth damage on a Pakistan Bokhara rug

If the damage is done and you are left with moth damage, or moth nicks on your Oriental rugs as seen in the picture below, all hope is not lost. You can still take your rug to a local dealer who offers a repair service and they can reweave or repair the damage depending on the extent of it. This is not a cheap service so it is important to be proactive with moths.

Indian Oriental rug with moth nick

A very small moth nick at the top of the rug near the fringe. The foundation threads (usually white like the fringe) are visible after a moth has eaten the wool.

There are many theories on repelling moths, some work and some do not, there is really no guarantee. One is using cedar, such as a cedar lined chest or closet for storing clothes. Another is using lavender. Freezing artifacts is a practice utilized by some museums and historical sites, as well as anoxia treatment which deprives the item of oxygen therefore killing the insects.

Sound off below: What is your experience with moths? What do you do to prevent them on your clothes and in your rugs?