Some oriental rugs are super thick. This is no problem for us to repair.

Oriental Rugs 101

We’re setting aside our overall topic of oriental rug cleaning for a bit to bring you a collaboration of information from our team. Before spending some serious coin on an Oriental Rug for your home or business, knowing your options is crucial in order to protect your investment. You don’t want to overpay for a machine-made rug sold as a “hand-tufted” rug, and we certainly don’t recommend polypropylene rugs. There are very important details to consider regarding oriental rug purchases – as well as oriental rug cleaning.

Oriental rugs such as this require oriental rug cleaning specialists when dirty. Using these cleaning specialists, you'r rug will last you generations, and will retain its exceptional value to collectors

Hand-Made Rugs often have that traditional look, with intricately-drawn details and that familiar center medallion design

Machine-Made rugs still need to be cleaned properly. Steam-cleaning just pushes dirt further into the rug. We submerse rugs into a cold water bath and extract dust and dirt from the rug over time.

Machine-Made Rugs are often contemporary in design and color and follow trends closely, so over time they look outdated

Three Types of Rugs

Machine-Made Rugs

These rugs, even from quality brands, are still mass-produced. Although they can be stylishly contemporary or mimic traditional looks, they are not rightly comparable to a hand-made rug of any variety. Like most mass-produced home furnishings, machine-made rugs are not generally considered to be works of art. One quick way to spot a machine-made rug by examining the fringe – if it is sewn onto the rug, the piece is machine-made. This is done deliberately to make it look and appear hand-made when it isn’t, kind of like a knockoff watch or handbag.

Hand-Tufted Rugs

The term “hand-tufted” is somewhat misleadingly named. A tufted rug is in no way a hand-made rug. A mechanized “gun” is used, by hand, to shoot pieces of wool through a canvas backing which has a pattern sketched onto it. A petroleum-based rubber backing is then placed over the back of the rug to keep the unsecured strands of yarn from falling out. These rugs are easy to spot when you turn them over. No hand-made rug will have any sort of backing on it, rubber or otherwise.

Hand-Woven or Hand-Knotted Rugs

The designations “hand-woven” and “hand-knotted” are reserved for rugs that are made entirely by hand. In both types of rugs, a set of vertical strings, or “warp” is attached to a loom. Then wool is either
woven through the warp strings, or hand-knotted onto the warp strings, to form the “weft” of the rug. Machines are not used at any point in the process. One way to tell a handmade rug from machine-made pieces is to examine the fringes along the edge of the rug. For handmade rugs, the “fringe” is actually the warp strings, and is an integral part of the rug rather than an applied ornamentation.

This is why genuine oriental rugs cost so much

Weavers spend hundreds, or sometimes even  thousands of hours on each rug making it as close to perfect as possible

The Weaving Process

The best hand-made rugs are designed and woven by adult weavers who have been practicing for generations. These men and women are considered true artists, well paid for their craft, and publicly-acknowledged for their skill. Interestingly, their identities are rarely revealed outside their own circle of friends and other rug makers. Oriental rugs are typically the product of the work of three groups: the designers who fashion the patterns, the dyers who create the color palette, and the weavers, who bring that design to life.

Materials Used

Oriental rugs, like most works of art, are crafted from the highest quality materials. This means the highest grade wools & silks are required. Fine quality wool should have a certain luster or sheen, but not shine like polypropylene or plastic fibers. To complicate things more, it’s commonplace in today’s market to see poor quality wools blended with petroleum-based artificial materials. These is to be avoided if possible, as bad wools will become brittle and eventually crumble, and petroleum-based materials can sometimes take on an odd smell, especially when placed on heated floors. Another way to recognize substandard wool is to watch for shedding. A small amount of shedding is to be expected from a natural fiber, but profuse amounts of shedding on a short-pile rug indicates a problem. The most common culprit in excessive shedding is the use of “dead wool”; (e.g. not shorn from live animals, but rather soaked off the hide of deceased animals using chemicals). In addition, dead wool isn’t made up of the long strands most hand-made rugs use, so it bears none of the hallmark traits of beauty and longevity of the long-coat wools shorn from live sheep. In general, the best quality wools are also hand-spun. This is easily detected in flat-weave rugs due to a “knobby” texture to the weaving, but is harder to recognize in hand-knotted rugs. Machine-spun wools are also perfectly acceptable; they are just not as highly prized and therefore a rug made with machine-spun wools should be less expensive than one rendered in hand-spun materials and therefore not retain their value as such.

Oriental Rug Dyes use natural colors from vegetables, mollusks, snails, etc.

All of the dyed wool shown here comes from natural sources, such as plants, minerals, and even walnut husks. That’s why

Types of Dye

There are three main classifications of wools used in rug production: Chemically-dyed, Vegetal-dyed, and Natural (or no-dye) wools. Natural or vegetal-dyed wools are much more preferable than wools dyed with chemical substances. Less than 20% of the rugs made in the world today were constructed using vegetal dyes. Why, you may ask? Plant-based dyes require a skill level that takes many years to master. Thus, vegetal-dye pieces are far more costly than their chemically-dyed counterparts. Some dealers will state all their rugs are vegetal-dyed to justify inflated prices, but the reality is very few rugs are actually crafted using vegetal dyes. As we’ve stated before in another blog entry, when it comes to oriental rug cleaning, we absolutely insist rugs that are constructed with either natural or vegetal dyes not be cleaned using steam cleaners or with abrasive chemicals, as those colors will potentially bleed or fade over time.

Thousands or even millions of knots like these are used to create each hand-made oriental rug

Thousands, or sometimes millions of these knots are used when crafting rugs

Knot Count

The easiest to spot (yet most deceptive) of all rug quality indicators is the KPI, or “knots per square inch.” KPI is calculated by multiplying the horizontal knot count times the vertical knot count in a one-inch area of the carpet. Rugs are often classified according to knot-count as ranging from “coarse” to “super fine.” This is a helpful measurement in terms of evaluating the work that went into creating the pile on a rug. Please be aware, however, that this is but one of many criteria that are used to “grade” a rug, and therefore KPI must be used with due caution. It is easy to get so caught up in counting the quantity of knots on the back of the rug, or with terms like “super fine,” that one fails to properly take into account the front of the rug. Also, keep in mind a large number of knots is not a catch-all signifier of quality, similar to grading bedsheets by thread count only.

Symmetry

Hand-made Oriental Rugs require absolute precision and meticulous hours to create, and even then, unless the weavers are unusually gifted, it's never absolutely symmetric

Even some of the most skilled Oriental Rug makers in the world aren’t perfect with regard to symmetry; however, the closer they are to perfect, the more valuable the rug

Symmetry in size

Is the rug symmetrical? Or is one side markedly longer than the other? While slight deviations in symmetry are to be expected, large variations in size indicates the work of a novice weaver.

Symmetry in image

Compare the back of the rug to the front. Does it look the same or are the colors or the patterns difficult to discern from the back? A good weaver’s “picture” will remain the same, and in the work of a truly gifted weaver, there will be so little difference, you could even flip the rug over and hardly anybody would notice.

Symmetry in knot construction

Does the back of the rug feel smooth to the touch or can you feel small bumps when you rub your hand over it? Are the fringe ends of the rug smooth, or do they pucker? Is the surface visually smooth, or can you see numerous visible breaks in the base structure of the rug? A good weaver’s knots will be smooth with very few bumps or bulges. Does the edge of the rug generally lie flat when placed on the ground or do the edges roll under or up? Good quality weaving should lay flat, without rolling or curling along the edges.

Oriental Rug Cleaning & Maintenance

Our passion for premium quality Oriental Rugs is infectious. When we take the time to assist a customer with the purchase of an Orienatl Rug and during the appraisal of their rug(s) during our oriental rug cleaning or trade-in process, we see a remarkable engagement from people eager to learn more about the rug(s) they want or already own. That’s why when we clean rugs, we do so with the utmost care and concern. When we pick up your rug(s) for cleaning, we carefully move your furniture, vacuum over, around, and under your rug so we don’t spread surface dust all over your home, and then place the newly-cleaned rug exactly where we found it. That’s what care, commitment, and overall great service look like, and we hope you get to experience all three first-hand.

We’re here to help any way we can. With 5 generations of experience, we are THE Rug Experts!

Lousiville
(502) 219-6959

Lexington
(859) 592-5949

For questions regarding oriental rug cleaning, repair/restoration, or your next purchase, give us a call or send us a message on FaceBook today!

Stress = Pet Stains On Your Oriental Rug

The last thing on your mind here is having your oriental rug cleaned

Does this sound familiar? You had a long, stressful day at work putting out fires, only to hit brutal traffic during the commute home. Sitting on the freeway, you begin to recount stressful elements of your day. Maybe it was dealing with that annoying coworker who bombards you with questions 24/7, or a deadline that got pushed up leaving you to scramble to do the impossible. Regardless, your 9-5 has left you exhausted, stressed, and in dire need of some R&R.

But when you do finally make it home, much of the day’s frustrations melt away when you’re greeted enthusiastically by a loyal pet at the front door. You kick off your shoes and make a bee-line for the living room to wind down, and that’s when it happens—you hit the fresh wet spot. You lift your gaze to see Fido now sitting across the room, with a very apparent “whoops” on his guilty face. It looks like your furry friend had a little accident on your brand new, beautiful oriental rug.

Your pets are your children, but they make messes on your oriental rugs

Whether you’re potty training the newest addition to your family or you have an old dog that refuses to learn new tricks, your oriental rug is at risk! Urine can permanently stain a rug, and the smell can come back months later to haunt you. Check out these tips on how to remove pet urine stains. With some quick action you’ll prevent pet stains from setting and odors from recurring before they ruin your favorite rug (or your day).

Warm Water

When your four-legged friend picks your oriental rug as the spot to, well, make a spot, the safest method you can employ is to soak the area with a towel and warm water. Blot the area with a warm, wet towel. Ideally, you’ll want to do this immediately after it happens, as the longer that you wait to give attention to the urinated rug, the more likely the ammonia in the urine will damage your oriental rug’s fibers and dyes. For more information about that, check out our June Gloom post.

Vinegar

If you got to the stain a bit too late and water alone doesn’t resolve the issue, try adding a small amount of white vinegar to warm water and blot the stain. The diluted acidic nature acts like a chemical bonding agent that will help extract the urine. It should be noted that it’s never a good idea to add chemical-based cleaners to clean your oriental rug, as they could make the stain worse or permanently discolor your rug.

Professional Cleaning

pet stains picture before

BEFORE

pet stains picture before

AFTER

The most trusted method to remove pet stains and urine from your oriental rug is to have it professionally cleaned. Steaming, dry cleaning, and other industrial cleaning methods will only clean the surface of the rug and will do so in a way that the natural dyes can bleed or fade. To get out stains as well as years of dander, dirt, etc. from your rug, call us at Khazai Oriental Rug Cleaning.  We have been hand-washing rugs at our cleaning facilities for over 30 years, ensuring we provide expert service for every rug that we pamper.

We use special cleaning agents with water saturation that are guaranteed to remove 100% of the pet urine odors from your rug. If you act immediately and contact us right after your pet stains the rug and before it dries, it will be much easier to remedy the damage. However, we also have years of successful experience in removing even old and dry urine stains from rugs. Once you bring your rug in for inspection, our experts will diagnose the best next steps.

If Fido did a “no no,” give Khazai Rug Cleaning a call. We’ll make your oriental rug look brand new!

Louisville
(502) 219-6959

Lexington
(859) 592-5949

For questions regarding the condition of your rugs, including repair/restoration, give us a call or send us a message on FaceBook today!