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A Comprehensive Guide to

Oriental & Specialty Rug Cleaning

Ellen Amirkhan Aaron Groseclose

Oriental Rug Cleaning Company, Inc.  Dallas


A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning Ellen Amirkhan and Aaron Groseclose Published in the United States of America by Oriental Rug Cleaning Company, Inc. 3907 Ross Ave. Dallas, TX 75204 www.dallasrugcleaner.com Copyright Š 2006, Ellen Amirkhan and Aaron Groseclose All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both copyright owners. Library of Congress Control Number: 2006928771 ISBN 978-0-9776163-0-5


Table of Contents

v

Contents Introduction

1

Chapter 1  History of Oriental Rugs

3

Rugs Today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Chapter 2  Fibers and Dyes

7

Fibers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Wool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Other Hair Fibers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Silk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Cotton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Bast Fibers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Leaf Fibers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Fruit Fibers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Regenerated Fiber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Synthetic Fibers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Fiber Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Dyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Color and Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Natural Dye vs. Synthetic Dye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Rug Dyes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Dyeing Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Chapter 3  Construction: Machine-Made Rugs

33

Tufted Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Machine-Woven Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Woven Carpet Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Other Machine-Made Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Bonded Carpet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Chapter 4  Specialty Rugs

41

Animal Skins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Pre-cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Braided Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Carousel速 Carpet Mills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


vi

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Flatweaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Dhurries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Kilims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Cotton Chenille Flatweaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Chinese Aubusson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Soumak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Flokati Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Hand-Hooked Rugs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Hand-Tufted Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Edward Fields, V’Soske, Scott Group, Hokanson, Tai-Ping . . . 58 KarastanŽ Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Kashmir Chainstich Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 La Montage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Navajo Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 The Weaving Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Contemporary Regional Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Needlepoint Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Portugal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Rag Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75


Table of Contents

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Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Sisal/Coir/Sea Grass And Other Plant Based Fiber Rugs . . . . . . . 76 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Spanish Wilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Cleaning Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Chapter 5  Hand-Knotted Rugs: Classification, Construction and Design

79

Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Looms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Warps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Wefts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Cartoon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Knots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Rug Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Knot Count . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Knot Count/Quality Grading Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 End Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Side Finishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Finishing Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Chemical Washing Of Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Oriental Rug Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Medallion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Repeating Motifs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 All-Over Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Open Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Pictorial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Directional . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Saph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Waigereh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Individual Design Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Border Designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Signatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Chapter 6  Persian Rugs

107

Persian Village Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108


viii

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Hamadan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Lillihan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Malayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Senneh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Persian City Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Ardabil/Meshkin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Bijar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Qum/Ghoum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Heriz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Isfahan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Joshaghan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Karaja . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Kashan Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Kerman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Mahal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Mashad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Nain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 Sarouk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Tabriz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Chapter 7  Tribal Rugs

149

Bakhtiari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Baluchi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Turkoman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Shiraz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Afshar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 Gabbeh Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Chapter 8  Other Countries Producing Hand-Knotted Rugs 159 Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 Caucasian Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Peking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Tientsin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 Modern Wool Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Modern Silk Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 Moroccan Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178 Moroccan and Tunisian Flatweaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Pakistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 Mori Weave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182


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Pakistan Persian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 Peshawar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Romania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 Spain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188 Tibetan Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 City Production. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Village Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Why Rug Identification Is Important to the Area Rug Cleaner. . . 203 Tangible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Intangible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Chapter 9  Road Map to Rug Identification

203

Why Cleaners May be Afraid of Rug Identification . . . . . . . . 204 Road Map To Rug Identification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Components of Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 Technical Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 Differences Between Hand-Knotted and Machine-Made Oriental Design Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206

Chapter 10  Chemistry of Rug Cleaning

209

Rug Soil. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 The Makeup of Rug Soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 Cleaning Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Cleaning Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 Polarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Solvency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Surface Tension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Detergents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Emulsification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 pH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 Cleaning Guidelines by WoolSafe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Chemical Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 Hazard Communication Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 Information contained in a Material Safety Data Sheet . . . . . 221

Chapter 11  Pre-Cleaning Inspection

223

Classifying Area Rugs Before Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 Pre-Cleaning Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 Abrash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Animal hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225


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A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Animal stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Bleach stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Blood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Bordered rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Browning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Buckles, puckers, out of square . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Burns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Cat scratches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Chemical wash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Color bleeding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Creases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Crocking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Crush marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Curled sides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 Detached side selvage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 Detergent residue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228 Discolored, oxidized . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Dry rot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Dye stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Faded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Felting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Fiber content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Filtration lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Fold wear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Fringe worn/rotten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Furniture stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Gum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Holes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Irregular shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Lazy lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Mildew/Mold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 Moth and insect damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Odor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Over-dyed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Painted foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 Photo bleaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Pot plant damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Previous repairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Pulled tufts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234


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Rug reduced in size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Rust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Shading, pooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Shrinkage/potential shrinkage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Slits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Smoke/fire damage/nicotine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Sprouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Stencil marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236 Tea wash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Test for colorfastness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Texture distortion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Traffic lane soil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Urine stain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Water damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Water stains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Wax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Weak places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Wear: ends, sides, interior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Wet rot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 White knots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Yellowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239

Chapter 12  Rug Cleaning

241

Introduction to Rug Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Pre-Cleaning Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Determine the fiber content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Identify the rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Inspect rug for pre-existing conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Check for colorfastness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Determine the cleaning method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Dry Soil Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 Vacuum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Portable Beater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243 Dusting Machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 Compressed Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 Pre-treatments of the rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Fringe Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Rug Cleaning Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246


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A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Absorbent Compound Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 Absorbent Pad Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 Dry Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 Mist and Brush Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 Rotary Shampoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 Hot Water Extraction Cleaning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 In-plant Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 Combination Cleaning Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Rinsing the rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Groom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 Drying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 The Dry Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 Dry Room Techniques — Air Engineering for Rug Cleaners . 259 Fundamental Factors of Rug Drying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 Five Steps to Increase Rug Drying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261 Good Air Contact with Rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Drip Dry Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 How to Set Up a Mini-Plant Dry Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 Quality control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Fringe Correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 Roll, Tie and Place in the Bins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Sample Cleaning Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268

Chapter 13  Plant Operations And Procedures

277

General Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Example Of Operations Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Pick-up and Delivery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 Cash and Carry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278 Plant Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 Consumer Care Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 Pricing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282

Chapter 14  Rug Spotting

283

Principles of Spot Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 When to Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 General Chemical Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 Types of Spots and Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 Actions Used in Spot Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 General Spotting Procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287 Testing for Colorfastness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288


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Unknown Spot Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Heat Transfer Dye Stain Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Specific Spotting Procedures and Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Solvent Soluble Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 Synthetic Resins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 Urine Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 Wax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291 Chewing Gum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 Tannin Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293 Protein Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294 Dye Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294 Rust Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Mildew Stains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Bleaches and Reducing Agents/Strippers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Bleaches and Strippers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296 Oxidizing Bleaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 Reducing Bleaches and Strippers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298 Spotting Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 Mystery Spots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300

Chapter 15  Problems and Solutions

303

Cellulosic Browning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Crocking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Dry Rot/Mildew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Dye Bleed Removal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 Fringe Cleaning/Correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308 Insect Damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309


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A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Pile Stiffness After Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310 Powdered Carpet Deodorizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Problem – Impacted Powder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 Rug Discoloration/Color Changes/Yellowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Problem – Discoloration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Problem – Fume/Light Fading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Problem – Yellowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Shading/Pooling/Pile Reversal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Cause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313 Shrinkage of Custom Bordered Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 Texture Distortion from Cleaning Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315 Solution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315

Chapter 16  Additional Services

317

Blocking Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317 Steps in Blocking a Rug, the Bon Ton Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318 Deodorizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320 Real Odor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320 Psychological Odor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Influencing Factors of Real Odor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Products Used in Deodorizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322 Animal Odors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 Other Odors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326 Disaster Restoration and Damage Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 Handling a Fire or Water Damaged Rug Prior to Cleaning . . 327 The Cleaning and Restoration of Oriental Rugs Exposed to Smoke Damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328 The Cleaning and Restoration of Oriental Rugs Exposed to Sewage Intrusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331 Mold Remediation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332


Table of Contents

xv

Tracking Rugs in a Restoration Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332 Clean It Yourself Or Sub It Out? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 Fabric Protectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333 Silicones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334 Fluorochemicals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334 Insect Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334 Rug Display. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Rug Pad. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 Rug Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338 Materials and Tools You Will Need: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341 Wrapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 342

Chapter 17  Oriental And Specialty Rug Appraisals

345

Determining The Value Of An Oriental Rug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347 Determining Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348 Factors Affecting Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349 Determining Age. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 How much is it worth? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351 Investigating and Documenting an Area Rug Claim . . . . . . . . . . . 352 Initial Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352 Questions for the Insured . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352

Chapter 18  Resources

355

Absorbent Compound Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 Brushes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355 Chemicals/Supplies and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 Dyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 Marketing Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 Non-Immersion Dry Cleaning Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 Oriental Rug Book Suppliers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 Oriental Rug Repair Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 Periodicals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358 Retailers of Oriental Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358 Rug Cleaning Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358 Rug Dusting Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 Rug Padding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 Rug Storage Tubes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 Rug Washing/Dry Room Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 Rug Websites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 Specialty Matting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 Spotter and Grooming Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360


xvi

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleanings Supplies/Equipment/Brushes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 Trade Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 Wholesaler of Oriental Rugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362 Wrapping Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362

Glossary

363

Recommended Reading

387

Index

389


Introduction

1

Introduction Winston Churchill’s description of the former Soviet Union, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” also describes the world of oriental rugs. Identifying and cleaning these rugs is both an art and a science and has traditionally been performed by a relatively small group of professionals. For centuries, information about the making, selling, and cleaning of oriental rugs has been closely guarded and held by a select few. As these rug cleaners have invested tremendous amounts of time and money in their business, they naturally seek to protect their investment. Because of the lack of reliable information available to the rug cleaner, we have compiled this comprehensive guide on oriental and specialty rug cleaning. New types of rugs are continually being brought into the market and we have included this current information as well as information about rugs that have existed for 100 years. The rugs we have used in our illustrations are often encountered in a cleaning business. This guide does not attempt to cover every type of hand and machine-made rug. The photographs are of the most commonly woven designs and include close-ups of the rug’s back. Popular belief is that oriental rugs are identified by their design, but that is only one component of identification. A rug’s construction is the most precise method of determining origin. “Persia” is used with reference to the modern country of Iran, and in the carpet industry, “Persian rug” is still the term used to describe rugs from Iran. Because the transliteration of Farsi words to English is not always exact, you may find several spellings for the same word in different sources.


Chapter 1  History of Oriental Rugs

3

Chapter 1

History of Oriental Rugs Russia

Romania

Cauca su

s

Greece Tunisia

Azerbaijan

Turkey

Mediterranean Sea

a

Armenia

Spain

Kazakstan Uzbekistan

Kirghizstan Kyrgystan

Se

Portugal

sM Black Sea Georgia ounta in

ian

Bulgaria

sp Ca

France

Turkmenistan

Syria

Tajikistan

China

Afghanistan Iraq

Morocco

Iran (Persia)

Algeria

Tibet

Libya

Pakistan

Nepal

Egypt India

Arabian Sea

The Rug Belt The origins of rug weaving are literally “lost in antiquity” and cause for much speculation. Because the materials used in weaving are not as durable as materials used in other art forms, such as buildings or paintings, and the function of rugs subjects them to harsher wear, the number of extremely old pieces that have survived is very limited. The oldest, nearly complete hand-knotted rug dates from the 4th or 5th century B.C. and is known as the Pazyryk rug. This rug was discovered in 1949 by Soviet archaeologists inside the burial tomb of a nomadic tribal chief near Pazyryk in southern Siberia. The rug was protected from disintegration in the permafrost. The rug’s design and construction is relatively sophisticated indicating that rug weaving had been developing for hundreds or even thousands of years. This rug measures 6 feet x 6 feet 6 inches (180 cm x 195 cm) with a wool pile/foundation and has 225 symmetrical knots per square inch. The Pazyryk rug is currently housed at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pazyryk rug, detail


4

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning

Ardabil rug, Victoria and Albert Museum

In Turkey and Persia, no surviving rugs can be accurately attributed prior to 1500 A.D. This date corresponds to the beginning of the Safavid dynasty (15011722) in Persia. The best known rug from this period is the Ardabil carpet which is 17 feet 6 inches by 36 feet 6 inches (530 cm x 1110 cm) and housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Turkish rugs are depicted in 15th and 16th century paintings most notably by Hans Holbein of Germany and Lorenzo Lotto of Italy. Again, one can assume that rug weaving in Turkey, Persia, India, the Caucasus Mountains and China dates back many centuries before this time.

Rug weaving in the 18th century suffered from wars in Persia, turmoil in the Ottoman Empire, and corrupt government. This instability disrupted foreign trade and diminished the affluence of the middle-class. Under these adverse conditions, commercial rug production could not flourish beyond local needs. In the 19th century, the industrial revolution resulted in an elevated quality of life for many people. Rapidly expanding prosperity combined with the new cost-efficiency of machines gave bankers, entrepreneurs, and merchants new-found wealth. As the middle class became better educated, enjoyed better health, had more leisure time and greater mobility, the demand for “luxury� goods increased. Merchants scoured the countryside in the Middle East looking for rugs to import to the United States and Europe. Because production was limited for many years, the number of rugs available for purchase was soon exhausted. Entrepreneurs from the United States and Western Europe saw an opportunity to revive the rug weaving industry in the Middle and Far East. By the late 19th century, rug weaving as we know it today was a thriving industry.

Rugs Today Today, hand-made rugs are produced from North Africa and Europe to China with many different styles and weaving techniques. Rugs can be hand-knotted, tufted, flat-woven, or machine-made. Major rug producing countries include the United States, Afghanistan, the Caucasus region, Central Asia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Spain and Turkey. Today, the majority of rugs imported into the United States are from India and China. The United States produces machine-made rugs, which are mainly woven or tufted. According to Floor Covering Weekly in 2004, 17.6% of soft floor coverings purchased were area rugs. This percentage represents sales


Chapter 1  History of Oriental Rugs of $2.51 billion and that figure may be on the conservative side. Rugs have been much more popular in Europe than in the U.S. for many years. How does this history relate to rug cleaners? The majority of rugs that will be brought to a cleaning plant will have been made after 1950. Rugs made from 1920 to 1950 will be the second most common type, and rugs made before 1920 will make up the smallest percentage of rugs brought for cleaning. Since the late 19th century, specific types of oriental rugs have changed style, design, construction and materials as demand and fashion have changed and as other external influences dictated these changes. In the study of rug identification, one has to learn the myriad of names and how each type has changed in the past 100 years. Rug cleaning can be very challenging because there are so many variables and manufacturers are continually creating new types of rugs that have their own special set of problems. When visiting 10 different rug cleaning operations, you will find 10 different methods of cleaning a rug, though the basic principles of cleaning are the same. To clean rugs safely and effectively, you need to have a good working knowledge of fibers, construction, cleaning principles and procedures as well as rug identification and what to look for during the pre-cleaning inspection. This challenge is not an easy task but can provide a lifetime of fun, a sense of accomplishment, reward and satisfaction that comes with operating a successful business.

5


Chapter 3  Construction: Machine-Made Rugs

33

Chapter 3

Construction: Machine-Made Rugs Machine-made rugs can be produced with a variety of methods. We will start with the most common way that rugs are made in the U.S.

Machine-tufted

Tufted Rugs A tufted rug is constructed much like a sandwich consisting of face yarns that are stitched into a primary backing with adhesive and secondary backing. It can be loop or cut-pile construction. • Face Yarns — consist of a broad range of fibers, e.g. nylon, wool, olefin, etc., in various pile constructions. Undyed tufted face yarns are called greige goods. •

Primary backings — usually woven or non-woven polypropylene; sometimes woven jute is used.

Adhesive — a layer of latex holds the primary and secondary backings together.

Secondary backings — applied to give a carpet dimensional stability, which refers to the capability of the carpet to retain its size and shape.

Tufted

Indo-Tufted


34

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning Professional rug cleaners should give special consideration to the fact that the backing materials and adhesive bonds must be in sound condition before attempting to clean the rug. Always inspect seams (if the rug contains them) for signs of separation. Carefully inspect for overall weaknesses, such as backing separation (delamination) or weak, dry rotted conditions. These problems will become more apparent when exposed to the moisture necessary for rug cleaning. A popular style in tufted wool is textured loop (sisal pattern), characterized by a combination of earth and natural colors. No particular cleaning problems occur if the procedures for cleaning wool are observed. Berber is a style of carpet that is characterized by a heather look (multicolor/mottled effect). Although natural wool Berber carpets are not as popular as they once were, many are waiting to be cleaned. True Berber is made from naturally pigmented wool with cream, tan, gray, brown or black fibers. The yarns are spun in heavy counts containing a high percentage of coarse fiber and kemp, resulting in a chunky, rough appearance similar to cottage industry hand-spun yarns. This large yarn bundle can sprout and pill if the cleaning method is too aggressive. (Avoid rotary brush and bonnet methods). Also, if the adhesive was improperly applied during the manufacturing process, the yarns can fuzz from foot traffic alone. The fibers are naturally pigmented rather than dyed and are extremely susceptible to color bleeding under alkaline conditions. These natural fiber Berber rugs are not to be confused with synthetic fiber Berber-style carpet often made of olefin and/or nylon fibers.

Machine-Woven Rugs Woven refers to a rug or carpet that is made by a weaving process and consists of face yarns, backing yarns, and often adhesives (or back coatings). In woven rugs, the face and back are formed at the same time on a loom by interweaving warp, weft, and face or pile yarns. Woven carpets are Face Yarns

Weft Warp Yarns

Machine woven


Chapter 3  Construction: Machine-Made Rugs generally made with wool face fibers, so avoid high alkaline cleaners. (See Chemistry of Cleaning, Chapter 10.) • Face yarns — consist generally of wool, but can include nylon, olefin, blends of wool with nylon, cotton, etc. •

Backing yarns — fibers used in backing (foundation) yarns can be synthetic; however, the most common are cotton and jute. Warp yarns run the length and weft yarns run the width of the carpet.

35 Pile

Weft

Stuffer Warp Chain Warp

Construction

Machine-woven rug diagram

Face-to-Face Weaving Face-to-Face weaving represents the most productive method currently available for the manufacture of woven floor coverings. There are two methods of producing this type of carpet: • On machinery with one shed and single-weft insertion. •

On machinery with two sheds, one above the other, and double-weft insertion.

The backing fabrics are woven one above the other under strong tension and connected by pile warps. Following the beat-up of the loom, the pile warps are cut by a reciprocating knife mechanism, which separates the two fabrics to create two carpets. The distance between the top and bottom cloths, which can be regulated, determines the pile height of the two carpets. This method is only for the production of cut-pile 6

TC

4 5

2 5

3

BC

1 2

4 1 3 1

2

3

4

5

6

Face to face weave

Face-to-face Wilton


36

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning carpets. This method was developed in the 1940s and is considered a type of Wilton weaving. The most widespread use of face-to-face weaving is in the production of “oriental design� rugs, usually in five-color jacquard designs. The weaves produced on double-shed machinery are denser than those produced on single-shuttle machines where a tuft is woven on every shot. Rugs that resemble hand-knotted rugs with the design visible on the back are produced by double-shed weaving.

Woven Carpet Styles Wilton

Warp Yarns: Weft Yarns

Chain Stuffer

Wilton weave

Wilton carpet is named for a town in England where it was first made in the first half of the 18th century. Wilton carpets are normally limited to five colors (or 5 frame, the rack which holds the spools of yarn) and may be cut or loop pile. The loop pile was originally known as Brussels carpet and was the first mechanical system for weaving carpets. Wilton carpets are woven over a wire that gives the loop effect, or woven over a wire with a blade on the end so when it is removed the pile is cut. The height of the wire determines the height of the pile. Multi-color (multi-frame) Wilton weaving involves high material costs because yarns that do not appear in the face of the design are still present in the carpet as dead pile, or buried pile. A Jacquard device is used on the Wilton loom to produce the wovenin ornate designs. Machine-made woven carpets have an additional component to the


Chapter 3  Construction: Machine-Made Rugs

37

warp and weft of the foundation called the stuffer warp. The warp or chain-warp runs the length of the carpet while the stuffer warp does not interlace with the weft but spaces the chains, as required, to create a carpet of appropriate backing density. It is under tension so that it remains straight in the finished carpet, contributing to dimensional stability. The stuffer can be made of cotton, jute or Kraft cord. In conventional Wilton wire looms, it is the wire insertion and withdrawal mechanism that limits the output. An alternative solution is to use wires mounted warp wise. The most successful warp-wire loom is the Karaloc® loom. Its use has been confined to three companies and the machine is not available for sale. In its simpler form, the Kara-loc® Bobbins loom produces plain loop pile carpet, but the machine can be creeled with an array of different colors of yarn and the needles can interact with alternative wires to give simple designs, similar to some crossover tufting designs. These carpets generally have a backcoating of latex to improve tuft-bind and stability of the finished carpet.

Wilton

Yarn

Jacquard Punched Cards

Shuttle

Wilton

Wires

Another variation of Wilton weaving is the Velvet loom, which is the Wilton loom without the Jacquard patterning device. The velvet weave is usually used to produce extremely dense plush velvet piles. It is a relatively simple weave of a Wilton construction and is produced in solid colors.

Finished Carpet

Woven carpets can be made on looms 27 or 36 inches wide. Carpet wider than 72 inches is known as broadloom (4 – 5 meters, 13.2 – 18 feet). Woven carpet is expensive due to the slow pace at which the equipment operates. Older looms only produce twenty-five linear yards in an 8-hour shift.

Axminster Axminster carpets are always cut-pile and produced by one of two methods: spool or gripper. In both, the tufts are inserted during the weaving of the backing that consists of wefts (yarns running across the carpet) and warps (yarns running along the length). Wefts can be of jute or man-made fiber. The warps may be made of cotton, polypropylene or polyester-cotton blends. Each tuft is in the shape of a ‘U’ and is held in place by the weft. Axminster woven carpets also have two components to the foundation.

Wilton Loom


38

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning

Warp Yarns: Weft Yarns

Stuffer Chain Axminster weave

3-Shot Kardax

3-Shot Corinthian

2-Shot Kardax

The chain warp runs the length of the carpet and interlaces with the weft. This is a thin yarn, usually cotton. The stuffer warp also runs the length of the carpet but does not interlace with the weft. It does space the chains, as required, to create a carpet of appropriate backing density, and is put under tension so it remains straight in the finished carpet, contributing to dimensional stability. Axminster carpets are normally patterned and are always cut-pile. Carpet woven on the gripper loom is usually limited to designs of 8-12 colors, while the spool looms allow an unlimited number of colors. The gripper process is the more economical of the two. Pile yarns are fed from bobbins into carriers, which are moved up and down by a Jacquard system. At this point they are seized by “grippers”, cut to length, inserted through the warp and secured by heavy “shots” of double yarns. These heavy

2-Shot Corinthian

Axminster Weave Structures

Gripper Axminster


Chapter 4  Specialty Rugs

45

Cleaning Considerations Because of the natural plant fibers used in these rugs, cellulosic browning is a big concern. Keep your cleaning solutions in the neutral pH range and look for products that have the WoolSafe logo. Usually, spot cleaning will leave rings and/or will brown. Drying the rugs upside down with an air mover blowing across the back of the rug is a trick of the trade. This allows any browning to wick to the rug’s back and will not show when the rug is returned to the customer’s home. Do not place the air mover under the rug as this will result in the browning of the face yarns. In hot weather, the rugs can be dried face-up in the sun. Be sure to spend extra time rinsing, as detergent residue left in the rug will add to the browning problem.

Flatweaves Dhurries Dhurries are a weft-faced plain weave rug made in India. The wefts create the design of the rug. Older pieces were made on a cotton foundation with cotton face yarns. Since approximately 1980, the face yarns have been mostly wool with a few rugs made with cotton face yarns. These rugs were popular in the 1980s and 1990s and many will be brought to your

Wool Dhurrie, closeup

Wool Dhurrie

Old Cotton Dhurrie


46

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning cleaning plant. They are usually quite soiled and can be difficult but not impossible to clean.

Pre-Cleaning Inspection 1. Soil and numerous stains. 2. Sides can be rippled. 3. Sides and ends can be frayed or worn to the heavy cotton foundation cord. 4. Ivory-colored Dhurries may yellow over time.

Cleaning Considerations 1. The use of hot water in the cleaning process can exacerbate the rippling on the sides. 2. Both sides of the rug must be cleaned. 3. If extremely soiled, these rugs must be pre-treated with traffic lane cleaner, such as MasterBlend’s Fine Fabric Spray, prior to cleaning.

Kilims The term kilim is used to describe weft-faced plain weave rugs made in countries other than India. For the most part, these rugs are made in Turkey, Iran, China, Romania, Afghanistan, Bessarabia (modern Moldova) and Bulgaria. The wefts can be interlocking or slit weave. A slit weave is made when two different colors meet and reverse direction on adjacent warps, creating a “slit”. Customers sometimes think this slit needs to be sewn, but it is the nature of the weave. Warp sharing is when two colors meet, then reverse direction and share a warp.

Pre-Cleaning Inspection Turkish Kilim

1. Look for prior color bleeding. 2. Look for wear with exposed warps. 3. Check for colorfastness

Slit Weave Slit Weave

Warp Sharing Weave


Chapter 4  Specialty Rugs

47

Cleaning Considerations 1. If not colorfast, use a low moisture cleaning method such as one would use to clean Navajo rugs. See Chapter 12. 2. Dry flat in the sun or with air movers.

Cotton Chenille Flatweaves These inexpensive rugs are made in India and are for the most part colorfast despite their deep, rich color palette and generally do not have cleaning considerations.

Cotton Chenille Flatweave

Older Wool Pile Chenille Rug

Cotton Chenille Flatweave, closeup

Older Wool Pile Chenille Rug, back


48

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning

Chinese Aubusson During the 18th and 19th centuries, wool tapestry woven rugs were made in Aubusson, France. Today, they are reproduced in China. Unlike Chinese needlepoint rugs, these rugs are usually “in square”, colors are fast, and do not have any inherent problems.

Cleaning Considerations 1. Dry flat or on a pole without pins. 2. If drying in the sun, turn upside down so the dark blues will not turn purple-gray from the sun.

Chinese Aubusson

Chinese Aubusson, back

Chinese Aubusson, front closeup

Soumak Flatwoven rugs that are made with a soumak stitch are referred to as “soumak” rugs. These rugs are principally made in Afganistan, the Caucasus region, China, India, Iran, and Turkey. The pattern-forming face yarns pass over either two or four warps and return in the opposite direction under one or two warps. This method sometimes leaves loose threads on the back of the rug where the colors change. At times, there may be one or more wefts between each row of soumak.


Chapter 4  Specialty Rugs

49

Persian Afshar Soumak

Persian Afshar Soumak, back

Afghan Soumak

Afghan Soumak, back

Plain soumak—each row of the pattern-forming yarns (wefts) loop in the same direction. Counter soumak—the direction of the pattern-forming yarns loop in the opposite direction every other row, producing a herringbone effect.

Plain Soumak

Counter Soumak


Chapter 6  Persian Rugs

107

Chapter 6

Persian Rugs Except for some tribal, Caucasian and collectable rugs made outside of Persia (present day Iran), Persian rugs made before 1950 are considered the benchmark by which all other oriental rugs are judged. With a few exceptions, they were well made and do not have any inherent cleaning problems. As a general rule, rugs with depressed warps and curvilinear designs were usually made in Persian cities. Less densely knotted rugs with rectilinear designs were usually made in Persian villages. Since 1980, many Persian rugs have lost their individual characteristics and are more generic in design and construction.

Iran

TURKEY

The Caucasus Maku Heriz

Caspian Sea

Meskin Ardabil

Tabriz

TURKMENISTAN Merv

ns Bujnurd Quchon

ma

ko Tur

Serab

Sauj-Bulak ann Joshaghan seevva Rasht s aahh Zenjan Kazvin Sh

ds

Kur

Bijar Senneh Hamadan

Tehran Kashmar Sarouk Arak

Sarakhs

Nishapur

Mashad

Sabsawar

Qum

Firdaus

Kashan

Kermanshah

Turbat-i Turbat-i-Shaikh Jam Haidari Herat Gonabad

Tabas

Qain

Natanz

AFGHANISTAN

ri tia

hk

Ba

Nain Birjand

Isfahan

IRAQ

IRAN

Baluchis Ravar

Abadeh

Lurs

Yazd

Kham

Abadan

seh

Afshari

PAKISTAN

ai

IT WA KU

hg

s Qa

Shiraz

Kerman

Bushire

SAUDI ARABIA BALUCHISTAN

Persian Gulf


108

A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning In the study of oriental rugs, in terms of design and structure, “always” and “never” are not words that are safe to use. Because of the inherent nature of hand-made textiles, there are too many exceptions that do not allow the use of “always” and “never.” The characteristics of rugs described in this book are those most commonly encountered in commercial cleaning plants.

Persian Village Rugs Hamadan

Dergazine

The city of Hamadan is an important rug trading center located in northwest Iran. Though no rugs are actually woven in Hamadan, hundreds of villages in a 50-mile radius surrounding Hamadan produce single-wefted, non-depressed, cotton foundation rugs. Distinctive weaving characteristics are associated with many of these villages and these characteristics identify the rug. Some examples of these specific types of Hamadan are Dergazine, Enjelas, and Mazlaghan. It is beyond the scope of this manual to cover each type of Hamadan and it is not necessary for the cleaner to be able to identify rugs from these specific villages. For the past 100 years, Hamadan has exported more rugs to the United States than any other weaving region in Iran. For the consumer, Hamadan was an entry-level hand-knotted rug between World War I and World War II. At the time, a 4 x 6 foot (122 cm x 183 cm) Hamadan might sell for $35 while a Sarouk during the same period would sell for $100. Because of their availability and affordable price, the rug cleaner will see many of these rugs, both old and new, in their cleaning business.

Back, Dergazine

Designs in Hamadan can be both curvilinear and rectilinear; however, most are rectilinear. One particular characteristic that distinguishes Hamadan is the single weft shot between each row of knots. Other Persian rugs that are single-wefted but are not from the Hamadan region are Senneh, Bakhtiari, Karaja, Lillihan, Bilverdi (single-wefted Heriz) and Malayer. However, these rugs have other identifying features, which separate them from Hamadan. If a rug is single-wefted, it is most likely a Persian village rug. It is easy to distinguish a single-wefted rug by looking at the back. Every-other warp is exposed across the width of the rug. If a rug has two or more wefts, every-other warp is not exposed on the back.

Senneh; single-wefted rug

Because of the lack of warp depression and single-wefted construction, these rugs wear more quickly than other rugs of heavier more durable construction. Most pre-World War II Hamadans are worn,


Chapter 11  Pre-Cleaning Inspection

223

Chapter 11

Pre-Cleaning Inspection Classifying Area Rugs Before Cleaning The first principle of area rug cleaning is it should not be done onlocation in the customer’s home. Because rug cleaning can include the occasional surprise, it is best to do the work in a controlled environment. It is understood that sometimes circumstances dictate cleaning a rug “onlocation,” but it should be the exception rather than the rule. The first step in the pre-cleaning inspection is to determine the construction of the rug. See Chapters 3, 4 and 5 for details on rug construction. Machine-made rugs are usually woven on a Wilton or Axminster loom or are tufted. Woven rugs can usually be identified by looking at the back for visible white warp yarns running the length of the rug. On hand-knotted rugs, the weft yarns running the width of the rug are often visible from the back.

Hand-knotted rug back

Machine-woven rug back

Machine-made rugs can range in value from very inexpensive or as costly as some oriental rugs. Tufted rugs manufactured by Edward Fields, Lacey Champion, the Scott Group and others can be expensive. A good habit for any rug cleaner to develop is reading labels on the backs of rugs.

Pre-Cleaning Inspection The most important step in cleaning area rugs occurs before the actual


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A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning cleaning process begins. Identifying and documenting pre-existing conditions ahead of time prevents misunderstandings between the cleaner and the customer. An example of an inspection form is found on page 240. Many common problems, complaints and re-services can be eliminated if both salespeople and rug cleaning technicians take the time to pre-inspect and pre-qualify the job with the customer. Pre-cleaning inspection is the time to set the customer at ease, answer any questions and give the customer a proper understanding of your capabilities as well as your limitations as professional cleaners. True professionals should not only display confidence in their abilities, but also be completely honest about their limitations. This will help manage the customer’s expectations. Don’t try to be a hero. When a rug has a stain or other problems, it is the customer’s problem until the salesperson or cleaning technician promises to correct the problem. At this point, the problem becomes the technician’s. If the technician is unsuccessful cleaning and repairing the rug, the customer may lose confidence. Once this confidence is lost, it is difficult to restore the level of customer confidence necessary to satisfy them and earn their repeat and referral business. Repeat and referral business is the lifeblood of any service company. Pre-cleaning inspection and qualification time is also an excellent sales opportunity to offer additional services, such as repairs, deodorization, rug protector, rug pad and spotting kits. If the rugs are picked up from a home or office, perform a basic inspection before removing them. This will save a subsequent telephone call to the owner to explain the extent of the rug’s problems before they become your responsibility. If the rug is rolled and ready, it is critical that a complete inspection be performed and documented in the plant before the rug is cleaned. Some companies will call each customer to explain their findings but in a large volume plant this may not be practical. When the rug is picked up, a work order should be initiated and include the inspection report, the size of the rug, and additional sales along with the customer’s name, telephone number and address. In addition, a waterproof tag should be attached to the rug. This tag can include the owner’s name, job number and any information that is helpful during the service process. Some cleaners mark repair and other additional services on this tag for easy reference. Tags equipped with rust-proof wire or attached to the rug with a plastic gun tagging system used in the clothing industry work best, as they will be least likely to come off during cleaning and handling. When determining pre-existing damage, look at both the face and back of the rug. The back reveals the rug’s original colors, which helps determine


Chapter 11  Pre-Cleaning Inspection

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if the rug’s face is sun-faded or faded through chemical washing. Animal and other liquid stains are not always visible from the front. Moth damage can show from either the front or the back. It is also easier to see and feel previously repaired areas from the back. Part of the pre-cleaning inspection should include a colorfastness test as outlined below. It is the inherent nature of the cleaning business that problems occur. Even with proper training and technique, problems can still happen. The following list of cleaning considerations and pre-existing conditions, though not exhaustive, should be used and understood by all employees of your company and documented on your paperwork

Abrash Abrash is a color change due to a different dye lot. The color change will be across the width of the rug in a straight line following a row of knots. Look carefully at the face of the rug, particularly if it is quite soiled, to determine if abrash is present. The customer may accuse you of “bleaching” such a rug if abrash is not noted prior to cleaning. Accidental bleaching never appears in a perfectly straight line as abrash does. Unfortunately, several cleaners have purchased customers’ rugs with abrash because they unwittingly believed they had damaged them. Abrash is a characteristic of hand-woven textiles and does not, in itself, increase or decrease the value. In fact, some manufacturers of both hand and machine-made rugs purposely weave abrash into their rugs.

Abrash

Abrash

Animal hair Look for animal hair on both sides of the rug. Do not promise to remove all of it.

Animal hair

Animal stains Urine, feces, and vomit. These stains are usually permanent and can cause dye damage.

Dye bleed caused by animal stains


Chapter 16  Additional Services

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Chapter 16

Additional Services Blocking Rugs The ability to block rugs is a skill that is necessary both as a service to your customer and to correct some problems that happen after cleaning. The tools needed for blocking are a wooden tack-out floor, a knee kicker, hammer, string, carpenter’s square, water/sizing delivery system, rubber knee pads and tacks or staples. There are basically two reasons that a rug needs to be blocked: 1. Rugs that are out of square, such as Chinese needlepoints lend themselves to blocking because they are thin and do not have a lot of dimensional stability. The thicker and stiffer the rug, the more difficult it is to get it back into square. Many hand-made rugs are not perfectly square. This “imperfection” is to be expected and does not detract from the rug if it is not visibly noticeable. We do not recommend spending time trying to correct these imperfections, but explain to the customer that this is part of the rug’s inherent condition. There are a few cleaning plants in the country that are able to correct these rugs but they have spent many years perfecting the technique and equipment. 2. Rugs that do not lie flat or have buckled in cleaning may need to be blocked. Again, we do not recommend spending a lot of time trying to do this unless they buckled during cleaning and you are responsible for getting the rug to lie flat before returning it to your customer. When selling blocking to the customer, it is important to stress that the rug may need to be blocked each time it is cleaned and that in-between cleaning, the rug may start to assume its original shape due to humidity in the air. It is also important that your customer understands that you may not be able to get the rug perfectly square. Some Chinese needlepoints can be as much as 1.75 feet (50 cm) out of square. To get a rug to within a few inches of square is acceptable work. There is only so much a technician can do before the rug rips.

Irregular shape

Buckled bordered Wilton

A

B

C

D

Measure the rug on the diagonal


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A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental and Specialty Rug Cleaning Blocking is like cleaning, every plant has a system they like best. The following is a method that Bon Ton Rug Cleansers in Watertown, Massachusetts, has used for over 100 years.

Steps in Blocking a Rug, the Bon Ton Way

Back

Rugs may be blocked either wet or dry. It is easier to block the rug immediately after cleaning if you know that the rug needs to be blocked. It is easier to block a wet rug than a dry rug. You will not need to wet the rug as described in step eleven. Otherwise, you can block a dry rug and follow the procedures through step eleven.

Step One

Blocking tools

Turn the rug face side down on a clean wooden floor. This can be sheets of plywood if you do not have an installed wooden floor; however, if the rug is larger than one sheet of plywood, you will need to secure the sheets. Measure the rug on the diagonal to see how far out of square it is.

Step Two Use the side of the plywood or the line on the wooden floor as your first straight edge. Place one of the longest sides along this straight edge. Tack one corner and stretch by hand the other corner and tack. It is important not to stretch this first side too much, but enough to create a little tension. Then proceed to tack the first longest side, spacing the tacks about one inch apart. Do not hammer the tacks all the way down. Starting the first side along a line on the floor

Using a square and string

Step Three Place a tack with a string tied onto it right next to the first corner. Place the square on this same corner. Align the string with the square and extend the string beyond the width of this end and tack the string. Pull this end by hand and tack the corner in line with the string. Again, do not stretch it too much, but enough to create tension. You may need to use the knee kicker to tack this end along the string.

Align string with square


A Comprehensive Guide to Oriental & Specialty Rugs