Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Find a Cleaner or Restorer for my Rug or Textile?
It is advisable to obtain a reference from a friend or someone in the trade who can vouch for a trusted Oriental rug cleaning service. However, beware of rug dealers who offer their own cleaning and repair - such specialized services are best provided by recognized independent professionals. Museum textile conservation departments, high end dealers and collectors are excellent sources of information. A reputable rug dealer will readily reveal to you who they contract with so that you are able investigate the service's experience, methods and reliability. It is good practice to secure multiple references until you have obtained several that recommend the same Oriental rug restoration business. It is always best to wait to clean or repair an Oriental rug, tapestry or textile until you are completely confident that you have found the right service. See our References.
When is it Time to Clean an Oriental Rug?
Most Oriental and other area rugs are ready to be cleaned after three to five years of use. Entrance-way rugs are cleaned every year. Natural fibers absorb polluting sulfites and nitrites from the air and build up acidic components that must be washed out. Gritty street soil, which cuts the pile, must be dusted out. Allergens and unhealthy bacteria must eventually be removed or reduced in number. Oriental rugs act as a filter and clean the air in the home. This is very effective when the rug has been cleaned properly. However, over time a rug will return allergens and pollutants to the atmosphere and result in a less healthy environment.
When is it Time to Clean a Textile?
This depends upon use, placement and type of protection from the atmosphere (such as a Plexiglas box for displays) and physical contact. General ongoing maintenance is always essential. Even in a museum, textiles are periodically cleaned - with intervals of ten years between cleanings being common for textiles on display. Flemish and French tapestries should be cleaned within this time period, but special care must be taken due to the deteriorating silk areas.
Is my Oriental Rug or Textile Worth Cleaning or Restoring?
Several factors must be considered: the retail value of the item, the cost - or possibility - of replacing it and, especially, its historic or sentimental value. A dealer in the particular type of textile or rug can appraise its monetary and historic value. Only the owner can assess its personal value.
Contact Talisman with any questions
Some Useful Links
- Acid Free Tissue Paper for Textiles and Costume
- Advice for framing textiles (PDF)
- Salvaging Water Damaged Textiles
- Archival Mounts For Paintings On Textiles (PDF)
- Gently Vacuumed - A term widely used, but rarely measured
- Geography and Textile Storage
- Insects and Wool Textiles
- Making a Padded Hanger (PDF)
- Mold and Mildew
- Photography of a Textile for Insurance, Appraisal, or Conservation
- Storing Wedding Gowns and Textile Heirlooms
- Tips on How to Handle Antique Textiles and Costumes
- To Bleach or not to Bleach... (PDF)
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