Care Advice:

Product : Rugs & Flat Weaves

The original tribal or village kilim area rug was a sturdy product meant to last long with normal care under the trying conditions of a nomad tent or village home. However, no matter how sturdy they are when woven, kilims do require that bit of extra care.

Routine Cleaning: Vacuuming

  • Three main points to note when vacuuming a kilim or handknotted pile rug are: don’t use high suction settings, vacuum on both sides, and don’t vacuum the fringe since with repeated applications some of the fringe may be torn off.

Long Term Cleaning: Professional Cleaners

  • Have your kilim or pile rug cleaned professionally by services specializing in this type of work, but not dry cleaners or general cleaning companies who often use chemicals that can cause damage.
  • To bring back the shine to dull colors, add a small cup of vinegar to the final rinse and then brush over the area when fully dry.
  • Never wash your kilim in a washing machine! These two simply do not mix and can cause permanent damage.

In Case of spillages:

First Aid:

Immediate response is the key to the prevention of stains which may result from an accidental spill. First, if there are any solids in the spill, scoop these up with a spoon before blotting to avoid pressing them into the fabric. Then right away blot (soak up) as much of the spilt liquid as possible using absorbent paper towels, toilet paper, sponge or hand towels, blotting toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Also blot the floor on which the kilim rug is laid. When blotting is completed, place a shallow container (such as a tray with a low lip) under the stained area and dilute the remaining stain by passing some clean water through it. Then remove the tray, dispose of the contents and blot up the liquid from the kilim area rug, repeating this procedure as often as needed to remove the stain completely.

Stubborn Stains, Pesky Problems:

There may be occasions when your first-aid efforts to avert stains from spills are not fully successful, in which case we recommend that you use the services of professional rug cleaners without delay. Don’t put it off, because once a stain sets in it becomes that much harder to remove.
Some compendiums of ‘household tips’ advise that you stock up with a closetful of various cleaning aids, like ammonia, alcohol, glycerin, white vinegar, dry-cleaning fluid, etc., and apply these in accordance with their directions. We are reluctant to subscribe to these suggestions, mainly because we believe that there are so many variables involved that it is impractical (if not impossible) to prescribe a precise, effective method for each individual case without concern that it may turn out to be counterproductive. Not only is the use of even commonplace chemicals risky, their mistaken application may result in more harm than good, so we stand by our recommendation of calling on professional help.

Placement:

Proper placement is a simple preventive measure that helps to avoid or diminish the possible damaging effects of daily usage. Follow these tips to lengthen the life of your beloved kilim:

Underlay:

Since all textile fibers are subject to breaking and abrasion, the flooring on which a kilim area rug is placed should be even. Additionally it is recommended that padded backing, also called underlay, be placed under a kilim area rug, especially if it is to be laid directly on a hard, smooth floor rather than on one covered by carpeting. A rug pad is also great for keeping a rug in position by preventing slips and bunching, expecially for small and light rugs. They even provide additional cushioning and softness underfoot.

Sun:

Rug should not be placed in strong direct sunlight (unless fading is desired), particularly not in a position where one part is in sunlight while the rest remains in the shade, since, over time, discoloration may occur no matter how good are the dyes after a few years.

Avoid Sharp Edges and Dampness:

Antique or particularly fragile kilims should also not be placed where there is heavy foot traffic. If a kilim rug is placed under a piece of furniture, felt, coasters or cups should be used on the furniture legs to spread the weight, and the kilim’s position should also be varied from time to time to even out wear. Houseplants should not be placed on or near to the kilim rug on the floor as mildew and rot may spread to damage the kilim rug. In general, kilims should be kept away from all moist areas since dampness causes fabrics to rot.

Moth:

Along with moisture, moth larvae are perhaps a wool rug’s worst enemy. This is usually not a critical factor when an kilim or pile rug is in use. Adequately frequent cleaning, airing and leaving under the sun for a few days are the old “tried and true” protective measures, but in our modern age there are also various moth-proofing sprays available – which you can use provided you are certain that they do not contain any possibly harmful chemicals.