In our article, we offer tips for maintaining Persian rugs in South Africa and other high-UV countries.
The natural fibres, dyes and weaving techniques used in the construction of genuine Persian carpets require specialist maintenance and care.
1. Avoid direct sunlight
The placement of Persian carpets in the home or office is crucial.
South Africa gets around 2,500 hours of sunlight per year. That’s more than double the amount of European countries.
When oriental rugs are exposed to direct sunlight for any length of time, colours fade and the fibres become dry and brittle.
It’s best to avoid sunlight altogether. If that’s impossible, limit damage by drawing the curtains or closing the blinds when the room is not being used.
Alternatively, rotate rugs frequently for more uniform exposure to sunlight.
2. Agitate and wipe down
Dry, dusty and windy conditions are prevalent throughout South Africa. Throw in high pollen counts, which affect different provinces at different times of year, and Persian rugs are potential dust and dirt traps.
At least once a month, lightly brush the fibres with a soft bristle brush to loosen dirt, dust, pet hair and pollen.
Give the rug a quick vacuum, followed by a wipe over with a damp cloth or sponge to clean, restore and revive the rug’s colours and fibres.
3. Rotate to prevent excessive wear
Persian carpets are often placed in high-traffic areas. To ensure there’s an even distribution of wear, switch rugs around every one to two months.
This is especially true if a rug is partially obscured by a piece of furniture. By switching rugs, or rotating the same rug, the colours fade more slowly.
4. Adopt first aid for fringes
The tassels on Persian rugs often become knotted and tangled. Don’t comb them out as this can damage the natural fibres. Instead, lift one side at a time and gently shake out the tassels.
If that doesn’t work, protect the fringe by folding the tassels beneath the rug. Use tape or a strip of material lightly stitched onto the backing to hold them in place.
5. Store a Persian carpet properly
There are two golden rules for storing a Persian carpet. For the short term, loosely roll up the carpet and tie a piece of string or rope around it to maintain the shape.
For a long period, store a rolled carpet lying flat in a cool, dry area, out of direct sunlight. Check the rug every few months.
6. Never hang a Persian rug
DIY washing of oriental rugs is not recommended. It’s a complex process best left to professional cleaning companies.
Never hang a wet Persian rug out to dry. The weight of the rug will stretch the fibres and cause permanent distortion.
Professional cleaning of Persian carpets in Cape Town and surrounds
Chelsea Cleaning uses a multifaceted approach to clean Persian carpets. We use a dedicated machine to lightly beat the carpets, before spot-removing stains by hand.
Carpets are individually cleaned and rinsed, spun-dried in a centrifuge to remove excess moisture, and air dried.
Our specialist Persian carpet-cleaning service takes place at our warehouse in Wynberg. It includes carpet collection and delivery.