Carpet Care

Cleaning and daily care of handmade Turkish carpets

Cleanliness is the first and major step towards the preservation of a handmade carpet and it is the best defense against damage. There are no hard fast rules to stipulate when and how often to clean a carpet since every handmade carpet is different and every household exposes a carpet to different amounts of wear are dirt. There are many professional books on the care and cleaning of carpets that one may consult if one is interested in doing professional cleaning. However, the following advice and information are basic general instructions that an average home owner may exercise in the care and cleaning of oriental carpets. The best recommendation is regular brushing with an electric carpet sweeper. Remember that it is just as important to brush the underlay of carpet and the floor beneath. One caution, the regular use of a vacuum cleaner will eventually start to loosen the knots and pull the fibers out of the pile, also never use the revolving brush attachment on a carpet for it will actually pull the fibers apart. The nozzle attachment is the best and may be used once a month.

An old fashioned carpet beater used every few weeks or alternatively a good shaking, outdoors is invaluable for removing the harmful dust and grit that becomes lodged in the base of the carpet. Always beat the back of the carpet to allow the dirt to fall out from both the back and front to the carpet. Never beat a handmade carpet violently, and never beat antique or silk carpets.

Washing or cleaning

How often one needs to clean a carpet, depends on the amount of traffic and the type of such cleaning, may vary from every six months to once every two years. A carpet with a light colored ground may be sent out to be cleaned more often, but it may be less obvious if the carpet is dark and intricately pattemed. The first indication that a carpet needs cleaning will be from the feel of the pile, which may feel coarse or harsh to the touch instead of velvety and smooth as it should be. Another useful test is to fold up one corner, and tap the back of the carpet over the palm of the hand. If a fine powder of dust, grit and loose fibers falls into your hand it is certainly the time to clean the carpet.

Hand cleaning at home

You may b process requiring care and patience but it is actually a simple job which can be successfully carried out by any carpet owner who follows these simple instructions. Hand cleaning has multiple rewards, apart from the obvious benefit of saving money. Nearly all types of carpets can be cleaned at home with the exception of antiques, carpet in need of repair, silk carpets, and noncolor ? fast carpet. These should receive the attention of a professional.

Preparation

Preparation is as important as the washing process itself. Test the carpet for colorfastness by rubbing a brightly colored area gently with a damp white cloth. Then examine the carpet carefully to make sure it is not in need of repair. Since the carpet becomes more fragile when it is wet. It is advisable to carry out most repairs before washing. Only repiling is beter done after washing, since the color can be matched more accurately after the carpet is clean, brush and beat the carpet throughly to remove as much loose dust and beat carpet throughly to remove as much loose dust as possible, because dust and dirt is more damaging when wet than dry. Finally find a flat, clean hard surface on which to clean the carpet. For small carpets, it is beter to clean them on large table.

Equipment

Most of the necessary equipment can be found already at home. A soft brush with natural bristles about one inch long (the type used for grooming horses is ideal), white natural vinegar, carpet shampoo. The type which dries to a fine powder and a bucket of warm water are all that is needed.

Prepare a mixture of the following proportions; half a cup of carpet shampoo to four and a half cups of warm water and add one tablespoon of vinegar to prevent the color from running.

Method

Lay the carpet with the pile up on a hard flat surface. Dip the brush in the liquid and apply it in gentle even vertical strokes. Vigorous brushing or scrubbing, will not clean throughly and is likely to damage the carpet in its wet vulnerable state, start in one corner, brushing up and down, with and against the pile with even overlapping movements. The amount of shampoo applied and the pressure of the brush should be as constant as possible over the entire carpet surface. Once the carpet is brushed vertically (lenghtwise) then brush horizontally or from side to side across the pile, with the same gentle overlapping strokes. The pile should be throughly cleaned by now. Finally, brush gently in the direction of the pile as the carpet dries, so that the pile is lying in the right direction.

Try to apply the cleaning solution sparingly, so that the base does not become wet. It is very difficult to dry it throughly, since it is firmly encased in the million of tight little knots. If the carpet is returned to the flor (relaid) while the warp and weft are stil slightly damp, they will probably start to rot and in a few months the base will be extremely brittle. During the entire cleaning process handle the carpet as carefully as possible, since while it is wet, it is extremely fragile, so it is very easy to cause damage.

Drying

Small light carpets, can be pegged by the kilim end on a clothes line. Large carpets are more easily dried flat on a hard, clean surface. Paving stones or concrete are ideal. Do not dry on a lawn, since the base will absorb the moisture of the grass. Preferably use a room where there is a warm air current heating system, do not drape the carpet, it must be allowed to dry flat, and don?t walk, or place anything on it until it is completely dry. The warp, weft and pile of a completely dried carpet should feel soft and pliable.

Remove the dried dirt and shampoo powder by gently brushing with a soft dry brush, or by gently using the vacuum cleaner. An alternative method used in Scandinavia and Turkey is to place the carpet pile down ward on virgin snow and pat the back gently all over, this patting should be just firm enough to pess the pile to the snow, but quickly and gently so it won?t make the carpet too damp. As the carpet is lifted away, all the dust and grime is left imprinted in the snow. This method is only suitable for small carpets since it may be inconvenient and difficult to dry a large one during the winter.

Things to avoid

Washing machines and dryers should never be used for any delicate hand ? made item. With, carpets the vibration, water tmperature and harsh detergents will cause irrepairable damage.

This total immersion is not advisable. It can cause color run, and it soak the warp and weft threads unnecessarily. Some firms that advertise themselves as expert carpet cleaners use electric rotary brushes. These machines were designed for use on machine made carpets, and could only be used on such. The coarse bristles, and the high powered circular motion of the brush will twist and break the delicate woll fibers of an Oriental carpet. Again dry cleaners sometimes adversite themselves as carpet cleaners, their services may be useful for machine made carpets but an oriental hand made masterpiece should never be subjected to the strong chemicals that these firms use. The damage may become apparant only after several months and the damage is irreparable.

Contact Informations

Tel.: +90 232 894 80 80
Fax: +90 232 894 83 31

Adress:
Sultanköy Tur. Mağ. Tiç. A.Ş.
35920 Çamlık - Selçuk
IZMIR / TURKEY
Mail: mail[at]sultankoy.info

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