Rug Cleaning vs. Carpet Cleaning

Is All Rug Cleaning the Same?

The short answer? No.

Read on to learn the specific differences between the different types of cleaning services, and how your rug will be affected.

Carpet Cleaners

Steam cleaning a rugThe first option for cleaning your rugs is a carpet cleaning service. It’s quite common for a carpet cleaner to offer to clean your fine, handmade rugs in addition to your carpeting. Often, a naive individual says yes, thinking they are killing two birds with one stone.

Carpet cleaners use heavy machinery on your delicate, handmade rugs. These machines are made for synthetic fibers, which are much more durable than the natural fibers rugs are made of. Carpet cleaning machines roughly extract dirt from your rugs with sharp and speedy mechanized movements. The construction of your rug can be damaged by these movements.

Carpet cleaners may also use a steam cleaning/hot water extraction method to clean your rug. Hot water and steam weaken the fibers of your rug and treatments that use high temperatures are sure to hurt your rug, resulting in breakage and unraveling.

One common issue is the soap left behind by carpet cleaners, which takes the sheen away from wool and silk rugs and makes the rug stiff and a magnet for fresh dirt. In addition, the fringe of your rug requires gentle hand-cleaning.

Time and time again, customers bring in rugs damaged by carpet cleaners, and the most common issue is fringe that is partially or completely unraveled. This can be fixed by our expert weavers, but it can be costly.

Another problem is that the fringe may be discolored. In fact, it is common for the entire rug to be discolored by the uneven distribution of harsh cleaning solutions that cannot be rinsed out.

While you may save money by trusting a carpet cleaner with your rugs, the inevitable damages they cause will end up costing you much more. The truth is, you get what you pay for. While paying $1 per square foot may seem like a great deal, you know enough now that the damage caused increases that cost exponentially.

Rug Cleaners Who Use Machines

Cleaning a rug with machinesNext, you have professional rug cleaners that use rug cleaning machines. To begin, your rug may be vacuumed with the beater brush extension. This is a big no-no for handmade rugs.

Then, the rotary brush carpet shampooer agitates the fibers to create a soapy foam full of debris. Once clean, the rug is put through a water extractor, wringer, or centrifuge. These machines, while created with rugs in mind, can still be rough on your fragile rugs. The extractors can crush the fibers of your rug and result in breakage or creases.

Rug Cleaners Who Do Everything By Hand

Persian Rug Cleaners Cleaning a Rug TraditionallyFinally, you have professional rug cleaners that do everything by hand. This is your safest option. Professional rug cleaners are well-educated on how to care for Persian, Oriental, silk, wool, and antique rugs. They know about the rug’s construction, fiber resilience, dyes, and daily events such as pet stains and traffic that affect those things.

At Behnam Rugs, we use a traditional, proprietary hand-washing process that has been passed down for generations from Old Persia. The rug is first given a pre-wash treatment for stains and other imperfections. Next, the rug is washed by hand with organic shampoo at least three times front and back and rinsed until the water runs clear at the final stage.

Note that carpet cleaners only wash the front of your rug. Brushes and paddles loosen the dirt from the rug and massage deep within the foundation, which brings these particles to the surface for removal. We use special enzymes to deodorize the rug and remove smells from pet urine, smoke, and other sources.

The rug is dried on a flat surface using only the sun and a gentle outdoor breeze. The dry rug goes through hypoallergenic dusting to remove any remaining particulates, as well as hand brushing to restore shine. Before the final inspection, the rug is groomed so that the pile lays properly as well as the fringes.

Always ask the professionals cleaning your rug about the exact process your rug will go through so there are no unpleasant surprises. When it comes to rug cleaning, experience matters. Be aware of the difference between a legitimate rug cleaning company and a carpet cleaner that does rugs on the side.

Pick the Right Rug Padding

Rug padDoes My Rug Need Padding?

Yes, all rugs need padding. Whether your rug is on wood floors, vinyl, or carpet, when you walk on your rug, you do not want to move the foundation of it. Installing a pad underneath your rug helps the rug not to move, and it helps preserve the quality of the knots in your rug too.

When a rug is installed without a pad, its shape will distort over time. Your rug will lose its shape, be it rectangular or round, simply from being shifted and moved frequently. Padding will prevent this, and it will help to extend the life of your rug. In addition, a rug that is no longer perfectly shaped will lose some of its value.

When you walk on a rug with a pad installed, it feels softer and more comfortable under your feet. You also won’t have to worry about your rug slipping underneath you and causing an accident, and yes, this CAN happen on carpeted floors, too.

Because it absorbs some impact from furniture and foot traffic, padding can increase the life of your rug by as much as 40%. The most absorbent type of padding is felt. However, the placement, construction, and your personal preferences are what will help you decide which padding is best for your rug.

What Kind of Padding Do I Need?

Rug pad materials perform differently based on the material of the rug. Ask us to help you pick the right pad material for your rug. Our certified rug care specialists can give advice and input so that you choose the best padding for your situation. We will also cut the pad to the shape of your rug.

For many years, hair and jute based pads were the only varieties available. Felt pads are newer, and we recommend this material for most types of rugs. Felt is made of recycled, synthetic materials. Moths will not eat these fibers, and the synthetic fibers of felt are longer lasting than the hair and jute fibers.

The firmness and stability of synthetic felt also give it the advantage of being able to eliminate any ripples and bumps that can cause uneven wear when a rug lies on the floor without a pad. To be truly effective, a half inch thick pad is needed.

Unfortunately, felt pads can still slip underneath smaller rugs, even if the pad is dense. For smaller rugs, we recommend purchasing rubber padding. Be careful not to mix rubber pads with sponge or foam pads.

We do not recommend sponge or foam padding, as they are too soft and can bottom out- stressing the foundation of Persian and Oriental rugs. This is especially applicable to thin, finely woven rugs, flat weaves, or antique rugs. Sponge and foam pads can disintegrate and even stick to wood floors. If you have an antique rug, it is especially important you choose the proper padding to maintain the condition it is already in after 80 to 100 years of life.

One of the best types of rug pad on the market is a fourth-inch thick synthetic felt bonded to a thin, solid rubber backing. This type of pad can serve two purpose. First, it is excellent at anchoring the rug to your floor, preventing slipping.

Second, its felt layer helps to extend the life of your rug. As previously mentioned, a rug without a pad can slide around and cause serious falls and injuries. This type of padding is recommended for all scatter rugs and area rugs that do not have a thick foundation, such as antique rugs, needlepoint, Aubusson tapestries, and flat weaves.

Another benefit of this type of pad is that it can also be used on thick rugs. It is thinner than synthetic felt and will not add on to the thickness of your rug. You can even place this padding on top of carpet. It eliminates rippling, buckling, and adjusting, even on wall to wall carpeted areas.

If you have a rug in need of padding, call us at 972-733-0400. Our specialists will make sure you are informed of your options, their benefits and drawbacks, as well as the price. Rug padding is generally a very small investment that makes a big impact on the longevity and safety of the rug in your home.

Rubber or Vinyl & Felt
Rubber padding on the Left and “Black” padding on the right with vinyl and felt.

The Luxury Rug Offerings at Behnam Rugs

Behnam Rugs’ Luxury Boutique

Not all rugs are created equally, and the same goes for rug services. At Behnam Rugs, we take great pride in offering the very best of anything and everything related to rugs. Behnam Rugs is your luxury boutique rug retailer. After buying your rug, we suggest washing your rug before taking it home. Rug washing is a vital aspect of rug health.

Our Rug Selection

Rugs on display in a showroom

When you walk into Behnam Rugs, you won’t just be walking into your average rug showroom. You will be entering a whole new world of rugs. We carry the finest hand-knotted selections in a number of styles. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Tabriz, an antique tribal rug, a finely made contemporary rug, or a transitional rug that has elements of both traditional and modern styles, Behnam Rugs has it all.

Every rug in our showroom is a hand-knotted work of art. We know our customers prefer the finer things in life, and so do we. Our rugs are made from fine materials, such as wool, silk, and fine man-made materials such as viscose.

We also believe that rugs should be made the traditional way, hand-knotted, whether the style is old or new. A hand-knotted rug is a premium product that will stay beautiful for decades, unlike tufted or machine-made rugs which begin to fall apart after a couple of years.

If we do not have your dream rug in our showroom, we will work with you to find it. Behnam Rugs has access to the warehouses of many rug designers and their selection one-of-a-kind rugs. We also work with a number of rug manufacturers, too.

We know that the decor you choose to decorate your home with is important to you and that a rug is not simply just a rug. At Behnam Rugs, we won’t settle for “close enough”. We will help you find your dream rug- not just something similar to it.

Our Rug Services

At Behnam Rugs, we understand that fine rugs must be treated as such. Chemical cleaning agents, machine washes, and hang drying are absolutely not the proper way to wash fine rugs. We wash rugs using organic cleaning agents, and we wash all rugs by hand- the good, old fashioned way. We then dry the rugs flat, as hanging a wet rug puts a considerable amount of pressure on the fibers.

Many rug cleaners choose to use the machine cleaning option due to its lower cost and ease, but at Behnam Rugs, we do not believe in cutting corners. After all, aren’t these rugs worth going the extra mile for?

If your rug has been damaged considerably, there is no need to fret. Behnam Rugs offers a number of repair services, all done in-house. Our repair technicians have over two decades of experience repairing fine rugs, whether your rug simply needs binding repairs, or it needs a large portion rewoven, we can handle it all. No task is too large or too small for Behnam Rugs.

One factor that separates us from the rest is our honesty. We are upfront with all costs, and we will not perform any additional services on your rug without consulting you first.

Additionally, if the cost of cleaning or repairing your rug is higher than the value of your rug, we will tell you. We simply do not believe that it is honest to charge a customer for cleaning and repair services without letting them know that the service cost exceeds the rug’s value.

Behnam Rugs has been selling and servicing fine rugs since 1978. With over forty years of experience, we are a trusted name in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Give us a call at 972-733-0400.

Rug Shopping Online

How To Shop For A Rug Online

Rug Shopping in Dallas at Behnam Rugs

Rug Shopping in Dallas at Behnam Rugs…Visit our elegant rug boutique in North Dallas for an exquisite experience in handmade rugs. We offer oriental rug washing too. In this day and age of online shopping, you may wonder if you should be shopping for rugs in person. Shopping for a rug in person has many perks.

You can see the details up close, and you can get a better idea of the rug’s texture and condition. We educate each of our customers on the many rugs in the store. All rugs need the right rug padding.  Many of our returning clients come for an immediate enzyme rug washing due to their pets’ accidents. It is all an education!

Reviews
If you’re shopping for a rug on a site like eBay, which features a feedback system, take the time to look through the reviews. You’ll want to look out for things like a seller not describing items accurately, delayed shipping times, and situations where a buyer never received anything at all.

Sometimes a single instance of a seller missing a shipping deadline might be excusable, however, we recommend staying away from sellers who have multiple complaints of sending out goods that varied tremendously from the product description.

Rug Description
It happens far too often- the title says “Handmade Rug” but the description goes to clarify that the rug is actually a machine-made rug styled after handmade rugs. Take the time to read every bit of a rug’s description, because a deal that is too good to be true often is.

If you’re shopping for an authentic Persian or Oriental rug, the rug’s construction should be hand-knotted or hand-woven. There should also be clear information about the country of origin of the rug, its materials (beware of “antique” rugs using any material other than wool or silk, as these are often reproductions), and information such as the knots per square inch (KPI).

Generally, you will want to look for any discrepancies. For example, an authentic Persian rug will only come from Iran. You should not spend excessive amounts of money on an “authentic” Persian rug made in India or Pakistan, as these rugs are often reproductions. Their quality may be similar, however, there is a huge price difference.

If any information is missing, reach out to the seller. Often times, they simply forgot to include information. Be wary of sellers who either can not or will not provide additional information.

Photos
The more photos, the better. At the very minimum, you should be looking for photos of at least one side of the rug, its fringe, and the back of the rug. Rugs with major repair jobs done will show signs from the backside better than they will from the front.

Additional photos can include detail shots, corner photos, and photos of problem areas. If a rug’s description mentions something vague about the rug, such as “minor damage”, however, there are no photos of said damage included, request them. One person’s definition of minor damage might actually be your idea of major damage.

Persian Rug With Age Related Damage
This photo clearly shows an area of damage for a buyer instead of hiding the condition of the rug.

If the rug you are looking at is over a decade old, ask for additional photos of typical problem areas, such as the fringe. You should also ask if the rug appears to need any repairs, make sure to ask about the last time the rug was washed, too.

If you’re not sure about a rug that you found online, ask a trusted rug expert for a second opinion. At Behnam Rugs, we are more than happy to look over product photos with you and give you our input. If you’re not comfortable purchasing a rug online, we can even find you a rug similar to the one you found.

We hope this guide made shopping for rugs a little bit easier. Remember, you can reach out to us at behnam@behnamrugs.com or call us at 972.733.0400 if you have any questions.

Can Persian and Oriental Rugs be Investments?

Persian and Oriental Rugs as Investments

100$ BillsYou may often hear that hand-knotted Oriental and Persian rugs make good investments. This is truer for some rugs than others. While older rugs can increase in value and have the potential to provide a return on investment, this is often not the case for newer rugs.

They may increase in value over time, but it’s best to look at hand-knotted rugs as an investment only in the sense that they will last a long time.

All rugs, no matter their age, need to be evaluated individually. Factors that play into the value of a rug include the artistry of the rug, its condition, age, origin, material, construction, and style.

If you are having your rug appraised, its value generally is set by comparing to industry publications that contain selling prices of different kinds of rugs, such as a Sotheby’s rug auction catalog.

For rugs that are not particularly rare, the prevailing market price will generally determine the value of the rug. The size of the market affects the rug’s value, and the person doing the appraisal needs to specify the market. For example, a hand-knotted rug that is part of a running designer line will not hold its value in the same way that a one-of-a-kind vintage rug will.

To make sure the rug is appraised accurately, you want an appraiser who is well qualified. When looking for an appraiser, you should ask to see samples of his work, and how many rugs he buys and sells. Some appraisers are certified by professional associations. Others may not be certified, but this does not necessarily mean that they are less proficient. They may have many years of experience.

An appraisal will include a description of the rug, which will describe its condition, size, and whether it has been repaired at any time. It will also include the age of the rug, where it was made, and a description of how it was made, including the material and knot type. A rug’s current value will also be included in the appraisal.

Because rug values change frequently due to the demands of the rug market, appraisals should be updated about every three years or so. If the rug has been damaged or is in less than stellar condition, an appraisal will specify this information, too.

Not all antique Persian and Oriental rugs will increase in value. For example, if the rug is a fairly common type and is not of the highest quality, it is unlikely to increase in value. Rare, well-made rugs are quite sought after, however. The value of these rugs will depend on exactly how rare the rug is, what condition the rug is in, its design, and what the current trends in the market reflect.

As with most antiques, certain styles that are more popular at one time give way to other styles at another time. What is in fashion at a particular time will have a significant impact on price. This is part of why appraisals need to be updated fairly frequently. It is also worth noting that appraisals should be kept up to date for insurance purposes, too, as many insurance companies will not honor appraisals over three years old.

We encourage you to purchase a rug because its design speaks to you, not because you think it is going to increase in value. You should purchase a rug whose beauty you find breathtaking. It should make you smile every time you look at it. Call 972-733-0400 to inquire about appraisals, cleaning, or repairs.