Oushak Rugs: Design Influences, History, and Rug Care

Oushak rugOushak Rugs: Design Influences, History, and Rug Care

Oushak, or Ushak, rugs are beautiful works of art that originated in the small town of Oushak, Turkey near the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. These rugs are most often purchased as antiques or antique reproductions.

Nomadic rugs, Oushak rugs feature a blend of Persian and geometric stylistic influences. These rugs typically are made of wool and have a characteristically loose weave that is the result of coarser knotting. These rugs feature stunning colors such as apple green, teal, gold, pumpkin, peach, and orange. They are known for their distinct color palette- Oushak rugs are famous for bright colors and primitive, simple geometric designs.

Often, these rugs display a central medallion or smaller medallions all over the body of the rug. They might even have vines or stars scrolling along the face. Nowadays, Oushak rugs are highly sought after and excellent for modern and traditional interior design schemes.

The history of Oushak rugs begins in the 15th century in Anatolia or Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, the city of Oushak became a major rug manufacturing center. The design of the rug reflects the values of the period in which it was woven.

The rugs that were created from the 15th to 18th century in this style are now highly desired by collectors and museums. The other rugs of that time period were typically woven in dark blues and reds, which is what really makes Oushak rugs stand out- the use of unconventional colors is part of their charm and elegance. Oushak carpets are the most prominent design from Turkey and were quite popular until the end of the 18th century.

The rugs that continued to be made after this period were typically manufactured for the upper class in Eastern Europe, as most consumers were more interested in rugs of European origin. Then, in the late 19th century, the European market became interested in Persian rugs and they were sought after again. It was harder to find weavers of Oushak rugs when they became popular again in the 19th century due to the limited number of weavers familiar with the style. The Oushak economy had become a niche market because the style of weaving had not been passed down as it was no longer a viable way to make a living.

Luckily, when the designs became sought after once more, the market began to expand again, which is why you can still purchase Oushak rugs today. Nowadays, reproduction Oushak rugs are made in Turkey, India, and Pakistan. This rejuvenation of the Oushak economy resulted in a change in design- the rugs began to feature floral patterns.

Due to the fact that most Oushak rugs are woven very loosely with a low knot count, they do not possess the longevity of Persian rugs. Older Oushak rugs need special, constant care and repair maintenance. This should be done by professionals in the rug repair industry. Never vacuum an Oushak rug with the beater brush extension.

Rug Cleaning: Preventing Wear and Tear on Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Sweeping a rugRug Cleaning: Preventing Wear and Tear on Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your rug. This extends the life of it and makes it less likely that you’ll encounter problems dangerous to the livelihood of your rug such as moths.

How to Vacuum & Sweep

Know your rug and know your vacuum cleaner to see if they’re a good match

Depending on the material of your rug, you may need to be careful when vacuuming. If you have a silk rug, do not use the vacuum brush head. You may only use the brush-less suction extension on silk rugs or else you will damage the fabric. When in doubt, don’t use the beater brush, or call the professionals at Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400. Improper vacuuming can cause unsightly sprouting, which is when the white yarn heads become visible due to pulling. 

Sweeping is another option for silk rugs, antique rugs, and rugs made with hand-spun yarn. Gently sweep to avoid damage to the fibers. Shaking the rug outside also removes dust and debris.

How to Rotate

Rugs generally need to be rotated once a year. If a rug is in a high traffic area, you may want to do this every six months. In addition, heavy sunlight, moisture, or pressure from furniture means you’ll want to rotate every six months as well. Remember, if you choose not to rotate your rug, it will experience uneven wear that becomes more noticeable the longer you go without rotating.

How to Choose Rug Padding

Make sure your rug has the proper padding to minimize wear. Rugs with heavy furniture sitting on them may need coasters. Ask us what kind to use. A rug over carpeting requires special padding. Padding increases the longevity of the rug and reduces the risk of falls.

How to Spot Clean

If your pet marks your rug, or you spill wine or food on your rug, take action immediately. To protect the integrity of your piece, never use carpet cleaners on a fine, handmade rug. These cleaners contain harsh chemicals that spell disaster for luxurious natural fibers. If you don’t notice the spill or are not able to immediately clean a spot from your rug, you may need an expert to clean it- make sure you choose the proper rug washing specialist. Behnam Rugs’ professionals remove almost 95% of spots and stains, regardless of the age of the imperfection. This leads us to the next maintenance option.

How to Choose a Professional Cleaner

Rugs need to be cleaned professionally every three to five years. Don’t neglect your rug! Regular cleaning is vital to its health and longevity. If you have pets, your rug may be full of dander and other particles that cause odors you may be nose-blind to. Call Behnam Rugs today at 972-733-0400 or request a free quote for rug cleaning. We specialize in odor removal and stain removal as well. Our traditional Persian hand washing methods are safe for silks and even antiques. Never take a fine handmade rug to a carpet cleaner. You should always work with a company whose specialty is rugs, not carpet.

How to Choose a Repairing Service

Say your rug is old and worn, has some sort of damage, or has been attacked by destructive cloth moths. Don’t fret, in most cases, your rug can be repaired. Call a reputable rug repair company, like Behnam Rugs, and ask for a free quote. Repairing your treasured rug is the best way to restore it to its former beauty. Behnam Rugs offers a host of repair options including patching, reweaving, binding restoration, fringe restoration and more. All rug restorations must be executed by an expert professional due to the complexity of these repairs. Reweaving and restoration are very costly so the sooner you get it fixed, the more money you save.

Learn more about your rug by attending our upcoming Estate Planning Brunch Seminar March 21st from 10 am to 1 pm at our showroom at 18000 Preston Road in Dallas.

Water Damaged Rug Repairs

Storm & Flood Damage Rug Repairs/Cleaning

In the recent weeks, Dallas has been experiencing heavy rain. From hail, storms, flooding, roof leaks, water seeping from the swimming pool, and more, rugs are in danger of water damage.

Water Damage Rug | Behnam Rugs Dallas
Water Damaged Rug

None of us could have predicted the devastating damage done by storms and ever since the the rainy season hit us, we have been receiving phone calls from residents asking us how their rugs can be saved. When you think of a rug, you might think of a fashionable rug seen at a department store. You may think to yourself, “That rug might have been expensive, but surely it’s replaceable.” This is not always the case.

We know many people have priceless antiques and family heirlooms in their homes. These rugs are not just rugs. They are treasured memories. When someone calls us asking how to save their rug, we understand that they are frantic and worried for a reason. The rug someone is calling about could be the rug they bought on their honeymoon with their late husband. It could be the rug their mother gave to them. It could be the rug that they planned on giving to their children. Our point is that this is not just a “thing” they are worried about. A treasured rug is truly priceless, not simply a pain to replace.

How to Respond to Heavy Flooding on Your Rug
The first thing we want you to know is that the flood restoration process is time-consuming and labor intensive. If your rug is a machine-made rug or otherwise mass-produced, it might be cheaper to simply buy a new rug. We strongly suggest weighing the pros and cons of restoration versus replacement if your rug can actually be replaced. The second thing we want you to know is that you can relax. Rugs are a lot more resilient than you would expect. Depending on your rug’s age, origin, and material, many rugs can bounce back from being under flooding for days and even weeks.

When you first get to your rug after it has been soaked in flood water, you will more than likely be shocked. After 24 hours, rugs that have been exposed to flooding and saturated begin to show early signs of color run and color bleeding. For the uninitiated, these are simply terms that say that the dyes on your rug are not where they are supposed to be at all. Antique Persian and Oriental rugs are made of natural fibers like wool and silk, and these fibers are incredibly absorbent. Runoff and flood water will be quickly absorbed by your rug. This water is a mix of water, chemicals, sewage, and many other things you really do not want in your rug.

The best way to rescue your rug and restore it to both its natural beauty and its original value is to respond ASAP. Your rug may not be insured, but that does not mean you can’t try to get some financial assistance from your insurance company. If you were wondering what the appraisal from earlier could do for you, its purpose is to list out exactly what your rug should be worth, what colors it should have, how much it is currently worth, and what sort of damage is present. As a rug owner, what you need to do with the appraisal is to present it to your insurance company when you are making a claim. They will take care of the rest.

How Your Rug is Repaired and Restored from Water Damage

By this point, you are probably wondering how exactly your rug is supposed to be restored. First, hose your rug down with water. This will remove the large chunks of debris from your rug’s pile and foundation, along with washing out a good amount of the flood water. This is actually something that you can do yourself. Again, if you act quickly, many types of rugs can be restored to either their original state or close to their original state. Some rugs may have darker or lighter colors by the end of the restoration process, so do be aware that could be a possibility too.

From here on out, you will need a professional. Not all rugs can be washed and restored in the same way, and rugs and carpets should never be washed with the same cleansers or cleaning methods. Educate yourself on both the type of rug you have and the people you are trusting your rug with. If you are not sure who to go with in the Houston area, you are more than welcome to call us for advice.

Your rug will need to be dried to preserve the strength of its foundation. Rugs can weigh double their regular weight when wet, so we do not recommend moving your rug by yourself. For most rugs, we recommend drying flat, out in the sun. The UV rays from the sun kill mold and restore the natural oils in wool and silk. A wet rug should never be hung to dry as this stresses the foundation. Some rugs, namely traditional Chinese rugs, should not be dried out in the sun, as this could damage their dyes. Not sure? Ask us!

After your rug has dried out in the sunlight, the rug restoration professionals will wash your rug numerous times. Your rug should be washed with a mix of enzyme wash and organic safe for wool/silk shampoo. Generally, a rug that has been in a flood will be washed over and over again until the water and shampoo are both clear. Then, the rug must be dried flat and in the sunlight again.

Water Damage Rug Restoration | Behnam Rugs Dallas

Additional Notes
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we were able to restore many rugs from there despite being all the way in Dallas. Rugs were dried off and shipped or driven to our location, and we were able to ship the rugs back there.

Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Moths will eat anything, and your rug is no exception. They are one of the worst enemies of any fine rug, especially older and antique rugs. You should be especially aware of the cloth moth, as this is the type of moth that would love to feast on your priceless heirloom.

Moth issue on rugs: casemaking moth & webbing moth
2 types of moth: casemaking moth and webbing moth

How and Why Did Moths Make Their Way into My Home?

You might think that your house is moth free and your rugs are safe and sound, but pests are always looking for ways to enter your home. Moths can enter your home easily and be undetected as they do so. Mail, pets, open doors, and moving items in and out of warehouses and storage are just some of the ways that these insects can enter your home. To them, your home is a paradise. It provides shelter from predators, an excellent source of food, and many nesting spots. Once they enter your home, they can lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs per month. Those eggs will eventually grow up to become adults, and they will also lay 30 to 200 more eggs every month. A moth problem can easily become a moth disaster for your rugs and the rest of your home.

How to Discover Moths in Your Home

As we enter moth season, it is important to take some time to check your home for pests. Frequent checks are the best way to prevent a large moth damage problem from taking over your home, and checking for them is simple. One of the easiest methods to indicate whether or not your home has moths is by using a trap. Make sure the trap you are using is for cloth moths and not another type of moth.

Moth traps to indicate moth presence in your home
A moth pheromone trap will help you indicate whether or not you have moths in your home

These traps work by emitting a pheromone which attracts males into the sticky bottom layer. The males are trapped and prevented from reproducing. Do note that traps are only an effective way to indicate that moths are in your home. They are not an effective way of getting rid of them, should you find any.

How to Prevent Moths If Your Home is Moth Free

If your home is moth free, it is important to make sure that your home stays that way. The best way to prevent infestations is to constantly be monitoring. Moths can enter your home with no warning. A harmless box from a warehouse could actually be carrying eggs.

Moths reproduce at a rapid rate, and they eat and damage your belongings at a rapid rate, too! To prevent them from doing damage to your rugs, you may consider keeping a trap in your home throughout the year.

Antique Persian Rug with moth damage
A fine handmade rug can take a lot of damage from moths in just a short amount of time.

Many fine rugs are made of natural fibers, such as wool, which over time lose their natural oily properties and become drier, making them easier for pests to eat than a new rug. Although you can do nothing about the age of your rug, you can prevent your antique rug from becoming a moth’s next meal by regularly cleaning it. A clean rug will not be nearly as appetizing.

You should also regularly vacuum your rugs- and not just the visible areas. Eggs love to hide in dark, damp, and quiet spaces with little to no air circulation. This means that areas under your china cabinet, your sofa, and even the underside of your rug are all the perfect spots for eggs to grow. Be proactive and clean these areas regularly. You should also rotate your rug at least once a year. On top of preventing moth growth, rotating your rug will also help in distributing the amount of traffic your rug receives on different areas.

If you are taking an extended vacation, make sure that your rugs are stored properly. Make sure your home is dry and has proper air movement during your time away. When you return, make sure to vacuum and clean your home thoroughly. Your time away is the perfect time for moths to play.

Remember, proper rug protection is one of your responsibilities as a rug owner. When you put in the extra time to keep your rug in good shape now, you are actually saving yourself from weeks to months (sometimes even years!) of headache in the future.

How to Remove Moths If Your Home Has Them

If you have moths in your home, you should act immediately. They can easily do thousands of dollars of damage to your rug. A $50,000 rug can easily receive $30,000 worth of damage.

First, vacuum your house thoroughly. You will want to vacuum both the front and back of all of your rugs. Make sure you vacuum areas underneath furniture and behind your curtains as well. Take your rugs and place them in an area where they can receive direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will work quickly to kill any eggs that are still hiding in your rug. Don’t forget- the backside of your rug needs to be placed in direct sunlight, too.

If you have access to a leaf blower, use one to blast air in areas where bugs nest. This includes under your furniture, in the corners of your closets, behind your curtains, and any other dark and quiet areas.

Your next step will be to sanitize and wash your rug– bring your rug in for a professional cleaning. At Behnam Rugs, we can determine the amount of damage done to your rug and what steps should be taken next. Small areas can often be rewoven at a cost that would be far lower than replacement. Large areas can be shaved and sheared to minimize how obvious the damage to your rug is.

natural cleaning methods kill moths not rugs | Behnam Oriental Rugs | Dallas Fort Worth
The professionals at Behnam Rugs will wash & sanitize your rug the natural way and kill moths without damaging your rug.

Even if the foundation of your rug has been damaged by these pests, there are still options. Behnam Rugs can permanently dye your rug to minimize how obvious any damage is. The damaged areas will be hidden by the dye.

In severe situations, your rug may require a large amount of reweaving. Reweaving is generally a more expensive repair option, and the cost can be very high when reweaving is required on a larger area. In these situations, your rug may need to be sent to a country such as Turkey or Iran for the reweaving job to be completed. This process can be time consuming and costly. Remember to constantly check your home for insects in order to prevent this sort of hassle.

Can I Chemically Treat My Rug?

Behnam Rugs does not recommend chemically treating your rug, be it for moth proofing or extermination. Harsh chemicals can damage your rug, and they can also hurt you. Your rug lives with you, whether it is on your floor, your wall, or your stairs. You and your family constantly interact with your rugs. Behnam Rugs prefers natural prevention methods and restoration methods.

More Questions?

If you have any further questions on moths and how they can affect your rugs, please feel free to call Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400 or visit us during our store hours. Behnam Rugs has over 40 years of experience with rugs and rug repairs, and our rug experts would love to help you.

How Much Does Rug Cleaning Cost?


How Much Does Persian/Oriental Rug Cleaning Cost?

The cost of washing your Persian or Oriental rug varies based on a number of factors. Not all rugs are made the same way, so each rug will have its own unique washing needs. In order for our professionals to determine the correct wash for each of your rugs, we will need some information and a short history of your rug.

What Sort of Information Should I Know About My Rug?
First and foremost, you should know what type of rug you have. Is your rug machine made, handmade, tufted, or hooked? Once you know the type of rug you have, the rest of the details will be much easier to find out.

Next, know the country of origin of your rug. Persian rugs are not always Persian (Iranian) in origin. You can have an Indian Persian rug, an Afghani Persian rug, an Egyptian Persian rug, and so on. You may have records indicating the origin of your rug. Otherwise, feel free to come in and ask Behnam Rugs about the origin of your rug.

You should know the material of your rug. Rugs are made out of a variety of materials. Generally, if a rug is made with natural fibers, the materials used will be wool, cotton, silk, and jute. If your rug is made of synthetic materials, some of the materials used might be nylon or viscose.

Finally, we will need the age of your rug, the last time it was washed, and if you have any pets. We do not need the exact age of your rug, just an estimate. Again, if you are unsure, please ask us for assistance. We would love to help you learn more about your rug.

These details will help us determine what sort of washing your rug needs.

We understand that you might not know every little detail about your rug, especially for older rugs that may have had a couple of owners before you. If you are unsure about certain details, ask us! The rug experts at Behnam Rugs will be able to determine the precise details of your rug.

Interested in a Rug Wash?
If you have decided to wash your rug, contact us today for a free price quote. We are open Monday through Saturday, 9:00AM to 5:30PM. If you are well-informed on your rug, feel free to call us for a price quote.