Make sure you have bought the right rug for the room you put it in. A modern and Persian rugs specialist will guide you to the correct type, which is not always the most expensive! Wool is almost always the best material as it does not burn, cleans very well, has a certain stain resistance due to the natural oils and can be restored. Many buyers make the mistake of going for a low-quality cheap rug as they think the hard wear will ruin a finer rug. The opposite is true. A cheap rug will quickly look bad and will not clean up well, so will be a disappointment. This is not what reputable rug specialists want at all.
1. Firstly, your rug will benefit from having the correct underlay. There are many options but the most common is a sticky thin one which works very well on all floor types and will help prevent movement and rucking. ‘Foxi’ is the market leader but is expensive and cheaper copies are available. Underfloor heating requires specialist underlay if going for the non-sticky kind, which can be a solid or waffle type rubber. Rubber underlays give more substance and bounce but will not prevent movement and rucking- however they are much cheaper.
2. All rugs, no matter what the seller says, will fade in bright direct sunlight. Not so much a problem in the UK but the summer of 2018 may be repeated one year! Place a transparent UV coating on the glass to prevent fading. Even if the sunlight is not direct it will still gradually fade the dyes, which is the lovely side effect of a handmade wool rug aging. Try and move the rug 190 degrees once a year to even out the fading effect.
3. Heavy furniture will flatten the pile and over the years will irrevocably dent the surface. Regular cleaning, every 5 years is recommended, will raise the affected areas and so nullify the problem. Larger contact areas are more acceptable than thin wood or metal feet but still not ideal. Brass or wood cups should always be used under thin sharp feet, even if there is a castor attached. However, be careful with dampness as rust and wood stains can occur from these cups if not checked and moved.
4. Vacuum your handmade wool Persian or Oriental handmade rug once a week. This will remove recent dirt from the wool fibres, especially the yarn tips. The suction should not be too strong- set at mid-level to remove particles from inside the pile which settles at the base of the knot and cause friction and wear. NEVER use the revolving head on a handmade wool rug. This removes tiny parts of the pile and will wear your rug out well before it should. Avoid the fringes when vacuuming as these are integral warp threads which are finished with a locking weft across the rug and are the first line of defense against unravelling.
5. Good quality wool is protein rich and full of natural oils which are irresistible to moth and carpet beetles. The weekly vacuuming and general usage will ensure moth do not lay their eggs as they like dark quiet places. If your rug is placed under furniture you MUST get under there to vacuum to remove the eggs and laying adults. A moth spray can be applied before and during the moth breeding season which is now all year round, thanks to central heating and climate change. The warmer your home the more they like it. The best way to guard against moth is a pheromone trap which will entice them into a small box and trap them in a sticky residue. The best I have found are at www.jeikner.de.