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Rugs 101

Rugs have a history rooted in ancient times. But thanks to the new constructions and fibers, the traditional art of rug weaving has evolved into a more prominent element in today’s interior fashion. The change is constant and, at times, difficult to keep up with — which is why we created Rugs 101.

Rugs 101 will help you understand today’s rugs in an easy-to-browse, visual way. Whether you’re in the market to buy a new rug, or you’re an interior designer trying to learn the fundamentals, we hope to provide some valuable content to help you design with intention... from the ground up!

Below are some more tips for caring for your rug:

Basic CareDownload a print-friendly version Rugs 101

Rug wear is inevitable, but frequently rotating your rug 180 degrees will help equalize the effects of wear.

Dampness can cause mildew or deterioration of the threads and fabrics of your rug. Avoid soaking your rug when cleaning a spill. Moths are another threat to a rug's longevity. To protect it, move your rug from time to time, and keep it exposed to air and light.

Continual exposure to sunlight will eventually cause a rug's colors to fade and make the fabric brittle. Display your rug in such a way that it is protected against too much sunlight.


If you intend to store a rug for an extended length of time, make sure that the rug is clean. It should be treated with moth repellent prior to storage and should be rolled tightly. Wrap the rug in a cloth or a sheet, do not use plastic because the rug needs to breathe. Store in a dry, cool well ventilated area to avoid mildew or heat damage.

Restoring Pile

Spray the area with a little water and brushing with a soft brush can restore pile crushed by heavy furniture.

Vacuuming, Sweeping & Beating

Always vacuum your rug in the direction of the nap (to determine the nap, run your hand across the pile towards the fringe, the light side is the nap). Avoid using the vacuum on the fringe as the fringe may break or tear. Sweeping your rug with a broom weekly is highly recommended to remove dirt and bring out the sheen.


Oriental rugs should be washed on a regular basis. Depending on the type of traffic your rug receives it is a good idea to wash your rug every three to five years. It is best to have your rug cleaned by a professional who specializes in oriental rugs. NEVER steam or chemically clean your rugs as these cleaning methods deplete the natural oils of the pile. Also, do not put your rugs in the washing machine.


Deal with spills immediately. Use a spoon to scoop up as much of the spill as possible. Dilute smaller spills with water. Blot, but do not rub, the area with a paper towel until all moisture is removed. Always blot from the outer edges towards the center to prevent the spill from spreading.

Stain Removal

Not every stain should be attacked with water. Common food or beverage stains can be treated with the same mild detergent used to wash delicate clothes, diluted with a small amount of water.

Spraying the area with hairspray, letting it dry and brushing the area with a water and vinegar solution can remove an ink stain from a ballpoint pen. Oil-based stains are best treated with dry cleaning solvents.

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Rugs 101

Mafi Signature 16 & Masala WashMaterials We UseArea Rug Cleaning Guide