Oriental rug from thrift store. Wool? How to clean?

svejkovatJuly 11, 2011

Just got this rug from a thrift shop downtown. Excellent condition but dusty. Slight rubber smell from the floor pad it was wrapped/rolled in. Probably does not need much cleaning, but would like to know what is appropriate for this type of rug. Looks like wool.


It's probably not worth anything collectibly, but I love the relatively spare design and colors. There is no labeling whatsoever. Dragons with little birds(baby draqons?). Beiges/pinks/blacks/butterscotch.

I've had very good results on upholstery with warm water, light perfume added, no detergent, in a pressure/pump garden sprayer applied and then immediately extracted with a powerful shop vac. Sound ok?

Any possibilty of identifying the style/type/origin of this rug based on the photos?

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That link got broken. Does this work?


    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:48PM
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Imageshack just does not seem to want to maintain the link....let's try photobucket...

Does that one work?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:56PM
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The rug is 8ft X 10ft.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've cleaned newer wool rugs with dilute mild shampoo and water and had good luck except with the large heavy ones...probably not supposed to do that but sometimes you have to.

I don't know anything about old rugs though! I'd be afraid to mess it up.

It's a very pretty design. Is it a flat weave kind of thing, like a kilim? (Or are all your closeups of the back?) It's not overly fussy but the details are so nice and crisply done.

If it IS valuable or old you might not want to risk washing yourself though. Do you have a good rug store in town, one that does cleaning (and might be able to tell you something about it)? I think I'd start by just vacuuming it really well (no beater bar) and leaving it in a safe shady spot outside to air out. Unless you or little kids will be lounging on it, or it really is dirty dirty, I might want to hold off on the washing.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:17AM
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For those readers who don't like to copy/paste:

below is one pic, the rest are here.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 12:17PM
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I don't see the pile a Persian rug would have. Is that needlepoint? Or is it embroidered?

FYI: Portugal was the source of many excellent needlepoint rugs in floral and Persian designs, and India exported chain-stitched embroidered rugs.

It's probably wool, and if you wash it, you will have to block it (stretch it as it dries) to keep it square.

If it's stained, I'd clean it as if it were a needlepoint pillow, with the foaming upholstery cleaner and a water rinse.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 2:49PM
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I believe it's a kilim....a woven Oriental rug. Very likely made of wool and cotton.
I would vacuum it well with a vacuum WITHOUT a revolving brush....just suction. I would be very cautious about using any water because the colors may run.
I love your rug....thrift store, Eh? Lucky you!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:48PM
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If that's a Kilim, it's somewhat valuable and probably worth taking to an oriental rug cleaner. Otherwise, you can pressure wash it the next time you clean the deck!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Thank you very much for the information. It was suggested elsewhere (another forum) that it might be a Soumak style rug from China. It is a flat weave. I'll have to look up Kilim as well. The designs are dragons around the border. From your suggestions and the other I'm confident that it's wool on a cotton backing. A little odd that there is not one identifying mark or label on it.

Fortunately it really does not need a cleaning just yet. It came rolled up in a rubber/felt carpet pad that had an "old rubber" smell to it. I've thrown that out and am using the previous living room 8X10 rug as a pad for now. Now that it's been in the living room for 24 hrs the lingering rubber smell has disappeared.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:23PM
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...and moonshadow, thank you very much for linking the images. I'm only semi computer capable.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 9:26PM
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Oh, you're welcome, no problem. :)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:46PM
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It probably is a soumak rug....but they were originally and traditionally made in the same areas as kilims were made. Some say a soumak is a type of kilim....but really they are different although still a flat weave. Originally they were made in the Ajerbijhan (sp?) area. In more recent times the Chinese have taken to making them....as with lots of other things...
The old ones from the middle East were usually smaller than your rug...but it's not impossible to find one that size.
But your rug looks old? Or does it? How about a close up of the back side?
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 11:34PM
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I have no input on how to care for it.....but I LOVE the dragons! What a gorgeous rug you've got yourself there!!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:25AM
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I thought it was neat that in between the dragons were the swords, and it just put me in mind of excalibur. I don't know diddly about that kind of stuff, but I surely like that pattern.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Pretty, great find!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:53PM
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