Our Guide: Cleaning and care for your vintage Moroccan rug
All you need to know about caring for and cleaning your Vintage Moroccan Rug.
Frequently asked questions about everyday cleaning, spot cleaning of stains and tips for choosing a professional rug cleaning service.
Nouvelle Nomad vintage rugs and textiles are authentic vintage finds mostly aged between 30 - 80 years old, or are crafted from vintage textiles.
Due to their age, the natural dyes and handwoven nature - there are a few important things to note and to be aware of before purchasing a vintage rug to ensure you keep it in great condition for years to come.
Our Restoration, Wash & Repairs Process
The restoration process for our vintage rugs is a slow and skilful one. Each rug is hand washed and repaired in Morocco before being shipped to our Australian showroom or to their new homes around the world.
First - hand washed with water and mild detergents with a big soapy brush, removing any dirt, stains and smells from it's prior life. Then hung out in the Moroccan sunshine to dry naturally.
Then - any repairs required are done by hand by skilled artisans in traditional methods and with materials to best suit the rug and its origins. This often includes re-tasseling the ends, re-finishing or strengthening borders, patching of holes and tidying of loose threads with yarns and wool that most closely match the colours and textures of the design.
While all care is taken to patch holes and repair worn areas - irregularities in areas, new holes appearing and threads coming loose over time is all part and parcel with owning a vintage rug.
Choosing The Right Rug For Your Space
Good rug care starts with choosing the right rug for your space and it's intended use.
The natural dyes in the older style rugs will fade over time, especially if placed in direct sunlight, and with usual wear and age. So please keep this in mind when choosing it's positioning in your home.
While the natural dyes are mostly colour fast - occasionally the deeper red and black dye colours have been know to bleed or transfer onto other surfaces when wet - so please keep this in mind before placing on carpets or upholstery.
For high foot traffic and lounge areas - the thicker, heavier and tightly knotted style rugs (Beni MGuilds, Beni Ourains and the medium-pile Boujad rugs) are generally more hard wearing and sturdy.
If choosing a mid-century aged piece, keep in mind that the older the vintage textiles are, the more delicate the wool and fibres will be. Best to keep these special pieces for areas with lower foot traffic.
If selecting a rug for under a dining table - choosing a piece with a flatter surface and less pile, which will allow for easier vacuuming and regular cleaning.
Lighter weight flat-woven kilims, low-pile Boujads, and Azilals are great for busy family areas and bedrooms where you may need to be picking up and moving your rug around regularly.
Cotton Boucherouite pieces while not machine washable, may be the most convenient and most cost effective option for family and kids rooms where spills and mess are inevitable.
Everyday Care For Your Vintage Moroccan Rug
Rugs can be vacuumed regularly to release dirt and sand from the weave - but use your vacuum on a light setting so as not to pull threads and holes.
Occasionally hanging your rug outside and giving it a shake out in the sunshine and fresh air is great for giving your rug a freshen up. Allowing it some time in the sun naturally kills off any bacteria, smells or moisture that may have built up with every day use.
The natural wool in vintage rugs mean that it may take on smells from kitchens, food and pets over time. Giving them a professional anti-bacterial clean every year or 2 is advised to refresh the wool and extend the life of your rug.
Cleaning Your Vintage Rug
For everyday grubby feet and food marks we recommend only ever using mild soapy water to spot clean your carpet, tested on a small area first. Chemical cleaners and vintage textiles are definitely not friends - so keep cleaning simple and to the basics.
If your carpet is in need of a deeper clean due to spills, pets or heavy wear, contact a professional rug cleaning service in your area that specialise in cleaning vintage and antique rugs.
Ask for an eco friendly anti-bacterial wash, and an anti-urine treatment if you have pets in the house. This isn't as expensive as you may think and will prolong the life of your rug for years to come.
If you're in Melbourne we recommend the Melbourne Rug Wash
We do not recommend you use a commercial rug dry-cleaning service as the machinery and chemicals used are often too harsh for vintage textiles.
Storing Your Vintage Moroccan Rug
For storage, roll rather than fold your rug to avoid creasing, wrapped in a breathable cotton wrap or bedsheet. Never store in plastic, as wool sweats and needs to breath. Bacteria can breed in sweaty, warm plastic which can encourage mould in more humid climates.
Carpet moth loves wool rugs. If you're unlucky enough to have found any carpet moth in your home, make sure to remove your vintage rug from the area, and take to a professional rug cleaning service to have your rug cleaned and any moth larvae exterminated.
You'll need to have your carpets steam cleaned and larvae exterminated before laying your vintage rug out again to avoid a re-infestation.
Carpet Underlay & Rug Pads
If you're placing your rug on floor boards or a concrete surface you may want to consider a non slip rug pad for underneath your carpet. (Although not essential)
We offer custom sized rug pads cut to size, made from recycled and natural breathable materials. Just get in contact for pricing.
Or you can buy these cut to size from any commercial carpet laying shop or rug cleaning centre.
Stuffing Your Floor Cushions Or Poufs
The easiest method is to use store bought cushion inserts in a slightly larger size to your cushions. For eco friendly options online we recommend Innergreen. Otherwise Ikea, Spotlight and Kmart all have a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from.
For a heavier and fuller fill you can also use recycled textiles (clothing, bedlinen, etc) you may have lying around the house to stuff your floor cushion or pouf.
This is our favourite method as it uses textiles that may otherwise go to landfill and gives a thicker, heavier and more upholstered feel to your pouf or ottoman.
There's an article with more info on this here:
Got More Questions About Caring For or Cleaning Your Vintage Rug?
Get in contact any time and we'll be happy to offer any advice or assistance.
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