Over the past 30 years, Coffey Clean Care has grown to have one of the area's finest in-plant facilities. Our modern in-plant facility is capable of cleaning even the finest antique Orientals and Persian rugs & tapestries. We take the same amount of pride cleaning a machine made rug that we do cleaning an antique Persian rug. We are able to accommodate rugs of any type and size.
We can arrange pick-up and delivery of your area rugs at a convenient time for you. For a nominal service charge, our staff will roll your rugs up upon pick-up and lay them out when delivered. Or you can save time and money by bringing your rugs to our plant for cleaning. Upon arrival, your rugs will be measured and tagged for cleaning. Any repairs, stains or problems will be discussed directly with one of our service technicians. We can also fit your area rug with the appropriate non-skid pad while in our plant.
- Each Rug is Measured and Tagged Before Washing
- Rugs are Washed in Fresh Water
- A Special Biodegradable Oriental Rug Shampoo is used to Guarantee the Finest Results
- Fringe is Washed and Combed by Hand
- Rugs are Rinsed with a Special Textile Rinse to Set the Colors
- Rugs are Dried in a Controlled Environment
- Rugs are Inspected and Washed Again if they do not Meet Our Standards
- ScotchGuard™, Deodorization and Moth-Proofing are Available
- Rugs are Wrapped and Ready for Delivery
- Cleaning Process Takes 5 to 10 Working Days
Oriental Rug Cleaning
Oriental Rug Repair
Each rug is inspected for any pre-existing conditions. Many times soil covers up dye lot variations (abrash), fiber staining, prior dye bleeding, worn areas, or white knots that become “uncovered” after the wash. Some of these are weaving characteristics (abrash and white knots), and others are damage that can possibly be repaired or reversed.
If you bring the rug to us personally, then this inspection takes place with you, and we will discuss any areas of concern that you have regarding your rugs, and your options. If we transport your rug to our facility, our wash and repair team will inspect your rug after its arrival and will contact you with any work recommendations or pre-wash “discoveries.”
Dye lot color variations. All wool has tone changes that range from off-white to yellow to gray. When this wool is dyed a particular color, this results in a variety of shading. When one “batch” of red wool is used up in the weaving process, and the weaver grabs the next “batch” from slightly different color base wool, this difference is woven into the rug. The result is a dye lot variation that runs side to side (left to right) and appears as “striping” in the rug. This is a characteristic in all-handmade rugs, and is considered a characteristic of the rug that in many cases adds depth and texture to the overall look of the rugs (especially in vegetable dyed wool).
Most rugs have cotton foundations. Cotton warps run throughout the entire length of a rug, and cotton weft threads run left to right and are the means by which each row of wool knots are packed into straight line. During the weaving and packing process, cotton warps and wefts will break. A broken warp or weft cannot be replaced, so the two broken pieces are tied in a knot and the weaving proceeds. This results in white “knots” in the field of the rug. Most times these cotton knots are cut down shorter than the wool face fibers, and they are “hidden.” Over time wearing of the wool reveals these knots and they look like freckles throughout the rug. These can many times be blended away with textile dye.
Handmade textiles are rarely perfectly symmetrical. Slight design shifts in city rugs, and more noticeable design and shape variations in tribal pieces are expected. Some times these can be counteracted through blocking after the wash (wet cotton foundation fibers can “give” a little – but not too much).
Vacuum the rug slowly, upside-down
Once the inspection is complete and the wash proceeds, the first step is dusting. Rugs can hold up to one pound of dirt per square foot before it “looks” dirty. Flooding a rug with pounds of fine grit and dirt in the foundation creates mud … so dusting is an important first step to the wash process. This is performed with an upright vacuum cleaner to “shake” the dirt out of the foundation of your rug.
Dirt and loose wool is shaken free
Not all rugs need to be dry cleaned
The dyes of the rug are tested for colorfastness. If the dyes are not colorfast, then the rug is bathed first in vinegar to set the dyes during the wash process. The rug is then given a cold water, mild shampoo bath, using soft brushes for mild agitation. The rug is soaked for a certain length of time, depending on how much surface soil and spotting needs to be gently worked out and rinsed from the rug’s fibers.
The rug is thoroughly rinsed with water, and then placed through a rubber roller wringer to gently squeeze the water from the rug (the rollers adjust to the thickness of each rug).
In-home cleaning of rugs
All of our rugs are laid out flat to dry. Hanging textiles up when wet can lead to too much strain on the foundation of the rugs. Air movers are used to help facilitate drying, without the use of high heat so there is no worry of shrinkage.
Upon a first wash, it is typical for a rug to shrink slightly (less than an inch) – just as cotton and wool clothing does in even a cold water hand wash. And as with throwing wool or cotton in a high heat dryer, you know this shrinks natural fibers … this is why all rugs are laid out flat to dry.
Fringe tassels are washed an additional time after the bath. The tassels are then dried. The rug is given a final grooming with a horsehair brush, and then rolled and ready to go home.
Rugs that come to us for repair are thoroughly inspected to identify the damage, the cause of that damage, and the various options available to correct or minimize that damage. Our goal is not only to make the rug “look” better cosmetically, but to also make certain that the structure of the repaired area is strong enough to allow you to use and enjoy your rug without worrying about further damage.
Rugs are woven to last decades at the least, and centuries at the most, and rugs of all ages travel through our doors. Our specialty is antique and semi-antique rug care, and our knowledge regarding these textiles allows us to give you the information necessary in making the right rug care decisions. If a rug gets to the point that it is “past its prime,” we will let you know what type of floor, type of pad, and level of traffic would be best to help the piece last longer.
The Fringe is the “Skeleton” of Your Rug. Most rugs have white cotton fringe tassels, and others have wool or silk tassels. Some rug owners like the look of the fringe on their rugs, to others it drives them nuts to always be straightening them, or keeping them from getting caught in the vacuum cleaner (that’s why you vacuum from side to side instead of from end to end).
But, the fringe is not just a “pretty” way to finish the rug – it is actually the foundation fibers of the rug. The rug’s “skeleton.” Each individual tassel that you grab in your hand runs through the middle of the rug all the way to the other end, emerging as another individual tassel on the opposite end.
Each individual foundation strand that runs the length of a rug. These strands end up being the fringe tassels of the rug.
Each individual foundation strand that runs the width of a rug. We remember these as being the strands that run “weft” to “right.”
Tassels are the warps of a hand woven rug and torn or worn fringe is damage must have special attention. This damage can easily result in your rug unraveling and losing its knots (this is the labor and value of a rug).
Does cutting off the original worn fringe, or putting on new fringe, affect the value of the rug?
A proper overcast stitch (by hand) along the end of a rug will anchor the knots in place so that they will not “slide” off of the warps. This is a simple looking stitch (either a buttonhole or cross-stitch variety), but knowledge about how to properly anchor the stitch to a weft thread is key. A poorly executed stitch will lead to a tension inconsistency that can result in additional knots unraveling from the rug.
A minimum of an inch of original fringe (exposed warps) tassel is needed for a correct overcast stitch, and it is ideal to have one consistent row of knots to anchor together from left to right – this many times means that the rug must be evened out beforehand to prepare it for the overcast stitch.
Why don’t you put the new fringe on by machine?
The fringe is the first thing to go on a rug. Years of footsteps on individual tassels cause abrasion. Vacuum cleaners cause damage. And they both contribute to tearing, fraying, and an eventual wearing down of the tassels. It’s a noticeable thing to fix, and it is the most common repair that comes through our doors.
First the end must be secured with an overcast stitch so that the structure of the rug is sound. Then a new prefabricated fringe can be laid along the top of the original fringe base, and attached by hand. Because the fringe is laid on top of the original fringe base (the original tassels are trimmed shorter so that they do not “peek” through the new tassels) it protects the end of the rug from further foot traffic abrasion.
Just as tied-off fringe tassels hold the knots in place from the ends; the side cords hold the knots in place from the sides. The weft (left to right) threads are wrapped around a thick side cord that runs the entire length of the rug (with the warps). This cord holds the rows in place, and is usually (after the weaving is completed) wrapped in wool, cotton, goat hair, or silk. The over-wrapping is usually done in a color that blends well with the overall look of the rug.
Sometimes multiple rugs are woven on the same large loom for higher production numbers. When this is done, the rug wefts are shared between the rugs. To separate the rugs then, the shared wefts need to be cut. This means that these wefts are not wrapped securely around a side cord. In fact, what is often done is a side cord is already over-wrapped in a matching color and they baste it to each side of the finished rug without securing the “loose” weft threads. This makes the rug “look” right, but there’s a problem with this.
Small holes and tears in the center of a rug can be caused by many things – excessive foot traffic, furniture friction (rolling chairs), planter water damage (dry rot), or just old age. Regardless of the cause, the area needs immediate attention to ensure further loss of knots is avoided.
Embroidery stitching can strengthen small worn areas to protect fragile foundation fibers from further friction. If the hole is significant, then patching or re-weaving will be needed.
Selective dyeing is a “cosmetic” repair to make your rug look better. Permanent textile dyes can be used to blend away worn areas, discolored areas, white knots, and repairs.
On collectible rugs dyeing beyond some small particular areas can affect the value of the rug. We will share the positives and negatives in these situations so you can make an informed decision.
Many rugs make striking wall hangings, and showcasing them as your piece of art is a popular choice for many textiles from silk rugs to tapestries to American Indian weavings. Some fragile pieces that cannot be walked on any longer can also be prepared to hang so that you can continue to enjoy them.
The Textile Museum recommends using Velcro to hang textiles, so we offer this to our clients to hang their textiles for display. The Velcro is attached by hand to the rug, and then the mate piece is attached to a piece of wood that you can then secure to your wall. The advantages of using Velcro are:
- The rug can be adjusted to hang evenly (rugs are rarely symmetrical, so this allows you to make slight adjustments).
- The rug lies against the wall more evenly.
- It makes it easy to take down to dust (at least once a month to ensure no insects are making a home behind them).