For over 40 years, we have received thousands of questions regarding carpet care. Below are the answers to the top 10 most frequently asked questions by customers who come to our store. If your question is not listed below, please feel free to e-mail us at [email protected].
1. How to buy a carpet?
Where do you start? How do you go about buying a good carpet for the first time? What are some of the key elements a first time buyer should look for?
The first thing a potential buyer should do is look at the size of the room, the way in which the furniture is placed, and what area the carpet is going to occupy. Ideally, in a living room, it should be larger than the coffee table and large enough so that one’s feet can land on the rug.
Selecting a good oriental rug is a major decision because it will affect the appearance of your home for years to come. It should, therefore, be selected with great care in taking numerous factors into consideration besides the colour of the carpet.
First, you have to decide on what you want. Would you like to have a dramatic effect, or would you prefer a more comfortable, subdued atmosphere in your room? Would you like everything to blend in or would you like to make statement ? If you find a carpet that you really love, you can always work a room around the carpet. While it is ideally better to first buy the carpet, if you already have the furniture, however, then you can always find something appropriate to match the room.Back to top
2. How to know if you are buying a quality rug?
This is always a good question that does not, unfortunately, always have a simple answer. It depends on numerous criteria such as:
- The quality of the fiber that is used;
- The colours used in the rug;
- The experience of the weaver;
- The visible defects, if any, on the carpet;
- The country of origin of the carpet;
- The number of knots per square inch in the carpet;
Also, good older oriental rugs are usually more valuable if they are in good condition.Back to top
3. How to know if you are getting a carpet at a good price?
Shuja Bashir says comparison shopping is available, but cautions that since there are so many different types of carpets it can sometimes be very hard to compare. “In each region, many different qualities are made, so customers have to trust the integrity of the seller." Avoid auctions and buy from a reputable carpet dealer. If you decide to buy at an auction, you must have a thorough knowledge on the subject. You may wish to purchase a particular kind of carpet, such as a Kelim, which is the generic name of a flat woven carpet that has no pile or any investment grade carpet. But investment grade carpets seldom are showcased at a fly by night auction or auctions that are held monthly—which are actually selling their carpets at retail prices without giving consumers any guarantees. There are numerous kinds of oriental carpets and a reputable dealer can help you to best identify the kind of carpet which is suitable for your needs.
Having a professional decorator or designer help you select a carpet is also recommended. A good decorator can actually help you save money in purchasing carpets and can also help you in blending your previous purchases with your new ones. However, most importantly, a first time buyer should purchase an oriental rug only for their own pleasure. Above all, be sure that you love the carpet you are buying.
Shuja Bashir has spent many years searching, buying, and teaching others about exquisite oriental rugs. He makes numerous trips around the world each year to gather the most up to date information on this art form. He can gladly offer professional advice and assistance on how to buy an oriental rug and how to decide which rug is right for you. He can offer expert advice based on over 40 years of experience on what a first-time buyer, or any buyer, can reasonably expect to see and obtain in an oriental rug.
Of course, if you wish to tag along on one of Mr. Bashir's next buying trips, you are most welcomed to do so. July and January are his designated times of travel. In July, at times the temperature reach 46 degrees Celsius, so dress or don't dress accordingly. Call ahead for times and places to visit. Lately, Kabul is his favourite place to visit.Back to top
4. What about the fly by night hotels, customs, liquidation auctions, and sales?
Most auctions and liquidations are held to sell carpets under suspect and fictional claims. Most of the rugs that are sold are of inferior quality, moth damaged, or damaged and repaired rejects—rugs that cannot be sold in a reputable place. Auction vendors also often try to sell their carpets by convincing their potential buyers that the carpet they are interested in may be an opportunity of a life time to purchase—that happens to appear every two weeks. A good majority of liquidations, auctions, and bankruptcy sales are also commercialized using false advertising. Most of the merchandise being sold is of inferior quality, but there are always very rare exceptions.Back to top
5. Should you consult an interior decorator or designer?
Yes, you should consult a designer. You will save money since we offer interior decorators and designers preferred pricing rates. An interior decorator will guide you in buying the right rug that best fits your decor.
My suggestion would be that you should buy a certain carpet that fits the decor of your room. If the lady of the house loves it, the interior designer approves it, and the man does not hate it, then go for it. We also recommend that you should first try the carpet at your location before you buy it. We believe carpets should not be bought impulsively. All of our carpets come with a 90 day money back guarantee. We strive to assist you in purchasing quality rugs that YOU LIKE at a competitive price.Back to top
6. How to take care of your carpet?
Beautiful oriental carpets require good care, if they are to be treated like the precious art forms that they are. According to leading Montreal Persian and Oriental carpet expert, Shuja Bashir, it is important to take proper care of your carpets. Mr. Bashir believes that by faithfully following a few simple rules, you can be guaranteed of being able to enjoy the beauty of your carpet for years to come. Caring for carpets is quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. Vacuum frequently, clean up spills immediately, and clean your carpet thoroughly from time to time. General preventative maintenance is always the best medicine for a carpet. If you feel like you need professional cleaning or maintenance, feel free to browse our services section or contact us for more information.Back to top
7. How to remove wine spills?
Grab table salt, or corn starch, and sprinkle a good amount on the spill area. The salt or cornstarch will act as a sponge, and pick up most of the spill. After applying to the carpet, scoop up the salt or cornstarch with a spoon. Once scooped, proceed by sprinkling some club soda or white vinegar on the spill, blotting the stain dry with a clean terry cloth towel. If the stain is still evident, repeat the process. Please note that if you opt to use commercial stain removers, such as Resolve, test on a obscure area of your rug and wait for the rugs reaction.Back to top
8. How to prevent water damage?
Please do not place your plants on carpets over a long period of time, as it will cause damage to your carpet due to the water and the humidity. We have seen too many carpets damaged this way and in order to prevent this from happening, a cork should be placed between the plant and the carpet.
Most varieties of oriental rugs have wool pile, but many have cotton warp and weft. This cotton foundation can be weakened—and sometimes actually rotted—if the rug is drenched repeatedly and not properly dried. A common cause of such damage occurs when potted plants are placed directly on an oriental rug. The plant is watered regularly, the pot leaks, and the rug under the pot stays permanently damp. Within two or three weeks the foundation of the oriental rug can become so weak that chunks can be torn from the affected area by hand. If you use planters near a rug, try to place them on a slim legged stool, or a caster-based support that lets you see under the pot and allows for ventilation. After watering the plant check to be sure the rug under it is completely dry. It is so important for Oriental rug care.
Another form of water damage can affect rugs used in a basement or other area below grade level. If the basement floods the potential for damage is obvious. The rug must be removed quickly, properly cleaned and allowed to dry completely.
A more insidious form of damage can be caused by using a rug over a damp floor. Even though the floor is not noticeably wet to the touch, there can be enough moisture to allow microorganisms to flourish in the material of the warp and weft and to degrade the strength of the rug's foundation. A rug damaged in this way will often feel peculiarly stiff when manipulated. The rug will sometimes be so stiff it will be difficult to roll, and if you listen carefully to the back of the carpet when it is creased or folded, you can often hear the cracks and popping noises made by breaking warp and weft fibers.Back to top
9. What is the best way to store carpets?
When a rug is to be stored for more than a few months it should be cleaned thoroughly, sprayed with insecticide, and wrapped in protective plastic or a tough synthetic paper like "Tyvek"® building paper so that the carpet has cross ventilation. Do not use newspaper or common brown wrapping paper. These materials are not chemically stable (they are usually quite acidic), and do not provide the protection from insects or moisture the stored rug needs. Make sure the rug is completely dry. Think twice about using moth balls or flakes—these materials have little repellent affect, and the odor they impart to the rug can be difficult to remove. Using a cedar scent is also useless for adequate moth control. To avoid animals and insects, store the rug in a clean, dry place out of the reach of squirrels or other rodents. Periodic inspection of the rug is also strongly recommended and carpets should be opened and vacuumed every three months. In the last 40 years, I have seen too many people leaving carpets in storage and having moths materialize as a result of only opening the carpet after a year to many years in storage. As a result, the carpet they stored becomes ruined. However, even with moth damage, sometimes carpets can be fixed depending upon the value of the rug.Back to top
10. How do you place your underpadding?
As important as it is to maintain and prolong the life of your carpet, having a good quality and properly placed under padding can make a big difference.
We have listed below some tips in ensuring the proper placement of your under padding. When using Dura cushion, the black rubber side always faces the floor. You will also want to put the gray side down in case of heavy objects on the carpet such as a bed or dining table.
- First, place your carpet in the room, ensuring it is in the exact place you want it.
- Next, using masking tape, mark the corners of your carpet on the floor.
- Carefully roll the carpet up and slightly away from your placement.
- Place your under padding, black side down, within the markings you have made on the floor. The under padding is generally 1’’ smaller all around than the carpet. This is so edge of the under padding will not show when the carpet is properly placed.
- Now roll you carpet back onto the under padding; it should be placed evenly on the padding, with no edges showing.
We hope these tips are useful and make it easier to ensure correct placement of the underpadding.Back to top