Area Rug Cleaning Company Blog

Tabas rugs

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Tabas rugs

Tabas rugs are knotted in central Iran. Tabas is located about six hundred kilometers south of Mashad. The city of Kashmar is to the north and the cities of Birjand and Ferdows to the east.

The pattern consists of medallions with loops and arabesques in bright colors. They are like Nain rugs but more rustic. Inspection of the back of the carpet is important because the weavers in Tabas use Persian knots. The quality of the carpet depends on the number of knots, which can vary.

Fringe damage

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Fringe damage

The fringe on an oriental rug is an iconic trait. Occasionally, some people cut the fringe off their rug due to staining, yellowing, damage, or wearing down. Unfortunately, this DIY home remedy will cause more harm than good.


The Importance of Rug Padding To Protect Your Family Heirloom

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on The Importance of Rug Padding To Protect Your Family Heirloom

In addition to Area Rug Cleaning Company‘s advanced Rug Cleaning Process and the other great services we offer, we also have the ability to create a Custom Rug Pad that are specifically designed for when oriental or area rugs are placed over carpeted floors or hard surfaces like wood or tile. They keep your rugs flat and keep them from ripping bunching or moving.

What you need to know about rug padding from Area Rug Cleaning Company:

– Our padding is Hypoallergenic, completely synthetic, and has no plant or animal fibers to aggravate allergies.

– Our tough, consistent construction provides maximum cushion effect for minimum wear and longer rug life.

– Rug pads prevent ripping, bunching and moving, which makes your home safer from tripping.

Call Area Rug Cleaning Company today to learn more about this and our other professional rug cleaning services. 734-274-6548

Cleaning A Rug Is Not A Simple Task | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Cleaning A Rug Is Not A Simple Task | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI

Cleaning a rug is not as easy as it sounds, at least if the owner wants to treat it thoroughly. These pieces are soil gathering hotspots and can suck up several pounds of dirt and grime in a short time. If this soil is not removed promptly, it can damage the fibers, making it more difficult to salvage the rug. Regular treatment should be a primary goal, and it should be done with professional assistance.

Before a professional starts cleaning a rug, they have to inspect it for any damage. If there are no apparent problems, the first thing to do is to vacuum up any loose, dry soil from in between the fibers. After that, a technician will apply some water and a gentle agent, and then agitate it with a device that uses soft rotation. After thorough rinsing, the rug is extracted or spun in a centrifuge to extract most of the water. The rest of the drying process is handled on a rack. It will typically take several hours, and technicians will inspect it regularly during the process to look for any missed stains or other spots of damage. If no further issues are found, the rug will be returned to the owner once it dries.

Source from IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) website:

A Journey to Dye For by Ben Knause

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on A Journey to Dye For by Ben Knause

The focus of professionals in our industry is always shifting as the constant advance of techniques and technology breathe new life into established practices and concepts.  This process has accelerated rapidly with the rise of social media.  Through online forums and networks, knowledgeable instructors gain exposure to the ever growing ranks of rug care professionals seeking to hone and improve their skills.  This has proven particularly useful as “outliers” with new ideas and technology have a very convincing platform with which to demonstrate their abilities to a mainstream audience.  One topic generating quite a buzz right now is dyeing and color restoration.  Given all the recent interest, I was asked to share my journey into the world of color restoration, not as an expert or instructor, but as a rug cleaner looking to improve his skills. The following is my journey into the field, where I am now and where I see myself in the future.  I hope that it inspires some of my fellow ARCS members to explore the subject as I believe it to be a useful skill for rug care professionals.

I’ve been doing color repair on a limited basis for about ten years. Like many of the corrective treatments I’ve learned over the years, it was out of necessity that I started doing color restoration. When performing stain and dye removal , it’s very easy to find yourself in trouble. We all want to be the hero and I’m no exception. By overzealously trying to correct a stain or due to collateral damage that the stain has caused, one can end up making the customer’s rug appear worse than before.  The learning curve to stain removal can be unforgiving at times and when it bites you what do you do? Rather than try to explain a mistake on my part to the client, I would try and fix the damage at any cost.

Enter my first experience in dyeing. It was a problem with a rug we cleaned years ago. We tested every rug for color fastness at the time. The rug in question showed no signs of color on the test so we proceeded with our cleaning. The rug cleaned well and gave us no signs of concern during the cleaning. We finished our washing for the day and set up for overnight drying. When I returned in the morning I found the the bottom two inches of the rug had turned blue. I was able to correct the blue that had bled up from the weft yarns however my corrective treatment removed so much color the ends no longer matched the sides or field. I had no choice but to attempt to recolor it. I tested dozens of colors in various consistencies and combinations before I achieved a color that was acceptable. It took multiple applications to get the correct shade but i was pleased with the results.

All I really knew about color correction at the time was the dye needed to be hot and the fiber needed to be in an acidic state, so I had that going for me. We had a “deluxe dye kit” for nylon and wool on our shelves. You’ve probably seen it in a catalogue somewhere, It consisted of powdered dyes in 34 different colors with an instruction manual, formic acid to ID nylon, striking agent, color wheel, and some other odds and ends.

I’ve used this kit successfully for many years to correct my mistakes as well as the occasional color loss spot caused by the client or their beloved pet. While I would do my best, I didn’t feel comfortable enough in my abilities to charge for this service and only did it when the clients really pushed for it. For me, it was a time consuming process that yielded satisfactory results, most of the time.

In the beginning I was lucky really. I had a good ability to pick a color that was close enough to fool the eye and would bring the color back incrementally to prevent too drastic of a change in a single application. The dyes were tricky. I could wet out and prep the area, add dye and feel like I had a good match only to let it dry and find out that the area was still ten shades too light. So I would do it again. And again. And again until I was happy with it. It certainly wasn’t the most efficient process but it got the job done, slowly.

A few months back I enrolled in my first dyeing class. I had seen work done by the instructor on some Facebook groups and was impressed by what I saw. We had a client with a sun faded rug they wanted repaired. I took this opportunity to outsource the job and see his work first hand. He completed the repairs in a timely fashion at the price he originally quoted. I was happy with the repair but more importantly the client was happy with the rug which was now restored to like-new condition. I was interested in taking the class at this point but the timing wasn’t right. In the intervening months I was able to consult with several colleagues whose glowing reviews cemented my interest in this course. I committed to the next available class in my area and off I went, eager and excited.

The course was straightforward and easy to understand. The classroom time was minimal to allow for ample hands-on training. To start, the class spot dyed multiple bleach spots on various nylon carpet From there we moved on to a custom color matching exercise where each student picked a color from anywhere in the room and tried to match it their carpet square. I learned to perform a procedure the instructor referred to as “color clean” which imparts a small amount of color into a monotone rug or carpet. The teacher over-dyed a Spanish Wilton carpet to a nice deep red for one of his clients using nothing more than a portable carpet machine, five-gallon bucket and a bucket heater. The last thing the class did was restore the faded reds on a Hamadan to their original glory with an airbrush.

As a result of the class, I’ve discontinued the use of my trusty powdered dye kit. Instead I’ve learned to repair using the three primary colors in liquid form. They are dyes he sells but the principles can be applied with any good liquid dyes. I made the change because I really like how well the liquid dyes impart color onto the textile.

Moving from 30+ dyes to three is a challenge. Most colors we are restoring are tertiary colors, meaning the contain all the primary colors in various amounts. Red is not just red. Instead the red in question is predominantly red mixed with yellow and even a little blue. Trying to determine how much of each primary color to use to get the damaged area to match the original color is no easy feat. It requires an extensive amount of practice to become proficient. Fortunately, the instructor created an app for Apple devices to assist with this task. You take a picture of the area in question, picking the target (undamaged) color and the faded color to be restored and the app will give you a sliding scale for each of the primary colors needed to bring the area back to it’s original beauty. While not a fool-proof system, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding the right color and is helpful to understand the relationship between each color needed. There is also a dedicated Facebook group for color trainees that have completed his course which is invaluable to a new color repair technician.

When I returned from the class I was excited to implement my newly acquired knowledge. The first thing I did was acquire some scrap nylon carpet to bleach and re-dye. My first few attempts made it clear that, even with the app, practice would be vital to perfecting the art of color repair. It wasn’t long before I had a few good candidates for spot dying on wool rugs. We were lucky to have a string of rugs come in that had previously been repaired and the color had either faded at a different rate or never matched to begin with or perhaps a little of both. So far the clients have been very happy with the repairs I’ve made.

I have one important tip from a relatively new technician to help you deliver satisfied customers.  When setting expectations for the work don’t over promise, which can be said for many areas of rug cleaning, repair, and restoration. There are variables that one can’t control.  One thing I’ve learned is, no matter how close the color match may be, if the weave balance or fiber denier of an old repair does not match that of the original rug, the color will not reflect quite the same.

On top of these spot repairs, I recently embarked on my first over-dye project and overall re-color of a faded rug. The over-dye project is a fun learning opportunity. I mentioned in passing to a client that I was about to take a dye class and she offered to let me dye her rug purple for practice. I decided to strip the color first as the rug was pretty dark to begin Once I removed enough color, I mixed some red and blue and voila, she had a purple rug. The initial treatment was a little splotchy in places but with some follow up spotting the color evened out well.

The re-color project will be my first time using the airbrush and liquid dyes to add color back to a rug. The hardest part is getting the depth and shade of color correct. The field is open so I won’t have to spend a lot of time detailing around intricate designs. It’s amazing how much color repair work is out there if you have the confidence to do it.

I still have so much to learn about this niche service but it seems to have great potential. For the sake of comparison, I would like to take some of the other classes offered on color repair and try other dyes in the market. I do believe this is an area that will require practice, practice, practice to become proficient, regardless of how much class room time you have. Even though I’ve been told they are permanent and colorfast, I’m anxious to see how the dye holds up on the repairs I’ve made. I’ve been told they are resilient but I am naturally skeptical so I need to see it to believe it. I am told the dyes I now use will dye cotton and rayon as well so I will be curious to see how the colors take on such fibers as these are, as I understand, traditionally dyed with fiber reactive dyes in an alkaline solution.

As for the future, I can see the value of having a dedicated color repair department doing repairs in-plant and on-location.  I believe it could be another service that distinguishes our company from the rest of the pack and of great value to our customers.  If nothing else, it has certainly made me a better rug cleaning and restoration professional.

Area Rug Cleaning Company cares for the finest to the most basic rugs from around the world.  Please do not hesitate to call us to answer questions and to schedule your next appointment for our rug cleaning and care services.

How to Determine if Rug Repair is Worthwhile by Brian Benzel

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on How to Determine if Rug Repair is Worthwhile by Brian Benzel

One of the first things we do when looking at the potential repair/restoration of a rug, is determining whether or not the repair is worthwhile. The value of a piece can be discerned in a multitude of ways: perhaps you need a replacement value, an insured value, a fair market value, or other usually insurance policy related value. These numbers are subjective to a degree, but they are all quantifiable. You can generate a hard number to use as a basis for determining the worth of getting a repair done.

However, there is one value that can’t be so neatly defined: sentimental value. A client’s rug may be something that has no real value left due to extensive damage or wear, but sentimental value is something that can push an unrecommended repair into a reasonable prospect. In cases like these, repairs are often done just to preserve the look of the rug for as long as possible.

At Serafian’s Oriental Rugs, we try to be practical and economical in these instances. With countless ways to repair damage, we try to line our repairs up with a client’s budget. Some clients are willing to put money into more laborious and technical repairs, despite our recommendations due to rug value, while others just want the cheapest method available to add life to the rug. We often rely on the use of latex and machine serging to keep the price down and in a manageable place for clients.

We recently had a Meshed that’s value could only be described as sentimental. He remembered playing on the rug as a young child, and despite the obvious wear beyond reasonable restoration, he wanted to know if there was anything we could do to salvage it in any fashion. Together we decided that cutting the rug down would be the best option, as the most damaged areas were nearer the perimeter.

We thoroughly cleaned both sides of the rug.
The rug brightened up significantly, but the exposed cottons from the foundation were now equally vibrant, diminishing the newly vibrant colors of the piece.

Examining what we could salvage, we decided on cutting down to a new perimeter that encompassed the whole of the central medallion. The rug is so worn on top, that we decided to flip the rug over, as it showed minimal damage on the back. Although traffic on the back side of a rug is typically a quick way to wear it out, the front had so much exposed warp and weft, that it was the safest route, along with the added benefit of being more aesthetically pleasing for the client.

We secured the edges with binding tape and latex to add a little strength, and then we serged all four edges to complete the look. We also saved the scraps for the client to possibly turn them into pillows in the future.

Although the original rug was too far gone to warrant preservation, our client was thrilled to have a “new” rug made from this piece from his childhood. We were able to keep the price down by using more cost effective methods to accommodate the client’s needs.
At Area Rug Cleaning Company, we do restorations for what some might consider a complete insurance loss on a handmade rug. Our expertise includes repairing damages from water, fire, insect, animals, and exposure to sun and ultraviolet rays. Arrangements may be made to receive rugs shipped to us from anywhere in the country. Do not hesitate to inquire about our repair service. (734) 973-2300

3 Ways to Decrease the Life of Your Heirloom Oriental Rug

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Decrease the Life of Your Heirloom Oriental Rug

rug life


1. Skip the Rug Pad

A rug pad not only prevents your rug from slipping and sliding on your floor, it also helps to protect your rug. The pad prevents wrinkles. It also provides cushion to help protect the fibers from being weighted down. Depending on what kind of flooring, different pads will be needed.

2. Scrub Spills Vigorously

Oh no! Your guest spilled wine on your Persian rug. As a savvy homeowner, you know that you should always clean spills immediately to avoid stains. So you grab the scrubbing brush and attack that spill with all your might.

Never ever do this.

While cleaning spills is important, using the best technique matters just as much. Heirloom rugs are delicate and require a gentle hand when cleaning. Scrubbing vigorously will ruin the fibers and even wear a hole in your carpet. Instead, gently dab or blot at the spill with a clean cloth, then take the rug to a professional cleaner to handle the rest.

3. Skip Yearly Professional Washing

You may not think about having your rug professionally cleaned, after all you vacuum it weekly. While that is great for superficial cleaning, a professional rug cleaning is going to do a lot more for your rug than a simple vacuuming. Professional rug washing allows your rug to get a thorough inspection of the fibers and knots. Spotting issues early can offset the cost to repair damage later.

Taking precautions can increase the longevity of your rug. If you have any questions about how to care for your rugs, please call Area Rug Cleaning Company at (734) 973-2300 and we would be happy to help with your family heirloom.

Rugs of the World – Mashad | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Rugs of the World – Mashad | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI


Mashad rugs are knotted in eastern Iran. The city of Mashhad has long been one of the centres for production of famous Persian carpets. It is also one of the oldest centres of carpet weaving.Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.25.46 AM

Mashhad rugs and carpets are mostly curvilinear with a single central medallion, corner floral designs and very busy floral motifs in the background.868

Dark red, blue and khaki are the main colours in Mashhad carpets. Weavers in Mashad use Persian knots. You should check the back of the carpet because the quality of the rug depends upon the number of knots, which can vary.Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.27.36 AM

At Area Rug Cleaning Company, we gently clean your treasured heirloom rugs with professional attention and care. Our thorough rug cleaning process can handle the smallest of rugs to the largest size of carpet from around the world.

Back To School – Start With Professional Rug Cleaning | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Back To School – Start With Professional Rug Cleaning | Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor MI

Now that the kids are back to school and a “normal” schedule starts to fall into place, it’s time to turn attention to parts of the house that have been neglected. With summer barbeques & playing children bringing in dirt and grime almost to an end, start by having your rugs professionally cleaned. Beautiful, clean rugs are easier to enjoy throughout the colder weather months and will help to ease allergies as the house is more closed up at this time of the year.

rug cleaning

At Area Rug Cleaning Company, we provide complete fine area rug repair and cleaning to extend the life and value of your investment or family heirloom! We take pride in our craftsmanship and our ability to provide you with excellent customer service.

Contact us today to see how we can help!

Rugs of the World – Tabriz | Area Rug Cleaning Company

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Rugs of the World – Tabriz | Area Rug Cleaning Company

Persia (or Iran) have long been the center for weaving innovation in the Middle East. A huge variety of rug types, qualities, and traditions come from this diverse country. Among the most famous and highest quality Persian Rugs are Tabriz. Tabriz is a major city in the Northwestern, Azerbaijan region of Iran, very close to the Caspian Sea. Even from Tabriz a large number of rugs have been created. Today, we are going to go over the most common three Tabriz rugs, Mahi, Nachsche, and Taba.

Mahi Tabriz are by far the most sought after and traditional of Tabriz carpets. There are three main parts to this pattern, the overarching pattern, the detailed field pattern, and the border. Each has its own story. The overarching design is a simple medallion pattern that starts in the center of the rug and emanates outward. This part of the design represents the concentric circles formed by dropping a pebble into a still pond.

Mahi Tabriz

Mahi Tabriz

For the more detailed field design, Mahi Tabriz uses a traditional Herati, or “fish”, pattern. This consists of a diamond with four opposing oak leaves. Continuing out from the oak leaves, the design repeats itself with the leaves mirroring their image around a small flower. This pattern represents a fisherman in his boat and two fish swimming around the reflection of the moon.

Herati Pattern

Herati Pattern

The third and final part of the design is the border, which can vary from one Mahi to the next, but most commonly uses the Sammovar pattern. Sometimes called the “Turtle and Crab” border, this border uses large floral motifs that look like and represent a swimming sea turtle and a crab’s claws.

Turtle and Crab border

Turtle and Crab border

While Mahi Tabriz can be done in a wide variety of qualities, most are woven using exceptional materials and have very high knot counts. As such, these rugs have earned themselves a reputation for being some of the best in the world.

One of the more popular types of Tabriz is known as Nachshe. Where some Tabriz rugs use small repeating motifs, Nachsche use more colorful, open, floral motifs. They typically have strong central medallions, long flowing tendrils (known as Islimi), and many groups of small flowers. Very commonly, silk is woven into these rugs as a highlight color. These rugs are almost always woven at very high knot counts, generally starting at 250 knots/inch and going as high as 500 knots/inch or more.

Nachshe approximately translates to “cartoon”, or “pattern” in English. Originally these rugs were being woven to emulate some of the motifs and design elements of European rugs. The people of Tabriz used hand drawn patterns or “cartoons” as their basis for this, hence the name, Nacshe. Today, the Iranian people have truly adopted this style into their weaving lexicon. In fact, Nacshe Tabriz may be the most popular type of rug sold in Iran.

Nacshe Tabriz

Nacshe Tabriz

Lastly we have Taba Tabriz. A type of rug that was developed and popularized in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Taba Tabriz are very distinctly different from their other Tabriz cousins. A typical color pallette for Taba consists of Ivory, Orange, and Mint Green. Most are woven more coarsely, with knot counts ranging from the mid eighties on up to around 150 knots/inch. They also tend to use wool that doesn’t hold up as well when compared to other Tabriz. During the 1970’s a lot of Taba were woven, so it is common to see them today. However, they tend to wear out more quickly and will likely not have the same longevity or long term value of other Tabriz. This is not to say that they are bad rugs, but rather that other, and in fact most, Tabriz rugs are exceptional.

Taba Tabriz

Taba Tabriz

Source: Serafian’s Oriental Rugs Newsletter dated 08/01/16

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