Why Professionally Clean Your Rugs?

It’s easy to tell the difference between a fine Oriental rug and wall-to-wall carpeting. One is an heirloom that will be handed down through the generations, and the other should be replaced after 10 to 15 years of wear and tear. One has designs and patterns stemming from centuries of cultural tradition and love, the other is typically monotone. It may seem obvious, but when it comes to cleaning, one needs careful care and attention, while the other can be quickly steam-cleaned.

When it comes to your fine Oriental rugs, steam cleaning is detrimental to the integrity of the rug. Wool contains lanolin, a sheep’s natural oil, which gives the rug its sheen and lustrous appearance. It is also a big part of what creates durability and longevity in the wool fibers. Unfortunately, the heat and detergents used in steam cleaning strips this lanolin out of wool. Very quickly, this will affect both the appearance and durability of your rug. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to completely rinse out the detergents from wool. Unlike nylon, which as a fiber is created to be smooth, wool has a naturally scaly structure. Detergents tend to get trapped in these scales. This compounds with time, as detergent residue attracts even more dirt, causing your fine Oriental rug to become grey and dirty even more quickly than it did before. Controlled, thorough and proper rinsing is the solution to this problem and unfortunately typical wall-to-wall cleaning methods (like the steam cleaners you can rent at the grocery store) just don’t cut it.

The only proven effective methods of cleaning Oriental rugs are cold water flood and immersion washing. Both these methods involve the use of cold water, large quantities of it, and carefully controlled methods to ensure dye stability. Additionally, rather than relying on harsh detergents, these methods use gentle shampoos to scrub the dirt from your rugs. The low temperatures help to keep the lanolin in your rug intact, preserving its long-term durability. The moisture penetrates deeper into the fiber helping to remove the deep and ground-in soil. Most importantly, the high volumes of water are the key to removing the excess shampoos ensuring the long-term beauty of your rug.

Serafian’s Oriental Rugs has the largest rug washing facility in the Southwest. To see a video on how Serafian’s does its washing, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hryLmj6_1-k

Wall-to-wall carpet is expected to be replaced every decade or so. Yet a good hand woven Oriental rug will last for generations. Where steam cleaning is a fast way to clean the carpet in your home, it’s a sure way to damage your favorite fine rug. Regular and proper cleaning is the most effective way to preserve the beauty and value of your rugs, and professional immersion and cold water washing methods are the only safe and effective way to have this done.

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. They offer free pick up and delivery in the metro area for the bi-annual rug cleaning. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

Transform A Room By Changing the Rug

Sprucing up a room design doesn’t have to require a huge budget. In fact, using an area rug can completely transform the look and feel of any room. House & Home editors Joel Bray and Jennifer Koper devote a YouTube video to showing three completely different looks by changing only a rug. See it here at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLFP1I-pSFc

A good rug cannot only be the focal point of the design, but it can become the foundation of color and structure around which everything else can be added.

Rugs are a time consuming and difficult to create art form. A hand-woven living room sized rug can take months if not years to make. Because of that, you are much more limited in your options with rugs than with almost any other part of your design process. It is easy to find fabric to match a rug, but much more difficult to find a rug to match a fabric. Let the size of the rug, the shapes of its design, and the colors in it field and border guide your design process.

The first rule of thumb is to find a rug that you love and pick colors that complement. Unlike most furnishings, rugs can last for decades, even centuries, so find a piece you really love. Once the rug is found, find a couch or chairs that work well, drapes and blinds that complement the colors in the rug, and other design elements you want to incorporate with and around your decorating style.

Generally speaking, oriental rugs never really quite go perfectly with anything. But their colors can be used to anchor the design together. So when you follow this thinking, rugs tend to work with everything.  

When designing, keep in mind space and proportion. The rug can overwhelm or cramp a space if it is not planned properly. Always use the old carpentry advice, measure twice, cut once, or in this case, measure twice, buy once. Give a minimum of a half-foot around the edge of the rug to help frame the space. More of a border is certainly acceptable, but when rugs crawl right up against the wall, they look awkward. If the rug just barely fits under your coffee table, it probably is too small, let it fill the room a little more. Additionally, since they are on your floor, rugs more than any other furnishings create and define the boundaries of your space. A larger rug will make a space feel more pulled together and coherent, where a slightly smaller rug can make a space look and feel more open and spacious.

Feel free to vary your textures. Varied textures in a space create interest and dimension. Whether your rug is a solid shag, an ornate Persian, or a simple tribal kelim, the texture of it is a great place from which to build the textures in your room. The smooth surface of a leather couch will contrast a tribal or shag rug. The rustic texture of a throw can offset the ornate design of classic Persian motifs.  

As long as you keep color, proportion, and texture in mind, decorating around your rug is easy and a great adventure. If you are completely stumped or overwhelmed, the retail team at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs are always available to help. Just take a picture of your space and we will find the right pieces to pull it all together.

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

BoHo Chic – The Latest in Home Style Trends

Colorful and kitschy, BoHo Chic has dominated the fashion industry for years and has recently expanded into home décor. With clothing styles popularized by such names as Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, BoHo Chic has moved from the closet to living rooms, bedrooms, and more. It is the unconventional marriage of Bohemian colors and 1960s design sensibilities. Imagine an explosion of color and design flowing together in a brilliant menagerie of draperies, rugs, throws, and accent items, and you have an idea of what BoHo Chic for the home means.

BoHo Chic is all about breaking from the humdrum decorating norms. BoHo derives from “Bohemian Homeless.” It embraces not only decorating on a budget, casting aside the expensive and extravagant, but finding one’s own sense of color and design. Chic, of course, is all doing it with style!

To bring BoHo Chic into your home, begin with a bright and colorful unique tribal piece – perhaps a rug or wall hanging. This piece will be the centerpiece of your design, which can be surrounded with functional, simple, often solid colored furniture giving the space body.

 

One person who specializes in BoHo Chic is Joanna Gaines, known for her HGTV Fixer Upper Show. In addition to using BoHo Chic techniques in her show, she has launched a line of BoHo Chic rugs part of the Magnolia Home collection. The rugs can be utilized as the centerpiece of your BoHo Chic home design.

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What Joanna says is: “The right rug can become the centerpiece of a room when it’s paired with the right space. The perfect one should be a continuation of the story your home tells, so whether you love bold, bright and patterned, or soft, neutral and subtle, there’s something in this rug collection that will speak to you— no matter your style.”

The Magnolia Home line of unique BoHo Chic rugs is available in New Mexico only at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs on Wyoming & Constitution or online at serafians.com.

Once the perfect rug has been found, continue your BoHo Chic design with a plethora of colorful throws and unique and eye catching items to accent and give depth and dimension to the area. Remember to be different but complementary. Every element in the space should feel unique and kitsch but also flow together with the other pieces. For instance, the throw pillow stands on its own in color and design, but looks good with that neat statue or foot stool you found at the flea market. That rug pulls into the drapes, which pulls into the covers, but it’s clear that none were was quite made for the other.

When you decorate your room to be BoHo Chic, don’t shy away from bright, bold, and beautiful colors. Anything can work. It’s less about using what’s expected and all about using what you love. The only real rule is that there are no strict rules. BoHo Chic is all about creating the space that reflects the inner, expressive you. Afterall, what is can possibly be more Chic than being yourself?

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

 

Rugs of the World – Khal Mohamedi

The North of Afghanistan is home to a wide variety of ethnic groups. The largest of these groups is the Turkmen (Turkoman, Turkman) people. Some live a nomadic lifestyle, but most live in small villages in the Hindu Kush mountain range.  The Turkmen have been known for centuries as weavers of high-quality carpets. A number of different types of rugs come from the Turkmen people, and one of the most modern and popular is known as Khal Mohamedi (Roughly translated to “Of Khal Mohammed.”)

Due to war, politics, and economic circumstances, in the late 20th century, the use of vegetal dyes and traditional designs were dying out in Afghanistan. Weaving was in decline due the civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance (mostly Turkmen people). When the war ended in 1996, a prosperous Afghan merchant by the name of Khal Mohammed traveled from village to village in the north. Where looms had been destroyed by war, he helped to rebuild them. Where weaving and natural dyeing techniques had been forgotten, he helped to reteach them. Ultimately, he managed to create a very real cottage industry in the north.

He had a large factory in the city of Kabul where he processed wool for his carpets. He resurrected old world natural dyeing techniques that had long been abandoned by the weaving industry as a whole. He would then sell the dyed wool to the villagers. In turn, the villagers would take this wool and weave patterns that he had created. He would then buy the rugs from the weavers, providing a stable income for them and a market for their carpets.
Eventually, other producers copied his carpets. Now many of the rugs from Northern Afghanistan carry the trade name “Khal Mohammedi”, even if they are produced by others. This trade name generally signifies vegetal dyes with designs and colors rooted in the Turkmen tradition. In the last 20 years, Khal Mohamedi carpets have become some of the best rugs produced in Afghanistan. They use good wool, natural dyes, unique designs, and have a rich warm feel that brings life and depth to any space. They work well in both traditional settings, and in more contemporary homes as well. They implement rich, warm tones that would fit well in a den or living room space, and have geometric tribal patterns that make them a great fit for any home. Khal Mohamedi is a new tradition in the world of weaving.

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How to Quickly Treat A Pet Urine Spot

We all love our animals. They brighten our days, lift us up when our spirits are down, and make our homes feel complete. Unfortunately, accidents are inevitable, and even the best dogs and cats will occasionally have an accident on your Oriental rugs. Today, we are going to go over a few quick steps you can take to help prevent damage and odor from pet urine. Keep in mind, these steps can be effective at removing urine from your wall to wall carpet as well.

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You will need- White Vinegar and paper towels or dry rags.

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Step 1 – If the spot is still wet, poultice the area. If it is already dry, move on to step 2.

The first reaction a lot of folks have is to wipe the area up with a wet rag. A much more effective method is “poulticing”. To poultice a spot, take a dry rag or paper towels and apply downward pressure on it. The moisture will soak into the rag and get sucked out of your rug. A poultice is more effective because it doesn’t spread the spot around and removes a much greater quantity of moisture. It’s important to note, that if you own good wet vacuum that is capable of removing moisture, you can use that instead of poulticing the spot.

poultice
Pressing down instead of wiping is key

Step 2 – Apply white vinegar.

White vinegar is great for eliminating the odor of most pet urine. It also helps to keep the dye in your rug set, preventing color migration. Pour enough white vinegar directly onto the spotted area to soak it. While the odor of the vinegar is intense, it will fade quickly as the area dries out.

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Step 3 – Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes.

We call this “dwell time”. The white vinegar will help break down the bonds holding the urine in place. This is especially important if you are dealing with cat urine as it tends to have oils that need to be broken down.

Step 4 – Poultice out the white vinegar

Much like step one, use a poultice to remove the white vinegar. Again, if you have a good wet vacuum, you can use it instead.

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If your paper towels get too soaked, just throw them out and grab some dry sheets

Step 5 – Smell the area, possibly repeat steps 2 through 4.

Take a quick sniff of the area, if you can still smell the urine over the vinegar, it means you need to repeat steps 2 through 4. If the white vinegar is the only thing you are smelling, move on to step 6.

Step 6 – Dry the area quickly and correctly.

Getting your rug dry quickly and effectively is a crucial part of keeping the bacteria in the urine from heavily reproducing. Air flow is key, so using a box fan or desk fan to blow over the wet area will go a long way towards this. If you can expose both the top and bottom of the rug to that air flow, it will speed up the process tremendously. You can prop books up underneath your rug or even drape it over a chair to achieve this.

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Once dry, you have done all you can to treat the spot. In most cases, you will find that the smell is gone and the staining reduced. It is important to note, that while this helps the appearance and smell of your rug, it does not really disinfect it. If sterilization is what you are after, or if problems still persist, it’s probably time to have your rug washed professionally. Full immersion cleaning is by far the most effective technique for eliminating and disinfecting urine.

When it comes to prevention, consistent training of your beloved pet is the first step. Some great material on how to train your pets can be found here –

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-training/housebreaking-issues/housebreaking

Even the best trained pet will have occasional accidents, so what can you do to help make sure those accidents don’t soak into your rug? We recommend Fiber ProTector brand stain guard.  Built to keep moisture form soaking into the fibers of your rug, Fiber ProTector can keep any accident from becoming a more troublesome spot. 

 

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And of course, always remember that for a tougher more stubborn spot, Serafian’s can get your rug 100% clean and disinfected.  If you have any questions about these steps or other rug related questions, feel free to e-mail us: Serafians@gmail.com

How To Protect Your Rugs From Fading and Sun Damage

A question that often comes up here in the Southwestern U.S. is “How do I protect my rugs from sun fading?” That’s an important question, as the ultraviolet rays from the sun will not only fade the color from your rug, but also cause the wool fibers to wear out more quickly. In the case of some tufted style rugs with glue backings, it can even cause the laminate to degrade.

The first thing to keep in mind is that ultraviolet light is the real cause of fading. The other parts of the light spectrum don’t really damage your rug, so limiting the rug’s exposure to UV is key. There are a few things you can do which will make a difference.

First is “tactical” placement of your rug. It sounds obvious, but when you put your rug down, limiting the amount of direct sunlight it is exposed to makes a huge impact on how much UV light can penetrate it. While effective, this is the most constraining solution to sun fading. Sometimes you really want your rug in an area where a lot of light comes in, which is perfectly reasonable.

In that case, we recommend drawing your shades when you aren’t home. It’s nice to have a lot of light in your house, but if you’re out at work, or not really spending time in the space where your rug is, the simple act of drawing your shades goes a long way towards preventing fade.  Fortunately, if drawing your shades isn’t an option, there are still solutions.  

“Low E” (Low Emission) glass is a specially designed type of glass built to filter the amount of UV coming into your home, while still allowing all the light you normally see into the space. Most “Low E” glass filters out about 95% of the UV that would otherwise make it in, and has a huge impact on lifespan of your rug and its colors. “Low E” glass also has the added benefits of keeping energy costs down, letting less heat in during the summer, and less heat out during the winter. The downside of Low E-glass is that it could require replacing your windows, a potentially expensive prospect. There is, however, a much less expensive alternative.

Low E-Filters can be purchased for your existing windows at a fraction of the cost of Low E-Glass. Coming in clear and semi opaque shades, Low E filters are literally applied to the surface of your existing windows. While not quite as effective as Low E glass, they are still a great way to reduce the UV rays coming into your home. They can even be combined with Low E glass to create a doubly-effective barrier.

For a great blog on how Low E filters and glass work, check here. – https://www.buildinggreen.com/blog/window-performance-%E2%80%93-magic-low-e-coatings

A solution that we recommend avoiding are UV blocking chemicals that can be applied to the fibers of your rug.  While these sound great in concept, our independent testing has yet to prove any of them effective in preventing long term fading and damage. Even worse, we have found that these chemicals tend to attract dirt, causing your rug to appear dirty much more quickly and even make it more difficult to clean. As of today, we don’t yet recommend the use of these products on your rug.

Whatever method you use, we highly recommend doing what you can to prevent UV exposure in your home. It will go a long way to creating enduring beauty and life in your valuable rugs.

Take a (picture) tour of our wash facility.


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A little over a year ago, we decided to expand our wash operation into a larger facility. It was a big move, and today we’re set up to wash your rugs faster and better than ever before. Join us for a quick tour of our new facility and learn what we can do for you and your rugs.

 

 

 

Fenced in Area
Air Dusting area.

First we have our “Dry Phase” area. When your rug comes into our facility the first thing we do is measure and inspect it, looking for any special needs that it has. We determine the best methods for cleaning your rug, and contact you if we find any special considerations that need your attention. Next, we remove all of the loose soil from its foundation. This involves an air dusting technique and/or a tumble dusting technique. Our new facility has a large fenced in area where we can do more air dusting than ever before and the largest available tumble duster which gently drops the dirt out of your rug faster than any other known method.

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Tumble duster.  And yes, that is dust you see pouring out.
Soaking Tube
“Pre-Soaking” vat

Next we enter the “Wet Phase” area of the facility. First your rug is treated and “pre-spotted” to ensure the dyes remain stable and tough stains are broken apart. If the rug has heavy urine saturation, we use isolated pre-soaking vats to disinfect and break apart the urine before tub washing them. Next, it goes into our wash tub where it churns underwater with gentle chemicals, breaking apart the greasy and dirt in the rug.

 

 

 

 

Scrubbing
Our crew hard at work.


From there, we scrub and detail the rug, then run it through our Mor washer/rinser machine. Not only is this machine the most advanced of its type in the world, but it is a huge time saver for our workers. While it was being built, we worked directly with the manufacturer to make sure we could control every facet of this cleaning step. This ensures that the process is not only safe and effective for cleaning your rug, but uses surprisingly little water too. This is an important factor in New Mexico’s desert climate.

Loading the Mor Machine

Centrifgue

 

Once your rug is clean, we run it
through our centrifuge, where it spins at 1100 RPM, removing most of the remaining moisture. When your rug leaves the centrifuge, it is just slightly damp. This minimizes the chance for dye bleeds and other problems in drying.


Its hard to put into words just how big a part of our operation the drying room is. It can hold over 5,000 square feet of clean rugs and get all of them dry in a single night. With huge fans keeping the air moving, a powerful heater keeping the temperature high, and a simple but effective method to hang large numbers of rugs, this space is without a doubt one of the biggest upgrades we managed to acquire with our move.

Drying Room
State of the art drying room.

 

Dye Kitchen
Dye Kitchen

After your rug is clean and dry, there are often still more steps that need to be taken. Sometimes this means repairing some damage from your beloved puppy or even re-dying areas on your rug where the sun faded the colors. In our new facility, we have all the space we could ever ask for to address these issues. There is a nice big area to use for the application of moth resistant spray and Fiber ProTector brand stain guard, a sectioned off area where we can stretch and block your rugs, another for pad cutting, a large and supply filled repair area where our workers can address any repair needs your rug may have, and even a “Dye Kitchen” where we can custom mix dyes for recoloring and repairing your rug.

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Our repair specialists can fix any rug.

And of course, what tour would be complete without stopping at our employee’s favorite space. The break room, where after a long hard day of washing and repairing rugs, they can take a much needed rest break.

Break Room

Obviously the most important part!

Want to see a rug go through our process start to finish? Take a few minutes to watch our wash video.

 

Rugs of the World – Tabriz

Persia (or Iran) has 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

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.

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Mahi Tabriz

For the more detailed field design, Mahi Tabriz use 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 crabs claws.

Samovar 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.

Nachsche

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.

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Nacshe Tabriz

Taba

Lastly we have Tabba Tabriz. A type of rug that was developed and popularized in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  In truth, Taba are not actually Tabriz, rather they are woven in the city of Tabas.  However, since they often use Tabriz designs and motifs, they earned the name Tabriz.  

Taba tabriz are very distinctly different from their other Tabriz cousins. A typical color palette 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

Wrapping and Storing Your Rugs

We all love our rugs. Sometimes, though, we have reason to keep them off the floor for an extended period of time. Maybe you’ve got a new puppy. You could be moving, remodeling, or downsizing. Whatever the reason is, it’s important to make sure your rugs are well-protected when in long term storage. Don’t just roll them up and put them in the closet! Dark, cool, quiet places are the most common areas for moth infestation. It’s key to have your rugs wrapped in a material that moths won’t touch, like cotton, plastic or tyvek. Let us show you, step by step, how to wrap and store your rugs for the long term:

Free Fiber ProTector!

Recently, we posted some fun gifs of just how powerful our new Fiber ProTector product was. Well, we want you to see for yourself! This month only, we’re offering a special deal: when you buy ANY rug in the store, we’ll treat your entire purchase with Fiber ProTector for FREE! For the average 6×9 carpet, that’s a value you of over $100! Not only will have you have a beautiful new rug from our store, but it will be protected from stains and spills for years.

Maybe you’d like to buy a rug, but we understand that it’s not always as easy as snapping your fingers. That’s why during this sale, we’re offering our ENTIRE inventory for 50% off of our normal retail price! That’s right, not only can you get a new rug for your home at the best price possible, it will be protected from all manner of stains and spills for free!

Browse our inventory at Serafians.com to pick out your rug today, or come in and visit our beautiful showroom at 1421 Wyoming Blvd. NE. As always, we’ll be happy to answer your questions at (505) 504-RUGS.

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