How to hang your rug on the wall.

Rugs are art and great art hanging on your walls can give your space warmth and depth.  There are five main options to consider when it comes to hanging your rug.  Today, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Option 1 – Carpet Tack Strip

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This is a wooden strip with little nails that stick out of it at an angle.  The stripping is generally used to hold wall to wall carpeting to your floor.  It is very inexpensive and very effective at hanging many rugs.  You simply screw the strips into the studs of your wall.  For most rugs the total cost to hang your rug will be under $10.00  

This process usually works great unless you rug is very fine in which case it could potentially cause some damage.  If that’s something you are worried about, we recommend option #2.

 

Velcro

 

Option 2 – Sew Velcro stripping to the back of your rug

This is how many rugs are hung in museums. It is very effective and simple to hang. A strip of Velcro is sewn to a strip of canvas which is then attached to you rug. Then the opposing strip is attached to a 1×4 board which is screwed into the studs of your wall.  The total price will vary depending on the size and quality of your rug, generally anywhere from $30 to $50 per linear foot of stripping.

 

 

 

Option 3 – Have a sleeve sewn onto the back of the rug and use a rod to hang it

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The sleeve is made of canvas and hand sewn to the back to your rug.  You could pick up a rod from any home supply store or buy one specially designed for rugs.  This creates a very strong hold against your wall that will work for years.  Also, it leaves a decorative finish at the top of your rug giving it a little more of an accent.  The price for the sleeve is much like the Velcro, $30 to $50 per linear foot.  The cost of the rod will vary greatly depending on the size of your rug and the style of the rod.  

Clips

 

Option 4 – Hanging clips

Here at Serafian’s we generally recommend against this option as long term it can damage your rug.  We can however well you some simple metal clips which can be used to hang your rug over a 1×4 attached to your wall.  It is a simple process but with time, the rug will sag between the points where it is clipped.  On average, you can expect to pay around $2.00 to $5.00 per clip and will need 1 clip per foot on the rug.
Hanging Boards

Option 5 – Hanging Boards / Clamps

Similar to clips, but much safer for your rug are hanging boards or clamps.  In short, these are two decorative boards designed to be clamped together and hung.  The rug in squeezed in between them along the top.  This can add a decorative and unique look to the rug as the boards themselves can be shaped, carved, painted, or stained to add interest and depth to the rug.  Hanging boards can work very well for thinner weaving techniques used in Navajo or Kelim rugs, but aren’t always effective when it comes to thicker “Pile” weaving styles.  Prices for these can vary greatly.  Generally they run between $10 to $100 per linear foot.

When you are getting ready to hang your rug, take a little time to asses you desires and budget.  It is important to note that the prices we are quoting here are good general guidelines.  They can vary depending on locality and material availability.  Ultimately the right choice for hanging is up to you, the customer.

 


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Protect your Rugs from Moths and Carpet Beetles

While spring brings welcome rain and flowers blooming, it also brings bugs. Lots of them. Wool moths, Tineola Bisselliella and carpet beetles, Anthrenus Verbasci. If any creatures on the planet can be called the enemy of oriental rugs, it’s these little buggers. These pesky intruders literally eat through the wool of your rug, causing damage quickly and quietly.

Too frequently, beautiful hand woven Persian or Navajo rugs come to Serafian’s for cleaning only to find the rugs have been destroyed by moths or carpet beetles. Worse yet, they often move swiftly, leaving a trail of damage in their wake.

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The damage in this rug occurred in about 1 to 2 weeks time.

The lifespan of the average carpet moth is very short, the larvae phase lasts on average about two weeks to a month, and the adult phase about another month. Only the larvae eat wool, so while you are more likely to see the adults fluttering through your home, it’s the larvae that do the real damage. Unfortunately, this means that a rug can go from undamaged to having a huge hole in just a couple of weeks. Carpet beetles, however, do damage over more time, with a much longer lifespan and some subspecies living as long as three years. Unlike their moth counterparts, carpet beetles will eat at your rug for their entire life. In either case, quick identification, elimination, and prevention are the keys to keeping your rugs safe.

For a little more information on Moths, check out our very “Tongue-in-cheek” video here — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvgxRnEqJKg

How do you identify them? For wool moths, keep an eye out for the adults flitting around your home or the eggs laid on the surface or on the back of your rugs. The large moths that we see every year here in the early months of summer are no threat to your rugs. Adult wool moths are small, about the size of a grain of rice. They are tan in color with no particular design or pattern on their wings. The eggs look like grains of sand held together by spider webs.

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The eggs themselves are tiny, about the size of a grain of sand.  The silky webbing from the parents hold the eggs in place.

Carpet beetles are tiny, about the size of a pinhead. You can identify them by finding either the beetles themselves or by finding small black or brown husks or shells. In both cases, the insects like to attack dark and undisturbed areas on your rugs. So look for them under your furniture, rolled up in your closets, and on the backside of any rugs hanging on the walls.

Moth and Carpet beetle larva
These critters are pretty tiny. – Pictured above, the larval forms of each.

Elimination is a little trickier. You need to not only eliminate the moths, beetles, and eggs on the rug itself, but also any that might be in the surrounding area. Most insecticides are effective at killing any living infestation, but unfortunately not that great at killing off the eggs. Also, any use of insecticides in the home comes with risk to one’s own health and safety. Instead, we recommend you have your rugs professionally washed by a cleaner who knows how to eliminate these infestations. Proper temperature control and handling will eliminate any eggs that have been laid into the foundation of your favorite carpet. As for your home, thorough cleaning of any area exposed to infestation is very important as the eggs can slips into the cracks of your wood floor or down into your wall-to-wall carpet. As with your rugs, we recommend utilizing professional cleaners. If after taking these steps, the moths or beetles persist, it’s time to get in touch with an exterminator.

As with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Various sprays can help to repel moth infestation, regular inspection goes a long way to identifying a problem before it spirals out of control, and proper wrapping and storage of unused rugs can easily prevent infestation. Always remember that if you take a little time to ensure that your rugs stay moth and beetle free, it will ensure your favorite rugs stay beautiful and valuable for many years to come.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Quickly Judge Quality in Hand Woven Rugs – A Buyer’s Guide to Hand Woven Rugs

When it comes to hand woven rugs, it can be tough to know exactly what you are looking at. In truth, while there are many factors that go into determining the quality of a rug, there are four to focus on.

First is knot count, or knots per square inch. In a hand woven rug, each not is tied one at a time, and much like the pixels on your computer screen, the number of knots per inch affects the resolution of the design in the rug. Most rugs are woven at 100 to 150 knots per square inch. Some of the finest rugs in the world are woven at 1,000 knots per square inch. The number of knots in a square inch tells you not only how fine the rug is, but also, how much time and work went into the rug. If a rug has twice as many knots, it took at least twice as long to weave. For this reason, knot count, more than any other factor, affects the price of your rug.

So how can you tell how many knots per square inch? To count the knots, use a ruler and examine the backside of the rug. In most rugs, each square you see is an individual knot. Simply count the number of squares both horizontally and vertically across the length of an inch then multiply the two numbers together. It’s important to note there are two types of knotting common in hand weaving. Asymmetrical (Or Persian) knotting leaves a single square on the back for each knot. However, the style of knotting known as symmetrical (Or Turkish) knotting leaves two squares on the back for each knot. If you notice that every single knot seems to have a twin, you are probably looking at a rug that uses the symmetrical knotting techniques. For these rugs, simply take whatever knot count you came up with and cut it in half.

The second factor to look at is thickness. As a general rule, the thicker the pile on a rug, the longer it takes for the rug to wear out. This is the easiest of all the factors to judge. It is simply defined by the heights of the pile. As a nice side benefit, thicker rugs tend to be softer underfoot and much more comfortable to walk on.

Third on our list of factors is weave density. Like thickness, this factor greatly affects the durability of your rug. Density is determined by how tightly packed together the fibers of your rug are. When a rug is more densely woven, the fibers provide each other with more support which helps to prevent excess wear from use and also keeps dirt from settling into the foundation of the rug where is grinds at the roots of the weaving. To test density, take your fingers, and try to run them into the foundation of the rug. The more difficult it is to do this, the more densely woven the rug is.

The fourth and final factor is wool quality. A good wool has an oily and supple feel, where a poor quality of wool will feel dry and “brashy” to the touch. A good wool will be more able to bend and flex though years of heavy use, where a bad wool will break apart under traffic and tends to wear out much more quickly. This is probably the most difficult of the four factors to judge, but the general rule is that a good wool feels good to the touch, while a bad wool, not as much.
Just remember to look out for the four big factors, knot count, thickness, density, and wool quality. Generally speaking, as long as you keep these in mind, you will have a good idea of what you are looking at when buying a hand woven oriental rug.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Identify a Rug’s Construction – What Makes a Good Rug?

The rug industry had long been known for fast talking, hard driving salesman with a reputation for being less than completely honest with their customers. It’s where the term “carpet bagger” came from. Some basic tips will protect you as you begin your rug buying process.

There are three main types of rug construction – Hand Knotted, Machine Woven, and Tufted.

Hand knotted rugs are generally considered to be the best. They are woven one knot at a time on a loom. First, the weaver will take a strong cotton, wool, or silk and create the warp loom. These threads run from the top to the bottom of the rug. Taking a strand of colored wool and knotting it around two warp threads in the foundation creates each knot. Starting at one end of the rug, the weaver takes different colors of wool and, like pixels on a computer screen, and creates the design.

Once a full row of knots is woven, the weaver will weave in a weft thread. The weft thread runs perpendicular to the warp threads and literally weaves back and forth between them. This creates a tremendous amount of strength in the rug and also holds the knots in place.

While incredibly strong, the hand-knotting process is painstaking and time consuming. A room-sized rug can easily take well over a year to weave. Hand woven rugs will generally wear better than any other rug in the market and not surprisingly, cost more than their counterparts. A good hand knotted rug can easily last 50 to 100 years with proper maintenance.

Machine woven rugs are manufactured quickly with large machines. While there are a few different types of machines that will construct a rug differently from one to the next, machines are not capable of creating the same structure as hand weaving. Rather than having wool knotted and tied onto the foundation, most machine woven rugs are made with a simple “half wrap” technique where the colored fibers are held in place with much less strength than in hand woven rugs. The benefit of machine woven rugs is that they are much less expensive and simpler to produce. The average lifespan of a machine woven rug is between 20 and 25 years.

The last style is tufted rugs, which straddle the line between machine woven and hand woven. They are made by hand using a tool known as a “tufting gun.” This is a simple tool that can be used to shoot a U-shaped tuft of wool into a cotton or jute grid. Because people use the tool, it’s often referred to as “Hand Woven.” However, this type of rug is not hand woven at all. The tool produces a look and feel much like the hand knotted rug; however, it is prone to wearing out much more quickly. To combat this, manufacturers will glue a canvas backing to the underside of the rug. This helps to hold the rug together, but in time the glues will degrade and the rug will begin to fall apart and may even produce a latex smell. Most tufted rugs are woven to last around five to 10 years before they begin to degrade.

So how can the consumer tell the difference between these types of rugs? The easiest to spot is the tufted rug – buy looking underneath and finding the canvas glued to the bottom. When it comes to the other two, take a section of the pile and squeeze it along the long end. In a hand-knotted rug you will see the wool wrapping around the warp threads. In a machine woven rug, the thread itself becomes exposed as no wool wraps around it.

Look at the illustrations to better understand basic rug construction.

knotting-styles

Please note that within each category there It are large varieties with differing quality as well as subtle differences that can help a rug to last longer or cause it to wear out more quickly.

However, by understanding the basics, you will be better armed to make the right buying decision.

Want to see a quick video on everything mentioned here in the article?


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

How to Treat A Pet Urine Spot on Your Oriental Rug

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.

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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


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.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.


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com

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:


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By: Matt Gabel

Matt Gabel is the Retail Manager at Serafian’s Oriental Rugs. He has been working closely with rugs for over 25 years.  Serafian’s offers free pick up and delivery in the Albuquerque metro area. For more information, call (505) 504-RUGS or go to serafians.com