If oriental rugs have survived centuries in comparatively good condition, it is because of careful treatment. Oriental rugs will give remarkably long service if treated with proper consideration. Their two enemies, apart from the inevitable destructive effect of wear, are Moths and Dampness. The rugs must be stored, then ispection at intervals is essential. A carpet in use is rarely in danger from moths. Certain chemical applications will render the wool inedible to moths. Dampness will in time rot the threads and destroy the fabric but it can be avoided by obvious means. If any mechanical damage is sustained such as cut or burn, the damage should be dealt with as soon as possible by a competent person for such lesions get worse very quickly. In ordinary use, quite apart from accident, the ends and sides often tend to wear and fray in which case the parts should be reovercast. Places in the middle of the carpet that are locally worn or damaged can have new knots inserted and even large holes can be restored so as to be almost as good as new, though such work is rather expensive. In carpets of lesser value, instead of new knotting, patches cut from a suitable rug can often be inserted at less cost and sometimes a serviceable small rug can be made from a larger worn one by cutting away the bad parts.
Frequently rotate the rug from sunny areas to the other side of the room to equalize the effect of the sun. Continuous exposure to bright hot sun rays and even indirect sunlight will cause damage to the dyed fabrics used in oriental rugs. On bright sunny days, use window shades, shutters or heavy curtains to reduce the sun damage. Also, in terms of fading, sometimes gases and fumes (from furnaces, cooking stoves, chimneys and auto exhausts) mix with oxygen and humidity in the atmosphere to form an acid. This acid reacts on the wool and causes deterioration and discoloration. Usually faded areas are hidden by soil and will not be apparent until the surface has been cleaned. In this case, contrast of color fading could be avoided by rotating rugs from time to time to make fading or soiling uniform and by changing their places so that all parts of the rug will have a chance for equal exposure.
Good quality padding protects the rug especially in heavily trafficked areas. The best padding is a hair or fiber filled pad with rubberized surfaces to keep the rug from moving or wrinkling. The life of an Oriental rug can be doubled with the use of a good quality pad.
To up-right the piles that are indented or crushed by legs of heavy furniture, brush the depressed area with a soft brush and faintly moisten the area by a spray and follow-up by brushing.
Moths can cause extensive damage to Oriental rugs. Not only do moths eat the pile but they also eat the knots on the back of a rug. Moths are especially attracted to areas such as those under furniture that remain relatively undisturbed.
Never vacuum against the nap of the rug(the direction of the nap can esaily be determined by running the hand across the pile from fringe to fringe). Vacuuming against the nap also presses dirt back into the rug. Never vacuum the rugs' fringes. The continued catching of the fringe in the suction of a vacuum cleaner causes the fringes to break and tear. Sweeping with a broom will give the best result. As a general rule always vacuum with a low-level suction using a new bag.