Antique oriental carpet cleaning can be a tricky business. A wrong step could mean a valuable investment destroyed.

Too many times, a magnificent oriental and Persian carpet has been devastated by well intentioned but improper care.

oriental carpets, London, UK

Different Oriental Carpets need many different approaches to cleaning and restoration

Normally antique oriental carpets are made of wool, silk or cotton or a combination that sometimes includes hemp.

Would you wash your woolen jumper the same way you clean a silk blouse? No, but most rug owners just think of a rug as a rug and treat an antique rug or carpet the same way as they would modern wall-to-wall carpeting.

Even professional carpet cleaners often make mistakes that can make colours bleed or damage fibres in a way that can be difficult to rectify.

Antique carpets with a woolen foundation can often become misshapen when washed and must be brought back carefully to avoid tearing.

Often a carpet has been previously repaired and this also must be taken into consideration. It may not only be a vulnerable area that deserves extra care but different dyes which may have been used. Each type of dye will react in a dissimilar way to water.

Silk oriental carpet cleaning should be treated a different way. A silk rug can dry in a different direction to its original lay and the whole design could be spoiled.

There are so many parts that constitute the average antique carpet and not one can be ignored or run risk of marring the brilliance of a work that may have taken years to create.