With the onset of monsoons in a tropical region like Mumbai, hand-knotted rugs are prone to a unique set of dangers. The humidity and surface wetness tend to disrupt the pile of the rug by weakening the carefully crafted knots.
Remember that your hand-knotted rug is a collector’s item, and ideal maintenance during the monsoons can go a long way to increasing its value in time. Here are some tips that we recommend to prevent undue damage to your rug during the wet season.
1. Keep the Cleaning Methods Dry:
A wet rug in the humid atmosphere of the monsoons can raise perfect living conditions for destructive microbes, which, in turn, cause blotches, mildew, and rot on the pile. The action of microbes and the dampness also softens the knots, undoing part of the pile. So, it is vital to avoid dampness in any form on your modern rug. Try not to wash your rug in these months; it is preferable to use drier methods which we will describe below.
2. Use the Vacuum Cleaner:
Periodic vacuuming of your area rugs is a recommended, liquid-free method to clean dirt, mould, food crumbs, grit, or any other residues that find their way down to the bottom of the pile, from where they can damage the wool. Vacuum your bedroom rug gently and not too frequently—either once or twice a week. The suction power isn’t strong enough to untangle the densely populated knots in the pile, but repeated deep forays into the pile can still be suboptimal.
3. Spot Clean any Liquid Spillage as Soon as Possible:
In case of any accidental spillage on your living room rugs—say, by the neighbour’s kids or your nephews—it is advisable to blot the area with a cloth, tissue paper, or cornstarch. You do not want the humid conditions of the monsoons to support more microbes. After that, dab a solvent from the outside of the stain to the inside. Consult with the rug makers on what solvents are dangerous—avoid substances such as bleach. Dry it with a hair dryer.
4. If Cautious, Store it Away:
While not totally necessary, several conservative customers avoid using rugs in the monsoon season to prevent damage altogether. Remember to roll your hand-knotted rug for the monsoon before storing it away, instead of folding it. Wrap them individually in a light cloth; never use plastic sheets. Also add silica gel pouches to the stored rug for absorption of any existing dampness.