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STORAGE CONSIDERATIONS:

  1. Never fold a hooked rug. Roll it lightly with the pile side out to prevent the straining of the burlap foundation.
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  2. Don't wrap any textile in plastic, because trapped moisture leads to mildew. Wrap in a clean white cotton sheet, pillowcase or towel, fastened loosely.
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  3. Don't store your hooked rug in an area susceptible to mold and mildew (cellars), or temperature extremes (attics).

ON THE FLOOR:

  1. Avoid placing your rug in high traffic areas with lots of moisture(doorways, kitchens, bathrooms). Choose an upstairs hall, bedroom or parlor.
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  2. Always use a thin, non-sticky, high quality rug pad, available from oriental rug dealers. The pad should be cut one-half inch smaller than the hooked rug on all sides, and be inspected frequently for signs of wear.
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  3. Hand dyed colors are easily faded by bright sunlight, so choose the placement of your rug carefully.
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  4. NEVER allow anyone to suggest coating a hand hooked rug with latex, scotch guard, or any chemical preparation.
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  5. Fabric backing, or underlining of hooked rugs is not recommended because it traps dirt and grit within the pile and foundation of the hooked rug, gradually destroying the fibers.

HANGING HOOKED RUGS:

  1. The weight of the textile should be distributed by hanging from a dowel inserted through a hand sewn, non-stretch, handwoven cotton or linen fabric sleeve sewn to the back top surface of the rug.
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  2. Never use glues, adhesives, or tapes.
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  3. If you prefer to frame a rug, use only professionally prepared, acid free, museum quality frames. If under glass, air permeable backing must be used on the frame so that no moisture is trapped in the textile.
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  4. Donıt allow wood in direct contact with the rug, as this is a source of acid and discoloration.
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HOOKED RUG CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE:

  1. Hooked rugs have two major enemies: too vigorous vacuum cleaning, and too much moisture.
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  2. House pets can also be considered enemies! (See section on hanging hooked rugs if dogs and cats canıt be trusted.)
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  3. NEVER use the beater-brush attachment of electric vacuums.
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  4. Use only a gentle hand-held vacuum, or an upholstery attachment, or the floor attachment covered with a piece of cheesecloth to reduce the force of the suction.
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  5. NEVER, EVER immerse a hooked rug in water to attempt to wash it. If the burlap backing becomes saturated, the wool pile will insulate it from drying and the whole thing will begin to rot.
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  6. Blot up surface stains immediately with a dry white cloth.
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  7. Use only the bubbly SUDS of Woolite on a soft baby hairbrush to clean spots as they occur, avoiding saturating the pile of the rug. Itıs smart to test for color fastness first on the reverse side of the textile.
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  8. Never use harsh detergents or chemicals.
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  9. Hooked rugs should not be entrusted to a dry cleaner, as they usually have no idea how to handle hand made, antique and heirloom textiles.
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  10. Even companies who regularly clean antique oriental rugs may not know how to treat a hooked rug.
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  11. Contact the textile departments of folk art museum collections: Sturbridge Village, Shelburne Museum, or Colonial Williamsburg for expert advice.
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  12. The traditional method of cleaning old hooked and braided rugs is to allow them to be coated with fine, dry, crystalline snow, and to brush them quickly with a clean whisk broom, not allowing the rug to absorb any moisture.
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  13. From time to time, turn your rug upside down, and allow any embedded sand or dirt to fall out. DONıT beat or hang it on a clothesline to air it, though you may want to lay it on a clean sheet outside for brief sun and air.
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  14. In the old days, when pets lived outdoors, and vacuums were not invented, rugs would last for generations!
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  15. At the first sign of damage, take your rug to a qualified restorer, because as rips become bigger, they are obviously more difficult to repair.

For more information, order a personally signed copy of the book Finishing Hooked Rugs. A must for all rug hookers!