Damp, heat, direct and strong sunlight
Oriental rugs will be quickly damaged by damp, as they are made from natural fibres cotton, silk and wool, damp allows the growth of mildew and mould and the spores will proliferate very quickly and rot the fabric. They will smell mouldy and damp can cause severe staining.
Over heating can damage oriental rugs, Eg if your rug is in front of an open fire or close to a radiator or a central heating vent, the constant heat can dry the natural oils in the wool fibre and make it brittle and easily broken.
Direct sunlight on an oriental rug is one of the primary causes of damage . The sunlight will bleach the colours in the rug and cause them to fade, the fibres of the rug will also be damaged by sunlight they become brittle and lose their natural flexibility and bounce
The only way to prevent sun damage is to put the rug somewhere it does not receive direct light or by pulling the blinds or shades to protect the rug.
If you enjoy your oriental rug and want to keep it for many more years of enjoyment it is well worth following these care tips to preserve it.
Moths and other pests
Moth damage is very common in oriental rugs that have been stored. Moths lay their eggs and when the eggs hatch they become larvae that eat wool and silk. Even if your rug is stored, it is good to open it up from time to time and vacuum it and use a moth proofing spray on it.
Moths can attack rugs that are not in storage also, particularly in rooms that are not used often or where the lighting is dim. If the damage or infestation is not spotted it can spread and can damage sweaters, carpets, rugs and destroy them. Repairing a rug with moth damage is possible but it is much better to prevent the damage in the first place.
Rugs must be cleaned and vacuumed regularly. Vacuum them or brush them. Change their location sometimes and have them professionally washed and moth proofed.
If you see moth damage on your rug or if moth larvae are discovered, start by vacuuming thoroughly, vacuum the back and front of your rug, and then liberally spray back and front of your rug with a Moth proofing spray to finish off. If you have clothes in the room it is advisable to hang moth protection in your closets and use a moth protection spray in those closets and any cupboards especially where you have woolen clothes.