Antique handmade carpets are priceless keepsakes especially for individuals who can purchase them at their horrendous price tags or those who have inherited them from a deceased loved one. Although handmade carpets are considered to be more durable than their commercially made counterparts, you need to maintain them properly so that they will last for additional decades.
Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind so that you can preserve your antique carpet in its pristine condition.
Get the Wrinkles Out
Because of its great age, your antique carpet is sure to be delivered to your home rolled up or, worse, folded. But when you unfurl it, you will discover that it has a lot of wrinkles. You need to get the wrinkles out immediately because it may cause tremendous wear on the ridges and edges of the carpet. To get the wrinkles, roll it up as tightly as possible without tying it. You can press it between two heavy pieces of furniture for a couple of hours. Slowly unroll the carpet. If there are still wrinkles, continue doing this procedure until the carpet is completely smoothened out. For persistent wrinkles, get a steam iron and set it to wool. Lightly press it over the carpet to remove the wrinkles.
If you want to maintain your carpet and hopefully preserve it for posterity, you need to vacuum it on a weekly basis or more frequently if it gets stepped on a lot. Vacuuming will remove dirt which can sink deep into the carpet and tear at the fibers. Also, regular vacuuming is necessary to get rid of beetle or moth larvae that have settled in between the carpet fibers. As a final reminder, do not use power brushes on an antique carpet. The hard bristles can practically strip the fibers from your carpet.
Clean Up Spills
Spills are the bane for owners of antique carpets. If there are any spills on your carpet, you need to clean it up immediately. As the spill gets absorbed by the carpet fibers, the greater is the likelihood that the stains will become permanent. Always blot up the spill or stain with clean white rags or paper towels starting from the edges going toward the center. Never rub at the stain. These two procedures will prevent the stain from spreading outward and thus getting bigger. Water-soluble stains can be removed by alternately dripping water to the spot (for diluting the stain) and blotting it with paper towels. Urine stains are to be removed with a diluted mixture of white vinegar and water followed by blotting with paper towels. For tough stains, it is best to bring your carpet to a professional cleaner.
source: Antique Carpet Cleaning Tips