Antique Carpet Cleaning

Dirt, once it reaches the rug foundation acts as an abrasive, causing the pile and foundation to degrade over time, so we recommend cleaning antique carpets every three to five years to prolong their lives.
Carpet cleaning is particularly important if it is stained, as it will be attractive to female moths as a place to lay eggs and create further problems. Quality cleaning will not only prolong the useful life of your carpets and rugs, but will help restore the colour, lustre and handle.

We offer a multi-stage cleaning process:

1 Pre-cleaning inspection. At this stage we examine your carpet or rug, carefully determining fibre content, dye stability, testing for fugitive dyes when necessary and noting any underlying condition issues, such as white knots, abrash, bleeding, staining or pile or foundation issues.

2 Dust and dry soil is extracted using our industrial Rug Badger beating machine/grids and powerful vacuum cleaners. This step is the most labour-intensive and important part of the process. It is imperative to remove dry soil before any wetting can take place. This prevents particulate matter forming a cement like substance at the base of the knots and allows for effective washing. Woollen carpets can hold up to a pound of dirt per square foot, which contains skin cells, moth eggs and sand among other things. This process is the biggest difference between your fitted carpet cleaner and your oriental carpet specialist, it is noisy, dusty and should never be carried out in situ.

3 Whenever possible, after fully wetting out your carpet or rug with softened water, it is treated with a specialist neutral detergent, normally we favour Chemspec Oriental Rug shampoo. Smaller or more fragile pieces are worked with very soft brushes in our purpose made tank, for larger carpets we use a low speed Orbis rotary machine with a specialist brush to gently agitate the pile, producing silky white foam. The carpet is turned and the process repeated on the back. Particular attention is paid to the fringes which are treated with a specialist solution when necessary.

This is regarded as the very best technique in terms of dirt and stain removal for most rugs. However, this procedure is not always appropriate. Rugs with particularly fugitive dyes are surface cleaned with a lower pH detergent, prior to treating with a dye stabilizing solution.

4 Your rug is now thoroughly rinsed out, front and back with many gallons of softened water until all traces of detergent are removed. This is important to prevent rapid re-soiling.

5 Your rug is now ready for water extraction. This is normally carried out in our centrifuge which spins at 2000 RPM, after a few minutes the carpet is removed and is only slightly damp. For larger rugs and carpets or items with condition issues, we use a Powerflight extraction machine and hand wand.

6 Your carpet is now ready for drying. Whenever possible it is hung over poles on our drying tower, using fans, gentle heat and an industrial dehumidifier, it is normally bone-dry within 24 hours. Weaving with fugitive dyes are dried flat and face down to avoid dye migration and wicking.

7 Whilst drying, pile is set with a soft brush or carding brush in the case of silk pieces and fringes are brushed out.

8 Once dry carpets are taken down and inspected and treated for remaining spot stains. They are thoroughly vacuumed and beaten out again to remove any remaining grit loosened in the washing process. Completed carpets are then wrapped and made ready for collection or delivery.

Carpet cleaning

Cleaning costs

Handwashing antique carpets typically costs £30 per square metre for wool and £60 per square metre for silk.
Minimum charge £30 for wool and £60 for silk.

Cost calculator


The following services may not be included in the above price and are generally quoted on a piece basis:

  • Urine removal
  • Odour control
  • Moth proofing
  • Dye bleed correction
  • Stain removal
  • Sanitization

Rug Repair and Conservation

We offer a comprehensive range of conservation and repair services, from small fringe repairs to large scale re-weaves and cut and shutting of very damaged carpets. Smaller works are carried out here, with bigger, more complex jobs being sent to Turkey or Iran. With over 30 years’ experience, we guarantee top quality work at competitive prices.

Moth damage
Worn, late 19th century Chajli rug, before and after repair

Repair costs

By far the most common work is conservation of ends and sides. End finishes and side cords wear over time, before breaking, at this point, knots start falling off the structure and disappearing up the vacuum cleaner! The trick is to have these areas conserved before this happens. Side cords are made good and re-wrapped and ends are stripped back to the nearest good weft and are either blanket stitched or interlined, depending on what type of rug it is. This work typically costs £50 per meter, though super fine or particularly tough rugs can be more.

All other projects are quoted on a job by job basis, and require thorough examination before pricing, although it is often possible to provide a ballpark figure from images if required.

We have worked on thousands of weaving over the years including some of the most important examples in every genre. All works supervised by us and guaranteed to be of the highest quality. NO JOB EITHER TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me personally. I am always on hand to offer free advice on all hand woven items.

Rug conservation
Ningxia Seating mat, Kangxi period AD 1661-1722, before and after cleaning and repair

Moth proofing

Moths have become a huge problem in the UK over the last few years, and we are seeing ever-increasing numbers of infested rugs coming through the door. Repair costs for affected rugs can be very high, so better to protect them and avoid the problem in the first place.

Rug damaged by moth
Moth damage

Moth treatment for rugs

Individual items are treated in our workshop, severely infested rugs are treated with a powerful insecticide prior to deep cleaning. During the cleaning process itself, a second specialist additive is used to give your rug lasting protection. This belt and braces approach has been very successful and guarantees moth free rugs.

Moth treatment for houses

We now offer complete house treatments. This very popular service involves a top to bottom fumigation of your house using a specialist Pesticide only available to licenced technicians. All curtains, carpets and other soft furnishings are included. Coupled with deep cleaning of your rugs, this holistic approach is virtually guaranteed to rid even the most infested homes of the troublesome creatures. After fumigation, we can monitor remaining activity using pheromone traps. Most houses are clear after one treatment, however we recommend an annual treatment to ensure no further outbreak.

Tips to avoid moth outbreaks

Clean thoroughly!

Keeping your home and clothing clean and tidy is key to maintaining a moth-free life. Clothes and carpet moths are attracted to smells, perspiration, spills and food stains, (they feed on moisture and food traces, no matter how little, along with proteins in natural fibres) and so it is absolutely essential for controlling moths to keep your textiles clean.
Ensure you launder delicate clothing and regularly vacuum carpets according to care instructions. It is also important to make use of your clothing — the more you unfold, wear and wash items, the less they sit around on a dark shelf getting dusty, awaiting unwelcome guests! If clothes are not likely to be used for a long period, for example, knitwear through the summer months, then shake them and expose to sunlight from time to time. For carpets, ensure you vacuum thoroughly and regularly under sofas and along edges by skirting boards — moths love undisturbed and darker areas for protection.


If you are worried about control of moths, have natural wool rugs or a great collection of wool and cashmere clothing you should be thinking about moth deterrents. Placing scented products around your home and in your drawers, wardrobes and cupboards will help deter moths. Drawer liners, scented sachets etc. will all help.
The use of pheromone moth traps which attract male moths will help break the breeding cycle. Moths do not like light, so open curtains regularly, even in rooms that are seldom used.


Make sure you keep an eye on your home and in particular, clothing and carpets, watching out for signs of moth damage.
The best way to monitor these tiny moths are pheromone traps. They contain female pheromones which male moths are attracted to. They then visit the trap and get stuck onto the sticky strips. This breaks the breeding cycle and prevents the female adult moths laying eggs as well as presenting a highly visible evidence of the presence of moths.
This way you can see if you have any issues and the extent of the problem — the male moths only tend to fly at night in search of female moths. If you find moths in your trap you may require further action to eliminate any eggs or larvae that may be present.

Fast action!

If you see signs of moth damage or find moths in a moth box or trap, there are a number of fast-acting moth killing products available that will take effect on eggs, larvae and adult moths, stopping your problem immediately.
Keeping an eye on moths is key to preventing any damage to textiles before it happens, as the moth larvae are the culprits for eating clothing and carpets you will need to eliminate any moths before they breed and lay eggs.

Adult carpet moth and grub
Carpet moth larvae and adult moth

Treatment costs

Moth proofing individual pieces cost £5 per square meter on top of washing charges. Full house treatment typically costs £300 per house plus £20 per litre of pesticide used.
Traps and smoke bombs are extra if necessary. Please contact me if further information on this service is required.

Carpet Underlay

A good underlay, or pad is essential to keep your valuable rugs and carpets in good shape, particularly on uneven floors. It provides protection from foot fall, stops them from slipping and rucking as well as giving them a luxurious feel underfoot. We have also noticed improved acoustics, especially if there are rooms below.

Top Fleece Ⅱ

We stock Top Fleece Ⅱ in rolls of 120 cm wide. It can be cut to any length and typically costs £15 per running meter. In our opinion it is the very best rug underlay on the market today.

Top Fleece Ⅱ is the ultimate anti-slip rug underlay for use on all floor types. This unique product has two different surfaces, one coated with a dry adhesive the other with an anti-slip coating to ensure the best grip regardless of the rug type or the floor covering it is to be used on. The super stiff hi-density needle punched fleece will not ruck or crease, providing optimum support for the rug.

  • Double sided for optimum performance regardless of surface
  • Protective foil advertises the product for you and provides usage information for the customer
  • Easy to handle foil, keeps the product clean and includes a ruler to make cutting and measuring easier
  • Machine washable for longer life — washing restores the product to its ‘as new’ performance
Top Fleece underlay
Top Fleece underlay


Valuations of antique rugs come in several forms, from disposal i.e. what one might realistically expect a rug to make at auction or within the trade, to retail valuation i.e. what one might expect to have to pay for a piece from a high street retailer.

The latter is the price we generally use for insurance purposes. The two values are often very different.

We can provide written valuations for insurance claims or probate and can offer damage assessment services and are on hand to provide advice on all matters connected with antique Persian carpets and other hand-made textiles and weaving.

Written valuations typically cost £50 per item or 1%, whichever's greatest. This can include digital images if required. In many cases verbal advice is offered for free.