Oriental Rug Pads

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The right choice in Oriental rug pads is important both in keeping a rug clean and minimizing wear. We know that hand knotted rugs--which is what Oriental rugs are--can last almost indefinitely if properly cared for. The Pazyryk rug discovered by a Russian archaeologist in 1949 is a good case in point. Found frozen in a burial site in the mountains of Siberia, this exquisite saddle cover measuring about five by six feet dates to 500 BC. It is the oldest known surviving oriental rug.

FAQs on Oriental Rug Pads

Method of manufacture is always the first determinant in the lifespan of a rug. For Orientals, this means hand knotting and durable natural fibers. Second comes proper care. Part of that is the choice in rug pads. Each material--rubber, felt, and foam--has advantages and disadvantages. The rug itself, though, is the first indicator.

A heavy and thick rug may not need a pad. A thin, silk, or soft rug does. An antique or rewoven or patched rug--any with a weakened foundation--does. A pad will certainly extend the life of a rug, whether it's in a high traffic area or on top of wall-to-wall carpeting.

Oriental rug pads are generally made of rubber, felt, polyester or synthetic foam. Rubber pads can either dry out and crumble or gum and stick to the floor or rug. Polyester rather than cotton felt is very dense and strong. In cutting oriental rug pads, you want them to be about an inch or so smaller all the way around than the rug itself.

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