A Rug Owner in Silver Spring Maryland Asks: In my dining room, I have a kilim rug that’s about 8 feet by 11 feet. When I had it cleaned, the warp threads shrank, as they often do in handwoven fabrics, and the rug became so rippled it was dangerous to walk on. I tried putting it on my couch, but as I’m allergic to wool, that meant I couldn’t sit there. So I left it flat for a while in a fairly humid environment. It seemed to relax a bit and I put it back in the dining room. But while the central area is now flat, the side edges remain wrinkled. How can I treat them to avoid tripping without also damaging the rug?
Ayoub N&H Answer: Andrew Ayoub, the manager at Ayoub N&H Carpet & Rug in Kensington, suggests turning the rug over if the design looks good on both sides, as kilim rugs often do. If reversing the rug isn’t sufficient, the next step would be to have the rug blocked, a process that involves stretching it slightly and applying a small amount of moisture. His shop charges $1 a square foot for this service — about $90 for a rug of this size.
If the wrinkles persist, you can have a strip of vinyl attached to the underside of the curled edges. Because it would be stitched on, the process is reversible and therefore shouldn’t damage your rug. Ayoub N&H Carpet & Rug charges $20 per linear foot for this treatment. So if the curled edges are along the carpet’s narrow width, the cost would be about $320 (for 16 linear feet). If the long edges are wrinkled, it would be $440.