These old rugs were made mainly for home use and are very tough and ready for many more years of wear. You will find that they do not need washing very often, mostly need to be shaken out.
I do not wash the rugs before I sell them unless they are extremely filthy, simply due to time constraints. If your rug needs to be washed before you use it, here are some suggestions:
General instructions for your washing machine at home:
1. Use COLD water.
2. Use KNIT cycle if possible, this will soak the rug longer.
3. Use ‘Simple Green’ if you have it. (Available at the hardware store, great stuff, if you have never tried it, you will use it for everything.) If you do not have Simple Green and do not want to buy it, any liquid laundry detergent free of bleach will do.
4. Lay flat to dry on the lawn if possible or hang over a banister in loops so that the wet weight will not try to pull the rug apart. Don’t worry about wrinkles, the rug will straighten out when it is placed on the floor. Never use the dryer; these are cotton rugs.
Large area rugs—these rugs will generally not fit into your regular washing machine. Best to take them to the Laundromat and use the triple loader if possible and whatever detergent is available at the Laundromat. Take the rug home to lay out to dry, preferably on the lawn or looped over a banister if it is not too heavy. They do not need dry cleaning. By the way, stand guard over the rug at the Laundromat; these are attractive and useful items, some of my customers have reported that the rugs have been stolen!
If a color runs….
Sometimes an old red or purple fabric will run when it gets wet.. I do try to keep these here in the shop and not on the catalog, but if one slips through, it is easy to fix. Just rewash in lots and lots of water, then lay out again to dry. That is the whole secret!
How do you make the rug smaller?
This is not too bad to do actually and these rugs were intended to get used and used and decrease in size with wear over time. The fringe is made by knotting 3 or 4 strands together in a simple overhand knot. So figure your desired fringe length, add on an extra ½ inch for the knot (double this if you are refringing both ends), add on the body length and clip. Doesn’t hurt to give some extra, the fringe can always be trimmed shorter when you are done. The rug will not unravel easily, so don’t worry about it when you clip.
Enjoy your rug and hope to see you in person at the shop in Vermont one day.