Interested in cleaning oriental rugs? It’s a smart thought. After all, imported woolen floor coverings continue to enjoy increasing popularity in the United States, so there’s certainly a market for professionals who can service this type of textile.
Before you solicit business, however, make sure you know you’re up to speed on your education. Otherwise, you may cause more harm than good, and the consequences could hurt your client’s exquisite heirloom—and your reputation as a service professional.
The cleaning of oriental rugs requires specialized knowledge of techniques and methods designed specifically for textiles made of predominantly natural materials. Certain products and procedures easily tolerated by synthetics could spell disaster for a fine floor covering made of hand-knotted sheep wool and stained with natural dyes.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) can help you start your new venture with proper training. Arm yourself with knowledge by registering for classes and workshops that teach the ins and outs of rug cleaning in general, and oriental rugs in particular.
Two Rug Cleaning Technician (RCT) courses remain this year, in Texas and North Carolina, in October and November, respectively. This class is a great introductory course that teaches you about the identification of different types of textile floor coverings and the appropriate treatment techniques for each. You can find detailed information about this course on the IICRC’s website.
Once you’re familiar with the basics, it’s time to delve deeper into the specialization of your choice. Sign up for one of the IICRC’s approved continuing education courses held around the country.