A selection of antique carpets and antique rugs

Advice on caring for antique carpets and rugs from the British Antique Dealers' Association

Using underlay

Never place antique carpets or antique rugs directly onto a hard floor.

Using underlay prevents dust rising from the foundations that can damage your rug.

It will also help to prevent slipping and provide additional cushioning underfoot.

Avoid stretching

Never pull the corners of an antique rug to straighten out kinks. This can cause permanent misshaping 

Avoid using furniture to anchor down corners, as this can have an equally damaging effect.

BADA's guide to caring for antique carpets and rugs

Cleaning antique carpets

For day to day cleaning, a carpet sweeper is the safest option, or a vacuum with low suction power.

This will help prevent ripples in the rug, or damage to corners or ends.

For thorough cleaning or restoration always use a professional firm or dealer. 

BADA recommend having your antique carpets and rugs professionally cleaned every three to five years.

Never have the work carried out in-situ. 

The secret of good cleaning is to beat out the dirt and dust, which can be extremely messy.

Never use dry cleaning or chemical products to clean antique carpets and rugs.

Stain removal

In the event of a spillage, a quick response is essential.

Start by absorbing the liquid with a sponge. Next, dab with tepid water containing mild detergent free washing soap.

Then seek expert guidance. A BADA specialist will be happy to recommend an experienced restorer.

Animal spoiling can have a particularly devastating effect on the value of antique rugs and carpets, so try to keep pets well away.


To find dealers who specialise in carpets and antique rugs click here

To browse a selection of carpets and antique rugs click here

For advice on caring for antique Tapestries click here

For BADA recommended specialists in packing and shipping antiques and fine art click here

For advice on insuring carpets and rugs click here