The beauty and quality of a hand-woven rug can be maintained a very long time through proper care and cleaning. Regular vacuum cleaning prevents dust from building up in the foundations of the rug. Turn it 180° every year to distribute better the wear from use and the decoloration by sunlight.
In the long term, it becomes necessary to have your rug cleaned by professionals. The frequency obviously depends on the use. Oriental rugs have to be taken to a specialized professional service, and specially avoid a person who is not used to dealing with hand-woven rugs. Make sure to point out thay it is made of wool and silk.
If possible, clean a stain as rapidly as possible. Avoid spreading it or pushing it in the fibres by rubbing. For the little story : Marguerite’s father cleans stains on his rugs (wool and silk) with Perrier water and it works very well. For stubborn stains (coffe on light colours, oil, red fruits …) after sponging with an absorbing paper without crushing the stain in the fibres, he adds a drop of mild hair shampoo and rinses well, always with Perrier water, for very good results on a fresh stain. In any event, never use any chemical carpet cleaner.
Under-padding of good quality in felt or rubber may be useful if the rug risks sliding during stamping. On a parquet, for example, in addition to being safer for the passers-by, the stability of the rug prevents the fibres from breaking too rapidly.
And here is an amusing confirmation from « La Maison Française » magazine (Avril 2009) :