Source Acquisition of Fine Tribal and Nomadic Textile Art Since 1978
Tribal and Nomadic Art for Sale
News from the Sun Bow Front
The Sun Bow Collection
Sun Bow in Print
Tribal Textiles 101
Care and Feeding of Your Sun Bow Rugs
Investing in Tribal and Nomadic Textiles
Insurance and Appraisals
The Sun Bow Story
Contact Sun Bow
Care and Feeding of your Sun Bow Rug
Museums no longer routinely clean their textiles. Why should you?

Only clean a rug if it's dirty. The best for general usage is a suction vacuum cleaner. The rotary kinds were developed for wall-to-wall carpets, not for hand-woven rugs. It is best to use a suction vacuum at least once a month on the back. This will keep the tiny dirt particles from rubbing together and thus damaging your wool fibers.

Dry cleaning will strip the natural oils (lanolin) from your rug. Only do this as a last resort

Sun Bow offers cleaning services. Sometimes we will advise against it. We hand-clean using cold water wash and low ph soap. We have had great success with most stain removal and deodorizing. Please ask us.
Sunlight is terrible for all textiles, colors, furnishings, wood, and even paint. If you cannot limit your rug's exposure to direct sunlight, rotation is helpful, as is E-glass.
There are three types of repairs.

Conservation. This fixes the damage at its present level and prevents deterioration in the damaged areas. This is the least expensive method and the one practiced by museums.

Repair. This is the darning, reweaving, strengthening, and general overall fixing of a damaged area. It is a step up in process, and therefore price, from simple conservation.

Restoration. This is a complete reworking of the damaged areas. The repair is invisible, using matching wools, dyes and weaves. It is the most expensive of the three types of repairs.

We are happy to consult with you on these services.
Ever since the banning of D.D.T., there has not been a 100% effective moth-proofing application for textiles. Sun Bow uses a Pyrethrum based solution (extracted from the Pyrethrum daisy native to South Africa) and we have found that is is highly effective. We are pleased to announce that we are a moth-free zone.

For those who prefer an alternative to chemicals (as many museums do), we recommend the freezing method. Ultra cold temperatures will explode moth eggs within 72 hours.

Be very careful when introducing new textiles to an already "sterile" environment. We have heard too many horror stories about people who bring back souvenirs from abroad and find that within a few months of their return that they are amidst a mammoth moth infestation. Keep your environment sterile and be sure to treat all new additions.

Please note that all Sun Bow textiles have been moth-proofed and are safe to introduce into your home.
We recommend padding under all rugs and kilims that are on a non-carpeted floor. There are many kinds of padding available. After much study and consideration, we have come to the following conclusion:

Not to go with felted or horse hair pads, as they tend to break apart with age and usage. We have seen too many homes with piles of pad dust. We also chose not to go with rubber pads, as they tend to bond with the rugs and/or floors over time under conditions of high heat and humidity.

Thus, we have imported from Europe a waffled, non-skid pad which is not expensive and works well. We have had this padding in our home for years and it is doing fine. And that's with mastiffs, pugs, assorted cats, and high traffic.
Bugs, rodents, and mildew are the greatest bane of old rugs after sunlight. To store for posterity, it is best to roll your textiles around a muslin core of moth balls and wrap the roll with old newspapers or a cotton sheet. This allows the textiles to "breathe" and since bugs dislike both vegetable fiber and moth balls, this will be doubly effective. Place some rat poison near your stored textiles to discourage mice. And never, never store your textiles in plastic bags. The moisture will condense within the bags and could produce mold and/or mildew on your textiles. Dry rot is a terrible thing to find.

With proper care your Sun Bow rugs will last for generations.
We've been outfitting caravans
from Downtown Charlottesville since 1978.
   Awaiting the Pleasure of Your Visit
Traditional Tea Served
  Store Address
by appointment only

Sun Bow Trading Company
900 C Harris Street
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Mailing Address
Sun Bow Trading Company
P.O. Box 1482
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902