Saturday, October 5, 2013

Feminine Aspects of Modern Design

How to care for your vintage Flokati rug.

I recently was lucky enough to buy a pair of vintage flokati rugs, basically off of the street. We were out for a drive, and noticed a little antique shop below some apartments, and I spied a pair of fluffy off white rugs hanging off a handrail out side of the above apartments. I screamed turn the car around I want to see those rugs!

My husband zipped the car around and let me out in front of a very questionable "Antique" store. They were closed, but there was a cell number on the door. I quickly dialed the number, a woman answered, and I asked about the rugs. She said, the rugs weren't for sale, she had brought them back from Europe a long time ago. I said, I have cash, she said, sold!
So after I purchased these rugs, I called my boss to ask how she had cleaned the rug we had sold in the shop awhile back. She explained to have them professionally cleaned it's very expensive.
Great, that's all I need to two dirty rugs I can't afford to clean.
So, I started doing a little research and assumed that since I wash my sheepskins in the washing machine, and they are still attached to hide, that I would be able to get these cleaned on my own.
It's best to just spot clean when possible, and since you can't use a vacuum on them with all of the fluffy shag, for day to day dirt removal find yourself some sort of small rake. This removes most of the large debris(in my case crushed up goldfish crackers).
But when you buy a rug off the street and have no way of knowing what lived on that rug before, its best to get it as clean as possible.
So, I took my rugs to the Laundromat, threw them each into separate 80lb. washers and said a little prayer. See you on the other side.
I used a sensitive wool detergent, cold water and gentle cycle.

All went according to plan. The rugs survived the wash. These rugs are very heavy dry, but wet, its like flopping around a huge dead fish... Or something else really heavy and wet. Either way, I got a workout. You are not to try to dry your flokati in any other way than how they did it in the olden days. On a line. Half way through the nice and sunny day, I flipped mine over so the underneath side could also dry.
Once I brought them into the house, I laid them out on the floor and stretched them from end to end. Even after almost a full day of being outdoors they were still a little damp. They didn't shrink at all due to washing, but the stretching was more to get them back into shape, and help them lay flat.

The rugs were cleaned, and a big hit! Everyone in the family wanted to sprawl out on them. We kept the coffee table off of the rugs for a couple of days so that they could be truly enjoyed. Books were read cuddled up on them, wrestling matches happened, and the animals of the house got to spend a couple of days rolling around on the new-to-us clean rugs.
I love the way the fluffy Flokati rugs soften up a modern interior, and even though they are not necessarily feminine, a Flokati rug has that luxurious look and feel that women look for when trying to soften the hard lines of modern design.
If you care for your Flokati rug properly, they can last you a lifetime. These rugs can be investment pieces, but there aren't many rugs that you can just throw into a washing machine.

The Flokati rugs feel great underfoot and have been a nice addition as the fall slowly starts to roll in.


  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing your experience/success. The rugs look awesome!