Frequently Asked Questions
1. HOW DO I CLEAN MY MOROCCAN WOOL RUG?
When we were first asked how to clean and take care of Moroccan rugs, we simply asked the artisans who made them. “Well,” they said, “every month or so just take the rug outside and shake it, rinse it off in the river, then place it over a small shrub to let it dry.” This works so amazingly well that artisans have been doing this for centuries.
But what do you do if you don’t have a fresh, mountain spring-fed river in your backyard, much less if you live in the city? The answer, like many things when it comes to best care practices, is preventative care.
Preventative care doesn’t mean you should tackle anyone who wants to walk on your rug or hang it up on a wall so it is never touched. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. What surprises many customers is that it isn’t exactly heavy foot traffic that ruins a rug, it’s the dirt that accumulates and embeds itself in the rug over time because of the foot traffic. On a micro level, dirt shreds the fibres of the rug and causes it to degenerate over time. The longer the dirt is left in the rug, the deeper it becomes embedded, which exponentially increases the damage.
The key then is to regularly clean your rug so dirt doesn’t have time to make your rug its home. The easiest way to do this is to take your rug outside and shake it out at least once a week. As the artisans always suggest, shaking out the rug frequently is their go-to technique and is a large reason why the rugs they keep in their homes last decades. If this is impractical, you can clean the rug on a weekly basis with a canister vacuum side to side (not end-to-end) with the beater bear set high. This can be equally if not more effective than shaking out a rug. Combining these techniques on a routine basis is ideal.
After several years, though, we recommend getting the rug properly washed, particularly if you have pets in your home. If you do a quick Google search you’ll find a lot of advice on DIY rug washing. We can’t endorse many of these simply because each rug is so different. If you spent a significant amount of money on a rug from an artisan, it’s best to continue to protect that investment in it with a professional cleaner who can dial up the perfect way to wash your rug to make it new again and ensure it lasts.
2. WHY DOES OUR LEATHER SMELL DIFFERENT FROM CHEMICALLY TANNED LEATHER?
The leather used is organically tanned and the smell is the smell of natural leather. Our western noses are used to the smell of chemically tanned leather so it can be a bit of a shock to some people when smelling organic leather for the first time. This is not a manufacturing fault and there are some things you can do to eliminate the smell relatively quickly.
We reserve the right to withhold a 25% re-stocking fee for product returned when customers change their minds upon receipt and the product is not faulty.
Leather is an incredibly useful and versatile material used today to make just about anything and everything from shoes to briefcases, and even furniture. When properly taken care of, the understated sheenand handsome look of leather can last for a lifetime. When you buy a pair of leather shoes, a leather couch, or any leather-covered itemfor the first time, you may notice that it has a rather strong smell. When a pair of leather shoes becomes wet the material can have an earthy, almost spoiled smell. Some people may be sensitive to the dyes used to treat new leather items. All our leather is organicallytanned and dyes are hand made, and applied to the leather by hand. While part of the appeal of leather is its odour, there are people who don’t like the strong odour at all. If you don’t like the strong smell of leather here are some ways to get rid of the musky odour.
- Natural leather is made from tanned animal hide and animal skin.Tanners and leather-makers in Morocco use natural, organic materialsto treat and colour rawhide and turn it into a durable materialfor clothes, poufs, bags, belts, furniture, and other uses.
- New leather items treated with natural tanning materials like vegetabledye and animal oils have a distinctly musky odour. Leather items treated with artificial or metallic compounds have an odour that is quite similar to plastic.
- The smell of leather can also depend on the animal where the leather was taken from. Most Moroccan hides are taken from goats and are a by-product of the meat industry; Cowhide leather is quite mild and doesn’t have a very strong scent. Leather taken from game animals like deer, goat and even sea creatures like stingray emit a stronger, unique scent.
- Synthetic leather, along with many plastics and industrial polymers, is part of the many products made from petrochemicals. Like some plastic wares, synthetic leather can have a faint smell that’s a lot like gasoline or fuel oil.
- Natural leather and some kinds of synthetic leather have small microscopic pores that allow the material to “breathe.” When these pores get clogged or water seeps through them, the natural leather can release unpleasant odours.
Let the Leather Age
Leather smells go away in time. As the leather ages, the leather closes up and the odours disappear. The more you use the leather item, the faster the smell wears away. If you apply perfume or other odour-masking agents on the leather, it may take longer for the odour to pass. Part of the appeal of wearing leather is its odour. You need to use new leather items to expose more of the pores. In time, it will take on a more understated, naturally-aged odour that’s more appealing to the senses than brand-new leather.
Pack Leather Poufs With Newspaper
Old newspapers or packing paper are more porous than leather, which makes them excellent for absorbing odours. If you want to get rid of those odours from brand-new leather items quickly you can pack them with newspapers or packing paper. The fibres of the paper act as wicks that lift the odours from the leather, and are also an excellent way of preserving the untreated reverse surfaces of leather items. Make sure that the leather item is completely dry, and that you’re using dry newspapers. Newspapers are more effective than office paper, because the fibres are looser and the paper itself is softer than other kinds of paper you may have around the house. We recommend packing poufs with scrunched up newspaper. After use it will settle and you can simply pack more in.