Care of Hand Wovens

How to Clean Rag Rugs

Weave Your 'Art Out Care for HandwovensIn Finland, people wash their rag rugs on the dock at the river or fjord’s edge. Using a long handled, soft brush like those used in washing cars, wash with the weft, generally across the rug. Clean and rinse, then hang the rug, warpwise on the rails to dry.

You can also place your rug in a tub of warm sudsy water. Let it soak for an hour or two. Then – in bare feet – get in the tub and begin to massage the rug. This is good for your feet as well. Drain the water, rinse the rug in the tub or take it outside and rinse it with a hose. Before lifting a heavy, wet rug, let the water drain for awhile. To dry, hang the rug over a rail so that the warp runs parallel with the rail.

If you have a trampoline, that is also a wonderful place to dry a rag rug. On a hot day, you can just lay the rug on the driveway and let it dry, turning it over after a couple of hours. Never put a rag rug in the dryer. I have, and it shows.

Smaller rugs can be washed in a front-loading washing machine on a gentle cycle. Wool rugs are best dry cleaned. If you have any questions regarding the care of your handwoven rug, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Washing with care will give your rug a long life and probably it will be passed down to your children.

How to Clean Scarves

Scarves are easy-care cotton with some rayon. They are approximately 70 to 80 inches long, and 7 to 10 inches wide, most with beadwork either in the fringe or the body of the scarf. Scarves have been through the washer and dryer one time for shrinkage. However, they will look better for a longer time if they are not placed in the dryer. Hang to dry or lay flat. If you feel compelled to iron, use a press cloth.

Drain Boards

Drain boards are approximately 22” by 20”. Although they are sold as drain boards they have been used in many ways: shower mats for a small apartment or RV, kitty mats, for chairs, hung on the wall, you name it. There is always a use for a colorful washable mat. They are machine washable but will look better if you lay them flat to dry rather than placing them in the dryer.


Dishtowels are approximately 30” by 17”. They are cotton with some linen blend and have been machine washed and dried. Cotton and linen blend becomes more absorbent with use and age. Like our hearts…