Wool hand knotted rugs can take months, sometimes years, to weave. Quality woven wool rugs are the most durable and long lasting textiles in the rug world. With proper care they can last many decades, or more than a century, and still be like new. Many tribal rugs are woven on a wool foundation, with wool fringe, and sides and ends often buckle as a natural characteristic.
Wool must be properly washed regularly to extend its life and prevent wear/tear from dust and fine grit. Rugs in place for several years, areas underneath large furniture, and back edges, should be inspected quarterly for moths.
The one care step that more than anything else will help wool rugs last longer is regular proper vacuuming and dusting. Fine dirt and grit that works its way to the base of a wool rug is what leads to fiber damage and wear. If you can prevent that fine dust from reaching the base of the rug, you will extend its life.
As often as you need to sweep your floors, or dust your countertops, is as often as you should be “dusting” your rugs. Most heavy duty strong suction vacuums, designed for digging into installed wall-to-wall carpeting, are too strong for most rugs.
Most spills will blot and clean up if immediate action is taken as wool suspends most liquids for a short time naturally. Many tribal rugs have dyes that are not colorfast, or have excess dye due to lack of thorough washing of the fibers prior to weaving in regions with limited water resources. Spill clean up may show dye movement as a result. If you over rinse an area in trying to clean up a spill, you will likely cause permanent damage. Fiber protector can help suspend spills to allow for a more thorough quick clean up of most food/drink spills.