Head Office: 338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BT
Workshop: Unit 14, Oliver Business Park, Park Royal, London, NW10 7JB

Cleaning - Hand Cleaning

Oriental, Persian & Contemporary Rug Cleaning

A new lease of life for your carpet or rug


Stained Persian rug before treatment.

Stained Persian rug before treatment.

Stained Persian rug after treatment.

Stained Persian rug after treatment.

At James Barclay, we treat every single Oriental carpet and rug as an individual, and will pick a hand cleaning technique that is both thorough and sensitive to the precise needs of your rug. We take pride in our ability to eliminate stains and inconsistencies, and to restore the glorious hues and tints that make each and every carpet and rug individual.

At its simplest, cleaning a carpet is about extending its life. Dirt particles and other impurities don't merely sit on the surface, but are trodden in, cutting and damaging the fibres themselves. Over time, the carpet will fall apart. A basic clean may remove some of the surface dirt, but unless you're getting deep into the roots of the fibres, you're doing little more than blowing away the cobwebs. We use special brushes to dislodge as many of the dirt particles as possible, before choosing a sensitive but deep-penetrating cleaning method that washes every fibre from head to toe.

The drying process is just as important as the washing stage. A carpet that doesn't dry properly is at severe risk of contracting mould or mildew. These rugs can also suffer from browning, where the water rises to the tips of the fibres before evaporating, leaving behind a dark and unsightly residue made up of lignin and other materials that have dissolved in the water. Dye bleeding is another side-effect of an inadequate drying process. We'll ensure that your rug dries out gently but properly, allowing you to enjoy it to the fullest, at its freshest.

However, our service is about far more than treating your rug to the deepest most-nourishing clean that we can deliver. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of our job is seeing once-opulent rugs being restored to their former magnificence, unlocking the glorious hues and tints of every fibre, and allowing the rich tapestry to shine out as it hasn't done for years, decades or, occasionally, even centuries.

We can nurse almost any carpet back to full health, even when floor coverings have suffered from many years of severe neglect, or have been the victim of smoke, fire, or floods.

Here are just some of the ways in which we'll revive and reinvigorate even the most tarnished of yarns.

Colour Run or Dye Bleeding Stopped in Its Tracks

Rugs are generally crafted from an intricate interlacing of vibrant dyes. When these bold and ravishing tones run into one another, the resulting confusion of colour can destroy the otherwise exemplary effect of the carpet. However, we can not only prevent this from happening during our own cleansing processes, but can also eliminate many of the effects of previous misconceived washes.

Rugs rely on a delicate acidic salt bond (the setting process) to hold the dye and fibres together. Where the rug is washed with alkaline water, this can dissolve the bond, causing the dye to bleed or run. We'll always be careful to use a water solution that doesn't break down the bond. Where the rug already has high alkalinity, we can stabilise the bond, making sure that no further bleed occurs.

There are other reasons for colours running. This can happen, for example, where excess dye wasn't removed through proper rinsing - this is particularly common in rugs manufactured in a location where water is a scarce commodity. Alternatively, colour may transfer through rubbing, or as a result of the dyes not being colourfast. Whatever the cause, we'll conduct very careful tests that allow us to clean without creating bleed, and without exacerbating the problem when it has already occurred. In most cases, we can reverse the damage, removing colour runs, and restoring outlines and fine detail.

Colour Run - before

Colour Run - before

Colour Run - after

Colour Run - after

Fringe Cleaning

Oriental Carpet Fringe Repairs

Fringes tend to be crafted using white cotton. As such, they're particularly prone to discolouration, marks, and stains. Being situated at the edges, the fringes can also take rather more punishment than other areas of the carpet. We appreciate that these sections need particular attention if the rug is to look resplendent.

White Knot Removal

White Knot Removal

Typically, white cotton also makes up much of a rug's foundation. The warps and wefts that form this base will sometimes break during manufacturing, and the ends will have to be knotted. The knots are then cut down so that they're hidden from view. Unfortunately, as the rug fibres wear away, these white knots start to reappear. On a grimy carpet, the knots may be given extra camouflage by the dust and dirt. But as the rug's ravishing colours are brought out, the white knots may become all too apparent, detracting from the brilliance of these beautiful pieces. We can use special dyes to hide and touch up such problem areas, ensuring that an annoying defect of the manufacturing process doesn't come back to spoil the entire effect.

Stains Eradicated and Odours Eliminated

Oriental Carpet Cleaning

Far too many carpets surrender their magic too soon, thanks to the motley crew of stains and blemishes that potentially emanate from every coffee cup, wine glass, or house-pet. The majority of washing techniques are powerless to arrest the onset of such besmirching. However, our highly-experienced cleaners have come across almost every type of stain known, and will tackle each mark and defect individually, picking out exactly the right solution needed to neutralise and remove the source. We can even deodorise the carpet, injecting all the freshness of the outdoors directly into your indoors.

Silk Rugs a Speciality

Silk Rugs

Wool is our bread and butter, but spectacular silk rugs have become something of a specialist area for us. This most delicate of materials needs the utmost care and tenderness if the rug is to retain its lustre and sheen. The cleaning process is longer and more involved, but we have the patience and 70 years of a love of silk that has allowed us to achieve wonderful results time and time again.


For 75 years, our firm has been cleaning all types of Oriental and Persian rug and carpet, and every minute of that experience will be used to transform every fibre of your floor covering.

All carpets and rugs will be treated with the utmost care.

Every cleaning, repairing and drying process will be performed on our premises, and by our carefully-picked and trained team of specialists.

We collect and deliver to your home or place of work seven days a week. We'll minimise inconvenience where possible, and will handle the uplift and transport. We can usually offer you a specific one hour window on the day of your choice.

All rugs are insured from the second that they're picked up from you, to the moment that they're returned.