I know the current narrative is that kids and quality rugs can't coexist, but I'm here to remind you otherwise.
The oldest rug to date, the Pazaryck rug was discovered frozen, in the tomb of the Sythian prince. Carbon dating, shows that this rug was woven 500 years before the birth of Christ.
For centuries, families in the East have been using rugs in their homes. Before rugs became a staple of the Western home, rugs were created and used as a practical item. Sheep herders used them as makeshift beds during their nightly watches. Persian house wives used them as utensil covers, door hangings, table and seat covers. The rug in Eastern families was as necessary and ubiquitous as the fork and knife are to us; every household had one.
The rug was such an important part of the home, that it was not uncommon for the family to spend one month's earning for the supplies. The woman of the house, whether the mother or daughter, would weave the rug in between chores and taking care of the family. Often the family could not afford to have masters dye the wool or make the cartoon, the woman became the master of all crafts. She would dye the wool, create the design herself, and weave the rug.
The rug was a heavy investment, and thus, needed to be durable. Most families couldn't afford to create a new rug every few months...and often, buying wasn't an option. Its not uncommon to see rugs that are semi antique, over fifty years old. We have a few rugs that are over 100 years old. The rug would outlast the weaver herself, and would be passed on to future generations.
The rug you're currently drooling over was made to withstand life. The ease of buying from Target wasn't available to them. For centuries, families have been living with rugs, maintaining them, and passing them on to their children. The recent view that handmade rugs are too fussy or fragile, is simply clever advertising from companies hoping to sell you their cheaply made, plastic rugs.
When you are ready to jump into the world of handmade rugs here are some care tips that will make maintenance easy.
1. Invest in a rug that is low-medium pile. These tend to be easier to clean, versus rugs that have a high, shag pile. Rugs that are also shaved, meaning, their pile has been cut down, take a good scrubbing as well.
2. Most stains are easily cleaned if attended to right away. Cleaning with a simple solution of Dawn dish soap and luke warm water will clean most stains. Club soda will pick wine up easily.
3. Stains are usually taken care of with spot treatment, but in case of huge spills, its ok to take your rug outside to hose off. Please make sure to check the corner first for possible dye run.
4. Fresh air and sunning you rug will take care of most nasty smells, including pet urine. I would add essential oils to the wash for cat urine.
5. When choosing a rug, find one that is darker in palette or has a busy pattern.
6. Avoid rugs with silk, and chose a rug with a wool/cotton combination or wool/wool make.