Meet the Experts with Ellen Amirkhan

Mastering Oriental Rugs: Insights from The Rug Tzarina

Hosted by: Aaron Groseclose and Tim Baker

Unravel the mysteries of oriental rug care with "The Rug Tzarina" Ellen Amirkhan in this must-attend webinar hosted by Aaron Groseclose and Tim Baker. Discover expert tips on cleaning, repairing, and appraising oriental rugs, and get your burning questions answered by one of the industry's most distinguished figures.
Webinar #20201118

Ellen AmirkhanEmbark on a journey into the world of oriental rugs with our esteemed guest expert, Ellen Amirkhan, affectionately known as “The Rug Tzarina.” Join hosts Aaron Groseclose and Tim Baker for an illuminating webinar where Ellen will share her wealth of knowledge and experience garnered over decades in the industry.

Ellen Amirkhan is a distinguished graduate of Texas Woman’s University and Southern Methodist University, holding degrees in both science and liberal arts. As the President of Oriental Rug Cleaning Co., Inc. in Dallas, Texas, a business established by her grandfather in 1911, Ellen specializes in the meticulous cleaning, repairing, appraising, and selling of oriental rugs.

A luminary in her field, Ellen has served as the past president of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (now the Restoration Industry Association), demonstrating her leadership and commitment to advancing industry standards. She is renowned for her role in developing and teaching oriental rug schools for prestigious organizations such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) and her co-development of the Master Rug Cleaner Program.

Ellen’s expertise is underscored by her impressive array of designations, including Certified Appraiser of Oriental Rugs from the ISA, Oriental Rug Retailers of America (ORRA), and Certified Rug Specialist (CRS) from The Association of Rug Care Specialists (ARCS). Her contributions have been recognized through various accolades, including the RIA Dr. Steven Spivak Award, the ASCR Helen Bradley Distinguished Service Award, the North Texas Chapter of the International Society of Appraisers (NTISA) Ellen Amirkhan Distinguished Service Award, and the CFI Carl Williams Mentorship Award in 2016.

In this exclusive webinar, Ellen will share insights, techniques, and insider tips on oriental rug care, appraisal, and preservation. Participants are invited to submit their questions during registration, and Ellen will address as many queries as time allows. Whether you’re an industry professional seeking to deepen your expertise or an enthusiast eager to learn more about these exquisite works of art, this webinar promises an enriching experience under the guidance of a true luminary.

welcome to our pilot meet the experts and tim's going to give a little background to our special guest ellen american thanks aaron well bill and american were blessed to have you tonight i'm looking at your bio and it's uh we could probably spend 15 minutes going through it it's uh but ellen as a graduate of texas women's university she has a bachelor of science degree from there and the southern methodist university she has a master of liberal arts she is the president of oriental rug cleaning company in dallas texas and that business was started by her grandfather in 1911 and they specialize in cleaning repairing appraising and even selling oriental rugs she's a past president of ascar or the association of specialists in cleaning and restoration which is now called the restoration industry association or ria she develops and teaches oriental rug schools for the international society of appraisers uh and other organizational groups across the united states and england and she's also the co-developer of the master rug cleaning program holds many different designations she's a certified appraiser of the oriental rug uh international society of appraisers uh she's a award recipient of the raa dr steven spivak award for outstanding contributions to the textile industry as well as the cfi carl williams award winner so ellen we're uh we're pleased to have you and i'm sure there's a lot of questions if you'd like just go into the chat you can put your questions in we have received some and we've also aaron and i have thought of some of the questions that we'd like to talk to ellen about yeah you forgot the part about her running a mean 400 meter i tried to do it today chasing a criminal and it was a a slow jog and now my legs really hurt got away it was your grandfather that started the business over 100 years ago and how did he kind of get into the rug cleaning business what brought him to dallas well he came over from armenia during the because of the genocide he came to the united states he was an orphan by 13 both his parents were killed and he went to an orphanage and sometime between he's 18 and 21 he left far eastern turkey and made his way uh eventually to uh england and somehow got a boat to canada and made his way from windsor canada to cincinnati ohio where he had a a relative in the road cleaning business it was called uh uh h.h amber canyon rug cleaning and he worked for him and learned the business and then he went to chattanooga tennessee and worked for another armenian and then went to new orleans and worked for another armenian and by that time he thought he could do it so he came to dallas because dallas was big enough to support rug cleaning but nobody had beat him to it there were no kardashians in dallas no mercifully not [Laughter] well uh not too many businesses survive into the third generation so what has been your key to success to be around for over a hundred years well it's an interesting question and it did uh cause me to ponder and think about it because you don't think about it you just go day to day and the next thing you know you know it's been over a hundred years so probably the first thing is you've got to turn out a really superior product at a very fair price uh you need superior product knowledge because that builds trust and sets you apart from the combination of competition but one thing with businesses that are old like now like ours is you really got to be careful of is not becoming complacent and resting on your laurels or as i say riding the crest of the wave uh you need to be on the lookout for ways to up your game because there are always things you can do better and you need to learn to change with the times and stay uh contemporary uh you need to give a ten efficient service it needs to when people deal with you it needs to be really easy and perhaps even enjoyable you need to have great attention to detail uh one thing i learned playing sports was a lot of times you could beat people by just showing up every time because so many people would have an excuse well i don't feel good or i don't like the coach or it's too hot or it's too cold or i have a wart on my foot et cetera et cetera and if you just show up over time you'd be surprised how many people you can beat just by being there uh things that armenians are really uh big on as being physically responsible being responsible with your money not to spend every dime you make and have a three to six month rainy day fund and boy did that come in handy this year because when uh when the covet hit we were able to ride it out and keep everybody paid until the ppp loan came in so you know money in one pocket and out the other pocket is not going to last very long um now one thing that's sort of overlooked i think is how do you treat your employees um it's overlooked and are you arrogant and indifferent or do you really try to connect and lead the team and i think it's very important you need to be fair and kind and compassionate but that doesn't mean you can't be tough i always tell my employees don't ever mistake kindness for weakness because it's a it's a mistake with me um i'm big on continuing education for your employees to keep them engaged and feel like they're a part of the process uh great time off i like to be off i don't want to work seven days a week i don't want to work six days a week at all yeah i don't want to work at all no five is all i can do people need time up we work hard then we play hard then we come back and work hard i just don't get off on saturdays and sundays and nights and all this stuff we have great holidays we have a month of paid holidays every year um do you have any openings we have an age limit well i'm assuming that uh in your rug cleaning side of things it's like on location carpet cleaning most of the customers are women do you feel having a woman-owned managed business is a plus sure sure it's a plus because women women are interested in cleaning my father always said if it weren't for women people's homes would be a disaster you know because men would have their man cave and that'd be it it's women who keep the house going and so we clearly connect but i do want to say too and this is going to be a news flash for many people men like women and so doing business with women for the most part men really do enjoy it and so uh more than they probably do it doing business with other men and um you know there's always a small minority that want to try to perhaps bully or intimidate you because you're a woman but you let them know immediately that that won't fly on ross avenue yeah i don't want to be on the other side of that conversation no no you know it's the same thing you got to be kind but then you got to show them you can toughen up when the time comes sure okay ellen i i don't know if you look at some of the uh you know social media and there's a lot of information out there online about cleaning rugs some of it i see and i'm i'm kind of appalled some of it's good information but uh do you kind of keep your finger on the pulse of what people are doing out there on the internet the advice they're giving yeah i call i call myself a facebook lawyer because i like to keep up with what the issues are i like to see what people are having problems with i like to read the advice and you know in some ways it's a kind of entertaining um so but the thing that sort of i get really annoyed at are people who ask questions and you've never heard of them before ever and the things they ask are so rudimentary and then the advice they get they'll get in a rayon rug and it's turned brown or it has a red stain or a multitude of things that you know they are not skilled enough to do and they'll get 20 different pieces of advice with 20 different chemicals and all this stuff and i thought if they did all this they may blow the rug up i just can't believe it when i read this i've just become really appalled and it's not useful they don't find out what equipment they have they don't find out how much education they have they have no idea how much finesse they have and so i think it gets dicey i i know one time is alex flores on this little deal here maybe not anyway the guy asked about cleaning a synthetic rug and the label on the back said it should be professionally playing so the guy asked how to clean it i guess he was going to clean it and alex said read the label it says take it to a professional you know if you have to ask you probably aren't the professional the other thing that they do is they ask about rug id and it'll be something you should learn the first year or two that you're in the cleaning business and i just want to say take a class i don't care what class it is take a class and stop trying to cheap out on facebook that's my brand yeah ellen ben camacho one of the questions he uh put in was you know what is the recommended process to id or you know rug or how do you value a rug i know it comes down to education but yeah it does now and they're kind of two separate issues but in a lot of ways they are related rug id you know what most of us learned from our predecessors our fathers or grandfathers and then we built upon that people now are way more knowledgeable than they are and that's a good thing um but you've got to go to rug id classes again go to classes reading books you know we have a dvd and a book there's a thousand things you need to do it is not easy to do but it's really essential so that leads into how do you value them well if you can't identify them you can forget valuing them uh becoming an appraiser of oriental rugs you have to have really superior rug id uh skills and you have to take uh what we call the core courses it's appraisals principles and procedures of appraising that are applicable to whether you're doing jewelry or furniture or anything else the principles and procedures are all the same you just apply it to rugs so you have to take that education and then combine the two and you've got to be able to to print some really nice reports it's not those little reports that have a little picture of a mosque on top or a flying carpet going across the top with a a name and a size and a signature and a value that's not an appraisal that's just nonsense is there a network of appraisers out there that if someone gets into trouble they could take a rug to get a fair value sure sure the the side the society i belong to is the international society of appraisers isa and i joined uh 30 years ago and i chose them because some of my mentors belonged and because they specialized in personal property appraisal only some of the other societies uh do uh real estate and so i wanted some a place that that's all they did and i think it was a really good choice yes you can go on their website and find out who does drugs and stuff well one of the uh so cleaning rugs on location is is a hot topic often in seminars and on the internet and the iicrc has a standard which includes not only wall-to-wall carpet but rugs and their recommendation is to have the rugs taken from the home or business and cleaned in some type of facility but not everyone has a facility and people are tempted to go ahead and clean them on location and i think you've got some photographs of what can go wrong when that happens sure yeah and also uh ours the association of rug care specialists has a standard too and i'm sure it's very similar to icrc and our states that drugs should never be cleaned on location unless there is an extenuating circumstance a a granite table that's too heavy or you know whatever that's that is it's not just the customer doesn't want you to that doesn't cut it anyway and so the reason is when you do stuff like that the less you know the more problems you're going to have and it doesn't do a very good job anyway and if you don't have a facility to take it into find somebody in your area that does have a facility that does good work and see if you can do some wholesale with them we do a ton of wholesale work we have a ton of accounts and it's just so easy it's easy for us it's easy for them so that's one solution if you don't have any place to take it um but if you're able to throw those pictures up yeah let's take a look at um a couple of things that have gone wrong and this is a sizal rug and you can see it's sitting in somebody's home was this brought to you for correction or just someone just sent you a picture and said help i think somebody sent a picture and said help and what the issue is on these there's two things as i look at this number one most of the time when people clean on location they clean with heat and that's bad news number two the cotton binding you want to put your little arrow on it hey there you go the cotton binding that goes around the four sides shrinks the rug doesn't and it causes the rug to ripple now when we take our iicrc classes we're always told that heat speeds up the the process so why is it bad for rugs well it does speed up the process but you know we all remember our little cleaning pie and if you turn down the heat lower the heat then you've got to up the chemical or the agitation or the dwell time uh you got to turn the heat down now what it does on particularly on like on this on location is heat swells fibers and makes them shrink and while it cleans better you can clean a rug in your plant we've been cleaning roads without hot water for 109 years and we do a pretty good job so you don't have to have hot water to clean rugs here's another little gem also cleaned on location and this rug is from afghanistan this is where rug id comes into rug cleaning because we know that a large percentage maybe 50 percent of rugs made in afghanistan uh post post 1980 roughly uh the foundation materials are not pre-shrunk and you wash it and they all draw up in the most bizarre ways as you can see on this rug and this is regardless of what anybody tells you about uh jack blocking and all this stuff this is basically not fixable if this came in there was a cleaner in town now they didn't necessarily clean it on location they threw it into a wash tub and they didn't know one rug from another and they pitched it in and that's how it came out and the customer brought it to us to see if we could fix it and we got it about 40 or 50 percent better but that's about it and to do that you need a tack out floor right sure and some expertise and expertise yeah go ahead what do we have here well we have here is a bordered wilton it's a machine made rug it's wool and the blue and white stripe border that goes around uh it shrinks when it gets wet and causes the interior to buckle so this goes back to rug id and this is not even oriental rugs this is machine made rugs this is a problem with construction now you can block this out but my always my question is why why should we do that if we know ahead of time it's going to do it we're going to clean it with some other alternative method are these expensive yeah very expensive mostly come through stark i don't know that they're selling much of this anymore and that was a questionnaire and you raised you know do you see it enough to even show it tonight we just got one in we just got one in last week and so we still get them maybe a couple of months and so i think it's worthy of discussion okay so here we see our friendly armenian on the tack out floor trying to correct an out of shape needle point it looks like tell us about what's happening here well this is a chinese needlepoint the way they're made uh called it made on the bias it doesn't matter about all that technical nonsense but when they come off the loom or the frame they're like a a parallelogram and they need to be squared up so when before they're sold they're squared up but then with time humidity and washing and getting wet again they want to revert back to their original shape so after we wash them then we tack them and of course we charge them extra to do that okay well one of the problem rugs that it seems everyone's running into are viscose rayon and so viscose is just the european term for what we've known as rayon in this country for many years mostly in furniture of some sort and i believe yes we have a uh viscose rayon rug that how was this clean no it was claimed on location on the top got it by somebody who knows nothing clearly this was probably done with the truck mount again high heat maybe and high ph and slow drying yes and so it was brought to you for correction yes so why do why is it such a problem with viscose rayon with browning the main problem and you know aaron you and i have talked about this when we've done the master rug cleaner program is it's not it's not any big secret uh detergent or anything like that it's that the people who have the problems have extraction equipment that is inadequate for these rugs and so what do i mean by inadequate or maybe i should they have a truck mount they have a a portable they have a water claw they have all this stuff in order to get good consistent results you have to have a centrifuge if you're gonna if you're gonna really wet wash them and really get them wet out you gotta have a centrifuge and or a rinser ringer so that you can get a large volume of water at it initially and then you've got to have either sun or a dry room that's heated where they dry quickly they dry too slow there's too much water is left in them too much high ph detergent all these things contribute in greater and lesser degrees to this situation we see on the screen now which is really bad so we have before and after so you were able to clean it successfully or correct we were yep i think we washed it we rinsed it good to get all that detergent out uh sent it through the rinser ringer several times and put it out in the sun and then gave it a light over spray of three percent hydrogen peroxide so they can certainly come in dirty and abused like this one and voila before and after right uh you know on these rugs you can use there's something that master blend makes called formula m and aaron can kind of give you the low down on that i know there's other things out there you can use more aggressive chemical on this it's the rinsing that's important and somebody said a sent a uh message in what what was the first person that asked a question it's something about hydrogen peroxide um they were asking what the strength was uh oh no they asked if you could use uv light we've only used uv light on pet stains and frankly we don't have to use much uv light because we've got texas sun and i understand there was another comment down below about being rainy and this and that and that comes down to you've got to have better extraction equipment uh than than truck mounts and water claws and all this stuff you got to clean the whole rug too you can't spot these rugs that's like a piece of uh upholstery it's guaranteed to uh to leave a water ring and if you use a centrifuge now we dry it upside down if i don't if it's raining or it's winter time we'll take it into the dry room and turn it upside down and dry dried in the dryer room flat not hanging but yeah ellen matt had a question you know you said there's some that say cleaning on site makes sense if the price to clean is more than the cost of the rug you know what are your thoughts on that i don't think it's ever a good idea to clean a rug on location i mean i've always used the analogy who wants to have heart surgery at home because it's more convenient because it'll be cheaper you know i i don't understand that i can't clean a rug to my satisfaction in somebody's home i can't dust it i can't work on it after it's dry i gotta i can't get it very wet i mean the list goes on and on and on so then the question is if the value of the rug exceeds the cleaning you know there's a large percentage of the rugs we claim that the value of the rug is less than the cost to clean how many times do i have a customer turn me down and say they're not gonna do it all three four percent of the time not not enough to even worry about it you know let somebody else go clean it on location yeah yeah another question i know uh charlene has sequoia cleaning they do implant rod cleaning sure uh i know matt cole a couple of guys do implant uh you yourself you said you maybe you'll have a wholesale price for cleaners so if they're going to remove that rug from the facility what kind of documentation should they be taking since they are taking liability of that rug to take it to you what should they be doing before removing it well they would need a bailey policy they need some insurance for transportation and you know with all the wholesale people we have i have to say most of them rely on us some are better than other none of them do pre-inspection much they rely on us to do it and if i were they i wouldn't do it that way but they all do they they roll them up they bring them in and they use our pre-inspection and transfer that to their documentation and off they go but they should be doing more themselves in my opinion but a lot of times these places these texts they send out they just they don't know anything they're basically just rolling rugs up and bringing them in they're not trained like our guys are you know where they can answer questions and identify problems but they found you so they could rely on you and there's there are other rug plants and major towns where people can go in and talk to them next month we're going to have robert mann of denver he would be a great resource if i lived in denver and had a carpet cleaning business and so forth so there's a lot of out there yeah if i were running a of uh you know one or two man truck mount carpet cleaning business i wouldn't get involved buying all this equipment and renting space and doing this and doing that i'd find somebody if i could if i was in pla i would find somebody that i could wholesale to because it's so easy for them they're basically pick up delivery people we give them a really good deal you got to give them a good deal it can't be where you make all the money you know because then they won't do it but we don't have to advertise we don't have to talk to anybody all we have to do is clean the rug because that's what we're set up to do and it's all cod and we have a contract we have them signed with all of our terms and conditions and uh they double our invoice so they make what we do and everybody goes home happy who would sell the additional services for the customer because why don't you talk about what things you do besides cleaning okay um yeah we sell additional services there's various ways to do that i prefer a soft sale i'm not big on high pressure selling because i don't like it myself and it turns me off so i call i sell by coming in the back door instead of barging in the front door and by coming in the back door when a customer brings a rug into me and they say how much is it going to be to clean it i'll measure it but i don't exactly tell them give them their answer right off if it's an older rug and it's an interesting rug i'll say oh where did you get this is this come from your family yeah it was my grandmother's or it was my mother's and she passed away and i always remember it and i like it and i want to get it cleaned and take it home great good let's take a look at it do you know what kind it is and i go through what it is and how old it is and maybe point out something interesting and then i'll say here's what i would recommend and priority i would clean it first uh secondly i would put a pad under to protect the rug and protect your floor and thirdly i would suggest re-wrapping the sides because it's down to the foundation and i'll be pointing it to them i said let me tell you how much all this is so i write it all down and i hand it to them and you'll almost always sell it you know i i don't believe in white boards with sales goals being hung in the back of the plant you know you got to sell this much fabric protector and you've got to do this because it makes people sell stuff people don't need and that's not the business we're in that's not our model we give them what they want we give them what they need we don't give them anything else so we can make a sales goal so that's how we sell kind of in cash and carry now on the truck um we carry pad samples and we don't carry 40 different kinds there's too many choices we we offer two and we take them to them and the men if they roll the rug up and they see they need a pad they offer them pad samples and then they write it on their ticket we price it they don't price it they don't do any pricing um and the other thing we do that's that's an add-on it's sort of an add-on sale that we started doing once all this a gray felted pad started coming out there's a thousand dura hold and rug wizard and echo this and uh whatever it all is anyway uh on the phone when people call in to have their rugs cleaned and we write down all the information then we say and this is how we phrase it will you be sending your pads in two for cleaning and usually you'll get a pause oh you can clean the pads yes ma'am we can clean the pads well how much is it well we do it pretty cheap because it's pretty easy pretty quick and we bring them in and so that's that's another way we sell pad cleaning and then they say well i don't have a pad well maybe you should consider buying one so those are sort of some of the ways that we uh do a little ad on sales one of um cleaners that i've worked with said told me i'm no longer in the rug cleaning business i said what are you doing he said i'm in now in the pet waste removal business and um why don't you talk a little bit about those accidents that are on the rugs and how you can deal with it you know basically this goes back i think we all started trying to do something in the mid 90s we were spraying things on rugs and leaving it to dwell and it didn't work and you couldn't charge for it and at some point maybe around the year 2000 ish or so we all started coming up with putting it in a in a pit of some sort to soak it out and using that linoleum roller and so that's basically what we still do we have three pits we put the rugs in we use our chemicals of choice we leave them in there we roll them with a linoleum roller to get it all squeezed out and then they're pulled out onto the wash floor um then a lady just asked me said we use glacial acetic acid and leave it in there for three hours is there a better chemical to use here's my thought on glacial acetic acid and i'm not a chemical person at all i think i made a d in chemistry but glacial acetic acid isn't that about 99 aaron and it also can be explosive it's explosive and i gotta tell you i took a sniff of 56 acetic acid about 15 20 years ago it shut down my respiratory system i couldn't breathe i couldn't take any air in and i started making my way to the front to call 9-1-1 caught my air thought i had it was over it and the next breath of air i couldn't i couldn't breathe again that was 56 you were talking about 99 i wouldn't have any of this kind of stuff in my plan at all ever again so again yeah sure and so from that point forward because it's when i i've been there 40 years but as time went on i started doing less and less in the plant and if i'm dumb enough to do it what do i think the employees are going to do same thing i do is this acetic acid and you don't have a lady smell it and you're like oh gee whiz so uh what we use is a master blend uh skunk odor and we use uh is it urine lock aaron there's you use that too occasionally yeah the urine lock is really good for and i don't know if matt cole is on here but urine lock i think is real good on that body odor we find that to be far more difficult than the urine or the cat the cat's cat's number two and dogs number three and difficulty the worst is that body odor and urine oil from the fur oil from the fur yeah smells like dirty socks or worse than that those enzymes will break it down yeah and so that's that's what we do now i have put acetic acid in the pit and i have put uh maybe eight percent or ten percent something like that i've done that occasionally but it's not the it's the exception not the rule somebody also asked about moth retardants is that much of an add-on sale for you uh we do a little i don't like to get too worked up over that sort of thing too and we call it moth deterrent because it's not moth proofing and i don't want any liability everything that's on our ticket say a deterrent and as you know it makes the wool not taste so tasty and we get a ton of moth rugs in i know y'all do too and i have a theory on it they come in with moths in them that people don't have all these malls in their house uh i talked to a gentleman that i know in north carolina that is an importer of rugs from india and i said i said doug i said i think this stuff comes in these rugs he said oh absolutely you go to the warehouses these rugs are stacked to the ceiling and the malls are flying everywhere so that's why we have so many i mean i guess that's good for us but um so yeah we do sell some north deterrent and one person made the comment that they thought your hair looked nice this is my coded 19 look like him with the beard i guess yeah wait my beard no him do i have a beard oh no just a mustache i got rid of that please what do you see coming in for cleaning these days as have rugs if price points fallen uh i think yes yes and i you know again i've been down there 40 years and when you stop and think about what you saw in the 80s and what you're seeing now there is definitely a transition there are fewer of the old standbys there are fewer cereus and uh hurries and kermin all these traditional oriental rugs there are fewer and fewer of those old guys old rugs coming in because now the stuff's getting up 100 years old the stuff that was made 50 years old is grossly out of style so you're seeing less and less of it you're seeing more modern production from tibet i think india is the biggest importer uh tufted rugs rayon rugs holly shag rugs every screaming weird thing you can possibly imagine but you know you gotta roll with it and look at it and say can i clean this and uh you my answer is always yes we can we can clean anything uh and that's where an understanding construction comes in because you gotta if you hadn't seen it before you gotta look at and say how is this put together what could be some potential problems and how are we going to clean it and then once you do it in the next 20 come in it it's fine and we don't charge any less we charge the same thing we charge on everything well somebody has asked about pricing i knew it would finally come to this and we're not advocating price fixing by any stretch of the imagination but just as a range what as you've traveled around the country what do you see people charging for natural fiber rugs okay let me let me i just saw a question so let me come back to you aaron and act because i can answer this pretty quick and everybody's got a different opinion and mine may be in the in the minority here but about fabric protector is it good does it serve a purpose we hardly ever do it uh you get 20 plants and 10 are going to say oh yeah you got to do it it's great and 10 are going to say i don't see any benefit to it i'm in the i don't see any benefit to it group i i really don't you know the rugs are dirty when they come in i i don't you know and two when you sell it you got to tell them this is not if the dog urinates it on it and you're out of town or you're out to dinner it's going to be a stain when you get back it only helps to spend it for a certain period of time for you to get it blotted up so that my my personal opinion and i'm not going to argue about it we don't do much of it um uh and then you asked aaron about pricing well there was a question okay okay um out in california you know your cost of living is way higher than here in texas and so i know that you charged moving to texas there you go um the price per square foot here is much less than in california uh it's going to be cheaper in oklahoma and louisiana and probably anywhere much in the south uh i have never been and if you have to charge more because you have more uh onerous regulations and stuff that costs money and and minimum wages that are higher than the rest of the car then you got to raise your prices to pay for it and i get that that's not a problem my thing is is whatever you charge you better be doing a good job there's again aaron and i've been teaching these classes 30 years and we hear more stuff and people love to tell you how much they charge and we're getting six dollars a foot and you you're getting a two dollar a foot job so if you're gonna charge six you better give them six that's how i feel about it yeah someone's just saying they're in marin county one of the most expensive parts of sure california and they're charging five bucks and uh a buck more for urine and yeah we do a dollar for urine we do a dollar for any kind of topical treatment moss fabric protection is there anything else on a topical we charge a dollar um we charge you know like 350 uh standard if it's over 200 square feet we're going to charge 450 if it's really big or it's got a problem i yeah we call it special pricing i may charge them six i tell you one thing we started doing and this is interesting during this covet thing gave us an opportunity to do some stuff that i wanted to do but i wasn't quite sure how to implement it without it creeping everybody out is um we've made we kept our old pricing for rolled and ready or ready to roll with it with the idea we didn't want to be in your house too long which was not my prime thing my prime thing is all this furniture moving and all this labor has just gotten too much and you can break things you can your employees can get hurt so we left our price what we were charging in january before any of this kept on and then if it's not rolled and ready then we went up and so we're getting more and i'm telling you now 80 percent of the people have it rolled and ready boy that makes it easy for us it makes the day go quick we can put more stuff in yeah it's really worked out nicely and we started out doing porch and garage so it it really segued great when we kind of started going back in the house again to kind of keep some of those little deals and uh going yeah it's been really good for us the young are there any rugs that you that you don't wet cleaning that you maybe you end cap with the medium or yeah some of those uh rugs from afghanistan you'll remember the picture we saw earlier of that red rug with those horrible ripples those rugs if they don't have urine in them and most of the time they don't seem to be stained up um we will we have compressed air dusting and so we dust them with compressed air then i'm gonna uh uh use dry absorbent compound we're gonna with the host system we're gonna use the host system if there's a spot on it we'll get our little hand spotter out and do that and so that's what we do on those the uh iron the bordered rug the blue one the wilton yeah if this rug is not really dirty we're gonna host clean that uh dry absorbent power i miss that little question down there that just came up he was thinking about charging five bucks or something so that's when we do that uh sometimes we get in these rugs still and this is old product but rugs that have been made out of wall-to-wall broad loom carpet and then all glued up and heat seamed together and mugs cloth on the back and yada yada and if they're not too dirty we'll host clean those too and you gotta they turn out beautifully do you ever use a just a little moisture end cap no well we never have done that we've been doing hosts since 1959 so we're kind of wrapped up in that but i mean if whatever works and doesn't mess the rug up and gives you a good good uh appearance you know where you can yeah yeah there's go ahead just wash 98 of everything we power wash 98 of everything okay kind of looking in your crystal ball where do you see the rug cleaning industry going in the next uh 10 years maybe even a little bit longer yeah i think we'll uh probably see fewer rugs from you know iran the stuff we see now is all cheap and it all looks the same it's one after the other i think where that stuff is you know it's not we clean a lot of it but but decoratively it's not wanted i mean and they got to change the design aesthetics every 10 years so they can keep selling rugs i think things are getting cheaper and cheaper i mean in the old days and i'm talking the old days i'm talking 50 60 80 years ago everything was made so well when you talked about having the skill to clean rugs all you did was wash them and hang them and dry them you know that was the armenian secret is that there wasn't a secret um but now there's lots of secrets and lots of things that can really go wrong so i think it's going to be cheap cheap cheaper and i don't know if this next generation i'm they're coming in with shags and stuff and disposable i don't know if they get older if their taste will grow with them or if they're gonna be i really don't know but i think we're gonna have plenty of room cleaning plenty of hard surface cleaning carpet cleaning boy i'd hate to hang my hat on that for the next 20 years um maybe the pendulum will swing and then yeah do what my parents did and put wall-to-wall carpet over their wood floors well that's what my mother did i'm embarrassed to say but uh sure sure and i tell you why are we on time i was going to say aaron you know you and i and tim were talking the other day is uh something that we've just instituted in the last two or three weeks is something called company cam and it's a way to take photographs of rugs and i have always wanted to do it but again everything was just too too difficult too convoluted too much time and you didn't need it very often if you needed it every week maybe you'd spend that time doing it but you didn't need it but three or four times a year when you had a little bit of a problem or a dispute and so i never wanted to do it but anyway company cam is a an app you download it and if you only have one user which that's all we picked was one user i think it's 22 a month and you uh open up the app on your phone or your ipad and you uh create a project we do ours by date we just made today was 11 18 2020 and every rug that comes in we take photographs of the rug and the tag and the issues and it goes right up to the cloud and you're done not on your phone or anything are you doing that on every rug now or just problems or no we're doing it on every rug unless it's some customer we've had and they're okay but for the most part we're doing every rug and the name of the app is company cam company cam company cam boy it's been we had an issue a couple of weeks ago and boy it saved us otherwise it turns into us he said his company cam cheaper than video i don't know what kind of video they're talking about now if you have video in your in your plant for security it's no good if it's not uh the resolution is not good enough you can't uh now this company cam you can video with it too that's a choice you can video with it but you don't store it it goes on to their that's right uh for rugs that are in high use area should wool rugs be cleaned at least every year two years okay uh people ask me that and always say well it depends on where it's used you know if it's an entry hall and that's your main ingress and egress to the house then i think every six months to a year uh if it's a living room you need to do it ever two to four people tend to wait too long they don't use it and then they move the rug and what do they find they find moths or they wait 20 years yeah so uh if it's in a high traffic area i think it needs to be cleaned every couple of years okay and someone asked with this company cam is it easy to access the photos oh yeah i click on the app on my phone it all comes up and i and i look and i say i need to look at the rugs that came in on uh october 31st i scroll down to october 31st i click it boom there they all are how long are they there they saved four that's an interesting question they're saved for a long time i would have to ask armin i i i don't know i i i'm not sure i don't know you know they can't just save it indefinitely it's certainly a year anonymous attendee how about tufted rugs old carpets latex falling apart and then especially something like like hand tufted rugs you know the animal pees on it the latex shot yeah well again we pre-qualify with the customer that the latex is powdering that the back is delaminated this this is all put on our invoice uh and uh we can tell them if we clean it it may get worse or it may be so bad that cleaning won't make it any worse but the rug is sort of at the end of its life and uh if you want us to clean it we will but i want you to understand it's either going to get worse or it's not going to get better and the powdering will continue because there's no way to get all that out unless you disassemble the rug and re-back it and you know while we all have done that because again on facebook i hear people asking about where to buy canvas and what kind of glue and this that and the other we've all done it we just don't do it very often because it's not cost effective they can go buy a new one thomas was asking is there an affordable way to do that and with the cost of latex i would think affordable is not going to be okay remind me which rows i'll walk away from on the glue the glue the glue and the labor and the time the glue is expensive i think it's you know a gallon is i don't know is it 35 a gallon and it takes a couple of gallons and this and that when we do a 9x12 we probably charge 400. eight by ten maybe three hundred okay and we use the back that's already on there i try to do that because you can't find anything that comes in eight foot wide or twelve foot wide pieces in this country it's all four feet if you got lucky you might find sex so then you have to piece it all together and i'm not interested in that so we just reuse what's there so what rugs do you walk away from people whose check won't clear we walk away from those yeah that's a good idea we don't walk away from much of anything i remember my mother one time came back with a rug and my dad and i were back there we were doing something and she said this lady and we looked at it and i said i'm not interested in that so she goes back up she said they won't clean it she said they never say that you know so i just don't walk away from much i mean part of the reason people come to us is because we can figure out just about anything and qualify it so i there's not anything i walk away from i basically tell you that experience with horse hair rugs horse hair rugs now i'm familiar with riding blankets from the uh late 19th century were made out of horse hair i don't know i can't think of any rugs that are made out of horse hair are you talking about cowhides um not sure what a horsehair rug is okay maybe they'll ask again okay but we wash them i mean that's now i will say because this is a good question these rugs that are made from pieces of cowhide little patches kind of like a quilt and they're all sewn together and then they put something on the back they all make them different none of them no two were alike if you wet clean those the backing will pucker badly and the way it's put on you can't really disassemble and reassemble and so we will air dust and probably dry absorbent powder clean we haven't ever we also had it was just jute and host horse hair interwoven i'd probably wash it you know i mean some people worry about browning i don't worry about browning because i'm getting it rinsed i'm not using high ph i've got a dry room i've got the sun i'm going to power wash it and take it outside yeah so it's pretty it's not an issue huh sounds pretty easy well yeah you run dehumidifiers in your dry room that's an interesting we were talking about this again i'm not the driver and queen however comma through the years i've had people tell me that i could get my rugs dry in my dry room with these really you know modern dehumidifiers and so we put a couple in i'm telling it was a band-aid on cancer we didn't run the heat we put those things in the next day they were as wet as they were that when we put them in there it's worthless if you have any kind of a volume at all you've got to have somebody asked about drying and high humidity our humidity is kind of in the middle it's not high and it's certainly not low like out in the desert the best way to work with high humidity is to get more heat and um an air movement and exhaust you know there are some fancy systems out there that when the the air gets filled with humidity or water or whatever uh the the exhaust fan kicks on automatically and sucks it out and kind of recirculates and puts a new puts new air in dry air and we don't need that so we don't have any of that robert petty john in north carolina tried uh dehu's and did quite a lot of experimenting with it and at the end of the day his conclusion was the same as yours air movement and heat and keeping the humidity out through an exhaust fan seemed to be the optimum yeah and of course again we go back to proper extraction equipment when everybody's getting stuff still wet because the wetter you get it the cleaner you get it but that means you got to get the water out uh more than a truck mat or a water claw or any of these things so the more water you can get out with equipment then the less you have to worry about the drying issue and then somebody asked something what temperature are you keeping your dry room at ours isn't very hot ours is probably in the summertime when it's hot outside it's probably 115 and in the winter time it might be 90 or 100. someone is asking about for techniques using the pressure washer yes that was it at doing it vertically and i'm sort of assuming that they mean that if you hung hung a rug on a pole uh sure because when we put our rug up into the more machine there's part of it that's lying flat on the bed and then there's a part hanging over the edge that hangs over to the wash floor and it's vertical and i love power washing when it's like that because it it runs out really nicely now we do it in the direction of the pile clearly yeah but no i love power washing vertically yeah okay well we're kind of coming up a little bit to the end of our time if there's um another question or two we could answer those um if somebody has something they would like to ask ellen um with all of the virus and everything that goes on are you still planning to do in-person training yes you and i kind of kick this around we're sort of you know trying to figure it out with smaller classes and so forth and so on but yeah we're sort of looking to do a master rug cleaner that first week in march unless there's a compelling reason not to yeah but but small class and we're looking for a repair class in june hopefully by then maybe we'll have a vaccine and maybe we'll have this somewhat behind us somewhat yeah yeah yeah no large gatherings no 20 30 40 people i'm you know well if we get this behind us tim will have to shave his beard if he's got to go back i will i'm ready i think it looks good looks distinguished i think it does anyway i i think that's it thanks for all your questions i appreciate all your time um again join us uh next month and cfi again they've got this introductory special if you go to connects c-o-n-n-e-c-t-s you can get the information you can sign up for the introductory offer you can see all that's being offered for your membership okay stay on wool for long you know i don't know too much about all that uh i would sort of think it washes off or does it walk off aaron it'll it'll wear off uh pretty much by the time the rug gets washed yeah it's been on there for a couple years i'm sure the traffic lanes will need to be touched up again let me give a shout out to to my buddy roby you can watch him uh the second wednesday of the month all right well i'll count on you to keep me informed well next time third wednesday of december we will have robert mann of robert mann oriental rugs quite an interesting gentleman um it would be interesting just to listen to his war stories for an hour but we'll do more than that but yeah he's very entertaining yeah he's led a very interesting life let's put it that way all right well thank you everyone for joining us and thank you ellen for your time thank you i enjoyed it you're past your bedtime so we'll we'll let you go i got to get milk and cookies yeah thanks ellen thank you bye now you
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