Cleaning hooked rugs a knotty job


DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m writing in hopes you or your readership can make suggestions on how to clean a hand-hooked rug? I’ve been told not to dry clean it.

Thanks for any help or suggestions. — No Name, New Vineyard

ANSWER: There was plenty of advice online about cleaning hooked rugs, but most of it was what not to do. All the sites seemed to agree that you should stick to light spot cleaning using a vacuum (without beaters and no uprights), light brushing after sprinkling with light, dry snow or spot cleaning with a Woolite and water mixture and a soft rag (being careful not to wet the fibers).

If your rug is in need of more in-depth cleaning, the sites said your best bet is to take it to a restorer. You can contact the textile departments of folk art museum collections at Sturbridge Village (1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566, 508-347-3362), Shelburne Museum (6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482, 802-985-3346) or Colonial Williamsburg (P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776, 757-229-1000) for expert advice.

There is some very thorough advice on caring for your rug at ( If you don’t have a computer, it would be well worth a trip to the library.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Would you or some of your readers know where I can get some wallet-size calendars? Hallmark used to have them until this year. — B.P., Bethel

ANSWER: Sun Spots isn’t sure exactly what you mean by wallet-size — those that fit in your wallet or those that are about the size of a wallet and have each month on an individual page?

Sun Spots has one of the latter. It’s about 4 by 6 inches, and she got it for donating to the Humane Society. She doesn’t use it, so if you send her a stamped, self-addressed envelope, she’d be glad to give it to you.

There are many sources for calendars online, including places where you can print one out for free. has just about any style or content you’d like.

Sun Spots is pretty sure you’d prefer a local source. Have you tried Staples, OfficeMax or other office supply stores?

Sun Spots spoke to David Shortill of Shortill Office Supply. He suggested you ask your bank or insurance company if they are giving out small calendars. He said the cost of calendars can add up, so businesses have cut back on freebies, but some still give them out.

Readers may have some suggestions as well.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Someone wrote looking for sealing wax (Aug. 11, 2010). Sealing wax for envelopes and a variety of seals are available at Victorian Trading Co., Lenexa, KS 66219, — No Name via email

ANSWER: Wow, that’s one heckuva memory you’ve got, remembering a post from a year and a half ago! Sun Spots looked up additional contact information. They are at 15600 West 99th St. Lenexa, KS 66219, 913-438-3995, [email protected] You can call toll-free 1-800-700-2035 weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. central standard time.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been looking for two sisters who had a small antique store in the town of Gray. If they are still restoring furniture or if anyone knows how to contact them I would greatly appreciate it. If there is anyone who distresses furniture at a reasonable rate, I can be contacted at 782-8027. Thank you. — No Name via email

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