Wool rugs last for a very long time with proper care. Please research further before doing anything drastic to your rug. The following are general guidelines and tips on making the maintenance easy and keeping your wool looking beautiful for years.
Color: Variations exist in hand made rugs, especially those made of natural fibers. This variation is also know as abrash.
Fading: Although rugs do fade over time regardless, sun will fade them fast. So don't put your rug in direct sunlight. Older rugs are faded throughout the entire fiber, artificially faded rugs show a colorful underpile and a distinct fade line.
Shedding: As these are older rugs, they should not shed very much if at all. New rugs or those that are being destroyed by insects may shed so be on the lookout.
Sprouts: Loose fibers or sprouts are normal in handmade rugs. Just like a handmade sweater, DO NOT pull the strand. Instead weave the fibers back in or carefully snip them shorter.
MAINTENANCE: DO NOT USE HARSH CLEANSERS
Odors: These rugs are old enough that odors from the dyes and wool are practically gone. So if your rug smells like ammonia (cat pee), rotten, or anything nasty, it needs to be cleaned asap or it may be ruined by insects, chemicals, and/or mold.
Vacuuming: Regular vacuuming is essential to keeping your rug looking good. HOWEVER, do not use beater bars or high suction. Brooming, with a clean broom, with the pile may be sufficient. Otherwise, the rug may pile or fuzz and wear down faster.
Spills: Wool repels liquids but only for a short time, so clean all spills immediately by blotting. Wool is also difficult to get food or drink stains out of once the stain has been allowed to dry. Do not rub the carpet as this will fuzz or pill the carpet. Do not use harsh chemicals as this will damage the dye and the wool. Diluted dish/laundry detergent or sometimes a dilute vinegar solution is necessary. Additional cleaning tips may be needed depending on the fluid spilled.
Cleaning: Do not steam or soak with water. Use a professional company that specializes in old wool rugs (i.e. Persian etc.) Because of the manufacture of the rug, the cleaning process is different. It is expensive to clean these rugs so make sure to perform regular preventative maintenance instead and only clean when storing or when necessary.