The Association of Rug Care Specialists (ARCS) has been formed by influential members of the rug care community. The international association is dedicated to advancing the art and science of rug care, educating rug care professionals, raising consumer awareness about quality rug care, and cultivating relationships with leaders in rug care-related industries.  It will be temporarily headquartered in Dallas, Texas. 

“An association specifically dedicated to this segment of the flooring industry has been needed for some time,” said long-time rug care expert Ken Adams. “The Association of Rug Care Specialists was founded to promote and foster the highest standards of professionalism and technical proficiency in rug care and ensure that we develop the next generation of leaders for this industry.”

 Membership in ARCS is open to any firm which cleans, repairs, services, or otherwise maintains area rugs, as long as 95 percent of the work is done at the member’s cleaning facilities and not subcontracted. Associate memberships are available to appraisers, dealers, designers, consultants, and others with a vested interest in rug care. A Membership Committee is actively recruiting voting members and associate members for the new association.  

ARCS held its first board meeting on November 4, 2010.  At that time, its first slate of officers was elected. They are:

•            President:  Bill Foulds, Deep Eddy Rug and Carpet Cleaning, Austin, Texas

•            Vice President: Thea Sand, Emmanuel’s Rug and Upholstery Cleaners, Seattle, Wash.

•            Secretary: Phil Ziegler, Ziegler Preservation Cleaning Specialists, Danbury, Conn.

•            Treasurer: Armen Dohanian III, Oriental Rug Cleaning Company, Dallas, Texas

•            Advisory Committee Liaison: Tim Horrigan, Horrigan Cleaners, Inc., Gardner, Mass.  

The ARCS officers and board are currently developing an educational curriculum that addresses key issues such as rug identification and highly specialized techniques in spot and stain removal. The courses will be taught by some of the most experienced rug cleaners in the industry. The initial list of technical courses will be announced in early 2011. ARCS leadership is also evaluating options for providing business management courses to its members.

In addition to the technical courses, two educational events have been scheduled for the coming year. The first is a two-day plant tour and roundtable discussion in Austin, Texas April 29 and 30, 2011. Participants will tour a state-of-the-art rug cleaning facility featuring a rainwater collection system and a centrifuge. They will discuss hot topics such as identifying oriental rugs and cleaning area rugs. A four or five-day tour of the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico is on the calendar for November 2011. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the famed Navajo rug weaving facilities and observe the unique Navajo culture. Details on all ARCS courses and educational events will be available on the association’s website, which will be launched shortly.

Collectively, the core founders of the Association of Rug Care Specialists have more than 1,000 years experience in rug care, according to Adams. Many were members of the National Institute of Rug Cleaning (NIRC), which was founded in 1946. Over time, the NIRC became part of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR), which changed its name to the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) in February 2007. The name change represented a shift in focus to restoring damaged buildings, with less emphasis on rug care and other disciplines. The newly-formed ARCS provides an avenue for rug care specialists to “get back to our roots,” Adams said.

Several founding members of the Association of Rug Care Specialists are former presidents of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration and have been named to an Advisory Committee to help guide the new organization. In addition to Tim Horrigan, they are Ken Adams of Ithaca, N.Y.; Ellen Amirkhan of Dallas, Texas; Buzz Dohanian of Boston, Mass.; and Jeff Jones of Oklahoma City, Okla.