Spring is upon us and many of us are getting ready to do our biannual or annual deep cleaning. It's a perfect occasion to lift heavy furniture off our handmade rugs for a thorough rug inspection and to retrieve all rugs from storage to make sure they're still moth free. Minor moth infestation can be readily eradicated with a thorough professional cleaning. Once an infestation is allowed to continue unaddressed, moths can eat through significant areas of the pile, as with the rug pictured above and below. In the next few posts, we will show how we repaired this moth damaged Persian rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Spilling anything on an Oriental rug can be a very stressful experience. But occasional spills are almost unavoidable, especially if you are lucky enough to enjoy Oriental rugs in a family room, living room, and, particularly, a dining room. Over the years, we have helped clients with a wide range of spills and resulting stains - juice, milk, chocolate, coffee, cleaning products, and more. Among the most challenging stains are those caused by red wine - the culprit that caused the stain in the rug pictured above.
What should you do when you spill red wine on a beloved Persian rug (or any other kind of hand made wool or silk rug)? First, and most importantly, blot up the excess liquid immediately. Use a white towel or paper towels. Do not rub. This is particularly important if the spill covers a multi-colored area. Rubbing may not only set the stain into the rug's fibers, but may also cause the rug's dyes to run. Second, lift the rug and dry the area below the rug. You do not want to allow the wine to stain the rug from behind. Third, contact a professional oriental rug cleaner immediately.
For the wine stain pictured above, we first addressed the stain though a rug stain removal process. Subsequently, we professionally cleaned the entire rug. Sometimes clients will ask if we can treat just the affected area only and forego cleaning the entire rug, but that is not possible as the cleaning of the entire rug allows the treated area to blend into the rest of the rug. Below, is a photo of the same area after our stain removal process and professional cleaning of the wine stained rug. While there is no way to guarantee complete removal of a stain as difficult as one caused by red wine, generally stain removal and a professional cleaning can greatly minimize the appearance of the stain.
As for that glass, or bottle (!), of wine that was spilled - it's too bad that there's nothing that can be done about getting it back! -www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Saturday, February 18, 2017
So to recap, here is what the rug looked like after being bitten by our client's dog.
Below is a photo that captures our rug repair mid-process while we reconstructed the warp and weft.
Next, below is a photo of what the rug looked like as we knotted the pile.
And, finally, below are photos (from the front and back) of the repaired area. Let's hope the repair isn't tasty to anyone! --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Friday, February 17, 2017
After professionally cleaning this Kazak rug, we removed all the yarns that had been damaged by our client's dog. (Of course, the dog had already achieved a bit of success in that regard.) We then rebuilt the warp and weft, the white square area shown below.
Lastly, we then reknotted the pile striving to match the new yarns to the rug's original lovely colors. The photo below shows the reknotting in progress, before we cut down the reknotted pile to the same length of the original pile. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Many of our projects have come to us thanks to hungry or rambunctious pets, especially dogs. This Caucasian rug, which had a particularly lovely color palette, was damaged along its side by its owner's dog. The selvage and a section of the pile along the border was bitten off entirely. The photos show the bitten areas from the back of the rug. In our next posts, we will share how we repaired this (delicious?) rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
After reconstructing the warp and weft, we reknotted the pile. Matching the yarns we use for our projects is always a challenge. Above is a photo of the repaired rug after we completed the reknotting process. Below is the repaired area as seen from the back of the rug.
As a reminder, this is what this moth damaged Moroccan rug looked like before we began our repair process. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Monday, January 30, 2017
After professionally cleaning the moth infested Beni Ourain rug, we extracted all the damaged fibers and began the repair process. As the photos above and below show, we first reconstructed the warp and weft, the grid-like structure upon which we could build the pile.
Below you can see the reconstructed warp and weft from the front side of the rug.
Now the reknotting of the pile can begin. In our next post, we will share our final result of this Beni Ourain rug repair. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Flip through any shelter magazine or turn on any HGTV show and you'll undoubtedly come across a lovely Moroccan Beni Ourain rug or two (or three, or four?). Beni Ourain rugs - with their muted palettes and simple geometric motifs - are indeed quite lovely. They are fantastic rugs to decorate around as they ground a space while lending a room instant texture and character. They single-handedly give a room a sense of hygge that seems to be THE thing that everyone wants in their 2017 home. I personally love Beni Ourain rugs and appreciate how they complement my more colorful Turkish and Persian rugs so beautifully. The one drawback of Beni Ourain rugs is that their lovely thick pile is attractive not only to us lovers of all things beautiful, but also to moths. A large section of this Beni Ourain rug (almost 2' x 3') was eaten by moths. In the following posts, we will share how we restored it to its former glory. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Sunday, January 22, 2017
The first step in any project that involves addressing moth damage is to thoroughly clean the affected rug. For this rug, after we completed the professional cleaning, we then rebuilt and reinforced any part of the warp and weft that was damaged and reknotted the damaged and compromised pile. The photo below shows the rug as we reknotted the pile. Note the long strands of yarn.
Finally, after reknotting the pile, we cut down the long yarns and revealed the final result, shown below.
Sunday, January 1, 2017
It's summer. You're going to go away for a few months to relax, reenergize, restore yourself so you can navigate the vibrant city once again. How do you prepare your winter home? You empty your refrigerator, throw away all your trash, maybe do a good deep cleaning, and lock your windows. Right before you leave, you take a last look around to make sure you haven't forgotten anything, lock your door, and leave hoping you will find everything just as you left it when you get back. Most of the time, you're lucky. But every once in a while, you come home, unpack, and after a few days, maybe even a few weeks, you start getting the sense that someone was left behind to work while you vacationed. You might see a wayward moth flying around your closet. Or maybe you notice a small hole in a wool sweater. Or (and this is where we come in) you move your sofa to vacuum your rug, and you notice a patch of white where there was once your rug. Or even worse - you move your sofa to uncover the rug that is beneath it (which is kept in a dark and confined area - a perfect place for hungry moths to eat), and you notice that there are white sticky larvae moving around your rug feasting themselves on your prized hand knotted rug as you watch in a state of disgust and disbelief. It's disconcerting, to be sure, but it's imperative that you take action swiftly. The first step is to immediately have your rugs (and all affected woolen products) cleaned immediately. The next step is to assess the damage. The picture above is a rug that suffered such a fate. In our next posts, we will share how we cared for this lovely Turkish rug. --
Saturday, December 31, 2016
As the year winds down and we prepare for a new one, it is with gratitude that we reflect on what we do and love. So much of what we have and accumulate is disposable - meant only to fill a temporary need or temporarily fill a permanent need. What I personally love about my job, about this great craft that I have both inherited and nurtured, is that it allows for permanence. When something is made with love and care, by the virtue of one's own hands, it is timeless and forever. As decades pass by, it might need some care, with an occasional repair, but the essence of it will be with us forever.
I am so grateful to spend my days marveling at the craftsmanship of artists from other generations and preserving their work so that future generations can enjoy it. So much of what I do - of what anyone who enjoys this craft does - can seem minute to the occasional observer. After all, we spend hours, sometimes weeks and months, focused on mere inches of someone else's creation. But I've never felt that way. It makes me acutely aware of the space I occupy in the time continuum of life, and perhaps because of this, grateful for the moment that I am enjoying. At least I try to be. As 2017 begins, I am grateful for the ability to do what I love and hope that the future brings us all health, peace, and happiness.
Above: A section of a restored hand hooked rug
Saturday, November 5, 2016
The layered rug look is a lovely design choice that's been around for centuries and has graced countless homes around the world. It instantly infuses a sense of eclecticism into a space and can transform a bland room into one that is enticing and warm. In my own home, I have several small rugs layered on top of a large rug in various spaces (perhaps too many ...). While this design choice can be beautiful, it can also be slightly risky if proper preventative measures are not taken. Namely, it is important to periodically inspect the layered rugs because placing one rug onto another can lead to possible moth infestation. Moth infestation can occur when rugs are layered undisturbed for extended period of times and especially when the spaces are dark and do not benefit from cross ventilation. For these reasons, we advise clients to regularly vacuum the rugs separately (not just the tops of the rugs exposed to walking). In addition, we always advise clients to undertake a regular inspection schedule that gives clients the opportunity to identify any possible moth infestation at the earliest stage possible before costly damage ensues. If there is any sign of infestation, we recommend clients to isolate the affected rugs are professionally clean all rugs to minimize the risk of further damage. By following these simple steps, one can safely layer as many rugs as desired. --
Sunday, July 10, 2016
In the vast majority of cases, pets and Oriental rugs can coexist quite peacefully adding beauty and warmth to a home. There are occasions, however, when an unfortunate pet accident can damage an Oriental rug. Usually, this happens when a pet is either very young or very old. Pet urine can threaten the color fastness of the dyes in a handmade rug so attending to any accidents is imperative. When you have pet urine accidents, it is important to blot the spot immediately with a damp white towel (to avoid any color transfer) and have the rug professionally cleaned as quickly as possible. If proper attention is paid quickly, stains can be averted (and any associated bad odor can be avoided as well). If pet urine is allowed to settle for an extended period of time, any stains will be more difficult to remove although it is quite possible to ameliorate the stain if not remove it altogether. It is much easier to avoid the stain from setting in the first place which is why we recommend immediate attention to any pet urine accidents. --
After many hours of weaving and knotting, we completed our Afghan rug restoration project. Pictured above is the result. You will note from the final result picture (as well as from our in progress pictures) that the restoration is integrated into the original structure of the rug thereby making it both more aesthetically pleasing and significantly more durable. With time, the very slight variation in the red yarns should appear even more like the original rug once the rug is exposed to some sunlight. The photos below show the original patch before repair.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
As is almost always the case, we first professionally cleaned the rug before we began our latest Afghan rug restoration project. We then extracted the old patch so that we could restore the area properly. Next, we carefully reconstructed the warp (the white vertical strands in the photo below).
Subsequently, we reconstructed the weft (the brown horizontal yarns). Once the warp and weft were reconstructed, they formed a grid-like structure upon which we then reknotted the pile. Below is a photo of the weft reconstruction in progress.
The photo below illustrates the benefits of this kind of restoration. The warp and weft are not superficially attached to the rug; rather, they are integrated into the structure of the original rug making this kind of restoration both more aesthetically pleasing, but also more long-lasting. Indeed, absent any extraordinary stress on the area, this restoration will last the life of the rug if not longer.
When the warp and weft reconstruction were completed, we began reknotting the pile. The long red vertical yarns (the fuzzy section in the bottom right hand corner of the photo below) is the reconstructed pile in progress.
Below is a view of the reconstructed pile taken from the back of the rug.
Below are photos of the reconstructed pile before we cut back the yarns.
Below is the completed pile before we cut back the yarns so that they are the same length of the original rug (the restored section almost looks like a Turkish Tulu which are very much in vogue these days). In our next post we will share a photo of the result of this Afghan rug restoration project. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com