Friday, June 23, 2017
I sympathize if this sounds familiar - you are away from your home for a few days and return to find that a gutter failed and your roof is now leaking; or a pipe burst and your living room is sitting in a foot of water; or your washing machine got angry and your basement flooded. Not only do you face thousands of dollars worth of repairs to your home, but also probably lose a good amount of furnishings in the process. Every year, we receive a number of calls from clients who have suffered a similar fate and are desperate to find a fix for their beloved flooded rugs. If left wet, wool can lose its shape and smell quite badly. Moreover, a wet rug can have its colors run and bleed into each other as is visible in the photo above. If left for an extended period of time in sitting water, a rug can even rot (for which there is no remedy unfortunately).
If you should ever suffer such a fate as a flooded rug, it is important to remove the rug from the wet area as soon as possible and lay it flat somewhere dry. In addition, it is best to have it professionally cleaned as soon as possible. If you are lucky, a professional cleaning will suffice to address all of the rug's problems associated with the flooding. However, sometimes it is necessary to do more than just a professional cleaning, including an additional soaking (which is ironic, but note this is a controlled soaking). A soaking may help with the odor and even sometimes the color run. Of course, if possible, avoid putting rugs in any areas you know are in danger of getting flooded. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
I would rather live in a sunlit shoebox than in a dark castle. My family and I live without curtains in most rooms just to squeeze out as much sunlight in our home as we can. I'm fortunate enough to live in a southeast facing home - an optimal position in my opinion. But as much as I relish the sunlight, I'm also acutely aware of the precautions that I have to take with my furnishings and especially my beloved rugs. When rugs are left in the same position for too long, the sun can start to fade certain areas of our rugs. Fading is somewhat inevitable, but what can be prevented is uneven fading. For this reason, on this longest day of the year, take a moment to rotate your rugs so that any fading of your rugs is as even as possible. And then, take time to enjoy the sunlight. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Saturday, June 17, 2017
After professionally cleaning this lovely kilim and ridding it of an unpleasant pet odor, we removed all weakened fibers and rewove the areas that our client's puppy tore out. Pictured above is the result of our kilim repair project. To compare, please see below the photo of what the kilim looked like when we first started our work. We hope that our clients - and all their beloved pets - will enjoy this lovely kilim for many years ahead. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Friday, June 16, 2017
Luckily, the professional cleaning of this lovely Turkish kilim removed the smell of pet urine and got it ready for the next step of our repair project. Our client's new puppy took a good chunk out of the kilim's central field and border and it was our job to recreate the beautiful weaving that was done dozens of years ago when the kilim was first made. We attached the kilim to a table loom, rebuilt the warp, and started the weft recreation as well. Matching yarns to the existing kilim is always a challenge, but luckily we were able to find just the right muted palette.
Working on kilims can be more challenging than working on hand knotted rugs because a rug's pile can conceal some of our repair or restoration imperfections. In a kilim, there is really no place to conceal any errors. All the weaving is immediately visible. I find them a joy to work on as results are immediately visible. There is something about a kilim's texture that I find immensely pleasing and I sense that many owners of kilims appreciate this feature as well. It's hard to believe that kilims were once looked down upon - even used as wrapping material for more valuable hand knotted rugs! --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Monday, June 12, 2017
Normally, rugs and kilims provide a beautiful backdrop to our everyday busy lives. But every now and then - especially when a new family member arrives (two legged or four legged), kilims and rugs become a tasty, irresistible, and costly snack. The beautiful antique Turkish kilim pictured above was one such snack. A new puppy grabbed onto this fine kilim and didn't let go until it tore through a significant piece of the kilim's field. When undertaking this kind of kilim repair project, it is of utmost important to match the yarns so that they blend into the rest of the kilim as much as possible.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and there is a certain buzz in the air with the flowers blooming and the mosquitoes biting. Mosquitoes aren't the only things eating. This is a particularly dangerous season for all of our beloved woolen goods, especially our wool Oriental rugs. One of the questions we are most often asked is how to spot moth damage in an Oriental rug (followed by, what can I do to prevent moths from attacking my Oriental rugs in the first place?). In this post, we will share some of the ways feasting moths make themselves known.
Above is a photo of a rug pad that has become home to a large moth infestation. This can happen when a rug is not allowed to breathe separately from its rug pad for an extended period of time. The moths are the white glue-like residue on the pad. It's a good habit to occasionally separate your rug from your rug pad and vacuum both to ensure that both are cleaned (and inspected) periodically.
Sometimes the moth damage is quite evident as there will be a hole (or holes) where there was once your rug (see photo above).
Other times, you know moths are eating your rugs by the dotted appearance that your rug suddenly has as in the photo above. If you see any of your rugs get similar damage, take care to isolate your rug immediately from all other woolen goods and have your rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible.
Friday, June 9, 2017
As we shared in our last posts, the great vibrant rug pictured above was damaged by moths in several areas. We cut down the newly reknotted pile to reveal the result - above is a photo of our final product. As a reminder, below is a photo of what the area looked like when we brought it to our workshop (sorry about the flipped angle). The warp and weft were intact (as cotton isn't attractive to moths) but the wool pile was completely devoured in several sections. A reminder to all our readers - this is moth season so be sure to protect your valuable woolen goods - especially beloved Oriental rugs! --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Monday, April 10, 2017
We professionally cleaned this great vibrant rug to remove the moth larvae and subsequently began our repair. We reconstructed the warp, weft, and pile. The shaggy section in the pictures above and below are the reknotted pile before we cut down the yarns. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but beneath those extra long yarns is our attempt to match the pattern and color palette of the original rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
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, 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. --