Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Antique Turkish Kilim Cushion Cover (Cuval) Repair - Before



The flat woven technique has been used for centuries to make a wide variety of gorgeous textiles - from kilim floor coverings to tent covers, tent dividers, hay bags, saddle bags, tapestries,  salt bags, and cushion covers also known as cuvals (pronounced chuvals).  Pictured above and below is a beautiful example of a hand woven cuval from the Konya region of Turkey.  It was made circa 1910-1920 with all vegetable dyed, one ply, hand-spun wool.  Pieces such as this have become very collectible in recent years.  As you can see from the photos, this cuval, with its stunning muted palette was in good condition except for a central row where the warp and weft was severely compromised.  The picture below with the white background highlights the damaged area.

To restore a piece like this, we strive to use yarn from a similarly aged piece, if possible.  The reason for this is that new yarn would be too bold in color tone and would not allow the restored area to "blend" into the original.  Furthermore, we strive to use yarn colored in the same manner (i.e., with vegetable dyes) and constructed in the same way (i.e., single ply and hand spun).  For this project, we sourced the yarns we used in the restoration from another antique Konya kilim that was beyond restoration.   This highlights yet another wonderful benefit of owning and collecting kilims - even when they are old and seemingly beyond utility, they can still be used to restore and repair other kilims.  Nothing ever needs to go to waste - a rare, and wonderful feat in today's world where so much seems to be disposable.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com




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