The wonderful geometric motifs of kilims can be like art for your floor. Indeed, in many homes in my native country of Turkey, people hang kilims on the wall for the beautiful vibrancy they provide. The contrasting colors accentuate the motifs making them "pop" even more. This is why it is critical that when a handmade kilim is cleaned, special care is made to avoid any color run. Darker colors can seep into lighter colors during the kilim cleaning process so special attention should be paid to this at all times. We recommend doing a test on a small area of the kilim before soaking the entire kilim to minimize the risk of color run. With proper care and regular period professional kilim cleaning, a beautiful kilim can last several lifetimes. --
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Sunday, August 18, 2019
It seems that these days, Beni Ourain rugs can be found in nearly every stylish home. They are at once modern and traditional and can seemingly fit into nearly any kind of space. They are beautiful in their exquisite simplicity, having a very limited motif and color palette, especially when compared to other rugs from the region.
Caring for Beni Ourain rugs is similar to caring for other Oriental rugs, but their simplicity can sometimes present a challenge, especially when a Beni Ourain is stained or discolored. The fact that the stain is usually on a single color can make the stain appear more prominently than it would with a more intricate design and color palette. Indeed, even if the stain is very minor, the fact that the rest of the rug is very simple will make the minor stain stand out. Improving the appearance of a stain on these beautiful Moroccan rugs is impossible, but they usually require lots of trial and error. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Pet stains are rarely completely avoidable. Even the most well behaved pets can sometimes have an accident. What results, unfortunately, is a very difficult stain to remove. What we do in instances of pet stains on Oriental rugs is first soak the rug, professionally clean it, and then assess how best to minimize the risk of any stain that is still present. In rare instances, regular professional cleaning can almost eliminate the stain altogether. But in most cases, the stain will remain and we will have to treat the area further. Often, we will have to do a color restoration process that can include redying and reknotting the area. As with most things, the quicker we can address the stain, the more likely the chances of success. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Good quality Oriental rugs can withstand centuries of daily wear and generations of children, grown ups, and pets. Occasionally, however, it is sometimes inevitable that a rug is damaged if it lived upon for an extended period of time. A great advantage of hand knotted rugs is that they can be repaired and restored. Indeed, it is hard for a family member - two legged or four legged - to irreversibly damage a rug.
The photo above is of a beautiful Oushak that was damaged by a family pet that consistently pulled at the knots of the rug. The white spots that resemble pilling on a wool sweater are the result of the cat's clawing over what I assume was a significant period of time. Luckily, we can repair this kind of damage by shearing down the pulled knots. Once repaired, the white spots will no longer be visible. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Saturday, July 6, 2019
We recently restored this lovely Turkish kilim, which was made using a slit weave design. The kilim is absolutely beautiful constructed entirely of warm shades of brown and beige yarns. The warp was mostly intact so the focus of our restoration was mostly on finding the right yarns for the missing and damaged weft. One of the most gratifying aspects of working on kilims is that the result of our work is immediately visible - there is no need to shear down yarns in order to see if our work is as we desired. The photo above shows us restoring a damaged tent motif. After our restoration is complete, the owner of this beautiful Turkish kilim should be able to enjoy it for many years to come with just a minimal amount of periodic care and maintenance. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
As any admirer of handmade rugs will know, one can live with a handmade rug for years and still discover new beautiful details. When we restore rugs, we try to maintain those beautiful intricacies as much as possible. This beautiful antique rug had some fringe damage so after restoring the fringe, we bound the fringe with a chain detail as seen in the top photo. From the back (the bottom photo), the chain detail is not as visible. The chain detail serves to further minimize the risk of unraveling, but it is also a beautiful detail that serves to enhance the beauty of an already lovely piece. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Restoration has many challenges, and it certainly has many rewards. One of the wonderful parts of my work is when I am able to restore a cherished piece that is of great sentimental value to its owner. This beautiful Moroccan kilim was such a piece. It had been damaged for some time, and had significant tears and holes in its beautiful blue field. We were able to reconstruct the warp and weft and make it structurally sound again. We hope that by restoring this Moroccan kilim rug with great care and love, it will have even more sentimental value to its owner. Kilims like this can last for generations with minimal care and preservation. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Sunday, June 9, 2019
We often write about how important it is to carefully inspect a rug on a regular basis, especially when the rug is under heavy furniture or under a bed where dark poorly ventilated spaces provide ideal conditions for moth damage to occur. What we haven't warned about as often is how the sun can damage a rug that is not rotated or inspected regularly. The rug above was left with a heavy table on top of it for an extended period of time. Luckily for the rug owner, moths did not damage the rug, but the sunlight that hit the rug did manage to mute all the areas except for that area under the table. The result is that now the rug looks stained and discolored. The best way to prevent sun damage is of course is to limit exposure to sunlight through sun blocking shades and curtains. But that is not always practical, possible, or frankly, desirable to those humans and pets that enjoy the brightness and warmth of sunlight. For this reason, we also recommend maintaining a regular rotation schedule so that any muting of your rugs can be even and uneven muting like in that of the rug above can be avoided. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Monday, May 6, 2019
With the longer days of spring upon us, we are well into clearing out all things winter and welcoming all warmer weather related happiness. As part of this, many people are taking time to do deeper cleanings and are undertaking a wise careful inspection of their rugs. As such, we wanted to remind readers what to look for in terms of any potential moth damage. What does an active or past moth infestation look like? The photo above is a good example of moth damage. Moths tend to look like sticky white glue-like substances on the pile of the rug, in particular, on the wool sections of the rug. It is really incredible to us even after all these years of restoring moth damaged rugs, just how moths can completely devour entire wool sections of rugs, and leave cotton fibers (like those making up the warp and weft in some rugs) completely untouched. If you spot moths, it is important that you immediately isolate the rug from all other wool rugs and textiles and have the rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the moth damage. In addition, you should thoroughly clean the floor and area under the rug. If the rug was on a pad, we recommend discarding the pad and replacing it with a new one. If you catch moth damage early, a cleaning and minimal repair might be the only things that are necessary. But if moths are left to devour a rug for an extended period of time, a more extensive restoration might be needed. --
Sunday, April 28, 2019
A rug or kilim is most vulnerable at its fringes. This is because the fringes are the areas of a rug that tend to get sucked in by aggressive vacuuming, snagged by high heels, or pulled by energetic kids or pets. This lovely Moroccan kilim's fringes were damaged in several sections as can be seen by the shorter fringes dotting the edge. It is best to address this kind of fringe damage as soon as possible so that the field of the kilim is not compromised. Once the fringe is repaired, we advise to bind the edge of the kilim or rug so as to minimize the risk of future unraveling. Of course, there is no full proof way to prevent this, but a good binding will go a long way to protecting the fringes, and, in turn, the kilim itself. --
As spring is upon us and the season for deep cleaning begins in earnest, it is a good time to carefully inspect all of our wool goods, especially beloved rugs and kilims. Take care to inspect rugs that are partially covered by heavy furniture such as beds, tables, dressers, or armoires. Moths take advantage of undisturbed wool (such as those sections of wool rugs hidden by furniture) to exert their most damage. The pictured rug has been damaged by moths eating away at a small section of the pile, warp, and weft. This rug will have to be professionally cleaned before we can assess the full extent of the moth damage. After the cleaning, we will then remove all weakened fibers before undertaking the needed restoration. We will take special care to use yarns that are somewhat muted to match the age of the rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Sunday, March 31, 2019
One of my favorite stages in a rug restoration project is the shearing stage when the pile has been reknotted and all that remains is to cut down the yarns so that the pattern can reveal itself. This photo is of precisely that stage in the process of an antique Persian rug restoration. It looks beautiful even with long yarns, but once they have been cut, we aim for the restored area to blend into the original. Note that this kind of restoration is one in which we rebuild the warp and weft and reknot the damaged pile in the same style of the original. This makes the restoration part of the original structure of the rug and therefore allows the restored to last as long as, if not longer than, the original rug. When a repair is done by sewing in a patch from another rug, that is temporary at best, because the sewn edges will eventually come undone through normal wear. A true rug restoration is one in which the new area is knotted.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
It is no mystery as to why Moroccan rugs have been so popular for decades. They bring an instant splash of color and texture to any space and can even bring occasional whimsy. Note, for example, the fabulous color change in the Moroccan rug above where the field goes from black to violet. It is unexpected and brilliant making what otherwise would be a lovely rug into a spectacular one. Proper professional cleaning is important for all rugs, but especially for Moroccan rugs that tend to have a longer pile where dirt fibers can become embedded and are harder to reach during vacuuming. A good cleaning practice in between professional Moroccan rug cleaning would be to turn the rug around so that the underside is on top and to vacuum the underside. A thorough cleaning of the floor below the rug is advised as well. --
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Can you steam clean a Persian rug (a term which colloquially encompasses all hand knotted rugs, often used interchangeably with Oriental rug)? Steam cleaning may be an effective way to clean many kinds of wall to wall rugs or upholstery, but it is never a recommended way to clean a Persian rug. This is because the steam cleaning may compromise the lanolin of the wool in the rug. Lanolin is a natural oil found in wool that helps it maintain its lustre, pliability, and if kept intact helps preserve the wool for decades. Steam destroys the lanolin thereby cutting the life of the rug significantly. The proper way to professionally clean a Persian rug is to brush the rug with shampoo and a controlled amount of water. It is important to minimize the risk of color run. Drying must be thorough so as not to risk losing the rug's original shape. --
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Friday, March 1, 2019
Occasionally, you will come across a rug that is lovely but for the fact that it does not lie flat. Sometimes a rug that once lay flat no longer does after a cleaning. Is there anything to be done to make it lay flat again? The answer is yes. Oftentimes, a rug that can not lay flat can be made to do so by a process called blocking. Blocking entails stretching out the wool so that the edges stop curling up and lay flat. Blocking is generally very successful, but is not a permanent solution. It must be repeated after every professional cleaning. --
Monday, February 25, 2019
There is no one perfect answer to the question about how often one should have their Persian or Oriental rug professionally washed. However, the general recommendation is to have an Oriental rug professionally cleaned once every two years. This is important because a professional cleaning can dislodge dirt embedded deep in the pile of the rug - dirt that is not removed through regular vacuuming alone. If dirt particles are left deep in the pile for too long, the friction on the fibers can eventually wear them down weakening them and thereby shortening the life span of the rug. Of course, there are also hygienic reasons for having a rug professionally cleaned on a regular schedule - a clean rug is less likely to trigger allergic reactions in people. Lastly, a professionally cleaned rug will often look brighter than a soiled rug making so for aesthetic reasons, a regular professional cleaning schedule is recommended as well. Two years is just a guideline - if a Persian rug or Oriental rug is in a high traffic area such as an entry way or hallway, professional cleaning should be done even more often. Similarly, if a rug is in a less trafficked area, professional cleaning can be done every three years or so.
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
A beautiful high quality kilim can last for centuries. But like traditional hand knotted rugs, kilims are most vulnerable at their edges, including the fringed ends. This is because vacuums can suck up fringes thereby weakening fibers, or pets or young children can pull at the fringes causing similar damage. Once the binding on a fringe is compromised, the fringe can come undone, and the field of the kilim can be damaged. This is what happened to this Turkish kilim. The first step in our kilim restoration was to professionally clean the kilim. Next, we attached the clean kilim to a loom. Then we slowly and steadily rebuilt the damaged warp (the white vertical strands in the photo above). This is a slow process, but well worth the result as it ensures the kilim will be ready to withstand another century of enjoyment. --
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Monday, February 18, 2019
Oriental rug was irreparably damaged by a large pet who consistently urinated on the same several spots over a long period of time. Unfortunately, no professional cleaning procedure can remove the stains as the acid from the pet urine permanently discolored the yarns. The only thing that can be done in this instance is to tear out all the affected sections and reweave them anew. However, because there are many affected sections, it would be much more cost effective to replace the rug. It is sad - as the rug other than the spots was in quite good condition. --
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Sunday, February 17, 2019
How is it possible moths are eating my rug even though I regularly vacuum my rug? While this is not a common problem, it is completely possible for a rug to be damaged by moths even when it is being used (i.e., not stored), and is vacuumed regularly. How does this moth damage happen? It most often occurs when a piece of heavy furniture is covering a part of the rug so that only the exposed part of the rug is regularly vacuumed. Similarly, it can happen when a rug is under a bed or sofa and vacuuming does not reach to all parts under the bed or sofa. This kind of moth damage can be prevented by ensuring that one vacuums the entire rug - even those sections under heavy furniture - on a regular basis. Vacuuming those specific sections under furniture does not have to be done daily, weekly, or even monthly, but should be done at least once every few months. Better yet, one should try to rotate the rug at least twice a year so that wear is more evenly distributed. While moving furniture this way and this often may be inconvenient and cumbersome, it will go a long way in preventing the kind of moth damage than can ruin entire sections of a rug. In addition, regular inspection of the entire rug (and the rug pad underneath!) is recommended so that any moth damage is detected at its earliest stages.
Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
Friday, February 15, 2019
Anyone who has ever lived with antique rugs knows how beautifully warm, muted, and breathtaking they can be. Over a century or more of sunlight, use, and care can really bring out the true beauty of gorgeous textiles. They add an incomparable texture and dimension to a space that few things can parallel.
Caring for an antique rug is similar to caring for any handmade rug, with some notable exceptions. Professional antique rug cleaning should be undertaken regularly depending on the use of the rug. However, we recommend professionally cleaning antique rugs less frequently than new rugs; we recommend antique rugs be cleaned every three to five years. However, if the antique rug is in a low traffic area, the time between professional antique rug cleanings can be longer. Regular in home care is very important. To extend the life of the rug, we recommend regular vacuuming (without a beater bar). In addition, it is extremely important to rotate an antique rug on a regular basis, perhaps every six months or so. This is important because regular rotation will allow the sun to mute the rug on a more even basis, as well as allow foot traffic to be more evenly distributed. With minimal care, an antique rug can last for generations.
Monday, February 11, 2019
No matter how many kilims have passed through my hands, I have never tired of their great beauty, detail, and vibrancy. They can rival any painting on a wall, or any exquisite hand knotted rug. Kilims are timeless, lending themselves to any style or aesthetic.
Kilims require minimal care - similar to Oriental rugs. They require regular vacuuming (or shaking!), periodic rotation and inspection, and periodic professional kilim cleaning. We recommend kilims to be professionally cleaned every two years, though if a kilim is in a low traffic area and is not subjected to shoe traffic or pets, one can go longer between professional cleanings. With minimal care, kilims can last for centuries. --
Thursday, February 7, 2019
How do we care for rugs that have been damaged by flood waters? The answer may seem counterintuitive, but the first thing we do with a flooded rug is to soak it in a shallow pool. What purpose does the soaking serve? A good soaking will help minimize the odor, help remove the dirty water, and any dirt that was embedded in the pile. The next step after the soaking is to professionally clean the rug with rug shampoo. Once the rug is thoroughly cleaned and rinsed, the next step is to allow for a thorough and complete drying. This step is imperative as it will prevent the rug from rotting. Rugs especially susceptible to rot because of a flood are those made with a combination of wool and cotton such as Sarouk, Heriz, Tabriz rugs.
Of course, the best thing to do is to take steps to avoid a flood in the first place, when possible. This includes not watering a plant that is resting on a rug. Small steps can go a long way in preventing damage to a beautiful treasured hand knotted rug.
Monday, January 28, 2019
Sunday, January 13, 2019
I think I have moths - what do I do? We hear this numerous times a week from worried clients who either suspect or know definitively that their beloved wool rugs are slowly being devoured by silent moths they didn't even know they had. If you think you may have moths, there are a number of important steps that you should take, in order of importance:
1. Isolate the item you suspect has moths from all other wool items. You want to minimize the possibility the moth infestation will spread to your other wool rugs, furniture, or clothing.
2. If the rug is smaller, put it in a bag or airtight wrapping until the rug can be thoroughly cleaned.
3. Sweep then mop the floor with a combination of vinegar and water to ensure that all moth larvae are removed. We encourage clients to air out the room for a few days as well. If the infestation is severe, you may have to contact an exterminator.
4. Arrange to have your rug professionally cleaned. If you have experience cleaning handmade rugs, you can do this at home yourself. You just need to take care that the cleaning process is thorough and that you remove all larvae. Take special care that the rug is completely dry before returning the rug to its place.
Moth damage can be avoided by not putting your rugs in storage, regularly examining rugs that have heavy furniture on top of them, and regular vacuuming. It is impossible to eliminate the risk of moth infestation entirely, but a few preventative steps can greatly reduce the risk of heartache when a beloved rug is damaged beyond repair.