Friday, November 15, 2019

Antique Persian Rug Restoration - Before and After Example

We recently restored a beautiful fine antique Persian rug that had various damaged areas, including the one photographed above.  We first professionally cleaned this gorgeous antique rug, taking care not to worsen any of the existing damage.  Once the rug was cleaned and dry, we sourced the yarns that would best blend into the muted antique color palette.   The dusty rose and blues were probably a lot more saturated a century ago but it was important for us to match the yarns to the beautiful warm tones that a century of sunlight had produced.  Once we sourced the best yarns for this antique rug restoration project, we carefully reknotted the pile reconstructing the motif that had been damaged through a century of wear and tear.  The result will allow this rug to be used and enjoyed for years to come.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Antique Anatolian Kilim Restoration

Restoring an antique kilim generally is similar to restoring a newer kilim.   Antique yarns, however, tend to be more fragile and their colors are more muted given the century or so that they have been exposed to the sun.  The actual techniques we use for antique kilim restoration projects, however, are the same as we would use to restore newer kilims.  We take care to remove all damaged fibers before commencing any project.  We carefully professionally clean the kilim so that our restored sections will blend in with the generally brighter colors of a clean kilim.  We then interweave the warp and the weft while striving to match the original kilim's motifs and color tones.  The results of a kilim restoration project are immediately visible, which is both a helpful guide to a restorer, but also provides an added challenge in that restoration "mistakes" are almost impossible to hide.  The antique  kilim restoration project above is an example of a recent kilim we restored.  The kilim had been damaged over many years, but after our restoration, we hope it is ready to be enjoyed for at least a few more decades.

Kosker traditional rug repair

Beautiful, beautiful yarns and rug restoration

One of the most crucial aspects of achieving a successful restoration project right is sourcing the right type and color yarns.  When we undertake a restoration or repair project, we strive to match the restored area with the original rug in both the design, weaving style, and color.  This last goal - matching the color - can often be the most difficult part because a different color or shade will often make a restored area "jump out" and distract from the overall beauty and aesthetic of the rug.  For this reason, we strive to match the original color as much as possible.  While it is never a perfect match, we can often get very close.  As a restorer, therefore, I am allowed to indulge in a favorite pastime of mine which I affectionately call "yarn hunting."  My collection has a wide range of colors and textures, as well as yarns of different ages.  Sometimes, we unravel old kilims that are too damaged to restore so that we can use the yarns from the kilim in the restoration of another similarly aged kilim.  It is a challenging process, to be sure, but one that can yield  beautiful results.

Friday, November 8, 2019

What Do Moths Look Like on a Rug?

Every once in a while we get called to inspect a rug that has been stored for a few months (or even longer!) in a closet, or storage space, or under a bed.  Clients sometimes ask us to identify what the white glue like substance is behind their rug that they had never noticed before.  It is then that we have to inform our client that their rug is moth infested.  Moths love rugs in storage, especially rugs that have not been cleaned before storage (although even clean rugs are not immune from moth damage).  For this reason, it is very important that any rugs that are stored are inspected regularly for any signs of moth damage.  As with so many things, an ounce of prevention will go a long way.  Store only clean rugs, inspect them regularly, and let them air out every once in a while so that moths don't have a chance to make a meal of your beloved wool rug.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Fine Antique Persian Rug Restoration Project

Over the years, I have been asked many times to explain what makes a rug one of high quality, or "fine."  While there is no one dispositive factor, a significant factor is often the tightness of a rug's weave, and if it is knotted, the knot count per square inch.  Generally, the higher knot count per square inch, the finer the rug, and often, the more expensive it is.  Repairing and restoring fine rugs properly requires that the restored area match the original rug's motifs, colors, and fineness.  It would look jarring to have a poorly knotted area in an otherwise exceptionally knotted rug.  The rug above is a beautiful antique Persian rug that needed restoration in several areas.   It is a challenge to work on such rugs, but one that can be extremely enjoyable, particularly when the results are harmonious with the rest of the rug.  Fine antique rug restoration is time consuming and skill intensive, but will extend the life of a beautiful rug for decades and even generations.  In a small, but tangible, way, it is one way of preserving the past for our future.