After we professionally cleaned this beautiful Oushak rug, we proceeded to start our repair project. We always work on handknotted rugs from the back. As you can see from the photo above, our task was to rebuild the damaged and missing warp. The warp is what forms, with the weft, the grid like structure on which the knotting can take place. It is like the back bone of a rug. The warp of this Oushak rug is cotton which is a very strong material that is often used for the warp and weft of hand knotted rugs. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
I thought it would be a great time to do another series of posts showing the before, during, and after of a recent restoration project we completed. This Oushak was damaged near the center of the rug. Some of the wool pile was missing and the warp and weft was damaged. The before picture above shows the area from the underside of the rug. It's a lovely Oushak with a beautiful delicate color palette of pinks, ivories, and golds. Stay tuned for more of this rug restoration progress in coming days.
--www.traditionalrugrepair.com Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
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I am often asked which is more difficult - hand knotted rug restoration or hand woven kilim restoration. As with many of these types of questions, the answer is: it depends. It is almost impossible to categorically say whether rug restoration or kilim restoration is more difficult, because so much depends on the individual rug or kilim. A good quality hand knotted Oriental rug will be just as big a challenge to restore or repair as a good quality hand woven kilim. A unique color yarn in an antique Persian rug will be just as difficult to match as a unique color yarn in an antique kilim. Each rug repair or restoration and kilim repair or restoration brings with it its unique challenges. The goal for me professionally is to try to meet the challenge and to enjoy the process.
Before I continue to the main question addressed in this post, I want to note something about terminology. Sometimes people refer to all hand knotted rugs as "Persian" rugs even if the rug is Turkish, Chinese, Indian, or even Central American. When the word Persian is used to describe rugs, the term is usually meant to refer to a type of construction (namely, that a rug is hand knotted) rather than a place of origin. But of course, many Persian rugs do indeed come from Iran. Terminology for rugs is actually quite imprecise so I thought that a small note would be helpful here. Similarly, the word "Oriental" is still commonly used to describe rugs and other artifacts. It, like the word Persian, is used to describe hand knotted rugs rather than a place of origin.
Now to address the question asked at the top of this post, namely, is it a problem if your Turkish rug (as the one photographed), Persian, or Oriental rug has uneven fringes? The answer is: it depends. Often, weavers will cut the rug off a loom in a somewhat imprecise way leaving a somewhat uneven fringe. In those instances, an uneven fringe is nothing to worry about. Other times, a section of the fringed area has been pulled or yanked by a vacuum, pet or something and in those instances it is not a problem unless you note the fringes are starting to come away from the rug. If that is the case, that means that the fringe is failing and the edge of rug is vulnerable to further damage. If the fringe is not coming away from the rug but is just a different length, it should not be a problem. Shorter fringe is only problematic if it fails to protect the edge of the rug. If the edge of the rug is vulnerable to damage, eventually the pile can start to come undone and rug restoration or rug repair will eventually be needed.
There is nothing like stepping onto a warm, shaggy, fabulously textured Moroccan rug on a cold winter day. Just looking at the long yarns of a gorgeous Moroccan Beni Ourain or other tribal rug is enough to warm up a space and give it wonderful textural depth. Moroccan rugs often have longer piles which just means that the weaver left the pile yarns longer during the shearing process (which occurs after the knotting is completed). Allowing for longer yarns is what allows rugs to have that shaggy look that is very much trending right now. The longer yarns are gorgeous but they do pose a particular risk to the longevity of the rug. Namely, the longer yarns provide more space for potential moth damage as a vacuuming or brushing will often not reach to the bottom of the pile and therefore allows for undisturbed moth infestation to occur. A close examination of the photos above show a beautiful Moroccan rug that has been damaged at the base of the pile by moths. The top photo shows the damaged area from the reverse side. Because this risk exists, it is highly recommended that owners of beautiful Moroccan rugs take care to regularly vacuum their rugs, regularly inspect their rugs carefully, and have their rugs professionally cleaned every two years. With these simple preventative measures, these gorgeous long piled Moroccan rugs can last for generations. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
You fall in love with a beautiful hand knotted Oriental rug on a trip or shopping excursion and bring it home and fall in love with it even more. After several weeks, months, or years, you start noticing little white dots that you could swear were not there before. Or perhaps you send a beloved wool rug to be professionally cleaned and when it is returned, you notice its pile is beautiful and lustrous once again but there are small white dots that you think were not there before. In both instances, you question if somehow you didn't notice these white dots before but that they must have been there. Sometimes you even panic slightly worried that the white dots are some kind of bug or insect that has infested your rug. You reassure yourself when you stare at the dots and confirm to yourself that they are not moving. You think. (Don't worry - they're not moving.). So what are these white dots that mysteriously appear after some time living with a hand knotted Persian or Oriental rug? Are they anything to worry about? The white dots are merely places where the warp strings have been tied when the rug was made. Sometimes the yarns used to create the warp are not long enough and so therefore the weaver ties yarns or strings together to extend the warp. Or sometimes a piece of yarn or string breaks during the construction of the warp and weft, and the weaver is forced to tie another piece to extend the newly shortened yarn. These white dots are nothing more than the place where that knotting and tying has occurred.
So if the white dots were created when the rug was originally made, why do the white dots seem to appear out of nowhere? The answer is a bit complicated. Sometimes what happens if that after a period of wear, the knotted pile begins to separate a bit to show the hidden warp and weft (with its white dots). Alternatively, sometimes weavers "color" in the white dots so that they can blend into the hand knotted pile. After a professional cleaning, the inks used to color in the white dots can fade away, and therefore the white dots can appear to come out of nowhere. If this happens with your rug, do not worry. The white dots are nothing to be afraid of - they indeed are not moving - and they do not indicate that there is anything wrong with the structure of your rug. If the white dots on your Oriental rug really bother you, contact a restorer who may be able to assist you in disguising them once again. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
What makes for a successful Oriental rug restoration? There are many elements involved. First, the right yarns - the right texture and shade will go a long way in making for a seemingly "invisible" restoration that blends into the original. Second, the proper set up - something that allows for the damaged area of the rug to be stretched out is also important. Next, a uniform and tight grid to work on (the foundational warp and weft) is critical. Lastly, a lot of time, patience, and skill. These last elements are important because a proper restoration is nothing without attention to detail. Getting the knotting right and following the pattern to recreate the missing motifs is important if the restoration will be successful. --
Anyone who owns a beautiful vintage rug, or has spent any time in a home with a lovely Persian rug that has been around for a few decades will know that there is nothing quite like having a gorgeous older rug serve as the foundation for a warm living space. Vintage rugs have just the right amount of muted colors and worn textures that can instantly transform a room. And as the old adage goes, many times they just don't make them like they used to. Therefore, in many cases, a vintage rug can be counted on to be of high quality. Even if a vintage rug has already been around for a few decades, generally it can still withstand another generation or two with just minimal care. Regular vacuuming and periodic professional cleaning is generally all that is needed. However, sometimes a vintage rug can start to get damaged - usually around the edges. Fringed edges especially succumb to aggressive vacuuming or hungry pets or kids who tug at the fringes and eventually can damage them. The top photo shows a small portion of a fringed edge that had been damaged. In order to properly restore this damaged area, we reconstructed new fringe and integrated the warp strings into the field of the rug. The bottom photo shows us in the process of restoring the fringed area. With any luck, this lovely vintage Persian rug will be able to withstand another few decades of love and wear. --
Peruse any design blog or magazine and you will find pages and pages of gorgeous white, cream, and ivory Moroccan rugs marked by minimal graphic designs in black and brown. These gorgeous Beni Ourain rugs, Berber rugs, and other Moroccan rugs immediately lend spaces a wonderful grounded and textural foundation that complements almost any style of decor. What is perhaps inevitable, however, is that these beautiful pale rugs will conspicuously show any accidental spill. As a result, we often get calls to address unfortunate stains on these knotted Moroccan beauties. The first step is to first professionally clean the rug in its entirety. We are sometimes asked to just remove a stain, but that is not possible as a water mark will result. There are some fortunate instances where a regular professional cleaning will remove a stain from a Moroccan rug. If an additional step is required, we treat the area to minimize the appearance of the stain, sometimes eliminating it altogether. While there is no guarantee for complete removal (for say, a red wine stain), our stain treatment can generally reduce the appearance of a stain significantly. The risk of staining these gorgeous rugs, however, should not deter anyone from living and enjoying these rugs in their home. In my opinion, any stain and imperfection will just add to the history of the rug, making it part of a home all the more. --
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