Friday, March 19, 2021

Restoring an Antique Turkish Rug

 




The old adage is an eternal truth - a stitch in time does indeed save nine.  And so we always recommend that a client have a small hole or tear restored as soon as they can.  But lives are busy and things get in the way, and inevitably we sometimes come across beautiful rugs that have large sections of pile that are completely missing, damaged, or torn.  These kinds of projects are quite time and skill intensive (and much more costly than repairing a small hole).  But they are challenging projects that are quite gratifying once done as we know a piece of history has been preserved for future generations. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Thursday, March 18, 2021

From the Desktop of an Antique Rug Restorer


This is one of my favorite views in the entire world.  And I am beyond grateful that it is of my own desktop.  I know that I am beyond blessed to love my work as much as I do.  I don't know what cosmic lottery I won to get to do what I love - to do for work what I would do anyway as a hobby.  But I remind myself every day that this is truly a gift.  Especially this year during what was such a challenging year for so many, I am grateful that I had this craft to turn to - to drown out all the worries.

It is hard to put into words what I love so much about restoring rugs.  Part of it is purely sensorial.  I love the different textures.  I love feeling the yarns between my fingers - the coarse wool, the smooth silk, the delicate antique yarns, the robust freshly dyed yarn.  I love seeing the vibrant electric colors of Moroccan rugs against the muted rich jewel tones of antique Persian rugs.  I even love the quiet hush of my hand rubbing against the knotted pile of a beautiful hand knotted rug.  I feel a deep sense of gratification as my work is slowly visually manifested into a pattern replacing a hole or a tear that had long ago compromised a beautiful piece.   And I feel a strange, but strong, connection to the weaver whom I will never meet, but whose work I hold in my hands for weeks, sometimes months.  I think about her life (because it is almost always a her) and wonder what her life was like, what she wanted to express in her art, what each placement of a motif meant to her.  I wonder if she meant to sell this rug - if she helped pay for something for her home with what she got for it, or if somehow this rug was meant for herself or her family and over the years, a grandchild sold it for something for his or her home.  It is almost always impossible to ever know, but I imagine all these scenarios through each knot and each loop.  And for hours, weeks, months, and years, this is what I do.  And it is among my life's greatest gifts. ---www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Final Stage of a Rug Restoration Project - Shearing Reknotted Sections

 


When a rug is knotted, or reknotted in the case of a rug restoration project, a weaver will use long yarns to knot wool motifs against a grid-like warp and weft.  The yarns have to be long-ish for a weaver to be able to manipulate them.  Because of their length, the knotted motifs close to the base of the rug are not always very clear to a weaver.  Only after the reknotting is done will a weaver cut the excess yarn down so that the pile is of a uniform (short) length.  The shearing can be done either with scissors or with a mechanical shearing tool shown above.  No matter how it is done, the shearing allows for the pattern to reveal itself more clearly.  This is a very enjoyable part of a restoration project as the shearing makes it look like the pattern somehow magically appears (and it also signifies the project is almost done!).  ---www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Moth Infested Rug Care

 


There is nothing appetizing about this photo, unless you're a moth.  We've witnessed the incredible destructive power of moths over the years, but photos like this still astound me just by the immense power that tiny moths can exert over beautiful wool rugs.  One look at this photo will stun most people into wanting to do what is necessary so that their rugs avoid such a fate.  The good news is that it is relatively simple to do.  First, a regular cleaning schedule is necessary.  This includes regular vacuuming - once a week or even once every two weeks depending on how trafficked the area is where the rug is located.  This also includes periodic professional cleaning - once every two or three years depending on how trafficked the area is where the rug is located.  Next, regular periodic inspections are recommended.  An inspection can take just a few minutes to look over the rug to be sure that no moths are present, and no damage is starting to ensue such as near the fringes.  Regular inspections should coincide with a rotation of the rug so that any wear or sun exposure is even distributed.  These small steps are enough to having your beautiful rug avoid a fate similar to the photographed rug. --