Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beware of Moth Season

Today's post is a precautionary tale.  We are not the only ones who like the longer days, warm temperatures, and sunny weather.  Moths love warm conditions and this is the season to be especially vigilant with respect to our woolen goods, including our cherished wool rugs and kilims.  The kilim pictured above shows clear traces of moth infestation.  Sometimes the moth infestation is more severe or less severe.   Be careful with moths.  They will literally eat your woolen goods.  And although repairing and/or restoring a moth damaged wool kilim rug, dhurrie, or kilim is always possible, the best route would be not to have them damaged at all.  Some steps you can take:  never store woolen goods in plastic, dark, humid, or enclosed spaces; inspect your wool rugs and kilims periodically; expose your wool rug or kilim to the sun; keep wool kilims or rugs in well ventilated areas; never place wool rugs or kilims in areas known to be infested with moths. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Turkmen Rug Repair


Damage to the edge of a rug's border or side cord is a common problem we are asked to repair.  These areas are particularly vulnerable to damage because of pet bites, heavy furniture being moved on the rug, chair legs being dragged on and tearing the rug, or other similar trauma to the area.  The Turkmen rug (or Turkoman rug) pictured above was in fine condition with the exception of the damaged edge.  We repaired the compromise warp, reknotted the pile, and reconstructed the side selvage.  The bottom picture shows the results of our repair. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rug Fringe Repair

Repairing fringe damage is one of the most common forms of care that we provide.  Fringes are particularly vulnerable to damage - whether through aggressive vacuuming, the pulling of heavy furniture, or just ordinary wear.   As is often the case, the sooner that we can repair and/or restore a damaged fringe, the easier the repair will be.  The series of photos below illustrate a recent repair we did for a client.  In the first picture, the small damaged area is visible.  Not only was the fringe compromised, but part of the pile was also damaged and missing.  As the pictures illustrate, we rebuilt the warp and reknotted the missing pile.  Finally, we bound the fringe so as to minimize the risk of unraveling.




Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Repaired Kilim Chewed by Dog

After cleaning the kilim, we rebuilt the warp and rewove the missing sections.  We took care to reconstruct the embroidered motifs (the purple and green motifs were particularly damaged).  We removed the binding of the fringe (the white line along the fringe visible in the "before" picture) while we rewove and repaired the damage area.   After we took the picture above, we rewove the binding so as to minimize the risk of future unraveling.  In addition, we cut some of the fringe so that it measured approximately the same as the original fringe.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dog Chewed Kilim Rug


A dog chewed this Turkish kilim rug shortly after my clients placed it down in their home after buying the kilim in Turkey while on vacation.  Our client's dog (who is very sweet!) damaged a part of the selvage, edge, and fringe of the kilim.  Nothing without remedy, of course, and we are happy that both our clients and their dog have very nice taste indeed. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Navajo Rug Repair



Above is a picture of the completed Navajo rug repair.  We rewove the compromised warp and weft and bound the edges so as to minimize the risk of future unraveling.  Below is a picture of the complete Navajo rug.  Note the beautiful pale colors form a calm yet powerful motif.  It is a truly beautiful example of Navajo weaving. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Navajo Rug Repair

The picture above is of a Navajo rug (technically, a Navajo flat weave) in need of repair.  Corners of rugs and flat weaves are always particularly vulnerable to damage, particularly because of traffic patterns, aggressive vacuuming, and the occasional hungry pet.  We were fortunate to get this piece entrusted to us relatively soon before further damage and unraveling occurred.  Often what may seem like a minor damage to a corner can compromise both the warp and weft of a flat weave.   Navajo rug repairs and restoration projects usually require different yarns than Persian and Turkish pieces.  Navajo rugs are usually woven with thicker yarns than their Middle Eastern counterparts.  Much of the technique is the same, however, and the result equally as beautiful.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Persian Rug Repair


Above is the result of our recent Persian rug fringe repair.  We rebuilt the warp that was completely missing (and which comprises the fringe).  After doing so, we reknotted the missing pile.  We took care to match the color of the original pile so as not to make the repair stand out and so that it would blend as much as possible.  The final step was to bind the fringe so as to minimize the risk of unraveling  With due care, this fine Persian rug will last for at least a few more generations.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Monday, January 2, 2012

Persian Rug Repair


We recently repaired a lovely Persian rug that was in fine condition with the exception of an edge that was damaged.  With rug damage like this, we advise our clients to avoid the easier and quicker solution of sewing in a patch from a Persian rug with similar colors.  While this solution may seem like an easy quick fix (and correspondingly, a seemingly less expensive option for a Persian rug repair), it is only temporary.  More often than not, when a patch is sewn into another handmade Persian rug, the patch will eventually separate from the rug.  A true repair will involve recreating any missing warp and weft and reknotting the pile onto the Persian rug itself.  This is virtually a permanent solution that will not require redoing at least for our lifetimes except in the very unlikely event of some extraordinary pressure on the rug (as in a hungry puppy or the like).  -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com   

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When a Flood Causes the Colors in Your Oriental Rug to Run



The rug pictured above was left in sitting water due to a flood in our client's home.  The sitting water caused some of the dyes to run, or bleed, into surrounding fields.  Color run amelioration, while not completely perfect, can remove evidence of some of the color run.  The picture below shows the same rug after the color run amelioration process.   When the color run is less apparent, a traditional and time-honored home remedy may be the preferred method - that is,  allowing the sun to mute the color run often is the only remedy needed. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Savonnerie Rug Repair



Like Aubusson rugs, Savonnerie rugs originated in France.  Savonnerie rugs are hand knotted pile rugs most typically with floral, medallion, and flowing motifs (different from Aubusson rugs that are hand woven flat weaves).  As with other hand knotted rugs, Savonnerie rugs can be restored and / or repaired to remediate damage to the selvage (as in the case of the Savonnerie carpet pictured above).   It is extremely difficult to come across an authentic Savonnerie rug, but those collectors lucky enough to possess one have a rare privilege and hand knotted treasure. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aubusson Rug Repair



Aubusson rugs are handwoven usually with floral and flowing motifs.  The Aubusson motifs and designs  are among the most significant rug designs to originate in Europe.  The picture above is an example of a fine Aubusson rug that from age and wear is in need of repair.  In certain sections, the warp and weft which comprise the structure of the Aubusson are in need of replacement and, in other sections,  reinforcement.  One of the great challenges when restoring Aubusson rugs of this quality is to source fine muted pastel yarns to match the original Aubusson rug.  When done properly, a restored Aubusson will retain the same elegance and fineness as the original.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Repairing Missing Fringes By Hand

The first step when rebuilding a severely damaged fringe is to mount the rug on a fixed base, such as a wood board.  Then it is necessary to stretch the rug, match the fiber of the warp (in this case, cotton), and start interweaving new warp approximately 4 inches above the edge of the rug.  It is a labor intensive process, but ensures that the fringe will become part of the rug itself and not merely attached to an edge (as in the case of sewing on machine-made fringes).  Below is a proper fringe restoration in process:


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Machine-Made Fringes on an Oriental Rug - An Easy Fix?



Many of my clients seek out our services to repair rug fringes that have either unraveled, been shortened somehow, or suffered some pressure (such as a hungry puppy or vacuum) that has caused them to rip or shorten.  From time to time, we have encountered rugs that were "repaired" using machine-made fringes.  These machine-made fringes have the advantage of being very uniform (i.e., all the same exact length) and are very quick to sew on.  However, as the picture above shows, the fringes are sewn on and not integrated into the structure of the rug, making it very likely that they will come off quite easily.  In essence, they are a "quick fix."  They make a rug appear as if it is undamaged; but in reality the pile underneath is still vulnerable to damage (and the risk for the knotting being compromised is quite high).  As with most things, the only way to repair and/or restore a rug's fringes is to avoid the quick fix and opt for the most comprehensive repair - to rebuild the fringes by hand.  In my next post, I will show how that is done. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spotting Moth Infestation and Damage in Your Rugs

It is hard to underestimate how dangerous moths can be to our wool rugs.  Below are a picture and video (apologies for the ick factor of the latter) of just how extensive the damage can be if moths are allowed to attack a rug undisturbed.  This particular rug in question belonged to someone who most likely picked the rug up off the floor (without being professionally cleaned first), rolled it up, and stored it away for a while (undisturbed and quite likely in a dark enclosed and humid environment like a closet or basement).  Within a few months, the moths had devoured entire sections of the wool rug.  In my opinion, without considering any sentimental value this rug may have to an owner, it is not worth repairing this rug.  Had the moth infestation been spotted earlier, repairing the rug would have been much more feasible.  Do periodic inspections of any rugs you store for any extended period of time and look for any signs similar to those in the video below.  At the first sign of any moths, have your rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible.  It will be well worth it and may save your rug from further damage. -www.traditionalrugrepair.com

















Monday, August 8, 2011

Missing and Short Fringes on a Oriental Rug

As my most recent posts have been about rug fringes and how to repair damaged rug fringes, I thought I'd share a picture of fringe damage that could have been prevented.  As you will see from the picture below, this rug's fringes in some areas is completely missing while in other areas, the fringes are extremely short.  While it is impossible to know what exactly caused this damage, it is most likely a combination of factors, which include a very aggressive vacuum and perhaps a rambunctious puppy or two.  Damage to the fringes of this rug could have been prevented from proceeding to this stage by taking care not to pull at the fringes during routine use and cleaning, and professionally binding the fringes to prevent further loss at an early stage when damage first began to be noticeable.  Not all is lost for this rug, however.  Thankfully, a prudent weaver wove a small flat woven section at the end of the pile and it is this flat weaving that saved the pile itself from being compromised. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to bind unraveling fringes when the fringes are very short


We recently got a question from one of our readers, Dave Wagner, inquiring how to bind fringes to prevent further unraveling when the fringes are already quite short, most often by years of wear and tear.  In these instances, I use cotton in between every few knots along the edge of the rug as shown in the picture below:
 


On the front side of the rug, the cotton thread disappears into the pile, but on the reverse the binding is more evident as the picture illustrates.  This binding technique is very effective, but as usual, clients must take care not to vacuum fringes or pull the binding out so as not to leave fringes vulnerable to damage. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to Protect a Rug's Fringes


One of the most common problem areas on rugs are the fringes, which are essentially extra warp fibers.  Most of the rug restoration work that I do is due to compromised fringes.  A simple preventative measure that many people can, but often fail to do is to bind the fringes so as to prevent any future unraveling.  Fringe binding is a bit time consuming, but is much less time consuming and certainly less costly than any restoration due to an unraveled fringe and field.  Binding should be done before any damage to the border of the rug. And, as a bonus, fringe binding often can give a rug a nice outline adding to, rather than taking away from, the rug's existing beauty. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Missing or Damaged Fringes in a Handmade Carpet


Repairing and fixing worn edges of a carpet is significantly easier if the carpet's fringes are still intact.  The carpet above has a common form of fringe damage - notice how much shorter the fringes are on the right side of the picture compared to the left side.  In situations like these, I always recommend clients to have a professional restorer bind the fringes so as to prevent the actual pile from being damaged.  Repairing fringes and binding fringes is much easier (and therefore less time consuming, and less expensive) than having to repair holes along the edges of the carpet pile.   I'm not sure what exactly caused the fringes of this carpet to become so shortened - I suspect that perhaps a careless vacuum cleaning may have been the culprit.  But sometimes it's just time and normal wear and tear that lead to damaged and missing fringes.  Regardless of the cause, if you notice that your rug's fringes are very short in one area and dangerously close to leaving an edge almost fringe-less, take your piece to a restorer who can help you prevent further damage to your handmade carpet.

www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Completed hand hooked rug repair and cleaning

Repairing this wonderful hand-hooked rug was a great and fun challenge.  The beautiful abrash (variations in color) and texture of the yarns used to make the hand hooked carpet made this a fantastic repair project to work on.  We tried to keep the repair consistent with the original rug by using yarns that had varying levels of color saturation (see, for example, the original rug's black background where the abrash is clearly evident).  A great project to work on! Here are the after and before pictures of this hand hooked rug repair.--www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hand hooked rug cleaning and repair


Hand hooked rug cleaning and repair projects are among my favorite.  Above is a picture of one such hand hooked rug I recently worked on.  The round motifs lend the rug a fun, almost 1960s feel, but the black background give it a rich, nuanced, almost luxurious feel.  The solid colored motifs also allow the fantastic abrash (the color variations in the yarn) to shine through proving yet once again that nothing beats hand made rugs - whether they're hand knotted, hand woven, or hand hooked - handmade rugs are all works of art. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Longer Unraveling - Repaired Edges of Persian Rug


So, after a short diversion, I am sharing now the final result of a recent Persian rug restoration.  As you can see from the photo below, the edge was coming undone and without due care, would have caused the motif of the rug to start unraveling.  When repairing the edge, I tried to maintain the nuanced color change in the original edge (if you look closely, the edge closest to the cotton is a slightly lighter shade of rose / orange than the color above the blue border.)  A small, but rich detail that makes this piece lovely to look at. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kilim Cleaning


Kilim cleaning differs somewhat from rug and carpet cleaning.  Because kilims do not have pile, there usually is no beating required.  Still, it's important to make sure that any dust particles wedged between the fibers of the warp and weft are extracted.  If dust particles are left between fibers for too long, eventually they will damage the fibers weakening the kilim and making it vulnerable to tears or similar damage.  When removing embedded dust and other particles, one must always take care not to damage kilims as they are generally more delicate than their pile counterparts.  Above is a picture of a traditional kilim being professionally cleaned.  The most challenging part of this part of the process is minimizing the risk of color run.  With periodic professional cleaning of kilims, they can last a lifetime - indeed, maybe several lifetimes. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Persian Rug Repair - Edges Unraveling


The entire edge of this Persian rug was damaged by wear, tear, and it turns out, the occasional rambunctious puppy.  My task was to stop the unraveling and repair the edges.  First task was to professionally clean the rug and then work on matching yarns.  No easy task as this burnt orange has always posed a challenge to professional rug restorers ... --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Turkish Rug Repair- Final Result




One of my new year's resolutions is to be better at updating this blog and share more of my kilim and rug restoration projects.  The last one I wrote about was a tear in a Turkish rug (the bottom picture shows the "before" image).  The top picture shows the result of the rug restoration after I recreated the weft and reknotted the pile.  I'm happy to say that the final result turned out quite nicely and my client was quite pleased.  She even had trouble spotting the restoration.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Repairing a Hole in a Turkish Carpet - Before Picture


This beautiful large rug was damaged near its central medallion.  As you can see, an entire section of the rug was missing, including the pile, warp, and weft.  After cleaning the rug to remove the dirt embedded within the fibers of the pile, finding suitable yarns for the restoration, this rug is ready to be brought to its original glory.  Stay tuned!  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How To Recognize Moth Damage in Your Handmade Rugs and Kilims


Moths present one of the most damaging, persistent, and costly dangers that exist for any woolen textiles, including, of course, rugs and kilims.  One of the most important pieces of advice I have for any client who is concerned about preserving their handmade rugs is that she or he make a habit of examining their rugs and kilims at least once every six months to make sure that moths have not been feeding on them.  Above is a picture of a carpet that has been eaten by moths.  Note how moth damage resembles a carving out of part of the pile of the rug.  Obviously, the longer you allow moths to feed on your rugs, the larger the "carvings" will be.  If you notice similar damage to your rugs, I highly recommend (1) immediately separating the rug from all other woolen rugs, kilims, and other woolen textiles; and (2) consulting a professional rug cleaner to remove all moths and/or moth larvae.  And while there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of moth damage, taking simple precautions can go a long way - periodically professionally cleaning your rugs and making a habit of looking for signs of moths at least every six months or so can help guard against what could be a sad and costly discovery of moth damage to a beautiful handmade rug -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moroccan kilim restoration - repaired edges

I took a break from blogging, but have been busy on various kilim and rug repair and restoration projects!  I'll share a few with you in the coming days, but wanted to share the final result of the repaired selvedge (selvage) of the beautiful Moroccan kilim I worked on.  Note how the binding of the selvage matches the color of the weft and warp in the various horizontal sections.  Now that the selvage is repaired, the kilim will not unravel and can be used for a few more decades without worry.  -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Moroccan kilim restoration - edges unraveling


The beautiful Moroccan kilim I recently blogged about had numerous problem areas, including a compromised selvage (selvedge).  As you see from the picture above, it was necessary to bind the edges of this kilim to prevent any (further) unraveling.   It is important to have these kinds of repairs / restoration of your rugs and kilims done as soon as possible to prevent the damage from getting more extensive.  As the old adage goes, a stitch in time ... --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Moroccan kilim restoration - after picture


A few days ago I posted "before" pictures of just one isolated area of my recent Moroccan kilim restoration.   As is usually the case with many of our restoration projects, we began the restoration process with a thorough professional kilim cleaning.  Generally, a professional rug or kilim cleaning is recommended before any repair or restoration can be done because the yarns used in the repair or restoration should match the clean yarns of the kilim and/or rug (ie, the yarns used in the repair should not match the dirty yarns of a dirty kilim / rug).  If you wait to do the rug or kilim cleaning until after the repair or restoration, the yarns used in the repair and restoration will seem very dull compared to the yarns of the cleaned kilim.  After the cleaning, we rewove the torn areas and bound the selvages (selvedges).  The picture above is the final result.   This kilim had many problem areas but I'll leave those for another day as I need to get back to a few other rug repairs that have been keeping me busy.  More to come soon ... -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Moroccan kilim restoration - before pictures





I've always enjoyed repairing and restoring Moroccan kilims and rugs.  Their earthy colors and textures are indeed quite beautiful and evoke images of their desert landscape origins.  My most recent Moroccan kilim restoration was on a piece that had a whole range of problems - from worn and torn selvages (selvedges), to tears, unraveling, compromised fringes, and missing warps and wefts.  The pictures above and below focus on just one of the many problem areas this Moroccan kilim had - as you can see, the selvage was torn and the kilim needed reweaving.  In my next post, I'll share how I repaired this problem by reweaving the compromised warps and wefts and securing the selvage. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Turkish Rug Repair - Final Result



Our latest Turkish rug repair is complete.  Above is the before picture.  Below is the final result of the rug repair.  The longer yarns of the repair have been cut and the repaired area now blends into the original knotting.  Stay tuned for our next project! -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turkish Rug Repair - Mid Process - Reknotting


The next step of the Turkish rug repair is complete.  The reknotting is complete.  As you'll see, the yarns of the repaired area are still longer than the rest of the rug.  The only thing left to do is shear down the yarns and the rug repair will be complete.  Stay tuned for the final result of this repair! --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Turkish Rug Repair - Mid Process - Rebuilding Warp




The Turkish rug repair has progressed nicely.  I found matching yarns, rebuilt the warp, and am ready to start reknotting the torn area near the selvage.  The reknotting should not be very difficult as the knots in the rug are not very tight.  Once I reknot the torn area, the warp will not be visible.  The warp is there to provide a foundation for the knotting.  Stay tuned for the completion of this rug repair!  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Turkish Rug Repair - Reknotting Torn Area - Before Pictures



This is a Turkish rug that was torn near its edge.  The client doesn't know how the damage was done, but I suspect that it was due to a piece of heavy furniture being dragged on a spot where the fibers had been compromised.  The selvage itself is intact, but the knotting, warp, and weft are completely missing in a section about 2" x 2".  The rug cleaning has been done, the yarns have been located, so it's now time to start the rug repair.  Stay tuned for the progress!  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com