Sunday, February 17, 2013

Turkmen Bokhara Rug Repair - in process

The first step in reknotting a hole in handknotted pile is to recreate the warp on which the pile rests.  

The warp is woven into uncompromised pile at a short distance from the hole.  The horizontal strands, pictured above, made of cotton, are the recreated warp.  

After the warp is recreated, the weft must be recreated (the vertical strands pictured above).  Together the warp and weft form a grid-like structure which will ensure that the pile, once reknotted, will last as long as the rug itself.  Note that this kind of handknotted rug repair is a very different approach from the quick-fix patching repair approach.  The patching approach involves simply patching in sections of other rugs into a hole.  Patching is a temporary fix at best because patches are only sewn into a rug, not rewoven into the pile.  .

After the warp and weft are recreated, it is time to start reknotting the pile.  The longer blue, red, and white yarn strands in the bottom right hand corner are the beginning of the knotting process.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Turkmen Bokhara Rug Repair - before pictures

One of our recent rug restoration projects was on a Turkmen Bokhara rug.  Bokhara rugs are handknotted in various regions, including in areas in Turkmenistan, Uzbekhistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.  Arguably, the highest quality Bokhara rugs are woven in present day Turkmenistan and Uzbekhistan.  Bokhara rugs are predominantly red in color and feature a recurring motif known as "gul," which in Turkish means "rose."  
This Bokhara rug (sometimes spelled Bukara or Bukhara) was in fine condition with only one area damaged.  The damage was caused by a household pet.  The picture above shows the damage from the front side of the rug; the picture below shows the same damaged area from the back side of the rug.  In days that follow, we will share the step-by-step process of our repair of this beautiful Bokhara rug.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oriental rug's fringes repaired - final result

As some of you will remember, I last left you in the middle of repairing fringes that had been chewed off by a client's hungry puppy.  We stretched new warp onto a loom taking care to stretch it far into the field of the rug.  To complete the repair, we knotted the missing pile, bound the edges, and put in decorative knots along the edge of the fringe and the pile, as seen below.

Pictured below is the front of the repaired fringes - I hope these are less appetizing, but equally beautiful.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Repairing damaged fringes on an Oriental rug - mid process

After our client's puppy had a rug's fringes for a post-dinner snack, our first task in this Oriental rug fringe repair was to remove all the compromised fringes and prepare to repair the damaged pile and fringes.   As the pictures above and below show, we inserted a series of cotton warp strings into the rug and then nailed them onto a board.  The warp will be the base upon which we will knot the damaged pile.  The end of the warp will be the fringes - a decorative, but also very important part of an Oriental rug's structure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oriental rug fringe repair - before pictures

While pretty much everyone agrees that a new puppy brings nothing but joy to a home, every once in a while, a new (or sometimes not so new) puppy decides to chew on your new (or sometimes not so new) Oriental rug.  This is what happened to the owner of the Persian rug pictured here.  As you can see, the puppy was fascinated by the Persian rug's border motifs and cotton fringe in particular.  A fringe is the most vulnerable part of a rug and is absolutely critical to preserving the integrity of the handknotted pile which forms the various motifs of the rug.  Left as is and unrepaired, the damage shown here would eventually start to worsen and the entire edge of the rug could come undone.  It is for this reason that I always recommend to have any compromised fringes on an Oriental rug repaired as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Silk rug cleaning and strength

Contrary to popular perceptions, silk is not a delicate material.  In fact, silk rugs are very durable and can withstand much of what a home can bring it.  Professional silk rug cleaning, however, does present numerous challenges.  Many silk rugs are prone to dye run, that is, the colors of a silk rug may bleed into adjacent colors thereby ruining the beautiful intricate motifs common in silk rugs.  It is therefore imperative that a professional rug cleaning begin with a spot check to test the color-fastness of the dyes.  While this will not eliminate the risk of color run altogether, it will certainly minimize the risk.  With the proper care and occasional professional cleaning, silk rugs, like wool rugs, can last for generations.  The fineness of the silk fibers belie the fact that silk is undoubtedly a strong material, beautiful in its durability and seemingly delicate nature.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Persian kilim restoration - in process and final result

We left you with a "before" - actually a "just started" picture of a recent Persian kilim repair we did.  

We first recreated the warp which acts as the "backbone" of the kilim.

Next, as shown in the picture above, we started reweaving the weft and recreating the motifs as they once were - note the completion of the star motif outlined in blue.

And, lastly, above is a picture of the completed repair.  We always strive to blend in the repaired or restored area to the original kilim as much as possible.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Restoring a Persian Kilim

This lovely Persian kilim was in great need of repair to various damaged areas, including to a hole in the center field of the kilim.  The picture above shows the missing warp and weft of a section of the kilim just as we started restoring the missing warp (see the white horizontal threads right beneath the hole).  As you can see in the picture, reweaving the section required finishing the orange motif as well as the beige motif and outlining each with blue.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nepalese silk rug repair - Final Result

Our silk rug repair required us to first rebuild the warp to replace the missing corner section.  We then reknotted and rebuilt the weft.  We used silk to match the original materials used.  Working with silk is always a challenge - not only because of the intrinsic fineness of the material, but also because silk - and therefore silk rugs - have a tendency to reflect light in a particular way.  Our goal was to ensure that the our newly knotted section reflected light consistent with the original rug.  Below is a picture of our completed silk rug repair.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nepalese silk rug repair

The silk rug pictured below was handknotted in Nepal.  It is a modern piece suitable to many tastes, including that of puppies which apparently took a bite out of the corner as seen below.

Below is an image of the missing and damaged corner of this silk Nepalese rug.  The repair project included reknotting the missing areas, replacing the missing warp and weft, and binding the selvage and fringes.  

The silk rug is monochromatic, although as with all silk rugs, the colors look different depending on whether you view the rug along the pile or against it.  Stay tuned for the results of our Nepalese silk rug repair.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Antique Persian Rug Restoration - Final Result

In an earlier post, we shared images of a beautiful antique Persian rug that was in desperate need of restoration.  As shown above, the rug had been cut in half and had to be joined and reknotted in various different areas.  In addition, the edges had to be reinforced to prevent unraveling or further damage to the rug.

Here is a picture of the joined pieces after we reknotted all of the compromised areas.  Below is a picture of the restored Persian rug.

Below, is a close up of the area where the rug had been cut in two.  As with all of our professional rug restoration work, we hope the result is that our client will enjoy this beautiful Persian carpet for many years to come.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Flooded rugs

While some losses caused by superstorm Sandy can never be replaced, many communities on the East Coast are coming together and slowly rebuilding.   With respect to the damage caused to peoples' rugs and kilims damaged by flood waters, we have recommended that all our clients resist the temptation to roll up their damaged rugs and wait to have them cleaned.  Our suggestion is for all affected to leave their rugs to lie flat and have them professionally cleaned as soon as possible.  A rug's colors can run when there is a flood, as is shown in the pictures below.  However, with a proper cleaning and some stain amelioration, flooded rugs can be restored.  Our best wishes to all our neighbors who were affected by superstorm Sandy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Antique Persian Rug Restoration - in progress

We made rejoining the two halves of this fine antique rug the first step in our Persian rug restoration.  This required recreating and joining the warp from each side of the halves and reknotting the pile in the "seam" area.

Of course, sewing the two pieces together is an option for repair, but it is not an option for an authentic restoration.  When working with an antique rug of this quality, we always recommend clients do a proper rug restoration to bring back the rug to the way it was when it was originally hand knotted and to preserve it for generations to come.

This last picture above shows the Persian runner as one piece as it was knotted originally.  Of course, there remained a lot to do after this point in our restoration as the worn pile throughout the field of the rug clearly indicates.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Antique Persian Rug Restoration

Our rug restoration projects have been keeping us busy, and we've sadly taken a long break from blogging.  We intend to rectify that.  One of the recent projects we took on during our blogging hiatus was an antique Persian rug restoration.  The Persian rug, seen here, had extensive damage, including a clean tear along the middle.  Perhaps the two pieces of this runner were torn apart to be used in separate spaces, but the client, understandably, wanted to restore his beautiful Persian antique runner to its former glory.  The rug required extensive restoration, including joining the two pieces that had somehow been separated.

The restoration also required that we reweave extensive wear and several holes that had occurred over a century in the field of the Persian rug.

Below is another picture of the worn field of the antique Persian rug.

This was a fantastic challenge for us.  We will share our progress and results of this damaged, but beautiful, antique Persian rug in blogs to come.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Moroccan Berber Rug Repair - Result

Our Moroccan Berber rug repair project's final result is shown below.  The color of the yarns used in the repair closely match the original rug's color.  

A close up of the knotting process highlights the area that was affected.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Moroccan Berber Rug Repair - Mid Process

As I explained in my last post, we recently completed a professional cleaning and repair of a fantastic Moroccan Berber rug for a client.  Below is a picture of the hole in the center field of the Berber rug.  

The first step was to professionally clean the Berber rug.  Cleaning is important so as to ensure that the yarns used in the repair will match as much as possible the color of the cleaned rug.  In addition, it is preferable for a restorer to work on a cleaned rug free of dust particles that inevitably become embedded in the pile of a rug subject to foot traffic and normal ambient dust.  The next step, as seen below, was to recreate the missing warp (the vertical white fibers in the middle of the tent (triangle) motif).

After recreating the warp of the Berber rug, the next step was to recreate the weft (the horizontal strands pictured below).

Below is a picture of the reconstructed warp and weft from the back side of the Moroccan Berber rug.  The warp and weft is the structure upon which the knots are constructed.

Below is a picture of the reconstructed warp and weft from the front side.  The loose fibers surrounding the area are compromised knots that we removed before we started the knotting process.

The next step was to begin knotting the missing pile as seen in the picture below.  The process is a bit long, but the reward is well worth it.  At this stage, this Moroccan Berber rug restoration was almost complete and ready to return to what we hoped would be a very happy client who could enjoy it for years to come.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Moroccan Berber Rug Cleaning and Repair


We recently completed a Moroccan Berber rug cleaning and repair project.  Moroccan Berber rugs have enjoyed a recent increase in popularity due to their timeless design that seems to fit in with just about every style of decor - from the traditional aesthetic to the more modern.  This particular Moroccan Berber rug, as is typical with all Berber rugs, have minimal motifs, longer piles than their Persian and Turkish counterparts, and are infused with vibrant fantastic color.   After cleaning this Berber rug, we were asked to bind the fringes of the rug so as to prevent any unraveling as well as repairing and reknotting the hole pictured above that was in almost the very center of the rug.  To show the extent of the damage, we took pictures of both the front side of the damage (top picture) and the reverse side of the rug (bottom picture).