Thursday, September 26, 2013

Turkish Konya Kilim Repair

Various rug and kilim restoration projects have been keeping us busy and have prevented us from blogging more regularly.  One such recent project was repairing this lovely Konya Turkish handwoven kilim that had several damaged areas, including a significant tear along one of its fringe areas.  This Konya kilim has a very fine weaving density, and its beautiful hues of blues, reds, and ivories are a testament to just how more beautiful colors can become with the passage of time.  To repair this torn area, we had to reconstruct the warp and weft using materials that would blend into the older yarns.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Antique Soumak Repair - Final

After rebuilding the warp and weft, we then rewove the missing motifs in yarns that nearly matched the original colors exactly.  Above is a picture of the rewoven area (as a final step, we removed the excess warp (the white loose thread)).  As a reminder, the picture below is the same area before our restoration work.  This Soumak restoration was a pleasure to work on - the piece is so vibrant and lovely, we hope its owner will enjoy it for many years to come.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Antique Soumak Repair- Process

The first step we took on our recent project was to professionally clean this Soumak rug.  Generally, it is always advisable to clean a rug before undertaking any rug repair or restoration.  After the cleaning, we removed all the damaged and compromised yarns surrounding the affected area.  Next, we rebuilt the warp and weft, the grid-like structure in white pictured above.  With the warp and weft in place, the next step is to outline with a pencil the shape of the motifs that must be woven.  The next step, which we will highlight in our next post, will be to weave the motifs in colored yarns that will match the original yarns as close as possible.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Antique Soumak Repair - Before

Pictured above is an exquisite antique Caucasian Soumak that we recently repaired.  This piece was a pleasure to work on.  The weaving of this Soumak is beautiful, and the colors are vibrant, sharp, and wonderfully rich - because of (not despite of) being exposed to over a century of sunlight, family life, and all else that 100 + years brings.  Soumaks, in general, are wonderful examples of traditional weavings; they are different from hand knotted pieces that have a pile, and different from the flat woven kilims.  As you will see from the picture above, Soumaks resemble what I think of as carved art, with each motif seemingly "outlined" or carved into the piece itself.  They are truly special and always a joy to look at and study.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - Final Steps and Result

After knotting the damaged and compromised pile, the picture above shows what the repaired area looked like from the reverse side of the rug.

Once we removed the rug from its temporary loom, our Afghan rug repair was almost complete.

The only remaining step was to trim the fringe to the same length as that of the original Afghan rug.

And, finally, pictured above is the final result of our Afghan rug repair.  As a reminder, the picture below is a close-up of what the area looked like before our repair.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - in progress

As our last post showed, this Afghan rug's fringe was chewed by a puppy, causing damage not only to the fringe, but also to a section of the knotted pile.

Our first step in the Afghan rug repair was to eliminate all of the damaged fibers and then rebuilding the  compromised and missing cotton warp (the white vertical strands pictured above from the backside of the rug).

Above is a picture of the recreated and extended warp affixed to a temporary wooden loom.

Next, we rebuilt the weft, the horizontal strands that complete the grid like structure pictured above.

After completing the grid like base of the warp and weft, the next step in our Afghan rug restoration was to reknot the missing pile.  Matching the yarns to the original rug was a challenge, as the colors of the rug when viewed from one side look very light, but when viewed from the opposite side, the colors seem darker.  Many rugs have a similar color variation, but this variation is much more pronounced in some Afghan rugs, such as this one.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - Before

As many owners of fine rugs and kilims know, they are extremely durable and can last for decades with   just minimal care.  The most vulnerable areas of a handmade rug are its edges - both the fringes and selvages.  The edges are generally subjected to the most significant wear and tear, aggressive vacuuming, and, in this rug's case, the hungriest of puppies.  The puppy here managed to rip away the fringe's binding and pull out the knots of a portion of the pile.  Some of the cotton warp was ripped out as well.   In our next post, we will detail how we repaired the damage to this hand knotted Afghan rug caused by a puppy's appetite.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Antique Chinese Rug Restoration - Final

So after professionally cleaning this antique Chinese rug, removing all the compromised knots and other fibers, recreating the warp and weft, sourcing yarns that matched the original colors, and reknotting all damaged and compromised pile, our antique Chinese rug restoration is complete.  Above is a picture of the front side of the restored area.  Below is the same area seen from the underside.

And just as a reminder, below is a picture of the damaged area before our antique rug restoration.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Antique Chinese Carpet Restoration - in progress

The next step in our antique Chinese rug restoration entailed us recreating the damaged warp, the white vertical strands in the picture above.

The next step was to recreate the warp, the horizontal strands pictured above, to complete the "grid" upon which the knotting will rest.

The next step is the knotting, pictured above.  The longer yarns are the new yarns we sourced to match the original antique rug's colors.  When a piece is antique, it is critical to use yarns that are not too bold so that the restored section will better blend into the original rug.

The shaggy appearance of the newly knotted pile will be cut down to match the height of the rest of the rug once the knotting is completed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Antique Chinese Rug Restoration

One of our recent projects was on a traditional antique Chinese rug that was in need of restoration and repair along the selvage and center field.  Finding the right yarns was quite the challenge - the vibrant, dynamic, and rich colors of this beautiful Chinese rug belie the years it has given pleasure to its owners.  Seen from front and back, you can see the damage was most likely caused by continuous stress along the same point on the selvage.  After professionally cleaning the antique rug, finding the yarns, our next step was to recreate the warp, weft, and missing pile.  In our next post, we will highlight these latter steps. --

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What to do if you spot moths in your handmade rugs or carpets

Few things threaten a handmade rug or carpet like moths.  Normally, with just a minimal amount of care, a handmade rug or carpet can last generations.  But if moths attack a rug, they can cause extensive - and, often, expensive - damage.   What should you do if you spot moths on your rug?

First, it's important to know what to look for.  Pictured above and below are pictures of moths doing what they do best - feasting on wool.

The white, almost glue-like, spots are a live moth infestation.

In this instance, moths moved from eating the rug to eating the pad (or it could have been the other way around).

In the rug below, the moths attacked the edge of the rug, eating their way through entire sections of pile.

Note how the moths appear on the floorboards beneath the rug.

After you identify that you have a moth problem, it is important to isolate any affected woolen products, including your rugs and kilims.  Do not put any affected woolen products next to your moth-free rugs (or other woolen goods).  

Next, you should have your rugs professionally cleaned as soon as possible to eliminate the moth infestation from your rugs before any other damage can ensue.  Be careful to choose a service provider that specializes in cleaning handmade carpets and kilims.  Do not allow any service provider to steam clean your handmade rugs.

In addition, you should mop all floors thoroughly to eliminate moths.  If the infestation is extensive, it might be necessary to engage professional cleaning and/or extermination services for your home.  --

Monday, May 27, 2013

Repairing a Turkish Kilim - Final Result

After professionally cleaning this Turkish kilim, we attached small wooden frames on the sections needing to be repaired and rewoven.  Next, we wove in warp, the vertical white strands pictured below.

Next, using yarns that match the original colors of the kilim, we rewove the missing motifs following the original design.  Below is a picture of the weaving in progress.

Finally, pictured below is our latest Turkish kilim repair.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Repairing a Turkish Kilim

Our latest kilim repair and restoration project was on a handwoven kilim from Kayseri, a city in central Anatolia, Turkey.  The kilim is made of fine hand-spun wool, and exhibits the fabulous and perhaps surprisingly harmonious vibrant color combination of red, orange, black, blue, and white, among others.  As with most other large projects, we first professionally clean the kilim before commencing any repair or restoration.  Next, we stretch out the kilim and focus on repairing the holes and compromised section, one of which is pictured above and below.  --

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My New Rya Rug

One of the aspects I love about rugs is that they can be so versatile and vibrant.  I recently purchased this Scandinavian Rya rug for its fantastic blue and green color palette.  It is at once modern and traditional.

As this picture highlights, the yarns of this Rya rug are longer than most of their Middle Eastern counterparts.  In many ways, they remind me of the Tulu rugs made in native Turkey.

Pictured from the back, the Rya rug resembles a flat woven kilim.

This Rya rug, woven in the 1960s, feels as modern today as when it was originally woven.  This is the beauty of hand made pieces - they seem to never be out of date.   --

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How to care for oriental rugs

I know that I am biased, but I firmly believe that there is no one item that can complete a house - a home, actually - like a beautiful hand woven kilim or a hand knotted rug.  A fine rug, with its beautiful texture and exquisite color palette, can instantly warm a room and connect it to a rich, distant past.  It is true that fine rugs can be costly to purchase, but given that they can last decades - centuries even - their initial cost should be balanced against how many years they can enrich our homes, and, moreover, our families.  Nevertheless, because fine rugs can be costly to purchase, it is important to take some steps to ensure that they stay as beautiful as long as possible so that future generations are able to enjoy them.  How does one properly care for an Oriental rug?

(1) First, it is important that you regularly vacuum your rug, taking care not to use an overly high suction setting.  It is imperative also to not vacuum the fringe as this can quickly compromise the integrity of the fringe and pile.

(2) Depending on how much traffic the rug is subjected to, take the rug to an outdoor space every 6-12 months and either shake it thoroughly (if a smaller piece), or vacuum it on both the reverse and front sides.  Again, it is important to not vacuum any fringe.

(3)  Rotate the rug every six months so that wear and sun exposure is more evenly distributed.

(4)  Every two years, have the rug professionally cleaned.  Vacuuming alone can not eliminate all the embedded fibers that will eventually wear on the pile.  Only a professional cleaning can eliminate embedded fibers thereby preserving the piece for longer.

(5)  Avoid storing any wool rug in dark, humid conditions for any extended period of time.

(6)  Avoid allowing repeated stresses on the pile (for example, dragging heavy furniture repeatedly on the same spot on a rug).

(7)  Periodically check your rug for signs of moth damage and/or infestation.  This is especially important if your rugs have been in storage.

(8)  Periodically inspect your rug for any damage.  Often, repairing damage when it just starts to occur or appear is significantly less difficult and costly then waiting until the damage has worsened.

By following these simple steps, a fine Oriental rug will be among the longest lasting items you will have to treasure.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Handmade Turkish Rug Repair - Final

The first step in our recent Turkish rug restoration was to professionally clean the rug, then attach it to a wooden frame loom, and then slowly rebuild the warp, as shown below:

Our next step was to rebuild the weft, the horizontal strands shown below:

Once the warp and weft were built (the grid like structure above and below), we began knotting the pile.  Below, the long yarns are the newly knotted pile:

Below is a picture of the completed reknotting before we cut down the yarns:

And, finally, below is the final result of our recent Turkish rug restoration:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Handmade Turkish Rug Repair - Before

This hand knotted rug is from a region of Turkey not far from my hometown in central Anatolia.  It is from Taspinar, Turkey which is known for finely knotted rugs decorated with marvelous geometric motifs, and colored in dynamic blues and vibrant reds. This Taspinar rug was damaged along the border and selvage by both moths and undue stress along the selvage.

From the underside of the rug, the moth damage is more apparent, in particular along the selvage.