Friday, July 31, 2015

When One Thing is Not Like the Others - Using Patches in Oriental Rug Repair Projects


Handmade rugs are exquisite for their harmonious blending of a disparate range of colors, motifs, and even textures.  But occasionally one comes across rugs like the one pictured above that show what happens when someone opts for the easy (and vastly inferior) fix and stitches a piece from another rug to repair what was probably a tear, hole, or similar kind of damage.  The result is jarring to the eye and immediately draws attention to itself - exactly the opposite of what you want a good Oriental rug restoration or project to produce.  In the next few posts, I will share how we restored this beautiful antique Kazakh rug and how we bid farewell to the patch for good. --

www.traditionalrugrepair.com;  212-300-3348

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

On the edge: Rebuilding a Kilim's Fringes

Rugs, in some ways, are like people.  We are solid, strong, and close to indestructible at our core, but at the edges - those places where we are most exposed and where we most directly meet the world - at the edges are where we are most fragile and where we can literally unravel and come undone.  (NB: Tortured analogy ends here.)

Below is a picture of a kilim suffering that exact fate.  Notice how the fringes are completely missing, frayed, and altogether damaged in other areas.  Perhaps even more significant, notice how in the areas where the fringes are missing, the field of the kilim is starting to unravel.  Fringes, while decoratively pleasing at the edges of the rugs and kilims, are much more that simple adornments.  They serve a very real function - they prevent the field (the core, if you will) of a rug or kilim from being damaged.




Fringes are technically part of the warp of a rug ( or kilim ).  The warp is made up of the vertical yarns that, together with the weft, form the "backbone" of the rug.  When a rug or kilim is cut off a loom, the warp yarns that remain at the ends of the piece are what are known as fringes.  Often, once a rug or kilim is cut off the loom, a weaver will bind the fringes and, sometimes, even decoratively knot the fringes.  The binding and knotting is meant to provide extra protection against the risk that the field of the rug or kilim will unravel.

We restored the damaged fringe area of this kilim by creating a temporary loom on  which we extended warp strings into the field of the kilim.  This is a very time-intensive task, but one that will go a long way to protecting the edge of the restored kilim.  When the reconstruction of the fringe was complete, we added a simple braid knot at the edges for aesthetic purposes, but also for further protection.  Below is a picture of the final result of our kilim fringe restoration.








Saturday, February 21, 2015

Should You Place an Expensive Oriental Rug Under a Dining Room Table?

You have undoubtedly seen it countless times in home decorating magazines, real estate listings, and HGTV shows:  the wonderfully decorated dining room with a large imposing table on top of a beautiful Oriental rug.  The rug instantly grounds the space; it immediately warms up the room.

But what are the practical implications of having a large (and probably expensive) handmade rug under a heavy dining room table?  Some have argued that rugs under dining room tables should be confined to pages of home magazines, but in reality are impractical.  Proponents of this position point out that there is the obvious risk of having food or beverages spilled on top of the rug which could permanently damage it.  They also argue that the stress that heavy chairs put on the pile when diners drag them back and forth to sit and rise from them can damage the rug.  Are proponents of this position correct?

Well, yes and no.  I agree that having a rug under a table where food and drinks are regularly served subjects the rug to the risk of staining.  But the risk is minimal as most of us don't normally drop our food and drink.  With younger children, the risk may be higher, but for the vast majority of people, I think the benefit of having a rug you love and a space that brings you joy far outweighs the unlikely risk that you will spill something on your Oriental rug that you can't easily clean or have professionally cleaned.  And as for chairs damaging your rugs, the risk exists, but it can be minimized.  It is true that I would not recommend placing a very valuable or fragile antique Oriental rug under a dining room table, but for the vast majority of handmade rugs, a dining room is a fine place for them to be enjoyed.

Following are some guidelines to follow to protect a handmade rug that is placed under a dining room table:


  1. Place protective "feet" under all table and chair legs.  Periodically ensure that the protective coverings are securely attached to the chair legs.  The protective coverings lessen the risk that any sharp edges will damage your Oriental rug's pile.
  2. Place a good quality rug pad under your table.  Again, this will minimize the risk that the weight and stress of the table and chairs will damage the pile of your rug.
  3. Vacuum your rug regularly and often so as to remove any crumbs that can become embedded in your rug's pile.  As always, avoid vacuuming the fringe.  Instead shake the fringe for loose food and dust particles.
  4. Blot all spills immediately.  Do not rub; blot with a damp white towel.  If you are worried about staining, have your rug professionally cleaned after any significant spills.
  5. At least once every four months or so, examine your rugs for damage, including possible moth damage that can occur under heavy furniture (in this instance, under heavy table legs).
  6. At least once every four months, rotate  your rug.
  7. Have your rug professionally cleaned once a year.


By following these simple guidelines, one should be able to enjoy a beautiful handmade rug under a dining room with minimal risk of damaging it.

--www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What are the White Knots in My Rug? Why Does My Rug Have White Knots After I Had it Professionally Cleaned?

Occasionally a client will call and ask us to explain the appearance of white knots in their rug after we return it to them after a professional cleaning.  Did the professional rug cleaning somehow do something to the structure of the rug that somehow created white knots?  No.  The fact is that white knots that become visible after a professional cleaning were always there in the rug; it is just that a thorough professional cleaning removes the dirt or dust that masks their appearance and which allows them to blend into the field of the rug unnoticed.  Below is a photo of a cleaned rug with some white knots visible in the pile:



But why are those white knots in a rug in the first place?

White knots (which are sometimes different, less noticeable, colors) are usually a product of one of two things.  First, they are a byproduct of having limited available materials during the weaving process.  White knots are actually part of the warp of the rug.  Warp yarns are the vertical yarns which are affixed to the loom.  In the picture that I took below of a weaver in a village near where I grew up in central Anatolia, the white cotton yarns are the warp of the kilim that is being woven:



As you can see from the photo, quite long white cotton yarns are needed for the warp.  In a larger rug, the warp will obviously be even longer.  Sometimes, weavers do not have access to very long continuous yarns so they have to tie different strands of yarn together - thereby forming a white knot.  Sometimes the white knots are pushed to the back of a rug so that they are less visible on the face of the rug.  Other times they are left on the face of the rug but they are not noticeable because foot traffic soils the cotton so that it eventually blends into the field of the rug.  Other times the white knots are not visible because they are buried within the knots of a rug.  However, over the years when the knots - the pile - become worn (and therefore shorter), the white knots become visible.  They don't suddenly form - they were always there, but the shorter pile now makes them visible.

The second reason why a rug (or kilim) sometimes has white knots is because during the weaving process, the weaver pushes down her knots with a beater comb and by doing so sometimes tears the warp strings. When the weaver does this, she or he has to tie another warp string to the broken warp so that the weaving can continue.   Some view broken warp strings as a sign of a weaver's inexperience.  Others view broken warp strings as a sign of inferior quality of the warp's material.  The truth is that it would be impossible to weave an entire rug without occasionally tearing some warp strings or having to join a few warp strings together.  The white knots, therefore, are the inevitable byproduct of having a rug made entirely by hand.

We did receive one call, however, from a client who had just purchased a rug and was worried about the "white knots" that she suddenly spotted in her rug.  Her use of the term "white knots" led us to believe that what she was referring to was the simple warp joining that we described above.  However, that was not the case.  The "white knots" that she described were actually moving and were not white knots at all.  They were actually moths!

--www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What to Do When You Choose Not to Restore Your Beloved, but Damaged, Oriental Rug


In our last post we discussed the various factors that go into a well considered decision against undertaking a full restoration of a damaged Oriental rug.  Although good quality handmade rugs can literally last a lifetime - actually, several lifetimes - there are instances when a full restoration of a damaged hand knotted rug is not prudent.  What can be done in those instances?  We have outlined in the past what options can be done to "recycle" the sound parts of rugs, but what happens when an owner wants to continue to use the piece as a rug and not as a wall hanging or furniture cover, etc?  In these instances, a more limited repair might be advisable.  Limited repairs on significantly damaged areas should focus on:

1.  Reinforcing all compromised fringes and selvage sections.  Generally, if a rug has a sound perimeter and it is not subject to significant stresses (such as high traffic or heavy furniture passing across its pile), a rug with a slightly damaged pile but sound perimeter can still last some time before it is too far gone.
2.   Repair any significant tears.  It is always ideal to restore tears so that the pile is reknotted in the style and manner of the original rug.  In a limited repair, however, merely sewing a tear can buy an owner some time (and save some money on the repair).
3.  Patch pieces from other rugs into existing holes in your damaged rug.  This is not a permanent solution by any means, but it can buy an owner a couple of years with their beloved rug.
4.   Sew a canvas backing onto a damaged rug.  This again is a temporary solution, at best, but it can provide an owner with some time with his or her rug without undertaking a costly restoration.

Note, however, that even these limited more modest repairs should follow a thorough professional cleaning if a rug exhibits any sign of current or past moth infestation.  Moth damage can happen quite quickly so regular periodic inspections of rugs is highly advised to prevent unnecessary destruction of beautiful sound rugs by pesky moths.   --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Is it Worth Repairing My Persian Rug? Should I Restore My Oriental Rug?


We get asked these questions at least once a week, if not almost daily.  Often, the people asking either have inherited a beautiful, but worn, Oriental rug, or the people have found a damaged, but lovely and well-priced rug to purchase, or the people asking are just examining a beloved rug that has stood guard in their house for years slowly losing areas of pile and levels of structural integrity.

Answering the question of whether it is prudent to invest money and time repairing and restoring a damaged rug is difficult, as the answer must consider a number of factors.  First, of course, there is the question of what is reasonably feasible.  While it is true that practically any rug can be restored, sometimes a rug is "too far gone."  This is often the case when a rug has been kept in an environment that is too humid or too dry, or the rug has been subject to moth damage for too long.  Second, there is the factor of the monetary element.  Sometimes a fine antique rug will increase in value with a good restoration and therefore a restoration can be seen as prudent investment.  Other times, however, when a decorative rug is very damaged or extensively worn, the time and money it would take to restore might be more than what it would cost to buy a new rug.  Third, there is the element of sentimental value.  This can be underestimated at times, but from personal experience, I know that I have spent countless hours, days, weeks, and months, restoring gorgeous rugs that belonged in my great grandmother's dowry - not because the rugs themselves are of high monetary value, but because their value to my family's own history is immeasurable.  For me, they are as priceless as any possession can be.  They are a testament to a great tradition - and a woven letter from my own ancestors - that I have the privilege of seeing and appreciating every day.  And which I hope to pass on myself one day.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Antique Rug Repair - Process and Result


There are times when a rug - often an antique rug - is so worn and damaged that a complete restoration that would address all the damaged and compromised areas of the rug would be too cost prohibitive.  In those instances, we recommend clients address the most pressing damaged areas - often at the edges of the rug.  The edges of a rug - both the fringed sides and the selvages - are especially critical for the life of the rug because without sound edges, the entire field of the rug is at risk of unraveling.  For this reason, addressing the damaged edges can often preserve the piece for a few more years if one is not proceeding with an entire restoration.

For this repair, we rebuilt the foundation at the damaged section of the fringe as shown above.  Next, we began to reknot the missing pile as shown below.



After the knotting was completed, we cut down the yarns so as to match the rest of the rug.


Pictured from the reverse side of the rug, below is the repaired area.  With proper care, and if placed in an area where it is not subject to too many stresses (i.e., heavy foot traffic, moving chairs, etc.), this rug has years of enjoyment left to give. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Saturday, December 27, 2014

New and Vibrant v. Old and Elegant - Reflections on the Occasion of an Antique Rug Repair

                                       

One of my favorite memories of growing up in Turkey is of the vast carpet "farms" that dot the spring Anatolian landscape.   The "farms" are a collection of a village's weavings which, when completed, are cut off the loom, shorn, and set out to "bake" in the sun's spring rays.  The sun helps the rugs' colors set and helps the rugs gain their regular shape.  It is a lovely sight to behold - a fantastic explosion of color on the Anatolian plain.   Moreover, what these farms represent - the continuation of an ancient and ancestral tradition - is even more beautiful.

Yet while these and other new rugs are lovely with their vibrant and saturated colored yarns, it is the muted color palettes and worn piles of antique rugs that have often captured my imagination.  These older worn pieces are literally a woven history of so many different peoples.  I certainly can appreciate and deeply admire when an owner of such a piece does not want to discard or replace it in favor of something new.

The piece above is a beautiful antique rug that has various worn areas where the pile is almost entirely gone and the foundation is clearly visible.  To completely restore such a piece is often cost prohibitive as it would involve rebuilding the foundation in various areas and reknotting the pile so as to match the original - a time-consuming and difficult task.  In some of these instances, a more targeted repair is recommended.  For example, for the antique rug pictured above, it was important to stabilize the edge so that the piece would not unravel.  In our next post, we will share how we repaired this area so as to extend the life of this beautiful antique rug.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wabi Sabi and the Exquisite Beauty of the Imperfect Rug


There are people who approach a rug purchase armed with official sounding ratios, desired measurements listed to the fraction of an inch, and a swatch of an exact hue that would coordinate with a desired color palette.  But much of the beauty of rug making and rugs themselves is situated in what some may deem imperfections or deficiencies.  The beauty of nomadic rugs and kilims is in the irregularity  of their shape, in the unexpected break in symmetry, in the surprising harmonious chaos of a color explosion.  To forsake these rugs because they do not possess a high sounding ratio of knots per square inch would be to miss the opportunity to appreciate and possess something truly unique - something that reflects the imperfections inherent in art - the imperfections that some would argue as I do - that are the true essence of art.
www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Monday, December 22, 2014

Handmade Rug Chewed by Dog - Final Result after Repair



Above and below are pictures of the final result of a recent project we undertook to repair an Indian handmade rug that had been chewed and damaged by a dog.  As we outlined in our previous post, we professionally cleaned the rug, rebuilt the compromised warp and weft, reknotted the pile, and bound the newly constructed fringe.  The picture above shows the final repaired section from the back of the rug; the picture below shows the repair from the front of the rug.  As these pictures highlight, a repair can usually be more clearly seen from the reverse side of the rug where the long tufts of yarn are not present to hide any repairs or restoration.  The longer yarns of the pile on the front of the rug provide a convenient disguise to most repair and/or restoration projects.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rug Chewed by Dog - Repair in Progress


As with most of our hand knotted rug repair and restoration projects, the first step we took to repair this rug was to professionally clean it.  It is advisable to professionally clean a rug at the beginning of any repair or restoration so that the yarns used in any newly knotted area match the (clean) colors of the original rug as much as possible.  In addition, periodic professional cleaning is recommended for all handmade pieces so a repair and restoration is a good occasion to ensure that a cleaning takes place.
After the rug was cleaned, we rebuilt the missing and compromised warp, which can be seen above (the cotton vertical yarns).  We subsequently reknotted the missing pile (not shown in the photo below which is the reverse of the rug) and rebuilt the compromised weft.  Below is a photo of the repair (as seen from the back of the rug) near its completion. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rug Repair - When A Rug is Chewed by a Dog


A beautiful handmade rug is something that an entire family can enjoy across generations.  Every now and then, however, some family members can enjoy a rug too much - namely hungry pets that take a liking and chew off a corner or section of a beloved handmade rug.  The rug above is an example of this.  This rug is a hand knotted rug made in India with a Persian design that suffered a bite or two from a tiny puppy with a large appetite.  In our next posts, we will show you how we repaired the damage to the handmade rug and the final result.

www.traditionalrugrepair.com  

Friday, October 31, 2014

Beni Ourain Rugs



One does not have to be rug expert to appreciate the sublime beauty of Beni Ourain rugs.  Their beauty lies somewhere in between their color palette and their luxuriously long yarns which lend them a warm, almost decadent, feel to the touch.  Even their  geometric motifs are wonderful in their naked imperfections and calming in their relative simplicity.  They are equally well-suited to both tradition and modern aesthetics.  It is no wonder why Beni Ourain rugs have been a designer favorite for years.

Beni Ourain rugs, like all handmade rugs, require minimal care to last a few generations.  However, Beni Ourain rugs are different than other handmade oriental rugs in that the long yarns which make up their pile are particularly susceptible to having soil become embedded in them, and, in turn, having them fall prey to a potentially damaging moth infestation.  Paying particular attention to frequent inspections, thorough and frequent vacuuming, and annual or biannual professional rug cleaning will go a long way to ensuring that the beauty of a Beni Ourain rug will be enjoyed for a lifetime, if not more.

Take special care to choose a qualified professional rug cleaner to care your Beni Ourain rug.  As these rugs tend to have a lighter color palette marked by dark black or brown motifs, the potential damage of color run is heightened.  A qualified professional rug cleaner should take steps to minimize the risk of the darker color or colors from running into the adjacent light colored yarns of your Beni Ourain rug.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Costly Moth Damage in Handmade Rugs - Choosing to Prevent Rather than to Restore


This rug, lovely in its design and color palette, was the unfortunate victim of moth damage.  As is evident from the pictures, the extent of the damage was severe, and unfortunately, costly.  Luckily, preventing moth damage such as this is fairly straightforward.  Here are a few simple steps a rug owner can take to prevent moth damage:

1.  Use your rugs.  This might seem obvious, but just using and enjoying a rug goes a long way to minimize the risk of it falling prey to moth damage.  This is because moths tend to do much of their eating, and hence their damage, when a rug is being stored.  Often, when rug owners place their rugs in storage, they inadvertently create the perfect environment for moths to do the most damage.  For example, some owners carefully wrap their rugs in seemingly air-tight plastic and then store them in a dark closet.  This is arguably the worst way to store rugs as the ensuing dark and humid environment provides nearly perfect conditions for moths to feast on the rug's wool.  While there is no full-proof way to minimize the risk of moth damage entirely, if a rug must be stored, taking simple precautions can greatly minimize the risk.  For a review of those simple steps, please refer to this post which outlines a few tips.

2.  Regularly vacuum your rugs.  Moths thrive in soiled and dirty environments so making sure to keep rugs as clean as possible provides a good defense against moths.  Take care to vacuum under sofas, large tables, or any other items that are placed on top of the rug.

3.  Air out your rugs.  Every six months or so, if conditions allow it, take your rugs outside and allow them to bask in the sunlight and fresh air.  Summertime is a perfect time to do this.

4.  Rotate your rugs.  When you air out your rugs, rotate them 180 degrees when you return them to their usual location.  This will allow some areas of the rug that were previously hidden under furniture to be exposed.

5.  Inspect your rugs.  As part of your semi-annual airing out of your rugs, carefully inspect your rugs for signs of moths.  Look for white sticky residue, any eaten areas, or other evidence of present or past moth infestation.  If you do spot moths or moth damage, quickly isolate the rug and have it professionally cleaned to minimize any further damage and the risk of the moth infestation from extending to your other rugs or woolen products.

6.  Have your rugs professionally cleaned regularly.  How often you need to have a rug professionally cleaned is dependent on the conditions to which it is subject.  Generally, professional cleaning of handmade rugs every two years is sufficient.  However, if you have pets, regularly walk with soiled shoes on in your home, or have other conditions which make it likely that a regular vacuuming schedule will not be sufficient to remove the deeply embedded dust or soil particles from your rugs, then it is recommended to increase the frequency with which you have your rugs professionally. cleaned.

These simple steps will help you decrease the likelihood that moths will shorten the lifespan of your treasured rugs.  --

www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When the Advice is Not to Repair

As rug lovers, collectors, and restorers, we greatly appreciate the sentimental value that rugs can have, but are also conscious of the need to be mindful of cost considerations.  There are instances when we have to advise clients that - from a purely economic perspective - it is not cost effective to repair or restore a rug.  In instances when a rug is too worn or has damage that is too extensive, then it is necessary to consider alternatives to repair.  For machine-made rugs, the answer would be to discard them.  For handmade rugs, discarding them is hardly ever the answer.  This is yet another wonderful advantage of handmade rugs.  They have life beyond their original purpose.

So what can be done with rugs or kilims that are beyond repair?  If the rug is not too fragile, we recommend to first clean the rug so that it is ready for its repurposing.  Then, there are several options:

(1)  Pillows and floor cushions.  A quick look through any home magazine, home decor blog, or high street store will reveal a trend close to our hearts here - the rug or kilim pillow and cushion.  These are made by carefully cutting damaged or worn rugs and kilims, binding a simple edge along the cut sections, sewing a backing onto the "recycled" piece, and inserting a cushion insert.  The result is a one-of-a kind cushion or pillow that is both traditional in its handmade past, but is also modern for its "recycled" creation.  Many people buy rug pillows already pre-made, but there is no reason why an owner of a damaged rug can't make his or her own pillows and cushions out of a treasured rug.


(2)  Patchwork pillows or rugs.  This form of repurposing is a more ambitious alternative to the first option outlined above.  One could take several sections from an old rug or kilim and patch them together into a large pillow, or even another rug.  This is the rug world's answer to quilting.  The patchwork rugs that are popular today illustrate how modern and beautiful this repurposing can look.


(3)  Hanging.  Rug hanging is a common way to decorate homes in many parts of the world.  In Russia, for example, a large warm rug hanging on a wall behind a sofa is nearly as ubiquitous as rugs used for floor coverings.  This is a good solution for rugs or kilims that are too fragile for the floor.  Just be careful to distribute the rug's weight evenly so as not to damage the rug even more.

(4)  Unraveling for kilim or rug restoration.  This alternative is close to our hearts and may not be as practical for everyone.  But, for us, when we come upon an old kilim that is beyond repair, we unravel the uncompromised yarns from undamaged sections to use them in new restoration projects.  This is a great way to ensure that the yarns we use for restoration projects result in newly woven sections that can blend in with an older rug's muted palette.

--www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rug Resizing

Rug resizing is becoming an increasingly common request from clients who are either moving into smaller homes, or simply redecorating.  There are instances when we recommend against it, such as when a rug is an antique or of an exceptionally fine quality.  In those instances, unnecessarily modifying the rug would compromise its value.  But when a client has a beloved rug that is not an antique and is of good, but not exceptional, quality, and the client's circumstances require that the rug be made to fit into a new space, resizing is a good solution.

What is resizing?  Resizing generally means to make a rug smaller, though in rare instances it can also mean to extend the rug (resizing to make a rug bigger is much more costly than resizing to make it smaller as the new portion of the larger rug is woven or knotted by hand).  In some instances, resizing affects one edge only, such as by cutting along one side of a fringe.  This is the most cost effective form of resizing, but is generally only possible when a rug has a continuous design so that cutting one edge will not result in awkward asymmetry.

Resizing along two opposite edges is another option and is the recommended course to follow when a non-continuous pattern exists so as to keep the pattern symmetrical.  If resizing along both the vertical and horizontal edges is necessary, then the pattern of the rug will also dictate whether it will be necessary to cut along just two edges or all edges.  This last option is the most labor intensive as it requires cutting and binding along the entire perimeter of the rug.  No matter how many edges are affected, resizing is an excellent way to make a beloved rug warm up a new space.  --

www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hand Knotted Silk Rug Repair - Final Result

Below is the final result of our silk rug repair.   It was a fairly long process that began with a professional silk rug cleaning, removal of all damaged and compromised fibers, and rebuilding of the warp, weft, and pile.   



As a reminder, below is the same area before we began our rug repair process.  The colors remain unchanged; the photo below was just taken under different lighting conditions.


Finally, below is the reverse side of the rug's damaged area shortly after we began our repair. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hand knotted silk rug repair - in progress


 After professionally cleaning the silk rug, we attached it to a temporary wooden frame to begin the repair process.  We removed all the compromised fibers, including the pile, warp, and weft and began reconstruction of the warp and weft, which in this rug were made of cotton.


 Our next step was to reknot the rug's silk pile along the first of the two damaged edges of the rug.  The picture below shows the repaired pile before we cut back the yarns to match the height of the rest of the pile.



We then rotated the rug to begin the repair process on the other damaged rug edge.  As with the other edge, we rebuilt the warp first as seen below.


Working in silk is generally more labor and time intensive as silk is a very fine material.  Furthermore, the stark geometric motifs of this silk rug do not provide a restorer many opportunities to hide any "mistakes" therefore requiring a high level of precision in all the knotting and weaving.  Both of these facts make rug repair projects such as this one an interesting and enjoyable challenge.  --

www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Monday, July 7, 2014

Hand knotted Silk Rug Repair - Before Pictures



When people think of hand knotted rugs, they often think of Persian central medallion rugs with their rich red and deep blue floral motifs.  But one of the wonderful things about hand knotted rugs is that they come in a vast variety of motifs and color palettes.  The rug pictured above is a good example of a geometric and monochromatic hand knotted rug.  Its palette of browns, tans, and golds is made even more visually striking by the silk yarns which comprise its pile.  The silk pile lends the rug a certain sheen which makes the same section of pile appear darker or lighter depending on the direction in which the viewer is observing it.  Unfortunately, this is hard to capture in photos.

This rug had various areas in need of repair, including the corner pictured below.  



Below is a photo we took of the back of the rug as we prepared to begin to repair the damaged corner.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com



Patchwork Rugs


 Patchwork rugs are made by sewing together various pieces of vintage rugs of different patterns, ages, and, sometimes, textures.  They are suitable for both traditional and modern spaces making them very popular in home design.  Some patchwork rugs are made by simply sewing different pieces of rugs together.  Other patchwork rugs are made by taking various pieces of rugs and kilims, sewing them together, and then dying them all a similar color.  Both dyed patchwork rugs (sometimes called "over dyed patchwork rugs") and undyed patchwork rugs are yet another way to recycle weavings and to extend the life of hand knotted and hand woven pieces.  Some patchwork rugs, through creative composition, are reminiscent of the rich tradition of American quilting.  



Caring for patchwork rugs is similar to caring for the hand knotted and hand woven pieces from which they are made.  Regular vacuuming is recommended, as is the professional cleaning of your patchwork rugs every two years or so, depending on the amount of foot traffic and other stresses to which the patchwork rug is subject.  Most of the damage that occurs with patchwork rugs is to the binding that joins the various pieces together.  Therefore,  careful attention should be paid to these areas when assessing whether patchwork rug repair is necessary.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Persian Rug Repair - After



After professionally cleaning this Persian rug, we removed all the damaged fibers, as well as all the surrounding fibers that had been compromised.  We then reconstructed the warp, weft, and pile.  Above is a picture of the selvage after our repair.  Below is a photo of the same area as seen from the back of the rug.  Often, it is easier to spot a repair or restoration from the back of the rug rather than the front.


Below is a photo of our rug repair in progress.  The grid-like area comprised of cotton yarns is the structure upon which we reknotted the woolen pile with motifs consistent with the original design of the rug.



As a reminder, below are pictures of the front and back of the damaged area before we undertook our repair of the damaged edge of this rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com



Monday, June 30, 2014

Persian Rug Repair - Before




The fringes and selvages of Persian and Oriental rugs are usually the areas most vulnerable to damage.   The picture above depicts a damaged area of selvage with the warp still somewhat intact.  The rug is a modern Iranian rug from the Shiraz region.  



Above is a picture of the damaged area as seen from the back of the rug.  In our next post, we will share the result of this Persian rug repair. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Chinese Art Deco Rug Cleaning and Repair - Result




After removing all the damaged and compromised yarns from the Chinese Art Deco rug, we strengthened all the compromised warp and weft and reknotted the pile.  The picture above shows the reknotted area before we cut the yarns to the same length as the rest of the rug.  


 The final step in our repair was to cut down the yarns of the reknotted area.  The photo above shows the final result of our repair of the worn and damaged area of this fine Chinese Art Deco rug.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com



Friday, June 6, 2014

Chinese Art Deco Rug Cleaning and Repair


Chinese Art Deco rugs are generally brightly colored and bold additions to a room.   Similar to Persian, Turkish, Moroccan, Nepalese, Tibetan, and other handmade rugs, these Chinese rugs benefit greatly from regular professional cleaning and prompt attention to worn and damaged areas.  We recently provided professional cleaning and repair services for the Chinese Art Deco rug pictured above.  First, we thoroughly cleaned the rug to ensure, in part, that all the yarns we used for the repaired areas matched the clean yarns of the rug.  Second, we proceeded to repair the various damaged sections.  One worn section we repaired is pictured above.   The first step in repairing this area was to remove all the damaged and compromised pile (the light greenish beige area at the center of the photo above).  We were fortunate to have the warp intact so were able to use the structure for the reknotting.  In our next post, we will share the next phase of this handmade Chinese rug repair.  --www.traditionalrugrepair.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Minimize The Risk of Moth Damage in Your Wool Rugs and Kilims

If you live on the East Coast and survived this difficult winter, you - like me - must be happy that spring has finally arrived.  The snow finally has stopped falling, the weather has begun to warm, and there are even hints of flowers and greenery blooming.  Amidst all the wonderful beginnings that spring brings, there is one danger that peaks around this time that threatens to damage - even destroy - our beloved wool rugs, wool kilims, and wool textiles.  What is this silent and deceptively tiny danger?  Moths.

Moths have the potential to silently, but thoroughly, eat through your most precious wool rugs.  What can you do to prevent moths from damaging your wool rugs?  Below is a list of tips to minimize the danger posed by moths:

  1. Thoroughly inspect your wool rugs and kilims at least once every three months.  Know what to look for.  Below is a picture of a live moth infestation.  Look also for loosened knots of wool.  Loosened and compromised knots might indicate that moths have begun their destructive activity.  Note also that moths seem to have a preference for certain colors (actually, a preference for the dyes used to create certain colors).  Therefore, sometimes moth damage will look like someone has carved out certain colors but left others alone.
  2. Vacuum your rugs regularly.  Professionally clean your rugs every two years or so, or more often if the rug is in a highly-trafficked area.  Clean rugs that enjoy a bright and well-ventilated space are rarely subjected to moth damage.
  3. Avoid storing rugs for any extended period of time.  If you must store your rugs, do so in an area that allows the rugs to breathe and be exposed to light and air.  Never wrap your rugs in plastic and store them in a dark closet.  This is the worst way to store rugs as the dark, oxygen-deprived, humid environment creates the perfect environment for moths to flourish and begin their destructive activity.
  4. Isolate any rugs that show signs of a live moth infestation to avoid spreading the moths to other rugs or woolen products.
With minimal care and occasional monitoring, you can protect your rugs, kilims, and other wool textiles against the small and powerful moth.






www.traditionalrugrepair.com