Sunday, April 28, 2019

Moroccan Kilim Fringe Unraveling

A rug or kilim is most vulnerable at its fringes.  This is because the fringes are the areas of a rug that tend to get sucked in by aggressive vacuuming, snagged by high heels, or pulled by energetic kids or pets.  This lovely Moroccan kilim's fringes were damaged in several sections as can be seen by the shorter fringes dotting the edge.  It is best to address this kind of fringe damage as soon as possible so that the field of the kilim is not compromised.  Once the fringe is repaired, we advise to bind the edge of the kilim or rug so as to minimize the risk of future unraveling.  Of course, there is no full proof way to prevent this, but a good binding will go a long way to protecting the fringes, and, in turn, the kilim itself.  --

Antique Rug With Moth Damage

As spring is upon us and the season for deep cleaning begins in earnest, it is a good time to carefully inspect all of our wool goods, especially beloved rugs and kilims.  Take care to inspect rugs that are partially covered by heavy furniture such as beds, tables, dressers, or armoires.  Moths take advantage of undisturbed wool (such as those sections of wool rugs hidden by furniture) to exert their most damage.  The pictured rug has been damaged by moths eating away at a small section of the pile, warp, and weft.  This rug will have to be professionally cleaned before we can assess the full extent of the moth damage.  After the cleaning, we will then remove all weakened fibers before undertaking the needed restoration.  We will take special care to use yarns that are somewhat muted to match the age of the rug.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Antique Persian Rug Restoration

One of my favorite stages in a rug restoration project is the shearing stage when the pile has been reknotted and all that remains is to cut down the yarns so that the pattern can reveal itself.  This photo is of precisely that stage in the process of an antique Persian rug restoration.  It looks beautiful even with long yarns, but once they have been cut, we aim for the restored area to blend into the original.   Note that this kind of restoration is one in which we rebuild the warp and weft and reknot the damaged pile in the same style of the original.  This makes the restoration part of the original structure of the rug and therefore allows the restored to last as long as, if not longer than, the original rug.  When a repair is done by sewing in a patch from another rug, that is temporary at best, because the sewn edges will eventually come undone through normal wear.  A true rug restoration is one in which the new area is knotted.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Moroccan Rug Cleaning

It is no mystery as to why Moroccan rugs have been so popular for decades.  They bring an instant splash of color and texture to any space and can even bring occasional whimsy.  Note, for example, the fabulous color change in the Moroccan rug above where the field goes from black to violet.  It is unexpected and brilliant making what otherwise would be a lovely rug into a spectacular one.  Proper professional cleaning is important for all rugs, but especially for Moroccan rugs that tend to have a longer pile where dirt fibers can become embedded and are harder to reach during vacuuming.  A good cleaning practice in between professional Moroccan rug cleaning would be to turn the rug around so that the underside is on top and to vacuum the underside.  A thorough cleaning of the floor below the rug is advised as well.  --

                                   Kosker Traditional Rug Repair 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Should I Steam Clean My HandMade Oriental Rug?

Can you steam clean a Persian rug (a term which colloquially encompasses all hand knotted rugs, often used interchangeably with Oriental rug)?  Steam cleaning may be an effective way to clean many kinds of wall to wall rugs or upholstery, but it is never a recommended way to clean a Persian rug.  This is because the steam cleaning may compromise the lanolin of the wool in the rug.  Lanolin is a natural oil found in wool that  helps it maintain its lustre, pliability, and if kept intact helps preserve the wool for decades.  Steam destroys the lanolin thereby cutting the life of the rug significantly.   The proper way to professionally clean a Persian rug is to brush the rug with shampoo and a controlled amount of water.  It is important to minimize the risk of color run.  Drying must be thorough so as not to risk losing the rug's original shape.  --

                                              Kosker Traditional Rug Repair

Friday, March 1, 2019

My Rug Won't Lay Flat - What Can I Do?

Occasionally, you will come across a rug that is lovely but for the fact that it does not lie flat.  Sometimes a rug that once lay flat no longer does after a cleaning.  Is there anything to be done to make it lay flat again?  The answer is yes.  Oftentimes, a rug that can not lay flat can be made to do so by a process called blocking.  Blocking entails stretching out the wool so that the edges stop curling up and lay flat.  Blocking is generally very successful, but is not a permanent solution.  It must be repeated after every professional cleaning.  --

Monday, February 25, 2019

How Often Should I Have My Oriental Rug Professionally Cleaned?

There is no one perfect answer to the question about how often one should have their Persian or Oriental rug professionally washed.  However, the general recommendation is to have an Oriental rug professionally cleaned once every two years.  This is important because a professional cleaning can dislodge dirt embedded deep in the pile of the rug - dirt that is not removed through regular vacuuming alone.  If dirt particles are left deep in the pile for too long, the friction on the fibers can eventually wear them down weakening them and thereby shortening the life span of the rug.  Of course, there are also hygienic reasons for having a rug professionally cleaned on a regular schedule - a clean rug is less likely to trigger allergic reactions in people.  Lastly, a professionally cleaned rug will often look brighter than a soiled rug making so for aesthetic reasons, a regular professional cleaning schedule is recommended as well.  Two years is just a guideline - if a Persian rug or Oriental rug is in a high traffic area such as an entry way or hallway, professional cleaning should be done even more often.  Similarly, if a rug is in a less trafficked area, professional cleaning can be done every three years or so.

                                Kosker Traditional Rug Repair

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Kilim Fringe Repair

A beautiful high quality kilim can last for centuries.  But like traditional hand knotted rugs, kilims are most vulnerable at their edges, including the fringed ends.  This is because vacuums can suck up fringes thereby weakening fibers, or pets or young children can pull at the fringes causing similar damage.  Once the binding on a fringe is compromised, the fringe can come undone, and the field of the kilim can be damaged.  This is what happened to this Turkish kilim.  The first step in our kilim restoration was to professionally clean the kilim.  Next, we attached the clean kilim to a loom.  Then we slowly and steadily rebuilt the damaged warp (the white vertical strands in the photo above).  This is a slow process, but well worth the result as it ensures the kilim will be ready to withstand another century of enjoyment.  --


                                    Kosker Traditional Rug Repair

Monday, February 18, 2019

Pet urine on my Oriental carpet

This beautiful Oriental rug was irreparably damaged by a large pet who consistently urinated on the same several spots over a long period of time.  Unfortunately, no professional cleaning procedure can remove the stains as the acid from the pet urine permanently discolored the yarns.  The only thing that can be done in this instance is to tear out all the affected sections and reweave them anew.  However, because there are many affected sections, it would be much more cost effective to replace the rug.  It is sad - as the rug other than the spots was in quite good condition.  --

                 Kosker Traditional Rug Repair

Sunday, February 17, 2019

When Vacuuming Is Not Enough To Prevent Moth Damage

How is it possible moths are eating my rug even though I regularly vacuum my rug?  While this is not a common problem, it is completely possible for a rug to be damaged by moths even when it is being used (i.e., not stored), and is vacuumed regularly.  How does this moth damage happen?  It most often occurs when a piece of heavy furniture is covering a part of the rug so that only the exposed part of the rug is regularly vacuumed.  Similarly, it can happen when a rug is under a bed or sofa and vacuuming does not reach to all parts under the bed or sofa.   This kind of moth damage can be prevented by ensuring that one vacuums the entire rug - even those sections under heavy furniture - on a regular basis.  Vacuuming those specific sections under furniture does not have to be done daily, weekly, or even monthly, but should be done at least once every few months.  Better yet, one should try to rotate the rug at least twice a year so that wear is more evenly distributed.  While moving furniture this way and this often may be inconvenient and cumbersome, it will go a long way in preventing the kind of moth damage than can ruin entire sections of a rug.  In addition, regular inspection of the entire rug (and the rug pad underneath!) is recommended so that any moth damage is detected at its earliest stages.


                               Kosker Traditional Rug Repair

Friday, February 15, 2019

Antique Rug Cleaning

Anyone who has ever lived with antique rugs knows how beautifully warm, muted, and breathtaking they can be.  Over a century or more of sunlight, use, and care can really bring out the true beauty of gorgeous textiles.  They add an incomparable texture and dimension to a space that few things can parallel.  
Caring for an antique rug is similar to caring for any handmade rug, with some notable exceptions.  Professional antique rug cleaning should be undertaken regularly depending on the use of the rug.  However, we recommend professionally cleaning antique rugs less frequently than new rugs; we recommend antique rugs be cleaned every three to five years.  However, if the antique rug is in a low traffic area, the time between professional antique rug cleanings can be longer.  Regular in home care is very important.  To extend the life of the rug, we recommend regular vacuuming (without a beater bar).  In addition, it is extremely important to rotate an antique rug on a regular basis, perhaps every six months or so.  This is important because regular rotation will allow the sun to mute the rug on a more even basis, as well as allow foot traffic to be more evenly distributed.   With minimal care, an antique rug can last for generations. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Professional kilim rug cleaning

No matter how many kilims have passed through my hands, I have never tired of their great beauty, detail, and vibrancy.   They can rival any painting on a wall, or any exquisite hand knotted rug.  Kilims are timeless, lending themselves to any style or aesthetic.  
Kilims require minimal care - similar to Oriental rugs.  They require regular vacuuming (or shaking!),  periodic rotation and inspection, and periodic professional kilim cleaning.  We recommend kilims to be professionally cleaned every two years, though if a kilim is in a low traffic area and is not subjected to shoe traffic or pets, one can go longer between professional cleanings.  With minimal care, kilims can last for centuries.  --

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Flooded Rug Care

How do we care for rugs that have been damaged by flood waters?  The answer may seem counterintuitive, but the first thing we do with a flooded rug is to soak it in a shallow pool.  What purpose does the soaking serve?  A good soaking will help minimize the odor, help remove the dirty water, and any dirt that was embedded in the pile.  The next step after the soaking is to professionally clean the rug with rug shampoo.  Once the rug is thoroughly cleaned and rinsed, the next step is to allow for a thorough and complete drying.  This step is imperative as it will prevent the rug from rotting.  Rugs especially susceptible to rot because of a flood are those made with a combination of wool and cotton such as Sarouk, Heriz, Tabriz rugs.
Of course, the best thing to do is to take steps to avoid a flood in the first place, when possible.   This includes not watering a plant that is resting on a rug.  Small steps can go a long way in preventing damage to a beautiful treasured hand knotted rug.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Moroccan Rug Cleaning. Special considerations

Anyone who has opened up a home decor magazine in the last decade undoubtedly has seen many beautiful examples of gorgeous Moroccan rugs - from stunning, monochromatic Beni Ourain rugs such as those pictured above, to fantastically vibrant Moroccan kilims.  Moroccan rugs have been adorning and beautifying homes for centuries and they are among the most beautiful rugs in the world.  Caring for them is similar to caring for Persian, Turkish and other Oriental rugs.  However, they do pose several unique challenges.  Moroccan rugs tend to have a longer pile than other Oriental rugs, leaving room at the base of the pile for dirt to become embedded, and in some instances, for moths to inflict damage.  Moroccan wool is coarser, generally, than Persian and Turkish wool.  Also, Moroccan dyes, as indeed all dyes, can be fugitive leading to possible color run during the cleaning process.  Of course there are many fine examples of Moroccan rugs with stable dyes, but many Moroccan rugs in the US and European markets unfortunately have less stable dyes.  For this reason, professional cleaners must take special care not to let colors run during a cleaning process.  When searching for a Moroccan rug cleaner, take special care to ask about the cleaning process and what steps are taken to minimize the risk of color run.  A good Moroccan carpet cleaner will have experience with different types of Moroccan rugs and kilims to ensure that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What Do I Do If I think Moths are Eating My Rug?

I think I have moths - what do I do?  We hear this numerous times a week from worried clients who either suspect or know definitively that their beloved wool rugs are slowly being devoured by silent moths they didn't even know they had.  If you think you may have moths, there are a number of important steps that you should take, in order of importance:

1.  Isolate the item you suspect has moths from all other wool items.  You want to minimize the possibility the moth infestation will spread to your other wool rugs, furniture, or clothing.

2.  If the rug is smaller, put it in a bag or airtight wrapping until the rug can be thoroughly cleaned.

3.   Sweep then mop the floor with a combination of vinegar and water to ensure that all moth larvae are removed.  We encourage clients to air out the room for a few days as well.   If the infestation is severe, you may have to contact an exterminator.

4.  Arrange to have your rug professionally cleaned.  If you have experience cleaning handmade rugs, you can do this at home yourself.  You just need to take care that the cleaning process is thorough and that you remove all larvae.  Take special care that the rug is completely dry before returning the rug to its place.

Moth damage can be avoided by not putting your rugs in storage, regularly examining rugs that have heavy furniture on top of them, and regular vacuuming.  It is impossible to eliminate the risk of moth infestation entirely, but a few preventative steps can greatly reduce the risk of heartache when a beloved rug is damaged beyond repair.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Antique Turkish Rug Restoration - Result


The restoration of this gorgeous antique Turkish Yahyali rug is complete.  The reknotting was done and the shearing of the newly knotted pile was finished (below is a photo before we cut down the new knotting).  The rug is ready for more decades of enjoyment and use.  This was a wonderful rug restoration project to work on.  Yahyali rugs are stunning, and they hold a special place in my heart as they originate from an area close to my hometown in Turkey.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Antique Turkish Rug Restoration

There is something wonderfully satisfying when a restorer is at a certain point in her or his project.  For me, it's usually when the work of the warp and weft is done, and the reknotting can begin.  I love seeing how the rug comes back to life, how it becomes whole again.
In this project, the photos show us close to that stage.  We have professionally cleaned the antique Turkish Yahyali rug, and are reconstructing the warp and weft. All that remains is the reknotting before it can be used and enjoyed for a few more decades, if not longer.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Antique Turkish Rug Restoration

This stunning antique Turkish rug was neglected for quite an extended period of time, probably decades.  It is a fine beautiful rug from Yahyali, Turkey in central Anatolia.  Yahyali rugs generally have a central medallion design with geometric motifs. They most commonly are hand knotted in shades of blue, red, green and gold.   Among the most significant damage in this Yahyali rug was a hole in one of the corners.  We first professionally cleaned the rug and sought to match the yarns so that the restored section would match the beautiful muted tones of the antique Yahyali rug.

Friday, November 23, 2018

What is the Difference Between a Rug Repair and Rug Restoration?

When we first meet clients who have damaged rugs or kilims, we strive to give as much information as possible to them so that they may make an informed decision.  As such, we list all repair options a client has, followed by the available restoration options.  There are time, of course, when there is only one option available, but more often than not, there is a quicker, less skill intensive route that we would consider a repair.  Rug repairs are generally less costly than proper restoration.  But they are not as permanent, and they can affect the beauty (and value) of a piece.  For this reason, when possible, we always counsel clients to restore damage.
The rug above had a hole near the fringe.  In order to properly restore the rug, we first professionally cleaned it.  Then we built a loom on the section with the hole and removed all compromised fibers.  Next, we rebuilt the missing warp and reknotted the missing pile.  The entire process takes weeks - sometimes months.  But the resulting restoration will last as long as the original rug will, perhaps even longer.  And the beauty of the rug stays intact as any patch that is merely sewn in will not match perfectly.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

At The Edge -Oriental Rug Fringe Repair

It turns out that rugs, in some ways at least, are like their owners:  we can get in trouble when we live on the edge.  At the edge is where the vacuum sucks up fringes.  At the edge is wear heavy chairs pull and tug.  At the edge is wear hungry pets chew and yank.  All this stress on the edges of our rugs is what can damage fringes and eventually leave the pile ready to come undone.  For this reason, when we do an inspection of any rug, the fringes are what we look at first.   Fringes are the area most vulnerable to damage and what are definitely easier to repair and restore at the first signs of damage rather than when the damage is allowed to get more extensive.  
We recommend owners of handmade rugs do regular periodic inspections of their rugs, perhaps at the same time that they are rotating the rug 180 degrees so that any sun muting or foot traffic patterns are more evenly dispersed.  Look to see if any fringes are wearing down or if any of the binding of the fringes is coming undone.  Fringe repair at the early stages of fringe damage can be limited to just replacing the fringe binding, which would minimize the risk of any unraveling of the fringe or knotted pile.  Fringe repair at later stages of fringe damage can include fringe reconstruction, reknotting pile, and edge binding.  This more extensive fringe restoration is often significantly more time and skill intensive, and therefore, significantly more costly than repair done at the earlier stages of fringe damage. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Flooded Antique Persian Rug Cleaning and Restoration

One of the most destructive things that can completely destroy a rug is water.   This antique Kerman rug was badly damaged by water from a flood.  The water caused significant color run, weakening of fibers which revealed the underlying warp and weft, and loosening of fibers which compromised sections of the pile.  We have seen a great number of flooded rugs over the years.  On occasion, the damage caused by water has been so extensive that the restoration work would be cost prohibitive.  Even in instances where restoration is feasible, it is often extensive.  The antique Kerman rug photographed above required a series of various restoration processes.  First, we needed to soak the rug (which seems to be counterintuitive, but is necessary when done in correction conditions).  The soaking was then followed by a thorough professionally cleaning.  Next, we completely dried the rug to minimize the risk of mildew, foul odor, or dry rot.  This was followed by a careful inspection to assess how much damage was caused by the flood and what repair/restoration options are most advisable.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

What Are Those White Knots That Are Suddenly Appearing in My Rug?

Fine hand knotted rugs can last for generations giving those of us who are lucky to live with them plenty of opportunity to seemingly know each knot by heart.  That is why when a new white dot appears where there was once a sea of red and blue or other vibrant color, many people panic fearing that their treasured rug has fallen victim to moths.  These white dots seem to appear quite suddenly, maybe after returning from a professional cleaning.  What are the white dots that appear almost overnight in a very well loved rug?
In order to understand what a white knot is, it is important to understand the basic structure of a hand knotted rug.  One of the first steps in hand knotting a rug is to extend the vertical strands, often made of cotton, around the loom.  These vertical strands are known as the warp of the rug.  The very ends of the warp (on both the top and bottom) are what the fringes are.  Because cotton strands are often shorter than the vertical length of the finished rug, weavers tie cotton strands together to create a longer warp.  The places where the cotton strings are tied are the white knots.  When a hand knotted rug is knew, the pile yarns are long and hide these white knots.  In addition, sometimes weavers color the white knots so that they match the surrounding pile.  So why do they appear so suddenly?
The white knots become visible eventually  because, over time, the pile gets shorter as the rug is worn from every day use.  The shorter pile reveals the white knots that had once been hidden.  It is very common for white knots to be more visible after a professional cleaning because the cleaning brightens the cotton that may have been soiled from years of use (and which was soiled while the pile was still long making the knots invisible).  
Should you be worried about the appearance of white knots?  There really is no reason to be alarmed.  It is a natural part of the weaving process.  It does indicate, however, that the pile is worn down so the rug is becoming more susceptible to damage (from heavy furniture, particularly heavy traffic, for example).  But taking precautionary measures such as treating the rug a little more delicately, will extend the life of the rug.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

When Does Your Rug Need More Than A Professional Cleaning?

Occasionally, we find that people are surprised that handmade rugs are as durable as they are.  They can withstand generations of use and enjoyment while needing just a minimal amount of care, including regular vacuuming, inspection, and periodic rotation and professional cleaning.  There are times, however, when an Oriental rug can benefit from more than just a regular professional cleaning (which we recommend as once every two years in most circumstances).  Among these times are when a rug is infested by moths, when it has been soiled by pet urine, when it has been damaged by a flood or sitting water, or when it has not had a professional cleaning for an extended period of time.  In these instances, we recommend a professional cleaning with an additional treatment, such as overnight soaking.  An extended soaking, for example, can help eliminate the foul odor that results from the wool being urinated upon.  Generally, a professional cleaning would not suffice to achieve this results.  
With just a minimal amount of care, one can extend the life of an Oriental rug by decades, even centuries in some instances.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Oriental Rug Damaged by Water

A fine Oriental rug can withstand an amazing amount of wear, tear, and everyday household life.  But, like houses themselves, there is one thing that poses a great risk to the life of an Oriental rug:  water.  A rug that has been flooded (or, in some instances, even just wet) by a burst pipe, a flooded basement, or a watered plant can experience color run, a strong foul odor, mildew, mold, and even rot.  
When a water damaged hand knotted rug is entrusted to our care, we immediately soak it for some time.  It may seem counterintuitive to soak a rug that has been damaged by water, but the soaking allows for the best chance to eliminate the foul odor of wet or damp wool.   It is also the first step of any color run repair process.  After the soaking, we do a thorough professional cleaning and allow for a thorough drying.  It is only after the drying that we can assess how much color run damage there is.  Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee complete elimination of color run.  However, if the color run is limited, we are able to reknot the affected area when other methods  

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Semi-Antique Moth Damaged Moroccan Rug

Moths can inflict significant damage to a wool rug if they are left undisturbed in optimal eating conditions - namely, dark, warm, enclosed spaces with little or no cross ventilation.  Such was the case with the semi-antique Moroccan rug pictured above.  Moths managed to eat not only the pile of this vibrant Moroccan rug, but also the warp and weft thereby destroying the rug's foundation.  We first had to ensure that the moths were completely eliminated by a thorough professional cleaning and separate special wash.  Following the cleaning, we eliminated all damaged yarns.  Next, we rebuilt the rug's foundation before undertaking the intensive task of reknotting the missing and damaged pile.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring Cleaning - What You Do In Between Your Rug's Professional Cleaning

We certainly had to wait a very long time for it, but it seems that spring has finally (finally!) arrived.  I am so glad to be able to open the windows wide and let the fresh air in.  As we freshen up the house in anticipation of summer parties and lazy nights, we want to make sure that the house is clean and ready for us and our guests to enjoy.  Spring cleaning is a fantastic opportunity to deep clean all the areas that go neglected or unnoticed during the cold winter months.  If you have a no shoes household, you generally can go longer between professional cleanings of handmade rugs and kilims.  If you wear outside shoes on your rugs, then generally it is recommended you professionally clean your rugs and kilims every two years.   
In between professionally cleaning, however, you can still take some steps to ensure your rugs are fresh and ready for summer.   We recommend you remove your rug from its regular location and mop the area beneath it.  Ensure that the area is dry before putting the rug back in its place.  Vacuum the underside of your rug while you await the mopped area to dry.  When you return the rug to its original location, ensure that it is rotated (this is important so that any sun exposure is distributed throughout).  If you use a rug pad underneath your rug, be sure to shake it out to it is dust free before returning it to its original location.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Examples of Moth Damage in a Hand Knotted Wool Rug

It is hard to believe with snow still on the ground, but spring is just around the corner.  It is the perfect time to refresh our houses, do a deep cleaning, and inspect all of our woolen treasures.   A springtime inspection is a perfect opportunity to spot any current or past moth infestation that may have damaged your rugs during the cold winter months.   
We get asked quite often how to spot moth damage.  Sometimes moths are easy to recognize because they're still living and devouring your wool.  However, other times, moths have died away for one reason or another, but the damage they caused is left behind.  All of these photographed rugs are examples of moth damage.  In the photo above, you can see how the moths have eaten away the woolen pile at the edge of the rug but have left the cotton warp and weft untouched.  Moths clearly have no interest in devouring cotton when so much wool is available.  Below, the moth damage is more subtle - the hole was caused by something else, but the white sticky areas are evidence of a past moth infestation.

Below, the white glue-like areas are examples of a live moth infestation in this Persian rug.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Antique Persian Rug Restoration - Final Result

Above is a photo of this beautiful antique Persian rug after our restoration.  (As a reminder, below is a photo of the area before we began our project.)  As always, we attempted to match the color and motifs of the original rug as much as possible.  A good restoration and/or repair tries not to call attention to itself.  The biggest compliment a restorer can receive is when a client needs to look extra closely to distinguish the original from the new.  Luckily, with this restoration, we were able to blend in the new yarns with the old.  With any luck, this beautiful antique rug will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Antique Persian Kerman Rug Restoration

The picture above is of our restoration of this gorgeous antique Persian rug in progress.  Luckily, most of the warp was intact so we could start reknotting fairly readily.  A challenge when restoring antique rugs is not to use yarns that are too vibrant to avoid having the restoration look years newer than the rug itself.   When this photo was taken, we had begun reknotting the floral motif in the center of the photo.  Below is a photo of the rug before we commenced our restoration as a reference point. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Antique Kerman Persian Rug Restoration

Some believe in the beauty of newness, which I admit, can be exhilarating.   Some of my happiest memories from my childhood are playing among the carpet and kilim "farms" of Anatolia where weavers laid out their newly woven goods so that the sun could mute the newly dyed colors and the smell of the fresh wool could dissipate.  The newness of all the rugs was dizzying and the beauty of the vibrant colors, I still believe,  rival that of any painting in any museum.  But the beauty of older rugs can match, and in many ways, even exceed the beauty of anything new.  Their muted, rich colors, their worn coarse texture, and evidence of lives lived combine to make some older rugs truly spectacular.   I see no reason or need to replace older rugs when they begin to show wear or their age.  Quite the contrary, I only see need to repair or restore that which is torn or worn to the point of compromising a rug's structural integrity. In my opinion, a rug's signs of age are something to be coveted and not replaced.    
This beautiful antique Kerman rug had significant tears and wear along a path where I assume generations of a family walked.  In our next posts, we will show how we extended the life of this old beauty. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

When Your Rug Has Been Damaged by a Flood

I sympathize if this sounds familiar - you are away from your home for a few days and return to find that a gutter failed and your roof is now leaking; or a pipe burst and your living room is sitting in a foot of water; or your washing machine got angry and your basement flooded.  Not only do you face thousands of dollars worth of repairs to your home, but also probably lose a good amount of furnishings in the process.  Every year, we receive a number of calls from clients who have suffered a similar fate and are desperate to find a fix for their beloved flooded rugs.  If left wet, wool can lose its shape and smell quite badly.  Moreover, a wet rug can have its colors run and bleed into each other as is visible in the photo above.  If left for an extended period of time in sitting water, a rug can even rot (for which there is no remedy unfortunately).
If you should ever suffer such a fate as a flooded rug, it is important to remove the rug from the wet area as soon as possible and lay it flat somewhere dry.  In addition, it is best to have it professionally cleaned as soon as possible.  If you are lucky, a professional cleaning will suffice to address all of the rug's problems associated with the flooding.  However, sometimes it is necessary to do more than just a professional cleaning, including an additional soaking (which is ironic, but note this is a controlled soaking).  A soaking may help with the odor and even sometimes the color run.  Of course, if possible, avoid putting rugs in any areas you know are in danger of getting flooded.

Sunlit Rugs

I would rather live in a sunlit shoebox than in a dark castle.  My family and I live without curtains in most rooms just to squeeze out as much sunlight in our home as we can.  I'm fortunate enough to live in a southeast facing home - an optimal position in my opinion.  But as much as I relish the sunlight, I'm also acutely aware of the precautions that I have to take with my furnishings and especially my beloved rugs.  When rugs are left in the same position for too long, the sun can start to fade certain areas of our rugs.  Fading is somewhat inevitable, but what can be prevented is uneven fading.   For this reason, on this longest day of the year, take a moment to rotate your rugs so that any fading of your rugs is as even as possible.   And then, take time to enjoy the sunlight.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Antique Turkish Kilim - Final Result

After professionally cleaning this lovely kilim and ridding it of an unpleasant pet odor, we removed all weakened fibers and rewove the areas that our client's puppy tore out.  Pictured above is the result of our kilim repair project.  To compare, please see below the photo of what the kilim looked like when we first started our work.  We hope that our clients - and all their beloved pets - will enjoy this lovely kilim for many years ahead.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Antique Turkish Kilim Repair - Mid Process

Luckily, the professional cleaning of this lovely Turkish kilim removed the smell of pet urine and got it ready for the next step of our repair project.  Our client's new puppy took a good chunk out of the kilim's central field and border and it was our job to recreate the beautiful weaving that was done dozens of years ago when the kilim was first made.  We attached the kilim to a table loom, rebuilt the warp, and started the weft recreation as well.  Matching yarns to the existing kilim is always a challenge, but luckily we were able to find just the right muted palette.  
Working on kilims can be more challenging than working on hand knotted rugs because a rug's pile can conceal some of our repair or restoration imperfections.  In a kilim, there is really no place to conceal any errors.  All the weaving is immediately visible.  I find them a joy to work on as results are immediately visible.  There is something about a kilim's texture that I find immensely pleasing and I sense that many owners of kilims appreciate this feature as well.  It's hard to believe that kilims were once looked down upon - even used as wrapping material for more valuable hand knotted rugs! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Antique Turkish Kilim Repair

Normally, rugs and kilims provide a beautiful backdrop to our everyday busy lives.   But every now and then - especially when a new family member arrives (two legged or four legged), kilims and rugs become a tasty, irresistible, and costly snack.  The beautiful antique Turkish kilim pictured above was one such snack.  A new puppy grabbed onto this fine kilim and didn't let go until it tore through a significant piece of the kilim's field.  When undertaking this kind of kilim repair project, it is of utmost important to match the yarns so that they blend into the rest of the kilim as much as possible.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Spotting Moth Damage - Tis the Season

The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and there is a certain buzz in the air with the flowers blooming and the mosquitoes biting.  Mosquitoes aren't the only things eating.  This is a particularly dangerous season for all of our beloved woolen goods, especially our wool Oriental rugs.  One of the questions we are most often asked is how to spot moth damage in an Oriental rug (followed by, what can I do to prevent moths from attacking my Oriental rugs in the first place?).  In this post, we will share some of the ways feasting moths make themselves known.

Above is a photo of a rug pad that has become home to a large moth infestation.  This can happen when a rug is not allowed to breathe separately from its rug pad for an extended period of time.  The moths are the white glue-like residue on the pad.  It's a good habit to occasionally separate your rug from your rug pad and vacuum both to ensure that both are cleaned (and inspected) periodically.

Sometimes the moth damage is quite evident as there will be a hole (or holes) where there was once your rug (see photo above).

Other times, you know moths are eating your rugs by the dotted appearance that your rug suddenly has as in the photo above.  If you see any of your rugs get similar damage, take care to isolate your rug immediately from all other woolen goods and have your rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible.