After we professionally cleaned this beautiful Oushak rug, we proceeded to start our repair project. We always work on handknotted rugs from the back. As you can see from the photo above, our task was to rebuild the damaged and missing warp. The warp is what forms, with the weft, the grid like structure on which the knotting can take place. It is like the back bone of a rug. The warp of this Oushak rug is cotton which is a very strong material that is often used for the warp and weft of hand knotted rugs. -- www.traditionalrugrepair.com Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
I thought it would be a great time to do another series of posts showing the before, during, and after of a recent restoration project we completed. This Oushak was damaged near the center of the rug. Some of the wool pile was missing and the warp and weft was damaged. The before picture above shows the area from the underside of the rug. It's a lovely Oushak with a beautiful delicate color palette of pinks, ivories, and golds. Stay tuned for more of this rug restoration progress in coming days.
--www.traditionalrugrepair.com Kosker Traditional Rug Repair
353 W 48th Street, New York, NY 10036
I am often asked which is more difficult - hand knotted rug restoration or hand woven kilim restoration. As with many of these types of questions, the answer is: it depends. It is almost impossible to categorically say whether rug restoration or kilim restoration is more difficult, because so much depends on the individual rug or kilim. A good quality hand knotted Oriental rug will be just as big a challenge to restore or repair as a good quality hand woven kilim. A unique color yarn in an antique Persian rug will be just as difficult to match as a unique color yarn in an antique kilim. Each rug repair or restoration and kilim repair or restoration brings with it its unique challenges. The goal for me professionally is to try to meet the challenge and to enjoy the process.
Before I continue to the main question addressed in this post, I want to note something about terminology. Sometimes people refer to all hand knotted rugs as "Persian" rugs even if the rug is Turkish, Chinese, Indian, or even Central American. When the word Persian is used to describe rugs, the term is usually meant to refer to a type of construction (namely, that a rug is hand knotted) rather than a place of origin. But of course, many Persian rugs do indeed come from Iran. Terminology for rugs is actually quite imprecise so I thought that a small note would be helpful here. Similarly, the word "Oriental" is still commonly used to describe rugs and other artifacts. It, like the word Persian, is used to describe hand knotted rugs rather than a place of origin.
Now to address the question asked at the top of this post, namely, is it a problem if your Turkish rug (as the one photographed), Persian, or Oriental rug has uneven fringes? The answer is: it depends. Often, weavers will cut the rug off a loom in a somewhat imprecise way leaving a somewhat uneven fringe. In those instances, an uneven fringe is nothing to worry about. Other times, a section of the fringed area has been pulled or yanked by a vacuum, pet or something and in those instances it is not a problem unless you note the fringes are starting to come away from the rug. If that is the case, that means that the fringe is failing and the edge of rug is vulnerable to further damage. If the fringe is not coming away from the rug but is just a different length, it should not be a problem. Shorter fringe is only problematic if it fails to protect the edge of the rug. If the edge of the rug is vulnerable to damage, eventually the pile can start to come undone and rug restoration or rug repair will eventually be needed.
There is nothing like stepping onto a warm, shaggy, fabulously textured Moroccan rug on a cold winter day. Just looking at the long yarns of a gorgeous Moroccan Beni Ourain or other tribal rug is enough to warm up a space and give it wonderful textural depth. Moroccan rugs often have longer piles which just means that the weaver left the pile yarns longer during the shearing process (which occurs after the knotting is completed). Allowing for longer yarns is what allows rugs to have that shaggy look that is very much trending right now. The longer yarns are gorgeous but they do pose a particular risk to the longevity of the rug. Namely, the longer yarns provide more space for potential moth damage as a vacuuming or brushing will often not reach to the bottom of the pile and therefore allows for undisturbed moth infestation to occur. A close examination of the photos above show a beautiful Moroccan rug that has been damaged at the base of the pile by moths. The top photo shows the damaged area from the reverse side. Because this risk exists, it is highly recommended that owners of beautiful Moroccan rugs take care to regularly vacuum their rugs, regularly inspect their rugs carefully, and have their rugs professionally cleaned every two years. With these simple preventative measures, these gorgeous long piled Moroccan rugs can last for generations. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
You fall in love with a beautiful hand knotted Oriental rug on a trip or shopping excursion and bring it home and fall in love with it even more. After several weeks, months, or years, you start noticing little white dots that you could swear were not there before. Or perhaps you send a beloved wool rug to be professionally cleaned and when it is returned, you notice its pile is beautiful and lustrous once again but there are small white dots that you think were not there before. In both instances, you question if somehow you didn't notice these white dots before but that they must have been there. Sometimes you even panic slightly worried that the white dots are some kind of bug or insect that has infested your rug. You reassure yourself when you stare at the dots and confirm to yourself that they are not moving. You think. (Don't worry - they're not moving.). So what are these white dots that mysteriously appear after some time living with a hand knotted Persian or Oriental rug? Are they anything to worry about? The white dots are merely places where the warp strings have been tied when the rug was made. Sometimes the yarns used to create the warp are not long enough and so therefore the weaver ties yarns or strings together to extend the warp. Or sometimes a piece of yarn or string breaks during the construction of the warp and weft, and the weaver is forced to tie another piece to extend the newly shortened yarn. These white dots are nothing more than the place where that knotting and tying has occurred.
So if the white dots were created when the rug was originally made, why do the white dots seem to appear out of nowhere? The answer is a bit complicated. Sometimes what happens if that after a period of wear, the knotted pile begins to separate a bit to show the hidden warp and weft (with its white dots). Alternatively, sometimes weavers "color" in the white dots so that they can blend into the hand knotted pile. After a professional cleaning, the inks used to color in the white dots can fade away, and therefore the white dots can appear to come out of nowhere. If this happens with your rug, do not worry. The white dots are nothing to be afraid of - they indeed are not moving - and they do not indicate that there is anything wrong with the structure of your rug. If the white dots on your Oriental rug really bother you, contact a restorer who may be able to assist you in disguising them once again. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
What makes for a successful Oriental rug restoration? There are many elements involved. First, the right yarns - the right texture and shade will go a long way in making for a seemingly "invisible" restoration that blends into the original. Second, the proper set up - something that allows for the damaged area of the rug to be stretched out is also important. Next, a uniform and tight grid to work on (the foundational warp and weft) is critical. Lastly, a lot of time, patience, and skill. These last elements are important because a proper restoration is nothing without attention to detail. Getting the knotting right and following the pattern to recreate the missing motifs is important if the restoration will be successful. --
Anyone who owns a beautiful vintage rug, or has spent any time in a home with a lovely Persian rug that has been around for a few decades will know that there is nothing quite like having a gorgeous older rug serve as the foundation for a warm living space. Vintage rugs have just the right amount of muted colors and worn textures that can instantly transform a room. And as the old adage goes, many times they just don't make them like they used to. Therefore, in many cases, a vintage rug can be counted on to be of high quality. Even if a vintage rug has already been around for a few decades, generally it can still withstand another generation or two with just minimal care. Regular vacuuming and periodic professional cleaning is generally all that is needed. However, sometimes a vintage rug can start to get damaged - usually around the edges. Fringed edges especially succumb to aggressive vacuuming or hungry pets or kids who tug at the fringes and eventually can damage them. The top photo shows a small portion of a fringed edge that had been damaged. In order to properly restore this damaged area, we reconstructed new fringe and integrated the warp strings into the field of the rug. The bottom photo shows us in the process of restoring the fringed area. With any luck, this lovely vintage Persian rug will be able to withstand another few decades of love and wear. --
Peruse any design blog or magazine and you will find pages and pages of gorgeous white, cream, and ivory Moroccan rugs marked by minimal graphic designs in black and brown. These gorgeous Beni Ourain rugs, Berber rugs, and other Moroccan rugs immediately lend spaces a wonderful grounded and textural foundation that complements almost any style of decor. What is perhaps inevitable, however, is that these beautiful pale rugs will conspicuously show any accidental spill. As a result, we often get calls to address unfortunate stains on these knotted Moroccan beauties. The first step is to first professionally clean the rug in its entirety. We are sometimes asked to just remove a stain, but that is not possible as a water mark will result. There are some fortunate instances where a regular professional cleaning will remove a stain from a Moroccan rug. If an additional step is required, we treat the area to minimize the appearance of the stain, sometimes eliminating it altogether. While there is no guarantee for complete removal (for say, a red wine stain), our stain treatment can generally reduce the appearance of a stain significantly. The risk of staining these gorgeous rugs, however, should not deter anyone from living and enjoying these rugs in their home. In my opinion, any stain and imperfection will just add to the history of the rug, making it part of a home all the more. --
You see your normally still rug moving ever so slightly. You squint your eyes to make sure you eyes aren't deceiving you. But no, the rug is moving. More accurately, something on the rug is moving. Some things. Plural. The feeling of disgust washes over you and you somehow gather yourself together to closely examine what exactly is happening. You see tiny white caterpillar like things having a feast all over your gorgeous wool rug. Moths, you think. Moths, you google. And sure enough, your suspicions are confirmed. Moths are eating your rug. What do you do? First, don't panic. This, unfortunately, is not a rare occurrence. With any luck, you have caught the infestation early on and a simple professional cleaning will eradicate the moths and no significant restoration will be necessary. More often, you neglected to examine your rug regularly and the moths have had time to eat a few chunks of wool. You should immediately isolate your rug so that other unaffected rugs or wool textiles are not subjected to the same damage. Wrap the rug in plastic and thoroughly mop the floor on which the rug lay. Vacuum all surrounding upholstered furniture (and then empty the vacuum cleaner or change the bag). A simple solution of vinegar and water is very effective to clean floors. Next, have your moth damaged rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible. The moths will continue to eat until the rug is cleaned. Ask your professional Oriental rug cleaner if they have experience cleaning and restoring moth damaged rugs. After a thorough professional cleaning, the rug will be ready to be inspected for the full extent of the damage. Ask your restorer what your options are. Sometimes a simple repair can suffice, but other times, a full restoration is the only option.
The silk rug photographed above (which is laying on top of a green wool rug) has some significant damage to its fringes. This damage was most likely caused by aggressive vacuuming of the fringes over an extended period of time. The fringes are uneven at this point, and are tearing away from the rug itself. The binding has come undone and the knotted edge are starting to come undone as well. Repairing this fringe damage would be much easier (and less costly) to fix at this point than if one waited until the knotted areas would start to come undone (which is imminent). The first step in this kind of fringe repair is, as always, to professionally clean the rug. Then, we will cut away all damaged areas, create a uniformed edge, and newly bind the rug along the fringed edge. This repair should be enough to minimize the risk of further damage.
This gorgeous antique Turkish kilim had several worn areas mostly in its red field. Restoring this kind of kilim damage is challenging as we must strive to match the red yarns to those of the original as much as possible so as not to call too much attention to the restored areas. The kilim restoration process is greatly rewarding, however, and the final results can be very beautiful. I find the mechanics of this stage of our work highly calming and restorative -- not just to the kilim but to even myself. To see the tangible results of one's labors is intensely gratifying, and can be very rare in our fast paced world. I consider myself very fortunate that I can fill my days with these kind of antique kilim restoration projects. ---
As someone who is around beautiful rugs and kilims all day long - both for professional and personal reasons - I am asked often about what my favorite kinds of rugs are. It is always hard to answer this question because there are truly exceptional examples of gorgeous types of weavings in each category. But if I were pressed to name just one kind of weaving that was my absolute favorite, it would have to be kilims. There is something so beautiful and exquisitely captivating about kilims. They are a challenge to create because any mistake is readily apparent. The range of motifs is limited because only geometric motifs are possible given the type of weaving. And yet the sheer number of designs of kilims feels virtually limitless. Moreover, the combination of colors in kilims - colors that one would think would clash - can bring a whole room to life. Caring for these beautiful kilims is a joy. With just minimal care, including regular gentle vacuuming, period professional kilim cleaning, and regular inspections for muting and moth damage, kilims can last several lifetimes. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Silk rugs can instantly transform a room - elevating even the starkest space into a warm elegant room. Silk rugs are surprisingly durable and can last for generations. Caring for silk rugs is similar to caring for wool rugs. Professionally cleaning silk rugs involves the same considerations, including color test runs and carefully brushing the silk rugs to remove embedded dirt. We recommend rotating silk rugs just like wool rugs every six months to ensure that foot traffic and any muting by the sun is as evenly disbursed as possible. Regular silk rug cleaning is important to lengthen the life of the rug, but it does not have to be every year. We recommend to have your silk rug cleaned once every two years if it is subject to normal wear. If it is in a high traffic area, we recommend annual professional silk rug cleaning. If it is in a bedroom or other area where it does not have much foot traffic, especially without outdoor shoes, silk rug cleaning can be much less frequent. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Whether your taste is defined as traditional or if it leans more to the modern or contemporary, Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs can suit almost any kind of decor. They are both warm and geometrically striking. Their black or brown graphic designs often stand in contrast to a backdrop of thick ivory wool. This fantastic and beautiful contrast poses a challenge, however. Professionally cleaning Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs can pose a challenge because their dyes can be fugitive and can bleed during the cleaning process. We have often come across beautiful Beni Ourain rugs that had obvious color run during a previous cleaning. For this reason, it is important that a color run test is done before a full professional cleaning of these gorgeous Moroccan rugs. After the color test, care must be taken to never let the rug sit in water if there is evidence of the dyes bleeding so as to avoid damaging the beautiful ivory or light colored backgrounds. With proper care and caution, these beautiful Beni Ourain rugs will continue to stand the test of time and passing trends. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
One of these critical steps often is overlooked, however, even though we recommend it be done only twice a year. This overlooked step is to rotate your rug so that any muting caused by the sun, or any foot traffic is more evenly dispersed. The rug above was not rotated and one can see that the sun muted the rug on the section that was not hidden by a bed that lay above it. This kind of muting is very difficult to rectify. For this reason, we highly recommend that clients avoid this problem by regularly rotating their rugs on a biannual basis (perhaps coinciding with daylight savings time?).
Another issue that the rug above had was the obvious stain caused by pet urine. Pet urine stains are very difficult to treat if they have been allowed to set for a long time. Not only does pet urine discolor the yarn, but it is also acidic and can compromise the yarn as well. For this reason, we highly recommend treating pet stains as soon as possible after they occur.
With a little preventative care, such as rotating rugs on a regular basis, and quick treatment of any accidents, such as having pet stains cleaned immediately, a rug such as this beautiful Oriental rug can last for many, many years. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
We recently restored a beautiful fine antique Persian rug that had various damaged areas, including the one photographed above. We first professionally cleaned this gorgeous antique rug, taking care not to worsen any of the existing damage. Once the rug was cleaned and dry, we sourced the yarns that would best blend into the muted antique color palette. The dusty rose and blues were probably a lot more saturated a century ago but it was important for us to match the yarns to the beautiful warm tones that a century of sunlight had produced. Once we sourced the best yarns for this antique rug restoration project, we carefully reknotted the pile reconstructing the motif that had been damaged through a century of wear and tear. The result will allow this rug to be used and enjoyed for years to come. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Restoring an antique kilim generally is similar to restoring a newer kilim. Antique yarns, however, tend to be more fragile and their colors are more muted given the century or so that they have been exposed to the sun. The actual techniques we use for antique kilim restoration projects, however, are the same as we would use to restore newer kilims. We take care to remove all damaged fibers before commencing any project. We carefully professionally clean the kilim so that our restored sections will blend in with the generally brighter colors of a clean kilim. We then interweave the warp and the weft while striving to match the original kilim's motifs and color tones. The results of a kilim restoration project are immediately visible, which is both a helpful guide to a restorer, but also provides an added challenge in that restoration "mistakes" are almost impossible to hide. The antique kilim restoration project above is an example of a recent kilim we restored. The kilim had been damaged over many years, but after our restoration, we hope it is ready to be enjoyed for at least a few more decades. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
One of the most crucial aspects of achieving a successful restoration project right is sourcing the right type and color yarns. When we undertake a restoration or repair project, we strive to match the restored area with the original rug in both the design, weaving style, and color. This last goal - matching the color - can often be the most difficult part because a different color or shade will often make a restored area "jump out" and distract from the overall beauty and aesthetic of the rug. For this reason, we strive to match the original color as much as possible. While it is never a perfect match, we can often get very close. As a restorer, therefore, I am allowed to indulge in a favorite pastime of mine which I affectionately call "yarn hunting." My collection has a wide range of colors and textures, as well as yarns of different ages. Sometimes, we unravel old kilims that are too damaged to restore so that we can use the yarns from the kilim in the restoration of another similarly aged kilim. It is a challenging process, to be sure, but one that can yield beautiful results. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Every once in a while we get called to inspect a rug that has been stored for a few months (or even longer!) in a closet, or storage space, or under a bed. Clients sometimes ask us to identify what the white glue like substance is behind their rug that they had never noticed before. It is then that we have to inform our client that their rug is moth infested. Moths love rugs in storage, especially rugs that have not been cleaned before storage (although even clean rugs are not immune from moth damage). For this reason, it is very important that any rugs that are stored are inspected regularly for any signs of moth damage. As with so many things, an ounce of prevention will go a long way. Store only clean rugs, inspect them regularly, and let them air out every once in a while so that moths don't have a chance to make a meal of your beloved wool rug. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Over the years, I have been asked many times to explain what makes a rug one of high quality, or "fine." While there is no one dispositive factor, a significant factor is often the tightness of a rug's weave, and if it is knotted, the knot count per square inch. Generally, the higher knot count per square inch, the finer the rug, and often, the more expensive it is. Repairing and restoring fine rugs properly requires that the restored area match the original rug's motifs, colors, and fineness. It would look jarring to have a poorly knotted area in an otherwise exceptionally knotted rug. The rug above is a beautiful antique Persian rug that needed restoration in several areas. It is a challenge to work on such rugs, but one that can be extremely enjoyable, particularly when the results are harmonious with the rest of the rug. Fine antique rug restoration is time consuming and skill intensive, but will extend the life of a beautiful rug for decades and even generations. In a small, but tangible, way, it is one way of preserving the past for our future. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
It is understandable when the rugs and furnishings in a smoker's home smell of smoke. Similarly, rugs that have been close to a fire will smell like smoke. Sometimes, rugs will smell of smoke even if the fire was at quite a distance from the rugs. We recently were contacted by a client whose home was filled with smoke from a fire in a property down the street from his home. Even after a few days, the rug smelled of smoke. We had to professionally clean the rug, and had to soak the rug for a longer period of time to get rid of the smoke. We recommend having this care done as soon as possible after a fire to increase the chances of eliminating the odor completely. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
There are very few material things that can last as long as a fine Oriental rug. One of the characteristics of finely woven Oriental rugs that allows them to last as long as they do is their ability to be restored. This beautiful antique rug had a hole near its center. We rebuilt the warp and then reknotted the pile striving for the reknotted motifs and colors to blend in with the original rug. We are always gratified when a client sees her or his rug again after our restoration and has trouble finding where we restored the rug. We take that as a great professional achievement and are satisfied that we helped conserve another beautiful rug for another few decades, at least. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
It can happen to anyone. You have a little renovation project in one room so you empty the room of all its contents, including rolling up your beautiful Persian rug. You place that rolled up rug in the corner of another room and leave it undisturbed for a few weeks that turn into a few months. You don't think anything of it, but once that renovation is done, you happily start putting back your furniture. And you go to the corner to get your gorgeous rug and unroll it only to discover that moths have started to devour it. This is a common occurrence when rugs are improperly stored, especially rugs that have not been recently professionally cleaned. Moth damage is always a risk especially when rugs (or any wool products) are stored. It is important to periodically inspect your rugs to assess for any potential moth infestation.
Occasionally, I hear from friends and acquaintances that say that while they love hand knotted rugs, they can not have them in their homes because traditional Oriental rugs will not suit their modern decor. I am always saddened to hear this because it neglects to consider the vast range of gorgeous hand knotted and handwoven rugs that are perfectly suited to modern decor, and I would argue, any kind of decor. These beautiful modern hand knotted rugs sometimes marry traditional motifs and open sparse fields like the rug above. They reimagine traditional motifs in a new way and, in my opinion, breathe new life into beautiful woven art. I would encourage homeowners, designers, and any one interested in beautiful rugs to consider these gorgeous rugs when looking to furnish their modern homes. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
An artist has her paints, and a weaver has her yarns. One of my most beloved and prized possessions is my collection of yarns. I love the way they look on my desk when they're neatly organized or even when they're just strewn about. I love the many shades of the many colors, and how the different textures feel against my hands. I love everything about the yarns, even the faint scent that some have. Every trip I make back home to Turkey is filled with what I affectionately call "yarn hunting" as I seek to find a new shade of a beloved color to my collection. Lucky for me, amassing my wide ranging collection is not just for personal enjoyment, but is also critical for my restoration work. Finding (or creating) just the right shade is critical for a good restoration, if the goal of the restoration is not to call attention to itself. When the wrong color is used in a restoration, the result can be jarring even if the restored section is finely woven and seamlessly integrated. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
For generations, silk has been prized for its beauty, its strength, its rarity. Similarly, great silk rugs have been lauded for their beauty, quality, intricacy, and value. Silk rugs are durable when they are finely woven and they can last for generations. Caring for silk rugs is very similar to caring for their more widely available wool counterparts. Routine care of silk rugs will ensure that they remain as beautiful as they were when they were cut off the loom. Silk rugs should be vacuumed regularly, but great care should be taken to not vacuum the fringes. Silk rugs should be rotated regularly so as to ensure that foot traffic and sun exposure is evenly distributed. Silk rugs should be inspected regularly for any damage. Lastly, silk rugs should be professionally cleaned every two years or so. If the rug is not in a high traffic area then the times between professional cleanings can be longer. Similarly, if the rug is in a high traffic area, then professionally cleaning silk rugs every year may be preferable. ---www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Many popular stores today sell hand knotted rugs that are mass produced. Photographed above is one such rug sold by a popular chain store with locations throughout the US. Although these rugs are hand knotted, we have found that often the materials used to make the rugs are generally less durable and of lower quality than those used for traditional hand knotted rugs that are made by individual weavers. Because of this, we have found that we need to be extra careful when caring for these mass produced rugs as colors are generally not stable and dyes often run. Also, fibers generally are not as durable so cleaning must be very gentle. This is surprising given that these rugs can sometimes be more expensive to buy than traditional hand knotted rugs that are not made through mass produced means. --
There are beautiful Moroccan rugs that have so much intricate detail and great fantastic color palettes to enchant any lover of gorgeous rugs. A subset of these Moroccan rugs, specifically those that have a cotton base with embroidery-like detail, are notorious among restorers and those who care for Oriental rugs. The reason for this is that a subset of these are made with unstable dyes and therefore are particularly susceptible to color run during the cleaning process. It is imperative that any cleaning process controls for this risk or else the rug may be damaged permanently. One way to do this is to do a color run test on a small discrete area of the rug. But even if a rug's colors do not run in a small discrete area, there is always a risk that the colors in other parts of the rug may run. It is a risk, for sure, but a color run test can usually help a restorer assess whether the dyes in the rug are generally stable. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
There are few things more satisfying than restoring a beautiful antique Oriental rug. While modern rugs undoubtedly can be exquisite, there is something that only centuries of wear, sunlight, and care can do to a rug. For an inexplicable reason, time seems to enhance the beauty in fine Oriental rugs. To be sure, there are specific challenges associated with restoring antique rugs, including sourcing the right color wool that is muted just so and working around fragile wool that has been lived on for decades - even centuries. Despite the challenges, however, I find it especially rewarding to see a rug that had been almost unusable come back to "life," and in turn allowing it to be used for many more decades to come. --
The wonderful geometric motifs of kilims can be like art for your floor. Indeed, in many homes in my native country of Turkey, people hang kilims on the wall for the beautiful vibrancy they provide. The contrasting colors accentuate the motifs making them "pop" even more. This is why it is critical that when a handmade kilim is cleaned, special care is made to avoid any color run. Darker colors can seep into lighter colors during the kilim cleaning process so special attention should be paid to this at all times. We recommend doing a test on a small area of the kilim before soaking the entire kilim to minimize the risk of color run. With proper care and regular period professional kilim cleaning, a beautiful kilim can last several lifetimes. --
It seems that these days, Beni Ourain rugs can be found in nearly every stylish home. They are at once modern and traditional and can seemingly fit into nearly any kind of space. They are beautiful in their exquisite simplicity, having a very limited motif and color palette, especially when compared to other rugs from the region.
Caring for Beni Ourain rugs is similar to caring for other Oriental rugs, but their simplicity can sometimes present a challenge, especially when a Beni Ourain is stained or discolored. The fact that the stain is usually on a single color can make the stain appear more prominently than it would with a more intricate design and color palette. Indeed, even if the stain is very minor, the fact that the rest of the rug is very simple will make the minor stain stand out. Improving the appearance of a stain on these beautiful Moroccan rugs is impossible, but they usually require lots of trial and error. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Pet stains are rarely completely avoidable. Even the most well behaved pets can sometimes have an accident. What results, unfortunately, is a very difficult stain to remove. What we do in instances of pet stains on Oriental rugs is first soak the rug, professionally clean it, and then assess how best to minimize the risk of any stain that is still present. In rare instances, regular professional cleaning can almost eliminate the stain altogether. But in most cases, the stain will remain and we will have to treat the area further. Often, we will have to do a color restoration process that can include redying and reknotting the area. As with most things, the quicker we can address the stain, the more likely the chances of success. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Good quality Oriental rugs can withstand centuries of daily wear and generations of children, grown ups, and pets. Occasionally, however, it is sometimes inevitable that a rug is damaged if it lived upon for an extended period of time. A great advantage of hand knotted rugs is that they can be repaired and restored. Indeed, it is hard for a family member - two legged or four legged - to irreversibly damage a rug.
The photo above is of a beautiful Oushak that was damaged by a family pet that consistently pulled at the knots of the rug. The white spots that resemble pilling on a wool sweater are the result of the cat's clawing over what I assume was a significant period of time. Luckily, we can repair this kind of damage by shearing down the pulled knots. Once repaired, the white spots will no longer be visible. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
We recently restored this lovely Turkish kilim, which was made using a slit weave design. The kilim is absolutely beautiful constructed entirely of warm shades of brown and beige yarns. The warp was mostly intact so the focus of our restoration was mostly on finding the right yarns for the missing and damaged weft. One of the most gratifying aspects of working on kilims is that the result of our work is immediately visible - there is no need to shear down yarns in order to see if our work is as we desired. The photo above shows us restoring a damaged tent motif. After our restoration is complete, the owner of this beautiful Turkish kilim should be able to enjoy it for many years to come with just a minimal amount of periodic care and maintenance. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
As any admirer of handmade rugs will know, one can live with a handmade rug for years and still discover new beautiful details. When we restore rugs, we try to maintain those beautiful intricacies as much as possible. This beautiful antique rug had some fringe damage so after restoring the fringe, we bound the fringe with a chain detail as seen in the top photo. From the back (the bottom photo), the chain detail is not as visible. The chain detail serves to further minimize the risk of unraveling, but it is also a beautiful detail that serves to enhance the beauty of an already lovely piece. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Restoration has many challenges, and it certainly has many rewards. One of the wonderful parts of my work is when I am able to restore a cherished piece that is of great sentimental value to its owner. This beautiful Moroccan kilim was such a piece. It had been damaged for some time, and had significant tears and holes in its beautiful blue field. We were able to reconstruct the warp and weft and make it structurally sound again. We hope that by restoring this Moroccan kilim rug with great care and love, it will have even more sentimental value to its owner. Kilims like this can last for generations with minimal care and preservation. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
We often write about how important it is to carefully inspect a rug on a regular basis, especially when the rug is under heavy furniture or under a bed where dark poorly ventilated spaces provide ideal conditions for moth damage to occur. What we haven't warned about as often is how the sun can damage a rug that is not rotated or inspected regularly. The rug above was left with a heavy table on top of it for an extended period of time. Luckily for the rug owner, moths did not damage the rug, but the sunlight that hit the rug did manage to mute all the areas except for that area under the table. The result is that now the rug looks stained and discolored. The best way to prevent sun damage is of course is to limit exposure to sunlight through sun blocking shades and curtains. But that is not always practical, possible, or frankly, desirable to those humans and pets that enjoy the brightness and warmth of sunlight. For this reason, we also recommend maintaining a regular rotation schedule so that any muting of your rugs can be even and uneven muting like in that of the rug above can be avoided. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
With the longer days of spring upon us, we are well into clearing out all things winter and welcoming all warmer weather related happiness. As part of this, many people are taking time to do deeper cleanings and are undertaking a wise careful inspection of their rugs. As such, we wanted to remind readers what to look for in terms of any potential moth damage. What does an active or past moth infestation look like? The photo above is a good example of moth damage. Moths tend to look like sticky white glue-like substances on the pile of the rug, in particular, on the wool sections of the rug. It is really incredible to us even after all these years of restoring moth damaged rugs, just how moths can completely devour entire wool sections of rugs, and leave cotton fibers (like those making up the warp and weft in some rugs) completely untouched. If you spot moths, it is important that you immediately isolate the rug from all other wool rugs and textiles and have the rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the moth damage. In addition, you should thoroughly clean the floor and area under the rug. If the rug was on a pad, we recommend discarding the pad and replacing it with a new one. If you catch moth damage early, a cleaning and minimal repair might be the only things that are necessary. But if moths are left to devour a rug for an extended period of time, a more extensive restoration might be needed. --
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. --
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. --www.traditionalrugrepair.com
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.
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. --
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