Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oriental Rug Repair: Cashmereing and Patching

In Rug Washing of Oriental Rugs a crucial first step in the pre-inspection. No rug washer should ever start on a rug until they know what they are getting into. It is at this step that problems in the rug become apparent. Since not all washers are also restorers I am reviewing common restoration techniques that every rug washer should be familiar with. I am also trying to explain some of the pertinent considerations:

This is a less expensive alternative to repileing that I do not see offered very much anymore. It seems more common in larger room size rugs where it stands out less than in small rugs. Instead of pile the lost knots are replaced by flat yarn that covers the bare area is rather like sumac or float weft brocade. It is less than ideal for high traffic areas but can be a viable alternative to the more expensive repileing. This is done when the foundation is intact.

This seems to be a dying art. Many of the old time carpet dealers especially the Armenians were masters of this. Old worn and damaged rugs were kept in bins or barrels and when a patch was needed they would look for something in a similar tonality. Pattern is often secondary and the general tonality is key. A funny thing about the eye is that when you know the patch is there you often see it first when you look at the rug. But when the patch is the same tone as the surrounding areas it can be very hard for most people to see.