Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oriental Rug Repair: Cut and Shut Rugs

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:
A Cut and Shut Caucasian Rug

Cut and Shut Rugs
This is a technique where a rug is cut and part of it is removed and then it is reattached. This was often used when a rug was too large or when there was a damaged or worn part that did not justify more intensive repairs. Many of the old restorers were masters at this and I have seen a “Cut and Shut” rug fool experts. I remember one time at the Textile Museum a well known expert was looking at a small rug and I pointed out it was cut and hut. He looked at it and told me I was mistaken. Once I pointed out the seams then he could see it. The trick is to step the lines. For instance cut to the inside of the guard border than follow the border line for a few inches then cut the main and follow the inner main line for a bit then cut the inner guard and so on. If the cut is too straight and too long the eye picks it up easier but when you cut horizontal then follow a pattern lime vertically then cut horizontal again the eye usually has a far harder time finding it. Oftentimes there is a logical place to cut. On a three medallion runner it would look odd if you lefty part of the design and took the rest of it but taking one medallion out of a three medallion runner is fairly simple. A Cut and Shut Rug is by its very nature worth less than if the rug was extant in good condition but it is a way to get some use out a rug that otherwise is of very little value as it sits now.