Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oriental Rug Repair: Reweaving and Repileing

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:
Reweaving Rugs

When a rug has a hole or a missing part the best and often the most expensive solution is to reweave. This can involve replacing the warps and wefts of the missing foundation and adding in pile knots. To do this properly the new construction needs to mimic the existing rug. Properly done the warps and wefts are the same size and same material as the rest of the rug. The new knots should be the same type either symmetrical or unsymmetrical and the same size. The yarn should be a complimentary match to the existing rug and needs to reflect the same variation in color and not just the overall tone of the existing pile. What is often lost on less experienced reweaves is that in most Persian and Oriental rugs the color is not all the same tone in one knot. Even in good rug there is minor variation in a red where in one knot has some darker fibers and some that are lighter. A master reweave will mimic this by mixing shades in each knot. This is often done by taking a darker stand and a lighter strand and plying them together so that the overall effect is the desired shade but that it shows a normal variation under close examination.
On some reweaves I can spot the reweave from 20 feet, which is less than ideal. With a good reweave I can spot if on close examination especially when I look at the back. This is important because matching color is not that difficult but getting the foundation to look right is much harder. In a great repair I can’t see it but can usually feel it. There are a handful of world class restorers who can do a reweave that I cannot detect by look or by feel. That ishttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif rare. I remember seeing a repair that Hagop Manoyan did that even when he showed me where it was I could not find it.
The better the repair the harder it is to find. Some tricks to spot the repair are to use a black light to look for variations in the fluorescence in like color areas. This does not work well when all of one color has been replaced. Other ways are to compare how the color refracts light. Size and color can be duplicated but rarely can the refractive properties of the wool be duplicated because of differences in age and breed as well as average fiber diameter.

Repileing Rugs
Basically the same as reweaving except that it is only the pile that is replaced and the existing foundation is used. This is less expensive because the foundation is already in place. For considerations see reweaving.