Repairs: A Repair Tour
|For details of how to photo a rug so we can see the repairs needed click HERE.
If sending a rug to us or others we show the best way to fold the rug HERE.
Inspection - Rugs that come to us
for repair are thoroughly inspected to identify
the damage, the cause of that damage, and
the various options available to correct or
minimize that damage. Our goal is not only
to make the rug “look” better
cosmetically, but also to make certain that
the structure of the repaired area is strong
enough to allow you to use and enjoy your
rug without worrying about further damage.
Rugs are woven to last decades at the least,
and centuries at the most, and rugs of all
ages travel through our doors. Our specialty
is antique and semi-antique rug care, and
our knowledge regarding these textiles allows
us to give you the information necessary in
making the right rug care decisions. If a
rug gets to the point that it is “past
its prime,” we will let you know what
type of floor, type of underlay, and level
of traffic would be best to help the piece
& End Repair - The Fringe is
the “Skeleton” of Your Rug. Most
rugs have white cotton fringe tassles, and
others have wool or silk tassles. Some rug
owners like the look of the fringe on their
rugs, to others it drives them nuts to always
be straightening them, or keeping them from
getting caught in the vacuum cleaner (that’s
why you vacuum from side to side instead of
from end to end).
But, the fringe is not just a “pretty”
way to finish the rug – it is actually
the foundation fibres of the rug. The rug’s
“skeleton.” Each individual tassle
that you grab in your hand runs through the
middle of the rug all the way to the other
end, emerging as another individual tassle
on the opposite end.
WARP: Each individual
foundation strand that runs the length of
a rug. These strands end up being the fringe
tassles of the rug.
WEFT: Each individual foundation strand
that runs the width of a rug. We remember
these as being the strands that run “weft”
to “right.” ?
the tassles are the warps of a hand woven
rug, a torn or worn fringe is damage to
pay particular attention to. This damage
can easily result in your rug unravelling
and losing its knots (this is where the
labour – and value – of a rug
(Securing) Stitch - A proper overcast
stitch (by hand) along the end of a rug will
anchor the knots in place so that they will
not “slide” off of the warps.
This is a simple looking stitch (either a
buttonhole or cross-stitch variety), but knowledge
about how to properly anchor the stitch to
a weft thread is key. A poorly executed stitch
will lead to a tension inconsistency that
can result in additional knots unravelling
from the rug.
A minimum of an inch of original fringe (exposed
warps) tassles is needed for a correct overcast
stitch, and it is ideal to have one consistent
row of knots to anchor together from left
to right – this usually means that the
rug must be evened out beforehand to prepare
it for the overcast stitch.
Replacement - The fringe is the first
thing to go on a rug. Years of footsteps on
individual tassles cause abrasion. Vacuum
cleaners cause damage and they both contribute
to tearing, fraying, and an eventual wearing
down of the tassles. It’s a noticeable
thing to fix, and it is the most common repair
that comes through our doors.
First the end must be secured with an overcast
stitch so that the structure of the rug is
sound. Then a new prefabricated fringe can
be laid along the top of the original fringe
base, and attached by hand. Because the fringe
is laid on top of the original fringe base
(the original tassles are trimmed shorter
so that they do not “peek” through
the new tassles) it protects the end of the
rug from further foot traffic abrasion.
Repair - Just as tied-off fringe
tassles hold the knots in place from the ends;
the side cords hold the knots in place from
the sides. The weft (left to right) threads
are wrapped around a thick side cord that
runs the entire length of the rug (with the
warps). This cord holds the rows in place,
and is usually (after the weaving is completed)
wrapped in wool, cotton, goat hair, or silk.
The over-wrapping is usually done in a colour
that blends well with the overall look of
multiple rugs are woven on the same large
loom for higher production numbers. When
this is done, the rug wefts are shared between
the rugs. To separate the rugs, the shared
wefts need to be cut. This means that these
wefts are not wrapped securely around a
side cord. In fact, what is often done is
a side cord is already over-wrapped in a
matching colour and they baste it to each
side of the finished rug without securing
the “loose” weft threads. This
makes the rug “look” right,
but over time it could start coming away.
- Small holes and tears in the centre of a
rug can be caused by many things – excessive
foot traffic, furniture friction (rolling
chairs), planter water damage (dry rot), or
just old age. Regardless of the cause, the
area needs immediate attention to ensure further
loss of knots is avoided.
Embroidery stitching can strengthen small
worn areas to protect fragile foundation fibres
from further friction. If the hole is significant,
then patching or reweaving will be needed.
- Selective dyeing is a “cosmetic”
repair to make your rug look better.
Permanent textile dyes can be used to blend
away worn areas, discoloured areas, white
knots, and repairs.
On collectable rugs dyeing beyond some small
particular areas can affect the value of the
rug. We will share the positives and negatives
in these situations so you can make an informed
hope that you find the repair tour useful and feel
that we are the company that you will trust to repair