Over time, even the strongest rugs may eventually suffer some wear damage, especially if the rug is located in a high-traffic area. Fortunately, most rugs can be restored to nearly pristine condition with some basic repair services. The best way to see what can be done is to look at some sample before and afters:
Generally, repair work can be broken down into fringes, edges, stenciling, strengthening and weaving.
- Fringes: Strengthen and even out the fringes of the rug. Price is based on the length of the fringe that needs to be repaired (i.e. both sides of a 9' x 12' would be 18' of work).
- Edges: Removed excessively damaged section, and strengthen edge. If necessary, a new edge is sewn in. Price is based on the length of edge that needs repaired (i.e. both sides of a 9' x 12' would be 24' of work).
- Stenciling: Apply fresh, carefully hand-matched dyes to areas where the color has faded or worn. Cost depends on how much area of the rug needs to be stenciled.
- Strengthening: If you rug has worn areas or even holes, fear not! We can strengthen almost any rug by sewing new material into the worn spots. Even holes in the rug can be patched in, strengthened, and stenciled as needed. Cost depends on the area(s) that need to be strengthened.
- Weaving: Another option for repairing worn areas is to cut out the worn area, lay a new foundation, and then re-weave new wool in the correct pattern. While weaving typically produces the finest possible results, it is more expensive than other types of repairs, and is thus usually reserved more more expensive carpets.
FringesIn a handmade oriental rug, the fringes are an extension of the warp, which is part of the foundation of the rug. This makes the fringes very strong, as they are part of the structure of the rug, and not tied or glued on. However, the fringe is still one of the most vulnerable sections of the rug, as it is unsupported. Vacuum cleaners, cats' claws, children, and simple wear from walking all will take their toll over time.
Luckily, fringe repair is straightfoward, and will almost always result in a much better looking rug. Fixing the fringe is analogous to a good haircut -- it will clean the rug up!
If the damage is small, the fringe can be repaired simply by cutting it down evenly to its undamaged areas. If the damage extends into the borders of the rug, then some of the rug must be unraveled and removed. It's important to remove as little of the rug as possible but still yield an even, undamaged area. Thread is then sewn into the new edge of the rug to strengthen it and prevent further wear damage to the fringe.
Either way, a successful fringe repair job will result in a rug that has a clean, strong border, as well as a straight fringe. The new look will appear very natural, as though it was the original look of the rug.
EdgesEdges run the length of the rug, and are bound to provide extra strength. When they wear, they can unravel, which not only looks bad, but can also hasten further wear.
Edge repair restores the strength to the edges, either by weaving new wool around the existing edge, or, if needed, sewing a new edge into place. In either case, the structural strength of the carpet is restored. The rug will also look much cleaner and neater when the edges are solid.
StencilingOver time some rugs may lose the vibrancy of color that they originally possessed. Often the dyes fade in areas where the pile is worn down from lots of wear. The result is a rug that simply looks tired and worn.
Stenciling restores the original look of the rug by applying new dyes to the worn areas. There are a few details in the stenciling process that are important to get right. First, the replacement dyes must be matched so that they will appear correct with the rug after the repairs are complete and the dyes have fully dried. Second, it is important to stencil the appropriate amount in. Too much stenciling results in an unnatural look, where the replacement dyes overpower the original rug. Too little stenciling, and the rug will look incomplete.
StrengtheningStrengthing is needed in rugs that have spots that have worn sufficiently that the structure is beginning to give out. The goal of strengthening is not so much to improve the look, but rather to significantly extend the life of the carpet. However, as a nice by-product, usually the rug's appearance is significantly improved as well. If further appearance enchancements are desired, then there is always the option to do edges, fringes, and stenciling, as needed.
In some cases, there are actual holes in the rug. These are fixed by finding a suitable patch from a similar-style rug, and weaving the patch into the foundation of the rug. This prevents any of the accelerated damage that will normally occur around very worn spots. Usually, the patch is not noticeable from normal observation, and can be stenciled in to make it even more natural-looking, if desired.
In sections that are worn so that the foundation is beginning to show, but with no holes, a combination of weaving and sewing is used to strengthen and secure the area, again, to prevent any further damage.
Done properly, strengthening can add decades of life to a cherished rug.