What is possible in repairing Oriental Rugs?


Oriental rugs are hand woven on a loom with vertical warps and horizontal wefts making the foundation and rows of knots making the pile. Because it has such a simple basis a great deal is possible in the repairs of rugs and carpets. The skill comes in assessing the best procedures depending on many factors such as  the amount of use the carpet will have and its current condition. Skill is also needed in  selecting the right materials to reproduce the character of the original weave.

Before putting in the time and expense of repairs it is best to get an expert opinion to confirm that it is a genuine oriental carpet, to estimate the value of the rug in its present state, the cost of the repair and the final value so that an informed decision can be made. If you send me a photograph of your rug an initial assessment can be made.

The first  stage is to clean the rug to remove the dirt in the pile and reveal the true colours. This is potentially the most hazardous stage as colours can run, warping may occur and damage can be done to fragile areas. It is best carried out by an expert.

The second stage is to asses the condition of the edges as they are the first parts to show wear. There may be damage to the fringes, the end finishes unravelling, and even rows of knots coming away. These can be replaced but tends to be expensive and would be worth doing on a valuable rug. A cheaper option would be to remove the loose material and then secure the existing end and perhaps to trim the fringe level, a short fringe on an old rug is acceptable. The side are usually edged with a selvage which often wears and can be bound again. If the damage goes into the piled part of the rug re-weaving may be necessary.

The final stage is to asses the damage to the piles areas. Parts can be re-piled if the original foundation is still sound. Holes can also be re-woven by putting the foundation back and then re-piling. This is the most skilled work and requires access to wools of the right colours and needs to be done right to add value.

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