This runner had signs of heavy wear: the wool pile had worn down to the foundation of the rug. Our weaver is in the process of knotting new wool pile using two colors of Persian wool in order to recreate the color variations of the original rug. During the weaving process the cut ends of the wool yarn are loose and shaggy.
The woven repair has been shorn to match the length of the surrounding rug. The ends of the pile may be slightly burned to simulate the look of age. The goal is for the newly woven repair to look compatible with the rest of the rug; a good repair should not be readily apparent when looking at the whole rug.
New cotton threads are sewn into the intact portion of the rug, and the ends of those threads are fastened to a wood frame with nails. This frame becomes the weaver’s loom, and the threads are the new foundation. Wool strands are hand-knotted onto the foundation in order to recreate the original colors and pattern of the rug.
The fringe at the end of this rug had become worn and needed to be replaced. By hand, we attached fringe in a strip along the edge of the rug. We choose a shade of fringe that is compatible with the coloring of the rug - either white or natural cotton. In this case, white fringe was used. Replacement fringe should be attached to a handmade rug by hand, not by machine.
Sometimes we feel that the white flatweave at the end of the rug (called the kilim) is too wide and does not balance well with the overall look of the rug. After untying the fringe knots, we can remove weft threads from the kilim, in essence "unweaving" it, to make the area narrower and less prominent.
The customer who purchased this rug did not like the appearance of fringe on the ends of the rug, however, almost all hand-knotted rugs have fringe. In order to hide the fringe from view, our craftsman folded it over and then sewed it into a canvas pocket on the back of the rug. By doing this, we keep the original foundation threads intact and eliminate the display of fringe that the buyer disliked.
Imported Persian wool yarn is used in a variety of rug repairs such as overcasting the edges of a rug or reweaving holes and worn areas. The wool is particularly soft and lustrous, and we feel that it is the right product to complete the best quality rug restorations possible. See the Weaving and Overcasting page for more information about repairs made with Persian wool.
Rubbing a pumice stone on the pile of a rug after it has been washed stimulates the natural lanolin in the wool. As a result, after the stone has been used, the rug will appear smoother and more lustrous. This will also bring to the surface of the rug, little bits of yarn which can then be trimmed away.
Heavy cotton thread, pictured on the large spool, is used to bind the ends of rugs and as the foundation around which yarn is wrapped to create overcasting on the sides of rugs. Flat nose pliers are used to pull out old damaged foundation threads and overcasting to prepare work areas for repair. These pliers are also used to pull the craftsman's needle through tight areas of the rug. A metal pick is a multipurpose tool, but one of its uses is to untie small knots. Wax coated thread glides more easily through the rug, and wax also puts a protective coating over the cotton to increase its durability.
A damaged area at the end of this rug was repaired using a small piece of another rug. Patching a rug is a method of repair that may be used when the customer prefers not to invest in reweaving the missing section. In this case, our restoration expert used part of a rug that was similar in design and coloration to the rug being repaired to create the patch.
Once the patch has been sewn into the rug, it is difficult to detect. Reweaving is even more seamless, however, patching requires an investment that is about 25% the cost of reweaving; so, depending on the value of the rug both monetarily and emotionally, patching may be the better choice for repair.