Much like a car, carpets need to be maintained to counter the effects of normal wear and tear over time. The sides and the ends of the rug are in place to prevent the rug from unravelling. Once the the sides and/or ends wear and weaken, this quickly puts the rug at risk of unravelling. The most common type of repair, therefore, is to secure the rug from the normal everyday wear and tear. Having your rug taken in for maintenance every five to ten years will keep it looking great and lasting for generations.
Another common question is whether or not repairing rugs affects their value. A quality repair, using old vegetable dyed wool and a proper weave, will always add to the value of a rug whether it is new or a one of a kind antique masterpiece. The problem is when a rug is repaired poorly, using the wrong wool or weave, or is repaired in a way which goes against its original character. At Art Underfoot you can be assured that your rugs always receive the highest quality repairs. After dealing with antique rug collectors for over generations, we know how to care for all types of rugs – new and old – in a way that maintains its originality and character.
The most common areas of repair are the sides & ends which is where all four sides of your rug is secured as needed. This amazingly transforms a fragile, worn carpet into one that looks not only quite sturdy but also original. Much like the way an old painting looks fragile outside of a good frame, we “frame” your carpet into a long lasting, beautiful work of woven art.
What we call the “sides” of the rug are the sides without fringe along the length of the rug. To repair the sides, we wrap the side with wool that not only protects the rug from unravelling but also looks clean and original.
Each rug will tell what thickness and color looks best. Fine rugs require a fine, narrow edge while thicker piled rugs look best with a coarser one. A proper thickness and color will truly transform the look of an entire carpet.
The ends of the rug are the two sides with fringe along the width of the rug. When it comes to the ends, there are four main options: New Fringes, the“Zangera Stitch”, Fringe Removal orImplanting Fringe. New fringes are sewn onto the rug and are recommended for thicker piled rugs like Indian rugs, for example. We recommend the Zangera stitch for thinner piled rugs like most Persian rugs. Both of these options do fully secure and protect the rug from unravelling and keep the rug looking great and lasting for generations to come.
In some cases, implanting fringe is the best option. Implanted fringes look beautifully original and can be as long as necessary. All implanted fringes are secured with the Zangera stitch and are therefore fully secured from unravelling.
Repairing holes are a two step process. The first and most important step is to rebuild the foundation of the carpet. If the foundation is improperly constructed, the repair will not come out well. We understand the importance of laying a solid foundation on which all great repairs rely on.
The second step is to weave the area over the foundation as the rug was originally woven. Here the wool is matched precisely and skillfully woven. After, the area is sheared down to match the pile height of the rest of the carpet.
Repairing Moth Damage
As you may know, moths eat organic vegetable dyed wool but not cotton. Since most rugs have a cotton foundation, the foundation of the rug remains intact. The good news is that this makes the repair of moth damage less expensive than that of a hole or dry rot damage.
Rugs that have a wool foundation will usually have a hole in damaged areas. This too can be repaired, but the foundation would have to be rebuilt as well.Email a few detailed pictures of your rug to be repaired and we will provide you with a quote along with information about the age, value and origin of your rug.
Dry rot occurs when a rug gets wet and does not dry quickly enough. The mildew that is formed eats the foundation of the rug causing a very fragile areas that usually go unnoticed until the carpet has to be moved. A common cause of dry rot is when a plant is placed on top of a rug and water leaks from the pot onto the rug. The rug stays damp and drys slowly which causes a fragile area around the pot.
Carpets, like many other things, are not made like they used to. But after over a century, even the best made carpets suffer normal wear and tear. We recommend restoration to carpets that are antique and one of a kind. Below are a few examples of carpets that show the kind of areas that can be restored. Worn areas, frayed sides and ends, holes and broken foundations can all be amazingly restored to original condition.
We do recommend trading in oriental rugs that do not fit in a new location, however in some cases, for example, sentimental reasons, it is important to have a rug resized. This can be done very precisely in which the design can be matched accurately and beautifully creating an entirely new look while preserving the carpet’s essence.
The reason we recommend trading in oriental rugs instead of resizing them is because once a rug is cut, it does not hold a resale value. However, structurally, carpets resized by Art Underfoot are completely secure and are guaranteed to last for generations.
1203 King Street
Alexandria,Virginia, 22314, USA