Repair Oriental Rugs

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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There are three typical types of repair Oriental rugs most often need. Wear and tear is, after all, inevitable over time. Hand knotted rugs--when well woven of good materials, as Oriental and other fine rugs are--have an amazingly long life. The environment and conditions shorten or lengthen that life. Consider the Pazyryk saddle cover, the oldest known surviving Oriental rug, dating to about 500 BC. Exquisitely patterned and finely woven, it was found--amazingly well preserved--by a Russian archaeologist in 1949 at a burial site on the Siberian-Outer Mongolian border. Subfreezing temperatures protected it for 2500 years.

Types of Repair Oriental Rugs Need

Allow only a knowledgeable and reputable craftsman to restore your Oriental rugs. Learn the options for the two most common types of repair--refringing and over-rounding. Know that the third option--reweaving--is the most costly.

The fringe--that is, the tied off warp end threads of the rug--can be either added or refringed. Refringing is generally recommended, and should be undertaken by a specialist. The terms you want to hear the weaver specify are blind-stitch and cashmere stitch. Over-rounding is a repair to the side of the rug. Ideally, this repair should be done in the same style as the rug was originally woven. A first-rate weaver will match the wool color and use the same kind of stitching. Chinese carpet colors are more problematic than Persian colors.

Reweaving is the most specialized and delicate repair Oriental rugs might need. The older and more worn a rug, the more you might want to display it hanging on a wall rather than on the floor. You want to weigh the costs of repair Oriental rugs require against the value--whether monetary or sentimental--of the rug.

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