Taking care of a Persian rug is somewhat of an oxymoron. People buy Persian rugs as a statement piece. Something that is exhibited proudly in the home (and rightly so) and yet, by nature of desire to display a fine Persian rug, it is subject to a range of demanding conditions like footfall, furniture and living creatures like moths and beetles.
Persian and oriental rugs are certainly built to last but damage is almost inevitable during their lifetime and therefore so is getting them repaired. When damage happens, two things should follow:
WHEN SHOULD A DAMAGED PERSIAN RUG BE REPAIRED?
The short answer to this is: as soon as possible. As soon as you notice any damage, it should be treated to prevent any further damage. It will be a lot easier for smaller repairs to be completed with near invisible quality and a lot cheaper too. Ignoring or delaying an obvious repair is likely to lead to further damage in the already weakened area which could result in a costly repair or a repair that is not as seamless as a smaller repair.
HOW DO YOU FIX A PERSIAN RUG?
This is not asked in the context of instructing a layman on how to repair their own rug. We do not recommend this at all. The only answer to ‘how do you fix a Persian rug’ is to take it to a professional Persian rug repair company like James Barclay Rugs.
Persian rugs are all unique and to that end, a professional rug repair company will take the time to source the right type and colour of wool and have the expertise and tools to repair or restore your rug in the way that it would have originally been made.
Do not be tempted to go with the cheapest options for Persian Rug repair. Take the time to find a trusted and respectable company who have experience. Your Persian rug may be a valuable family heirloom and an investment and should be treated as such.
TYPES OF DAMAGE THAT NEEDS REPAIRING
SIDES OF THE PERSIAN RUG
Typically, two edges of a Persian rug will have fringes. The other two will have tightly woven edges (called selvedges) that keep the rug weave from unravelling. These edges are prone to stress from friction, wear and tear and pet damage and should be kept in good repair to prevent severe damage to a Persian rug. Further consideration should be given to:
- the shade of wool used to repair the edge of a rug and whether both sides should be rebound to maintain the aesthetic quality of the rug
- whether an edge is bound with a simple method or double- or triple-ended sides like some Turkish rugs. Many Shiraz and Qashqai rugs also have multi-coloured sides adding to the expense of repair.
This shows the important of early repair to side damage in Persian rugs.
Can you see the thread repair?
PERSIAN RUG FRINGE REPAIR (THE ENDS)
If damage to the ends of the rug is not repaired early on, the pile can start to unravel which will cause extensive damage to that area of the rug. As per side repair, fringe repair also needs to be done as early as possible to maintain the integrity of the rug.
While early repair will be cheaper and quicker, once damage to the pile of a Persian rug occurs, the only way to fix it is to recreate the foundation loom and reweave the damaged part of the rug. This would involve sourcing a certain type and colour of wool, creating a foundation that allows for the correct number of knots per square inch an, of course, more time.
The easiest way for a professional Persian rug repair expert to repair fringes that have become loose is to secure them back in place and ensure all fringes are of the same length.
Rugs that have especially thick pile (like Indian rugs) will usually benefit from having completely new fringes attached to the rug rather than repairing existing fringes. Thinner pile rugs can benefit from implanted fringes held in place by a ‘zangera’ stitch.
LOW PILE IN PERSIAN RUGS
Whilst low pile can be problematic for the integrity of a rug, it can also be a desired effect to show the age and authenticity of a rug. The choice of repair is a personal one but if the pile has worn so low as to expose the foundations of the rug, it is certainly time to seek professional help to get that area repaired. No rug is designed to have areas of exposed foundation. The foundation forms the basis on which the whole rug is formed and to expose it to wear and tear risks extensive and potentially irreparable damage to the rug.
An expert in Persian rug repair will be able to replace the foundation and reweave the wool to repair the rug but it might be tricky to find an exact colour match in certain circumstances
REPAIR A HOLE IN A PERSIAN RUG
A hole in a Persian rug means that not only has the wool thread been removed but the foundation has also gone. The hole will make the remaining fibres around it’s edge weave to further damage and will need repairing as soon as possible.
A master craftsman will need to professionally reweave the foundation of the rug by adding new fibres to existing ones. Wool will then be knotted over the new foundation in the same density, wool type, and shade as the original rug to create a near invisible finish.
If the pile around the hole is too thin, it will be difficult to recreate the foundation and hide the stitching. In this case, a larger, more expensive repair job will need to be undertaken.
MOTH DAMAGE IN PERSIAN RUGS
We covered moth damage in a previous article (CLICK HERE to read this article) but in brief, any Persian rug that might have dirt, food debris, moisture or certain other favourable conditions is rendered vulnerable to carpet moths and beetles. Carpet moths are attracted to food and moisture and will lay their eggs in the fibres of a woollen carpet. Larvae will then hatch and feed on the wool fibres of the rug. Once this has happened, the Persian rug is infested and will need to be treated accordingly.
A professional repair expert will treat the rug, clean it, dry it thoroughly and then repair any damage that might have been caused by the infestation. Proactive, preventative measures are always favourable instead of reactive measures. Proactive measures will also be more expensive of course.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO REPAIR A PERSIAN RUG?
The quote to have a Persian rug repair will change for each job. Every Persian rug will be different, and the price will depend on the time that will be required to complete the project (whilst factoring in the cost of materials too). What we can say is that the investment required to repair a Persian rug is likely to be a lot lower if the repair is completed as soon as the damage is discovered so that further damage does not have the chance to occur.
If you have a Persian or oriental rug with some damage, you are welcome to send an email to us with an image or contact us for more information.
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