Sunday, August 25, 2013

Antique Soumak Repair- Process

The first step we took on our recent project was to professionally clean this Soumak rug.  Generally, it is always advisable to clean a rug before undertaking any rug repair or restoration.  After the cleaning, we removed all the damaged and compromised yarns surrounding the affected area.  Next, we rebuilt the warp and weft, the grid-like structure in white pictured above.  With the warp and weft in place, the next step is to outline with a pencil the shape of the motifs that must be woven.  The next step, which we will highlight in our next post, will be to weave the motifs in colored yarns that will match the original yarns as close as possible.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Antique Soumak Repair - Before

Pictured above is an exquisite antique Caucasian Soumak that we recently repaired.  This piece was a pleasure to work on.  The weaving of this Soumak is beautiful, and the colors are vibrant, sharp, and wonderfully rich - because of (not despite of) being exposed to over a century of sunlight, family life, and all else that 100 + years brings.  Soumaks, in general, are wonderful examples of traditional weavings; they are different from hand knotted pieces that have a pile, and different from the flat woven kilims.  As you will see from the picture above, Soumaks resemble what I think of as carved art, with each motif seemingly "outlined" or carved into the piece itself.  They are truly special and always a joy to look at and study.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - Final Steps and Result

After knotting the damaged and compromised pile, the picture above shows what the repaired area looked like from the reverse side of the rug.

Once we removed the rug from its temporary loom, our Afghan rug repair was almost complete.

The only remaining step was to trim the fringe to the same length as that of the original Afghan rug.

And, finally, pictured above is the final result of our Afghan rug repair.  As a reminder, the picture below is a close-up of what the area looked like before our repair.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - in progress

As our last post showed, this Afghan rug's fringe was chewed by a puppy, causing damage not only to the fringe, but also to a section of the knotted pile.

Our first step in the Afghan rug repair was to eliminate all of the damaged fibers and then rebuilding the  compromised and missing cotton warp (the white vertical strands pictured above from the backside of the rug).

Above is a picture of the recreated and extended warp affixed to a temporary wooden loom.

Next, we rebuilt the weft, the horizontal strands that complete the grid like structure pictured above.

After completing the grid like base of the warp and weft, the next step in our Afghan rug restoration was to reknot the missing pile.  Matching the yarns to the original rug was a challenge, as the colors of the rug when viewed from one side look very light, but when viewed from the opposite side, the colors seem darker.  Many rugs have a similar color variation, but this variation is much more pronounced in some Afghan rugs, such as this one.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Afghan Rug Repair - Before

As many owners of fine rugs and kilims know, they are extremely durable and can last for decades with   just minimal care.  The most vulnerable areas of a handmade rug are its edges - both the fringes and selvages.  The edges are generally subjected to the most significant wear and tear, aggressive vacuuming, and, in this rug's case, the hungriest of puppies.  The puppy here managed to rip away the fringe's binding and pull out the knots of a portion of the pile.  Some of the cotton warp was ripped out as well.   In our next post, we will detail how we repaired the damage to this hand knotted Afghan rug caused by a puppy's appetite.