New and Vibrant v. Old and Elegant - Reflections on the Occasion of an Antique Rug Repair


One of my favorite memories of growing up in Turkey is of the vast carpet "farms" that dot the spring Anatolian landscape.   The "farms" are a collection of a village's weavings which, when completed, are cut off the loom, shorn, and set out to "bake" in the sun's spring rays.  The sun helps the rugs' colors set and helps the rugs gain their regular shape.  It is a lovely sight to behold - a fantastic explosion of color on the Anatolian plain.   Moreover, what these farms represent - the continuation of an ancient and ancestral tradition - is even more beautiful.

Yet while these and other new rugs are lovely with their vibrant and saturated colored yarns, it is the muted color palettes and worn piles of antique rugs that have often captured my imagination.  These older worn pieces are literally a woven history of so many different peoples.  I certainly can appreciate and deeply admire when an owner of such a piece does not want to discard or replace it in favor of something new.

The piece above is a beautiful antique rug that has various worn areas where the pile is almost entirely gone and the foundation is clearly visible.  To completely restore such a piece is often cost prohibitive as it would involve rebuilding the foundation in various areas and reknotting the pile so as to match the original - a time-consuming and difficult task.  In some of these instances, a more targeted repair is recommended.  For example, for the antique rug pictured above, it was important to stabilize the edge so that the piece would not unravel.  In our next post, we will share how we repaired this area so as to extend the life of this beautiful antique rug.