Monday, September 30, 2019

Timeless Hand Knotted Rug Art

Occasionally, I hear from friends and acquaintances that say that while they love hand knotted rugs, they can not have them in their homes because traditional Oriental rugs will not suit their modern decor.  I am always saddened to hear this because it neglects to consider the vast range of gorgeous hand knotted and handwoven rugs that are perfectly suited to modern decor, and I would argue, any kind of decor.  These beautiful modern hand knotted rugs sometimes marry traditional motifs and open sparse fields like the rug above.  They reimagine traditional motifs in a new way and, in my opinion, breathe new life into beautiful woven art.  I would encourage homeowners, designers, and any one interested in beautiful rugs to consider these gorgeous rugs when looking to furnish their modern homes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Collecting Yarns for Rug Restoration Projects

An artist has her paints, and a weaver has her yarns.  One of my most beloved and prized possessions is my collection of yarns.  I love the way they look on my desk when they're neatly organized or even when they're just strewn about.  I love the many shades of the many colors, and how the different textures feel against my hands.  I love everything about the yarns, even the faint scent that some have.    Every trip I make back home to Turkey is filled with what I affectionately call "yarn hunting" as I seek to find a new shade of a beloved color to my collection.   Lucky for me, amassing my wide ranging collection is not just for personal enjoyment, but is also critical for my restoration work.  Finding (or creating) just the right shade is critical for a good restoration, if the goal of the restoration is not to call attention to itself.  When the wrong color is used in a restoration, the result can be jarring even if the restored section is finely woven and seamlessly integrated.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cleaning and Caring for Silk Rugs

For generations, silk has been prized for its beauty, its strength, its rarity.  Similarly, great silk rugs have been lauded for their beauty, quality, intricacy, and value.  Silk rugs are durable when they are finely woven and they can last for generations.  Caring for silk rugs is very similar to caring for their more widely available wool counterparts.  Routine care of silk rugs will ensure that they remain as beautiful as they were when they were cut off the loom.  Silk rugs should be vacuumed regularly, but great care should be taken to not vacuum the fringes.  Silk rugs should be rotated regularly so as to ensure that foot traffic and sun exposure is evenly distributed.  Silk rugs should be inspected regularly for any damage.  Lastly, silk rugs should be professionally cleaned every two years or so.  If the rug is not in a high traffic area then the times between professional cleanings can be longer.  Similarly, if the rug is in a high traffic area, then professionally cleaning silk rugs every year may be preferable.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Caring for Mass Produced Handmade Rugs

Many popular stores today sell hand knotted rugs that are mass produced.  Photographed above is one such rug sold by a popular chain store with locations throughout the US.  Although these rugs are hand knotted, we have found that often the materials used to make the rugs are generally less durable and of lower quality than those used for traditional hand knotted rugs that are made by individual weavers.  Because of this, we have found that we need to be extra careful when caring for these mass produced rugs as colors are generally not stable and dyes often run.  Also, fibers generally are not as durable so cleaning must be very gentle.  This is surprising given that these rugs can sometimes be more expensive to buy than traditional hand knotted rugs that are not made through mass produced means.  --

Monday, September 2, 2019

Rugs That Are Risky to Clean

There are beautiful Moroccan rugs that have so much intricate detail and great fantastic color palettes to enchant any lover of gorgeous rugs.   A subset of these Moroccan rugs, specifically those that have a cotton base with embroidery-like detail, are notorious among restorers and those who care for Oriental rugs.  The reason for this is that a subset of these are made with unstable dyes and therefore are particularly susceptible to color run during the cleaning process.  It is imperative that any cleaning process controls for this risk or else the rug may be damaged permanently.  One way to do this is to do a color run test on a small discrete area of the rug.  But even if a rug's colors do not run in a small discrete area, there is always a risk that the colors in other parts of the rug may run.  It is a risk, for sure, but a color run test can usually help a restorer assess whether the dyes in the rug are generally stable.