Ease of Caring for Handmade Rugs
Handmade area rugs offer many benefits, are enduring and are often referred to as works of art for the floor. While all of these are reasons to invest in one, another great benefit is the ease in caring for them – It is surprisingly easy to care for and repair almost anything within a handmade rug.
Unlike machine made rugs, handmade rugs are just that, made by hand. Respectfully so, they are also repaired by hand when the need arises. Fortunately, good handmade rugs can endure years of use and wear before the need for repair, yet when that need arises, the right person will put you at ease as they offer expert repair to restore your rug back to condition. We would say that handmade rugs are quite versatile on many levels.
One of our clients had a huge plant pot sitting on a part of their handmade Persian rug – A beautiful palette of traditional jewel tones set within this now antique carpet. As one of the most common causes of damage to rugs, the plant pot was seeping out water every week and when this was finally discovered, the rug contained what is referred to as “dry rot” – The affected area actually dried out to the extent that it fell out from the rest of the rug, leaving a hole in its place. After time, the water that escaped into the rug reached the foundation cords of the rug, dried into these cords and created the dry rot. Fortunately for the client, we know of an expert weaver who was willing and able to restore their rug to it’s previous condition.
A miniature loom was made to accommodate the affected area of the rug. To begin with, a set of cotton cords are intertwined around each other from left to right and top to bottom on this wooden loom and this created the (new)foundation for the repair. On this foundation, our weaver would then wrap and hand tie individual strands of dyed wool to reflect the original missing pattern within the rug. To any trained repair person, this was not an impossible task, but a tedious one of hand tying thousands of strands of wool to recreate the missing pattern within the rug. Since the client understood the capacity of the repair, time was allowed for the restoration, estimated to be approximately one year.
When considering the decision of whether or not to go through the expense and time of such repair to a handmade rug, we need to evaluate the actual value of the rug – This antique rug of this proportion is valued at over $30,000 with great sentimental value, so the client opted to repair and pay and wait. While the repair was estimated at $7500, no amount of money could replace the rug with another of the same – This over 100 year old rug is truly one-of-a-kind and quite large at that, hence a true investment quality rug. If the repair is done properly, most of the rug’s value will stay with it, instead of be lost, another benefit of handmade rugs with the proper care.
We have seen hundreds of such unfortunate instances happen to handmade rugs over the years and with each one, we know that quality restoration will bring the rug back to life. The more common causes of damage are that of vacuums damaging the fringes of a rug, plant pots causing dry rot that lead to holes within a rug and fireplaces throwing hot ashes and causing burn holes in a rug – All of these types of damage can fortunately be repaired and the cost and time involved are all relative to the extent of the damage. In this sense, handmade rugs are quite easy to care for, as some points of damage do not mean that the rug should be disposed of – On the contrary, the rug can be restored and back to its normal use.
• While it’s fairly easy to care for handmade rugs, no one wants to necessarily see their rug being damaged. For this obvious reason, we offer some solid points on preventing common damage to your rugs:
• When possible, avoid placing plant pots on your rug and if necessary to do so, be sure to protect the bottom of the pot from any possible leakage.
• When vacuuming a handmade rug with fringes at the ends, never allow the fringes to be sucked into the vacuum – This constantly frays the fringes to the point of extreme wear.
• Try to rotate your rug once a year to prevent a common wear pattern – Rotation will spread any where and prevent one part of the rug wearing much more than the rest of the rug.
• Always try to use a quality rug pad under all of your rugs to preserve the rug and floor, as well as add comfort and safety.
Your handmade rugs are truly an investment as well as a work of art and while they are easy to maintain, it’s always best to prevent any unnecessary damage and premature wear. Try to pay attention to some simple preventative tips and your rugs should be around for a lifetime, as they were made to be.