Cleaning and Repairs of Oriental Rugs

 

Persian Rug

The distinctiveness of a Persian rug lies in its motifs and the quality of its wool. Early Persian rugs were woven from the finest quality wool that was shorn once a year during the sheep-shearing season.

To work the threads into a raw color, Persians used natural materials to remove the oil from the wool, transforming the wool into a raw white color prior to dyeing. The animal's good health contributed to the quality of the wool, and after dyeing, the glossy colors proved to be durable. Today, wool is obtained from sheep that are slaughtered for food. The wool is then chemically processed into a raw state, which damages the wool's luster and durability. As such, the new wool carpets woven today are inferior in quality to rugs made in earlier times.

 
Persian Rug
Persian Rug
 
 

Oriental Rugs – Cleaning and Repairs

Artistic Repairs
Valuable Oriental rugs are handled by the art department, which specializes in repairing tears and holes, as well as authentic restorations that are painstakingly tailored to the nature of the rug, beginning with identification of the type of thread in the right hue, to repair  and dyeing with natural plant and mineral extracts.
The repair includes identification of the type of weft and warp knots used in the rug, manual restoration and renovation of fringes and end, based on the original and using wool, cotton and silk threads.
In addition, the department restores woven fabrics and cloth including handmade ones such as Suzani applications and embroidered and lace tablecloths. This craft is carried out by masters of the Persian, Turkish, Chinese and Indian techniques.

The price of cleaning is based on whether the rug or carpet is handmade or machine-made. A company representative, who is an expert carpet layer, travels to the customer's home, examines the flaws and determines whether they are repairable or not. A price quote is then given for cleaning and, if necessary, restoration. After the customer chooses from among his options, the carpet or rug is taken for cleaning or repairs, which lasts 7-10 days, depending on the size of the repair. The rug is taken by car to the factory, and is insured by the company the moment it leaves the customer's home and until it is returned. Once the rug arrives at the factory, it undergoes another examination, and the factory manager informs the customer of any additional flaws found.

 
Oriental Rugs – Cleaning and Repairs
Oriental Rugs – Cleaning and Repairs
 
 

Cleaning
The carpets and rugs are categorized by type, and a decision is made regarding the most suitable type of cleaning for its nature and age. The cleaning process includes various stations, based on the following specifications:

• Shaking sand and dust from the rug
• Soaking the rug in a bathtub containing water and
  shampoo for cleaning, stains and softener.
• Spreading the rug on the work surface for cleaning
  dirty areas.
• Placing the rug on an automatic wash line for pressure wash spraying, including shampoo
• Brushing the fibers based on hair type
• Clean water washing
• Soft water washing
• Washing both sides of the rug with soft water
  and fabric softener
• Spin-dry using cylinders

 
 
 

Procedures, Materials and Equipment
Only cleaning materials approved by the Ministry of Health and that have been awarded standards are used. These are environmentally-friendly materials – no powerful chemicals or substances that damage the color and quality of the wool. The equipment and machines used to inject and disperse the powder are among the best in the market today from the leading manufacturers. The hardness of the brushes used on the rugs are adapted to the age of the rug and the condition of the wool. Old rugs are manually cleaned from start to finish.
When the rug is being used, sand sinks into its foundation, causing the rug's threads to expand in both directions. The wet cleaning process causes the threads to slightly shrink, causing the rug to regain its strength.
Wet cleaning is carried out while protecting the rug's color. This is accomplished by using suitable material. Rugs with unstable colors undergo dry cleaning, which is not water-based.

 
 
 

Drying
After being cleaned, the rugs are dried in a computerized, temperature-controlled drying room that imitates the natural drying process. Old rugs that cannot withstand the drying room undergo natural drying.
After the rugs have been dried, they are reviewed, and transferred to the specific repairs department if necessary. Rugs that are only cleaned undergo quality control, brushing and packaging. They are then returned to the customer at their convenience.

 
 
 
Standard Repairs for Machine-made Rugs

Rug End Repairs
When a rug's ends need repair, the current end is unraveled and a synthetic or woolen threat that matches the rug's original end thread color is chosen. The end is stitched by a machine that reproduces the original stitching.

Fringe Stitching
Fringes are stitched across the rug, and are made of wool or cotton, matching the original fringes. Customers who wish to remove the fringes around the rug and replace them with an end have this option.  

Finishing
After every new rug has been woven, a starch-based material is sprayed on the base / back of the rug that makes it stiff. After the rug has been used for two years, the finishing becomes worn out, replaced by sand that sinks into the rug's base and makes it hard. After removing the sand during the cleaning process, the rug becomes soft and the finishing must be renewed.

Repairing Hand-made Rugs
When repairing Oriental rugs, threads matching the type of rug are selected – silk threads, wool threads, etc. After being selected, the thread is dyed using the same method used to dye the original threads, whether it involves the dyeing of natural colors such as those produced from flowers, minerals or spices, or synthetic dyes.
In addition, the weaving and stitching method– Persian, Turkish, etc.- is selected. Repairs are carried out using the identical method and one that is compatible with the era. The raw threads for repair are purchased from several suppliers around the world, located in New Zealand, Scotland, Persia, etc. When repairing antique rugs, the company works with suppliers in England and Germany, based on need, in order to purchase rug swatches woven in the right era and required weaving method.
Threads are unraveled from this rug, dyed using the appropriate method and are then used to make artistic repairs on the rug.
 
 
 

Oriental Rug Repairs
Rug End Repairs
If the rug ends need repair, the current end thread is unraveled and a thread is selected that matches the original rug end thread color. The end is manually stitched using the method that matches the original type of rug weaving.
Fringe Stitching
Fringes are stitched across the rug, and can be restored by two methods. The first involves assembling prefabricated fringes. The second involves created a restored base in the rug, with manual weaving of the fringe base as well as manual tying. In this manner, the fringe is restored exactly as in the original woven rug.

 
 
 

Examples of Hand-made Fringes

Repair of Holes / Tears and Worn Out Areas in the Rug
In this type of repair, the selected weaving builds the base – the weft and warp threads that run the length and width of the rug. The missing motifs are then manually reproduced. The raw thread that matches the weaving is selected and dyed using the appropriate coloring and dying methods.
Restoration (Color Separation)
In rugs damaged by flooding that resulted in blending of colors, restoration (color separation) is carried out manually using natural materials that do not harm the quality of the color.

 
 

Repair of Holes / Tears and Worn Out Areas in the Rug

In this type of repair, the selected weaving builds the base – the weft and warp threads that run the length and width of the rug. The missing motifs are then manually reproduced. The raw thread that matches the weaving is selected and dyed using the appropriate coloring and dying methods.

Restoration (Color Separation)
In rugs damaged by flooding that resulted in blending of colors, restoration (color separation) is carried out manually using natural materials that do not harm the quality of the color.     

On Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs are available to everyone. In order to make the buying process enjoyable, you need basic information. The information below is a sampling from the vast amount of available information that we have gathered for you.

What Are Oriental Rugs?

Hand-made woven rugs from Eastern nations. Some (antique and semi-antique) are highly valuable objets d'art reflecting the artistic culture and history of nations that specialized in rug weaving.

History

It began with mats woven from straw and animal pelts, which kept the wind and cold away from residential areas (tents). Ancient Egyptians were apparently the first to produce rugs. This can be learned from the wall paintings (2300BCE – 1788 BCE). The Babylonians and Assyrians already knew by the ninth century BCE to create extremely refined textile art. The Bible also includes various references to rugs. Even classical Greek and Roman literature mentions rugs originally from the East. Between 1947-1949, a Pazyryk rug produced in the 5th century BCE was found in the southern Siberian mountains, sections of which are currently housed in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Marco Polo discussed rugs in his "Travels of the World". With the defeat of the Turks in Europe, rugs entered the continent on a large scale and were exclusively held by the aristocracy and ranking church officials but with the beginning of the Biedermeier era and the development of a private residential culture, rugs entered the bourgeoisie homes as well. Since the end of World War II, rugs are found in nearly every population sector.

Important Rug Families

The Persian Family
Farmer and nomad rugs as well as rugs from workshops and small industry.

The Turkmenistan Family
Characterized by red rugs – basic color is red with octagons. These are farmers' rugs, nomads' rugs and small industry, from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and northeast Iran.

The Caucasus (Russian) Family
Caucasus serves as a bridge between Asia and the East, a melting pot of nations and tribes. The classic rug was the product of farmers or nomads, and generally included geometrical motifs. Rugs from Small Caucasus are characterized by a dense weave and short hair. Rugs from Large Caucasus are characterized by a sparse weave and long hair.

The Turkish Family
Rugs by farmers from Anatolia. Pure silk work made in workshops in Hereke (including one million or more knots per square meter).

The Chinese Family (including Tibet)
The largest array of motifs of any family. The Taoist and Buddhist influences as well as symbols borrowed from 3000 years of Chinese culture.

The Indian / Pakistani Family
Has always included imitations of Persian and Turkmen motifs. The art of rug weaving has been familiar to this region since the fifteenth century.

 
Knot Types

Ghiordes (Turkish Knot) –
= 1 warp thread
= 2 weft threads (double)




Senneh (Persian Knot)
= 1 warp thread
= 2 weft threads (double)
 
 

Knot Material
Wool (used by farmers and nomads)
Mineral, sheep, manual weaving and dyeing based on a secret tradition passed down from father to son, in natural colors (natural source from hair. In machine – plant or animal), or chemical source. Assembly line manufacturing uses woven wool. mulberry
Silk
Statistics regarding one square meter of a silk rug: knot density ranges between 800,000 – 1,000,000 2 p/m; 50 hectares of mulberry trees are required; approximately 50,000 silk worm larva eating until pupation approximately 1,800 kg of mulberry leaves; length of silk thread that envelops the cocoon is 22,800 kilometers, and when  it is woven, its length reaches only 38 km.

Weaving Chairs
Farmer /Nomad Craft

The simplest styles. Can be folded to move from one location to another (among nomads) and are relatively small due to the modest size of the homes. Rug dimensions: 100 – 140 200 x 260 cm. The dimensions can easily be changed.
Products of Workshops and Rug Manufactures

Small to large frameworks made of metal and wood. Exact sizes come in a wide range, from small silk rugs to giant rugs whose dimensions exceed 8 square meters.
Weave Time
Weave time for a handmade carpet whose dimensions are 120 x 200 cm:
Wool (Example)
Knot density is approximately 240,000 knots per square meter. Daily weaving output of 8000 knots, i.e. 30 days of work per square meter. Weave time for the aforementioned large rug is 72 days.
Silk (Example)
Knot density is 900,000 knots per square meter. Daily weave output of 6000 knots, i.e. 150 work days per square meter. Weave time for a rug of the aforementioned dimensions is 360 days.
Designs and Patterns

Geometrical Patterns
Concealed in the patterns are flowers, religious themes and animals symbolically displayed. The weavers are Sunni Muslims whose religion forbids them from displaying anything that breathes through its nose.
Natural Patterns (from Nature)
Woven by Shi'ite Muslims, who are forbidden from displaying any images. The Sunni and the Shi'ites are divided to this day about the legacy of the Prophet Mohammed.

India / Pakistan
In this region, which was once united, rug weaving has been around since the fifteenth century. We can find here imitations of Persian and Turkmen patterns.


China
The mythical and religious influences, including the eight symbols of Taoism, the eight symbols of Buddhism and the four symbols of the fine arts, strongly shape the designs. Also proving to be an influence are social consensus such as flower arrangements, influenced by the French monarchy.

Criteria for Setting Prices
Age / material/ weave density / condition of the rug / colors / rarity

"Signed" Rugs
In addition to the names or the initials of the weaver, the year the rug was produced also appears based on the Moslem calendar. The conversion to the civil calendar is done as following:
Moslem date:  1334
Subtract 1/33 from 1334: -41
________
The differential vs. the lunar calendar: 1293

Add the Hijra
(Withdrawal of Mohammed to Medina): +622
 General Date ______:
1915 Determining the Date of Oriental Rugs

Antique: Over 100 years old
Old: 50-100 years
Middle Age: 25-50 years
Chinese rugs are defined in accordance with English definitions. Weave density is measured in Lines. 90 Lines is defined as 90 warp threads per foot (English measurement), which is approximately 30 cm. The range reaches up to 300 Lines per foot.


Weave density markings:
Very crude 15,000 – 25,000
Crude 25,000 – 60,000
Fairly fine 60,000-120,000
Fine 120,000-200,000
Very Fine 200,000-400,000
Exceptionally fine 400,000+
The Chinese are the only ones to note the difference in pile height. The scale is one inch (approximately 25 mm). For example, 3/8 = 9.5mm, 4/8 = 12.7mm, 5/8 = 15.8mm. Examples Chinese rugs are elevated by shearing through reliefs. 

Weave Fiber Dyeing

Natural Dyes
*Plants: Berberine, golden root, vinegar, bean leaves and oak bark
*Minerals: limestone, alum, iron oxide pigment, earth, cooking salt and copper oxide
*Animals: silkworms, snails, lactic acid, butter and urine

Chemical Dyes
Since 1870, chemical dyes began to replace natural dyes since natural colors required a great deal of work and were less durable in the light. Chemical dyes are based on aniline.

Basic Dye Materials
Chromatic colors, indigo, metallic colors, naphthalene as well as reactive and graphite colors.

 
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