At Little-Persia we carry out all manner of repairs. From relatively simple side-bindings and fringe repairs to tears, holes and moth damage we regularly carry out repairs and restorations that can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to several weeks.
These pages are filled with work that we have carried out here in our Glasgow gallery. However, to illustrate that any rug can be saved and repaired no matter what the damage we will highlight a project we managed to have a large 6LAA Nain restored when all hope was lost.
For such a job it wasn’t viable to carry out the rug repairs in the UK so the rug was sent back to Iran to be repaired at source. This process took several months and of course was by no means a cheap restoration, however the rug was extremely fine and valuable and held a high sentimental worth to the client. So, rather than opt for a replacement from their insurers they put the rug in our hands and asked for it to be restored; the results are breath-taking…
The client’s Nain carpet, one side border completely rotted with damp
The client had rolled their rug and left it on the floor in storage. Unfortunately the floor was damp and after several months in storage the discovered an entire side binding in tatters. We always say dampness is the natural enemy of handmade rugs – well dampness and moths.
This is an extreme image of what can happen when a rug is left damp or wet. Wool, over time can literally disintegrate and the cotton foundation rots when damp.
A close up of the damage
The damage quite clearly is severe and most would believe the rug completely ruined. In fact the visible damage is only the tip of the iceberg as water and dampness was drawn through the foundation causing weakness in areas extending from the physical damage.
Most of the border had to be cut away and weft strings painstaking added from within the rugs’ foundation
Adding new foundation to a typical rug with 100 knots per square inch is time-consuming and difficult for a small area. This rug, being a fine Nain had a knot count of over 575 knots per square inch, that’s 24 rows of knots (or 24 weft strings) every inch. Across the 3.5m length of the carpet that is 3360 of weft that had to be interwoven into the rugs’ foundation.
An exact colour match – a benefit of having a Nain rug repaired in Nain
Wool in the correct colours was then able to be sourced – a benefit of having the rug repaired where it was made. Luckily Nain rugs generally stick to certain colours of wool so an exact match was possible.
The rug is attached to a loom for the re-knotting process
The was then attached to a custom-sized loom to begin the re-knotting process. The warp (vertical strands that show as the rugs’ fringes) are added up and down the length of the loom and the knots tied to make up the lost pattern. After each row the weft strands are interwoven between the warp on top of the knots to secure them in place.
A master weaver ties a knot on the Nain rug
As the weaver ties the knot they must use the reversed pattern from opposite side of the rug to create an accurate design. This is much more difficult to do when trying to match an existing pattern than it is when starting from scratch. Each row and each knot must be balanced and tie up with the rows above to keep the pattern flowing without obvious breaks or becoming squashed up or unnatural looking.
The corner of the rug after being re-knotted, the pile still to be clipped and shaved to the correct height.
Re-knotting the rug is a lengthy process made more difficult by the need to calculate exactly where each knot should go to ensure the width of the border is equal. This can only be achieved by master-weavers and top artisans.
The total process took around 8 months to complete, it is one of the largest and most challenging rug restorations we have been part of but perfectly illustrates that a rug is never lost. Some rugs are “beyond repair” but only because it is not worth restoring them.
The entire border of this fine Nain rug has been re-woven.
Once the rug is re-woven the pile is clipped to height to reveal the finished pattern. The results, as we said at the start of this case study, are breath-taking:
The side border of the rug after re-knotting.
Spot the difference – both side borders of the rug are shown on the knot side. As perfect a restoration as you could imagine.
While this type of restoration is not for everyone and every rug it does show what can be achieved. We still recommend to have any small area of damage repaired before it spreads.
From the smallest of repairs to the most intricate of restorations – call Little-Persia on 0141 4206989 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.