Area rug fringes are the most noticeable component of the rug. When the fringe looks dirty, the rest of the rug looks dirty. When the fringes are bright and pop out at you, the whole rug looks clean. When the fringes appear dirty, it is already far past the time that the rug needs to be in for a thorough cleansing. We brought in this little beauty last month for a cleaning and a repair/re-construction of the fringe areas that were eaten by the clients dog. We see a lot of fringe issues from pets, but even more so from vacuum cleaners. Some of the vacuums that are out nowadays have so much power to the brush roller that they can rip a tassel(or tassels) right off before you can stop them. There may be two posts about this particular rug because it also showcases the level of cleanliness that our cleansing process delivers. For now, we will focus on the fringe restoration...
Before we can get this rug into the hands of our in-house repair artisan, we need to see what color the fringe ACTUALLY is underneath all of the years of build-up that you can see in the picture above. It is worth noting that this rug had been 'tea-washed' when it was woven before being brought to market for sale. Tea washing is a practice of 'antiquing' these kinds of textiles. The rug is basically being made to appear as though it is older and more authentic than it really is. Although this rug is a nicely made, hand-woven piece, it is not an antique collector piece or even a semi-antique rug. The current trend for a lot of contemporary rugs that we receive into our shop to clean, are made within the last 10-20 years and a lot of them have been 'antiqued.' The rugs are hand knotted like they have been for hundreds of years, the pile is shorn/trimmed down to make it look worn, the dyes are rinsed with a chemical solution to soften the colors and the final step for some rugs, is that they are washed in a tea-like liquid that darkens the color tones even more. The picture of the fringe above, shows that the fringe was a greenish color and you can see how the tea wash has been worn off from foot traffic on the tips of the fringe as they look whiter than the knotted area of the tassel. We always give clients the option to have the rug re-tea washed after we have purged it from the rug. We do offer tea-washing here at our facility in case this is desired by the client.
During our cleansing process, we remove all of the tea wash from the rug and the fringes(note the picture above with the half of the fringe cleaned and tea wash free and the other side, yet to be removed). Once the rug is dry after the cleaning/washing, the repair can commence.
Fringes come in many different materials. Usually, the fringe is the foundation yarn of the rug that runs lengthwise and is technically called the 'warp' threads/yarns. We carry many different materials in order to closely match the original materials that the rug was made with. This allows the repair to be unnoticeable for future client enjoyment. This particular case was a bit of a challenge because the original fringe was very worn and had yellowed a bit from the exposure to the tea wash over time.
After trimming the tassels to match the original fringe in length, the new tassels are distressed and dyed to match the color of the original warp yarns(fringe tassels). This is all completed one thread at a time in order to pay attention to detail. The original fringe is not all one uniform color, so the new fringe is dyed to match that color scheme. Why not just bleach the fringes you ask??? Bleach rots cotton. It breaks it down and the cotton will literally be disintegrating at a rapid rate once it is exposed to bleach. True, bleaching CAN be done more safely than has been outlined, but we are in the preservation business and we avoid bleaching at all costs leaving it up to the client to proceed with any bleaching projects after the client has been well informed of the risks. Once the fringes have all dried from the dye process, they are re-evaluated and some are given additional treatments and the rug is ready for our stain protector Microseal.
In conclusion of this post, we would like to mention that this service is not as expensive as it looks(but we are not cheap either;). We strive to be as efficient as possible in all of our processes so that we can make a decent profit and offer our clients the highest level of quality at the most fair price. Rug repair services like this fringe restoration are priced for time and materials individually. If you have a fringe that needs some attention and you would like to know what your options are, give us a call. We can usually ask for pictures to be texted or emailed to us for an initial evaluation. Our turn around time depends on how much volume we are currently experiencing at that time(usually 7-10 business days), and keep in mind that we do all of our work here at our cleansing and repair facility in Western Wyoming.
Oriental area rugs are different from Persian rugs in many ways. One characteristic of many Oriental Chinese rugs is the wool texture feels almost silky and looks more shiny. This post is about a wool Chinese area rug that had experienced years of traffic and pet damage until it was completely cleansed at Revive-A-Rug Cleansing & Repair in western Wyoming.
Oriental Chinese area rugs like the one pictured above are very popular in our area. The carved, textured floral patterns feel nice to the hand, and are luxurious to walk on(especially with bare feet). Normally, these rugs do not have color bleed issues unless there is a greater than moderate urine contamination or a presence of alkaline carpet cleaning chemical residue from an improper cleaning from a steam cleaning company. We cannot stress enough that run of the mill carpet cleaning is NOT the method of choice for natural fiber area rugs, EVER! It may look acceptable at first, but the foundation fibers(which are impossible to steam clean thoroughly) only soak up the cleaning chemical and this causes permanent damage to the wool fibers. Wool prefers to be in an acid state. There are certain instances when alkalinity CAN be used, but only for short periods of time and in a controlled environment. Most carpet cleaning chemicals are alkaline based cleaning solutions. This is another reason that we do not offer in-home cleaning of wool area rugs. They simply cannot be properly cared for in a clients home. If you have a local carpet cleaning company that offers to give your area rugs the 'once over,' do not pay more per square foot than you are paying for your wall-to-wall carpets to be cleaned. If the equipment and chemicals are the same, what is the difference?
Another issue with carpet cleaning companies that clean area rugs in your home is the heat of the rinse water. Wool can/will shrink if it is exposed to greater than lukewarm water. Also, the dyes can be caused to be unstable if introduced to liquid that is too hot. I know there are carpet cleaners out there that have done it this way for years and they claim to not have any issues with their process, and I would rebut this with the facts that are easily proven; in that you may have improved that face of the rug, but the alkaline residues that are left behind cause damage to the fibers and dyes many years after you have provided the 'once over.' Working with natural fibers over the years comes with its lessons and learning that you just cannot receive when you are simply truck-mount cleaning synthetic carpets all day long. The risks taken to clean wool/silk/cotton rugs are not worth the small amount that can ethically be charged to clean them in a clients home. If you are a local carpet cleaning company reading this post, do the right thing and either educate yourself as to 'how' to properly care for natural fiber area rugs, or sub-contract the work out to someone that does it everyday. We offer wholesale pricing to local carpet cleaning companies for area rug cleansing & repairs so that they can keep and service their own clientele and offer the best product in the area.
Results like the Oriental Chinese rug at the top of this post are typical for rugs that are extremely soiled when given our 'Revival Process.' Ours is a multi-step process that properly and thoroughly cleanses each area rug individually according to what the fibers and dyes can safely experience in a controlled environment. We guarantee our work. We carefully inspect each rug and textile before and after the cleansing process to be sure that the client is receiving the highest quality product available. From the pile side, to the node side to each yarn of the fringe, we offer the safest, most thorough cleansing process possible. We service all of western Wyoming and even offer free pick up and delivery to much of our service areas. If you have lost hope in your Oriental, Persian, Navajo, Tribal or other kind of area rugs and are considering throwing them out or donating them, give us a call first, we are happy to consult with you on the potential for what your rug CAN be. We will help you fall in love with your rugs again. That is our guarantee!
I almost titled this blog post, "Leave no rug behind..." This is an example of how a seemingly inexpensive little rug can have more value to the client than one might expect. People value their rugs for different reasons. It may have been purchased while abroad, it may be a family heirloom, it may have been made by a family member, or even may have been purchased as an investment grade textile. The reasons are many, but the service is the same at Revive-A-Rug Cleansing & Repair in Jackson, WY.
Many of these hand-hooked type rugs are made by our clients themselves, or by a family member. Which means that they carry more than just a market value to them. This rug had particular importance to our client in downtown Jackson, WY. She was surprised to learn that there was a local rug cleaning/repair company that was able to take on the job of properly cleaning and even repairing her little textile. I am always impressed with the level of concern that our clients have for their rugs and textiles. Many of our new clients are full of questions when first calling in to our rug boutique business. Our task is to handle each rug and textile that we receive into our care as though it were our own. We appreciate that our clients seek us out to have their work performed locally in Wyoming from among the local dealers that send their cleaning and repair work out of state to be handled.
The unraveled yarns have been removed from the rug and the existing foundation(being made from jute) has been reconstructed from cotton. This hand-hooked rug is ready to receive a newly woven pile.
After a few hours of carefully weaving new yarns into the newly rebuilt foundation, this little hand-hooked rug has received a new lease on life. We could not wait to hand this back over to our client for her continued use of this piece. Weaving new life into area rugs is a common practice at our company. We offer many different types of repair work options for area rugs. No job is too small, and conversely, no job is too large for us to handle. We are happy to provide any kind of a quotation for any repairs that your area rugs need. We even offer out of the area services for clients that are outside of our pick-up/delivery areas. Basically, if you are within an hour or two of Jackson Wyoming, we are readily available to come to you, otherwise, after phone or electronic communication, you may ship the rug to us for cleaning or repairs. Our local number is listed below. Cheers!
Many of the area rugs that we receive into our care are not in need of a washing. We offer rug customization services for all types of area rugs, textiles and carpets. Basically if it can be thought of, we can probably make it happen. This blog post is about a rug that was purchased for a room that logistically just did not fit the layout with the color scheme that was desired; while also allowing for the proper heating/ventilation ports in the room to function properly. Since the most cost effective component of the room to modify was the area rug, enter Revive-A-Rug and our in-house rug repair artisan!
Area rugs that are hand knotted, rely on their surrounding construction components for their longevity and dimensional stability. Say what? basically in English, this means that you cannot just cut a hole in a rug and glue it together hoping that it will stay together. While this is possible with carpeting and some tufted area rugs, hand-knotted area rugs are a different story. There is a grid that is built as the foundation of a hand-knotted area rug. The foundation threads that run the length of the rug are the 'warp' yarns. The side-to-side yarns are the 'weft' yarns. These yarns are intertwined and woven together along with what makes up the pile of the rug(the knotted yarns). There are two sides to an area rug, the pile side and the node side. Since we have already covered the pile side, the node side is the bottom(so called because the 'nodes' of the knots are rounded and visible/exposed). Hand-knotted area rugs will unravel and fall apart if the warp, weft and/or the knots are removed or cut, etc. Now that we are semi-oriented with the construction of the rug, we can go through some more pictures of the process that this rug experienced.
You can see the base of each knot in the picture above as it butts up against the weft yarn. If this weft yarn were removed, the knots themselves would fall out and reveal the next weft yarn. Once we reached the pre-measured size of the heat ports, these warps were tied off and ready for the next step.
I showed these pictures to another colleague of mine in the rug industry. The comment was made that we inadvertently left the yarns too long. The reason we did so was just in case this rug goes out of style in its lifetime and there is a desire to re-weave the holes back in. We feel that preserving the integrity of the value of the rug is important. This rug can have the overcast edges removed and be re-woven. If it is done properly by someone with enough skill and experience, this can be returned to near un-noticeably repaired if so desired.
In conclusion, this project was fairly elementary. There are many different ways to perform these types of repairs. We feel that the most important element of custom area rug services like this hand-knotted rug are to preserve the rug in all aspects: value, construction and the ability to undo the customization and allow the textile to be returned to its original condition. I know that there are cheaper, quicker ways to perform this task, but that is just not how we do business at Revive-A-Rug Cleansing & Repair. We take pride in what we do, and so do our clients. If you are interested in custom area rug services, give us a call.