ANTIQUE RUG REPAIR AND RESTORATION
The purpose of repairing rare, antique or valuable rug is to restore the original beauty and physical integrity that may have been damaged by years of use. This is accomplished by recreating or reweaving portions of the carpet, either the surface pile or in the case of holes, even the underlying foundation as well. Such restoration requires enormous technical skill and precision, as well as discernment in the matching of yarn texture and color. This process requires expertise and a refined eye to match as well the original texture of the carpet so that the repair will not be detectable.
The extent of restoration that may be required in both in time and expense depends not only on condition but also on the value of the carpet in relation to the cost of the repair. A knowledgeable dealer in antique carpets with market expertise will make this decision. Such restoration can make a damaged piece usable and commercially viable once again. But ultimately the greatest reward in repairing your antique oriental rugs is the knowledge that a rare and beautiful work of art is being preserved for generations to come.
Our staff is knowledgeable and competent in all aspects of restoration, having achieved their expertise through many years of training and experience. Aytek is proud to have assembled a number of master restorers under one roof to provide a full range services for your valued carpets.
Small carpets can be pegged by the kilim (flat woven edge part) on a clothes line. Large ones are more easily dried on a hard clean surface like concrete or paving stones. Do not dry on a lawn, since the base will absorb the moisture of the grass. If the weather does not permit out-door drying, then prepare a room in the house. Let the carpet dry flat in a room with warm air current heating system. While it dries don’t walk on it and don’t place anything on it. The warp, weft and pile of a completely dried carpet should feel soft and pliable.
Remove the dried dirt and shampoo powder by gently brushing with a soft dry brush or by using the vacuum cleaner.
THINGS TO AVOID
Washing machines and dryers must never be used for any delicate hand-made item. Vibration, high water temperature and harsh detergents will cause irreparable damage. It may even reduce the carpet to shreds. Many people must have seen or heard Eastern weavers washing their carpets in streams and rivers. This has led many owners to wrongly believe that a complete soaking is good. This process in fact is only used for brand new carpets. They are washed very quickly, then laid out to dry immediately in the baking sun. Some firms that advertise themselves as expert carpet cleaners use electric rotary brushes. These machines were designed for use on machine made carpets and should only be used on such items. Again, dry cleaner firms sometimes advertise themselves as carpet cleaners. Their services may be useful for machine made carpets, but an oriental handmade masterpiece should never be subjected to strong chemicals that these firms use. The damage may become apparent only after several months and it may be irreparable.
DEALING WITH SPILLS AND STAINS
Water and dampness are the greatest danger to an oriental carpet. Water spillage is perhaps the most common accident at home. When this occurs necessary steps should be immediately taken. Using a white, plain piece of cloth try to absorb as much of the spilled liquid as possible. Place some material underneath the carpet and never try to wring it. A hair dryer, set at moderate heat is probably the best implement for drying. Dry the carpet thoroughly from both sides. The pile may be a little matted when dry. Gently tease it back into shape with your fingers. On the other hand, in a busy household, a variety of substances may be accidentally spilled on a rug. Excluding the silk and antique carpets, most of these accidents can be tackled at home. The first step with any substance is the same as with water. Absorb as much of the spilled stuff as possible with a clean white, uncolored cloth. This simple absorption method, when carried out as quickly as possible, is the greatest contribution to stain prevention. In dealing with every type of stain, work from top of the stain downwards, never from the middle outwards, as this may cause the stain to spread. Never use hot water, bleach or washing up liquid and remember that gentle scrubbing is much more effective than harsh one.
SOME HINTS ON HOW TO REMOVE STAINS
- Red wine: Take the first step and absorb the liquid as much as possible. Then clean with white wine and wipe with water.
- Whisky: Lightly wet with warm water and use 90% alcohol to clean.
- Chocolate: Lightly wipe with a sponge damped with ammonia.
- Mud: Simply dry well and vacuum clean.
- Pet urine: Wipe with a sponge while the stain is damp and let it dry. Later wipe with white wine vinegar. If unsuccessful, wipe again with a mixture of 3 parts alcohol and 1 part ammonia.
REGULAR CARE AND CLEANING OF TURKISH CARPETS
Cleanliness is the first and major step towards the preservation of a hand made carpet and it is the best defense against damage. There are no strict rules to determine when and how often to clean a carpet since every hand made carpet is subjected to different amounts of wear and dirt. The following advice and information are basic general instructions that the average carpet owner may exercise in the care and cleaning of oriental carpets. The best recommendation is regular brushing with an old fashioned hand broom with natural bristles or the use of an electric sweeper. Remember that it is equally important to brush the underlay of the carpet and the floor beneath. Utilizing a vacuum cleaner will never damage the carpet if only cleaning is made by the nozzle attachment rather than the revolving brush attachment.
WASHING OR CLEANING
How often a carpet needs to be cleaned, obviously depends on the amount of traffic and the type of carpet. Such cleaning may vary from every six months to once every two years. A carpet with a light colored background may be sent out to be cleaned more often, but it may be less obvious if the carpet is dark and intricate patterned. The first indication that a carpet needs cleaning will be from the feel of the pile, which may feel coarse and harsh to the touch instead of velvety and smooth as it should be.
Another useful test is to fold up one corner and top the back of the carpet over the palm of the hand. If a fine powder of dust, grit and loose fibers fall into your hand it is certainly time to clean the carpet.
HAND CLEANING AT HOME
You may be daunted by the idea of cleaning your carpet at home. Although it is a time consuming process requiring care and patience, it is actually a simple job which can be successfully carried out by any carpet owner who follows these simple instructions. Hand cleaning has several rewards, apart from the obvious benefit of saving money. It will give personal satisfaction to see every fiber getting fresh and revived. It will also give you a chance to have a closer relationship with your carpet as every previously unnoticed detail of color and motif comes into view with the close attention that hand cleaning requires. Nearly all types of carpets can be cleaned at home with the exception of antiques, carpets in need of repair and fine silk carpets. These should receive the attention of a professional carpet expert.
PREPARATION FOR WASHING
Preparation is as important as the washing process itself. First of all, test the carpet for colorfastness by rubbing a brightly colored area gently with a damp white cloth. Then examine the carpet thoroughly to make sure it is not in need of repair. Since the carpet becomes slightly fragile when it is wet, it is advisable to carry out most repairs before washing. As re-piling is done more successfully after washing, since the color can be matched more accurately. Before washing, brush and beat the carpet thoroughly to remove as much loose dust as possible, because dust and dirt is more damaging when wet rather than dry. Finally find a flat, clean hard surface on which to clean the carpet more easily.
Avoid using detergents and soaps containing strong chemicals with high P.H. values since inorganic substances may harm organic wool fibers.
Lay the carpet with the pile up on a hard flat surface. Dip the brush in the liquid (mixture of soap, vinegar and lukewarm water) and apply it in gentle and even vertical strokes. Vigorous brushing or scrubbing will not clean thoroughly and is likely to damage the carpet in its wet vulnerable state. Start in one corner, brushing up and down, with and against the pile with even overlapping movements. Once the carpet is brushed lengthwise then brush horizontally or from side to side across the pile. By now the carpet should have been thoroughly cleaned. Finally, by the time the carpet dries, the pile should be running in the right direction.
Try to apply the cleaning solution sparingly, so that the foundation does not become wet. It is very difficult to dry a carpet thoroughly, since it is firmly encased in the millions of tight little knots. If the carpet is laid on the floor while the warp and weft are even slightly damp, they will probably start to rot and in a few months the base will be extremely brittle.
During the entire cleaning process handle the carpet as carefully as possible, since while it is wet, it is extremely fragile and it is very easy to cause damage.