Rugs are one of the most prized possessions a homeowner can have, whether for a home or office. As rugs age, however, disrepair is inevitable- and it may be time for antique restoration.
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Many homeowners may need to realize how much work is necessary to restore an old rug properly. Many things need to be clarified about the proper rug restoration techniques and methods. Read on to learn more about antique rug restoration.
What Causes Rugs to Become Damaged?
Age is the most common reason a rug falls out of shape and becomes damaged. With age, the fibers that make up the rug's stuffing can weaken and begin to pull away in some areas, causing an unsightly sag in the ground. Water damage may also cause this. If a water leak occurs while the homeowner is at work or out of town on vacation, the rug's fibers are likely to be exposed and vulnerable. When this happens, they will begin to pull away from each other. Eventually, if left untreated, threads or fibers will break off altogether and mix with the rest of the carpet's materials.
What Are Some Rug Restoration Techniques?
Before you begin antique rug restoration, ensure you use the right technique. Most rugs need to be steamed with a high-quality steam cleaner or cleaned with a low-quality household cleaner like vinegar, so they don't react badly to solid chemical compounds. Here are some of the antique rug - restoration techniques.
This is the best way to remove dirt, debris, and stains from your rug. It's also the best method for maintaining the integrity of your rug. First, use a damp cloth to clean your rug, then put it in a bag that's weighted down with something like sandbags or bricks (or use cardboard). Next, fill a large pot with water and add white vinegar- this will act as an acid cleaner. Put the bag into the pot and turn it on to start steaming. Steam cleaners work better on synthetic rugs such as Berber than viscose carpets because they won't be damaged by heat like woolens are.
This antique restoration technique for wool carpets (or any rugs with loops) is almost like giving your rug a haircut. Using razor blades or emory boards, cut the loops overgrown by dirt and debris to remove them gently. It's best to have one of these tools at hand if you're buying an antique rug: they are much better than mere scissors, can be more precise when cutting out stains, and are safer than knives. Refrain from shaving sheared wool rugs, as they will feel and become ruined if the fibers are cut too short. Shaving should only be done on looped carpets like Berber.
If your carpet is too long, you can take out the loops or shorter sections to make it more manageable. This conserves precious floor space, especially if you need to use it for storage. To stretch a carpet, cut the loops out on either end and carefully cut down the middle of the rug until you reach where the two pieces of carpet join together again. Then lay one piece of carpet on top of another and cut evenly at both ends; repeat with the other piece to match.
4. Patching and Re-Stitching
If your rug has holes, patching can prolong its life by filling them in with material that matches rather than leaving them alone. It also keeps your rug from unraveling any more than it already has, and it will strengthen the hold in the weave. To do this, use a needle and thread to attach the fabric to the back of your carpet. It's best to re-stitch an entire area rather than just one or two holes.
For a rich color, you can stain your carpet with copper, coffee, or even walnut oil. Many people use a combination of these methods to get the best effect on their rugs. If you stain your rug with hair dyes or other chemicals, wait at least two months before you put it in your home again, as these products aren't good for rugs. Of course, if your rug has faded to the point where it's always been dirty, and you're not willing to do anything about it, this is the right solution.
6. Abrash Redying
If you've noticed that your carpet has faded to the point of being unattractive, then you can use dye to bring back vibrant colors. Dyeing is a popular method for restoring rugs for those who have stored their carpet in a dark basement or attic for years. You cannot dye vintage carpets- only new or antique rugs in good condition- so it's best to save them from becoming a pile of bare wool fibers instead of an attractive rug. In addition, if you are going to dye your rug, it's best to combine several shades to achieve the color you want.
Rug restoration is worth it whether your rug is old or not, as restoration can extend the life of a rug for years. Most rugs are handmade products, which means that even mass-produced carpets will have fine workmanship that may be lacking in other furniture items. Handmade rugs are even more valuable than machine-made ones since they are rarer these days and often take more time to make with fine quality control. Here are some of the benefits of rug restoration.
1. Prevent Damage
If your rug is in danger of becoming damaged or worn, restoration may be the best solution to prevent it. In some cases, the restoration method is more cost-effective than buying a new rug or fixing the old one. If you don't notice wear and tear until it's too late, a professional can often restore your rug to its original state as if you had just purchased it. The best part is that you may only need to replace certain portions of your rug to achieve this effect.
2. Save Money
It can be costly to replace a good rug, especially if it's antique or antique-looking. An antique rug can sometimes cost thousands of dollars, and you might be better off restoring it if the damage is minor. The best part about restoration is that it might be cheaper than buying a new rug made in the same style as your centerpieces. For example, Oriental rugs are expensive and rare, but you can restore an old Oriental carpet for less than what you'd pay to buy one in excellent condition from several sites online.
3. Extend Lifespan
Even if your rug is in good condition, restoration can extend its life. Many antique rugs were made with only natural materials, and while they often look great when they're new, they deteriorate over time as the fibers break down. By restoring your rug instead of discarding it or trying to clean it, you are extending its life and protecting it from further decay. Area rugs are especially prone to this damage, as they may have been exposed to pollutants or been overly cleaned or mended over the years. An antique rug restoration allows you to slow the effects of wear and tear and prevent further damage from occurring.
4. Improve Appearance
Most of the time, restoring your rug has nothing to do with your initial goals. Even if you're not worried about its appearance, you should restore it to keep it looking new and pristine. For example, to restore an antique Persian rug properly, you should clean it at least once a year to keep its fibers from becoming too brittle and prone to cracking. In addition, designer rugs are made with fibers that are not machine-made and are very delicate. This means you should clean them properly to keep the threads from breaking during their restoration process.
5. Maintain Value
When you restore your rug, you're returning it to its former state in terms of quality and appearance. Doing so ensures that it won't lose value from wear and tear or damage. As long as your rug is in good condition, restoring it is a great way to maintain its value for many years. A high-quality antique restoration can sometimes be more or at least equally valuable as the original piece, especially if a famous designer or artist made the rug.
Restoring antique rugs is a great way to keep these textile treasures looking beautiful, clean, and new. A high-quality service or DIY technique will protect your rug from further damage, prolong its life and prevent it from becoming a pile of beat-up fibers. Your antique restoration service should be an integral part of your annual maintenance plan so that even the most delicate rugs can continue to be enjoyed in your home for years to come. Contact Lawrence of La Brea today to find out how to get your rugs restored.