Oriental rugs, Persian rugs and other natural-fiber area rugs are popular for decorating floors and even walls around the world. By the way, the definition of an Oriental rug is: any area rug which is 100% natural fiber and 100% hand-made. Because of foot traffic and environmental circumstances, these rugs invariably become worn on surfaces, edges, and corners. Fringes, the foundation “warp” yarns that true Oriental rugs have hanging out of the two ends, become frayed and wear down to the nubs.
Can you repair them yourself? If you are good with needle and thread, it’s possible to do some minor repairs in some cases, such as repairing “over-casting,” the wrapping around the edge cords. You will need to find the right color of thread made out of the same materials, usually wool.
However, in most cases, a qualified Oriental and area rug cleaning facility is your best choice for having these rugs repaired. Minor to moderate repairs can include corner repair, edge over-casting, fringe stop-knot installation to prevent unraveling, and repair of small holes.
In more severe cases of damaged fibers or missing areas of material, a company who offers re-weaving may be necessary, and the repair could be quite time-consuming and costly. A common problem is pet damage, such as dogs taking a bite out of the edge. That particular problem is quite costly to have repaired, because there is nothing left, the entire section has to be totally re-knotted by the artisan, weaving in the correct pattern.
How can these rugs last longer without needing these costly repairs as frequently? Repair can be prevented by purchasing a custom-cut, cushioned pad made specifically for Oriental or other natural-fiber rugs. Your professional rug cleaning facility is your best bet for purchasing this product. Also, beware of clothes moths. They lay eggs and the hatched larvae eat holes in the back and front surfaces of the rugs.
To prevent moth infestation or minor moth “munching,” there are a few tips: first, don’t put your rug under your sofa, moths love the shade, but they hate light. They will lay their eggs in the shade. If you have a coffee table on your rug, move the table and vacuum at least once a week. Also, don’t store your rugs in garage or storage facility if you can help it. Moths often get into the rug, whether or not it has been wrapped, and lay eggs, causing infestation. At my company, we have seen rugs opened up after a few months of storage, and to the owner’s horror the thing is filled with these maggots and the rug is pretty much destroyed. One more tip to prevent moth damage: have your rugs cleaned at least every two years by a qualified local company who truly specializes in cleaning natural fiber rugs. For Oriental rugs, the full water immersion method is far superior because it washes out imbedded insect eggs.
Finally, keep an eye on your rugs, rotate them annually and for rug repair, choose a repair specialist with great credentials when needed.