One of the first things we do when looking at the potential repair/restoration of a rug, is determining whether or not the repair is worthwhile. The value of a piece can be discerned in a multitude of ways: perhaps you need a replacement value, an insured value, a fair market value, or other usually insurance policy related value. These numbers are subjective to a degree, but they are all quantifiable. You can generate a hard number to use as a basis for determining the worth of getting a repair done.
However, there is one value that can’t be so neatly defined: sentimental value. A client’s rug may be something that has no real value left due to extensive damage or wear, but sentimental value is something that can push an unrecommended repair into a reasonable prospect. In cases like these, repairs are often done just to preserve the look of the rug for as long as possible.
At Serafian’s Oriental Rugs, we try to be practical and economical in these instances. With countless ways to repair damage, we try to line our repairs up with a client’s budget. Some clients are willing to put money into more laborious and technical repairs, despite our recommendations due to rug value, while others just want the cheapest method available to add life to the rug. We often rely on the use of latex and machine serging to keep the price down and in a manageable place for clients.
We recently had a Meshed that’s value could only be described as sentimental. He remembered playing on the rug as a young child, and despite the obvious wear beyond reasonable restoration, he wanted to know if there was anything we could do to salvage it in any fashion. Together we decided that cutting the rug down would be the best option, as the most damaged areas were nearer the perimeter.
We thoroughly cleaned both sides of the rug.
The rug brightened up significantly, but the exposed cottons from the foundation were now equally vibrant, diminishing the newly vibrant colors of the piece.
Examining what we could salvage, we decided on cutting down to a new perimeter that encompassed the whole of the central medallion. The rug is so worn on top, that we decided to flip the rug over, as it showed minimal damage on the back. Although traffic on the back side of a rug is typically a quick way to wear it out, the front had so much exposed warp and weft, that it was the safest route, along with the added benefit of being more aesthetically pleasing for the client.
We secured the edges with binding tape and latex to add a little strength, and then we serged all four edges to complete the look. We also saved the scraps for the client to possibly turn them into pillows in the future.
Although the original rug was too far gone to warrant preservation, our client was thrilled to have a “new” rug made from this piece from his childhood. We were able to keep the price down by using more cost effective methods to accommodate the client’s needs.