Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Fun Thing - Rug Repair Field Trip

Another weaving friend - Judy L - arranged for our Warped Explorers study group to have a tour of a very neat place called K. Blatchford's Oriental Rug Cleaning, Repair and Restoration. We were each given a folder of information, and then Dana took us around, showing us each process that they perform. It really was fascinating!

We ended up in the repair room. This photo shows Kay, the owner, telling us about her business, and Leslie on the right, the one who does the reweaving. All the yarns used to do the knotting are hand-dyed to match the rug being repaired.

This shows the area where they wash rugs. They don't use any chemicals, just a gentle shampoo. Water is pushed up through the rug. For delicate rugs, they just squegee off the water. For the ones that can take it, they have one of those rotary scrubbing rug cleaners.

After the rug has been cleaned, it holds a LOT of water, so they run it through this giant wringer to remove as much water as possible. Then the rugs are laid out, right side down to protect the nap, to dry. Some of them can be dried outside in the sunshine, some are kept inside, with drying machines setting on top to accelerate the drying process

This is the storage area. They provide a storage service for their customers, which involves rolling up a rug and placing it in a Tyvek sleeve.

Here's Leslie in the repair room. You can see the wall of wefts hanging behind her.

At the other end of the repair room, you can see people working on fringes. Sometimes they simply reknot. Sometimes they add a new fringe - either tieing in a new fringe, or sewing on a commercial fringe. Sometimes they just do a rolled edge, depending on the rug's style and condition.

This is my favorite photo. Leslie has needlewoven in new warp and weft in the area being repaired. Once that is done, she ties in the knots, matching the design of the rug.

I was really grateful that Amy M took pictures - I forgot my camera.

P.S. Sue, we actually do get quite a bit of fall color here. When the trees change - I'll post some pictures of the liquidamber trees (aka sweetgum.) Not quite as glorious as maples, but they are lovely! Here's a post from last fall.


Life Looms Large said...

Well, color me surprised about those red fall leaves in San Diego!! (I swear, in the northeast we think we're the only ones who get beautiful foliage.....just the group delusion that helps us get ready for winter I guess!

I'm really glad to know what goes on with Oriental rug cleaning and repair. I have this one rug I've been meaning to have cleaned, but I kind of worried about it. It's good to see what the process is like! (And good to know that it is possible for them to do a repair...should an accident ever befall our rug!)

That's cool that they custom-dye the colors to match.

Great field trip!!


charlotte said...

Thank you for a very interresting post, it must have been really great to visit this place.

Sara said...

ooooh! Wish I coulda been there! We have a local place, but obviously not as big an operation as this. :)

Lovely colors.

Flex said...

I'm sure you had a lot fun. Enjoying and learning about rug repair at the same time is exciting.

Grace said...

Fascinating, I never knew that carpet reweaving is such a scrupulous job to do, everything must be color-matched to make the change undetectable. But another thing that mesmerizes me is how they clean the carpets, it's like how the guys at carpet cleaning Portland do their job, clean and efficient.

Also, whenever my friends are having problems on their carpets, I always recommend them the guys who does carpet cleaning (Portland, Oregon), since they regularly cleans my carpet and I believe that they can do it to my friends.