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.