- THE MAGAZINE
This month, let's look at the most common repair your customer will need: end or fringe work. Oriental rugs are made with at least several wefts at the ends. These are essential to lock in the top and bottom rows of knots. There are, however, many variations in the treatment of ends made by the weaver.
Where a number of wefts and warps without pile are woven at the end of a rug, a strip of fabric is formed. This is referred to as the kelim or selvage (Image 1).
Lay the rug face down with the end away from you. Work from left to right with a waxed thread of a color to match either the fringe or pile. Pass the thread through the kelim, or through the rug end if the kelim is missing, just under the first weft.
Hold a loop of thread down with your left thumb and pass the second stitch in line with the first and through the top of the looped thread. Do not pull too tightly. Continue in this manner, spacing the stitches evenly between every four or five warp yarns.
The first priority is to preserve the rug's value, so do not rush into a repair without careful consideration. When repairing fringes it is very important to test the strength of the existing warp yarns to see if they are weak or damaged. If you do not feel you have the skill to carry out the proper repair method, seek professional advice. No one wants to find they are responsible for a decline in a rug's value.
Weaving new warp yarns for missing fringes is quite difficult. As far as the value of the rug is concerned, this method of repair is certainly the best, but it does take a great deal of practice to become proficient at it.
Select a fringe to match the original color (Image 4). If you find it necessary to dye one to get the right tone, choose a good quality fast dye and remember to buy sufficient length of fringe to allow for shrinkage in the dyeing process.
Do not cut or remove any of the existing fringe, flat weave or kelim from the ends of the rug, as this will form a good, solid base on which to attach the new fringe. Never use adhesive or glue to attach the fringe to the rug; it will result in damage to the rug if the owner decides to remove the machine-made fringe at a later date and have the fringe replaced by weaving new warp yarns.
Lay the rug on a flat surface with the fringe pointing towards you. Insert the kelim of the rug between the flaps of the machine-made fringe, ensuring that the face side of the new fringe is up. Leave _ inch of the fringing to overlap the edge of the rug and allow the ends to be folded in to prevent fraying. This will make the completed job much neater. Pin the fringe into position on the face side only and make sure that none of the original fringe is showing through at the edge.
This is a reasonably simple repair that can add a good profit to your cleaning business.