09 Aug RUGS FOR GEORGIAN HOMES – REPAIR THE OLD OR SOURCE NEW?
Whether you are looking to repair an old rug or source a new rugs for your Georgian home, Sarah Latham from Etons of Bath shares her insider tips and advice.
When I work on design projects for clients of Etons of Bath, it is often the finishing touches that make all the difference. One of my favourite ways of adding warmth and texture is by adding carpets and rugs as seen in my previous feature on ‘What a difference a rug makes’. Georgian properties with grand rooms and open spaces are greatly complimented by the addition of an antique rug.
The Georgian and Regency period of the 17th Century has often been considered ‘the golden age’ of rug making as they became popular in Britain with the opening up of numerous trade routes throughout Western Europe.
There are rugs from the 17th century that have stood the test of time and are still available today, making them highly sought after collectables. Originating from all over the world including Isfahan in Persia, Transylvania (rugs woven in the Turkish / Ottoman empire) India (weavings of the great Mughal empire) and France.
Over the last few years demand for rugs for Georgian homes has increased, with many being sold under the hammer for large sums at Christies and Sotheby’s. Nazmiyalan Antique Rugs and 1stdibs also have beautiful rugs and tapestries sourced from the 17th century.
Rugs, like so many things in life, tend to get better with age. Most traditional, Oriental rugs are extremely hard wearing and take generations to show any sign of wear or tear. However, when they do begin to look and feel tired, it’s worth repairing and restoring them properly and professionally.
Inevitably, there are good repairs and bad repairs – opt for a bad repair and it can spell disaster for the rugs’ look, feel and authenticity. So, it’s imperative that you go to a bona fide rug repairer.
I recently spoke with rug repair specialist Paul Fleming, founder of The Oriental Rug Repair Company (ORRC) to find out more about what it takes to repair an Oriental rug.
Impressively the ORRC have repaired everything from fringes, removal of red wine and other stains, bringing back to life the most threadbare of carpets from around the country to keep the memories alive everyday that live within these pieces of history.
How is an Oriental rug repaired?
“The process begins with a traditional hand wash and moth treatment. We use soft brushed and vegetable shampoos to clean deep into the foundations of the rug where the abrasive silts and muck lie – far out of reach of the conventional domestic vacuum.
Once clean we source and accurately match the wools for colour. Any holes need foundations re-built, resulting in a small hand-loom being built around the hole, creating the warp and weft foundations upon which the new wools can be knotted.
Once complete, the new wools are selected and we re-weave, matching the knot and importantly exactly matching the design (or ‘map’) of the piece. The new wools are knotted carefully, and then shaved down to exactly match the existing piece. Once complete, the rug is hand washed again and left to naturally dry – blending the tones of the wools together.”
What if a Georgian rug is beyond repair?
“An Oriental rug is rarely beyond repair – from frayed fringes to worn out sides, burn marks to massive threadbare areas and holes – everything can be restored if done correctly, using the traditional methods. For example, re-weaving sections of an antique or vintage rug can be a painstakingly detailed process. As you can imagine this is a slow and highly skilled process, attempting to do this yourself is often very obvious and can de-value your rug.”
Where to source a new rug for a Georgian home today?
If you prefer to source new rugs for your Georgian home, then there are different options depending on your personal taste and style.
The Rug Company has a great selection of traditional and more contemporary rugs. They also collaborate with some top name designers, recent collaborations include fashion designers Matthew Williamson and Jonathan Saunders. Contemporary rugs can often work well juxtaposed with the traditional Georgian features.
Should you be looking for a traditional Oriental rug to complement your classic Georgian interior design, then look no further than The London Persian Rug Company. They have a beautiful collection of Persian rugs, which you can view online or in their London warehouse. They will also let you try the rugs at home before you buy with a handy delivery service straight to your door.
Front Rugs offer rugs made from designs and techniques developed by designers Jan Kath, Zoë Luyendijk and Micha
ela Schleypen. Wist offering a fresh perspective on design these works of art blend beautifully into the scale and grandeur of a large Georgian room.
Silk Avenue specialise in hand-knotted and hand-tufted carpets as well as vintage rugs and hides. Each carpet can be customised to a clients taste and need so its possible to achieve a rug of the perfect size, colour and character for the space.