RESTORATION

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It makes good sense to have your rugs regularly inspected to ensure you enjoy the original colours and for longevity. Careful use, and not abuse, is the secret for long life. More than 80% of the rugs received in my workshop need simple repair or first aid, rather than major restoration

Materials, tools, skill and patience are vital for quality repair and restoration. The restorer must be able to copy the style of the original weaver and use the Persian, Turkish, Nepalese, Berber and Spanish knots, as well as techniques used in flat weaves and kilims.

I have hundreds of shades of wool and from them can blend virtually any colour. In addition, I have goat, camel, yak and horse hair as well as dozens of cottons and twines, cowrie shells, beads and tassels.

I only undertake justifiable work.

Here are some example of work I have done.

Please send any questions or enquiries to me at ldrowcroft@gmail.com

 

I learned a lot from Suleiman Hajji about restoration during my visits to the North West Frontier. He works in Peshawer and many Afghan dealers use his skills.

I always spend time with Mohammed Hammoud in Marrakech. He has a rooftop "studio" and is always generous with his knowledge. He taught me the various Berber knots.

Scissors, tweezers, pliers, a dental probe, scalpel, and traditional Persian hooks are all in daily use.

A selection of hooked blades from Persia and Afghanistan, together with beating combs from Turkey, Spain, Morocco and Persia.

More brushes than your hairdresser, weights to keep the repair piece steady, a little practice loom, some beeswax, scissor sharpener, my grandmother's rolling pin, pin cushions and naturally a set of glass lucky beads.

I keep a complete range of two and four ply wool and from these can blend virtually any shade. I also keep naturally dyed wool and materials from old kilims which can be re-used. I also buy wool directly from Berbers in Morocco.

Serious surgery. This large Indian carpet was ripped by a metal hook while in transit. The pile and foundation warps and wefts were torn.

I am in the process of removing the damaged part and creating a rectangle ready for re-weaving.

New warps inserted and the carpet is under tension on a frame. The design for re-knotting has been drawn on graph paper.

Nearly finished. The area has been re-knotted with wool from the studio. All that remains is the final trim.

Justified restoration. This magnificent antique Hamadan runner had one area of damage but was otherwise in excellent condition.

The piece was pinned to a frame and several hundred warp threads inserted invisibly from the back. The damaged area was then re-knotted in colours to match the original.

This shows the frame to which the area to be restored was tightly pinned. the wools were accurately matched and the existing Turkish knot copied. With a little help from my friend.

The reconstructed area seen from the back. It is vital to match the warps, wefts and knots of the original.

This old Heriz carpet was severely attacked by moth. After being washed and sterilised the damaged areas, of which this is one, had the damaged pile removed.

It was then re-knotted with the same colours and style of knot. This shows the restored area from the back.

This is an old Turkish carpet from Konya which has one major hole and 10 smaller ones. It has been washed to reveal the true colours and the large hole is now ready for cleaning out prior to reconstruction.

Finished. Fortunately the damaged design was repeated elsewhere in the carpet so, instead of drawing the area to be re-knotted first on graph paper, digital photography provides an instant design to copy

Most restorations are fairly small areas and the piece can be pinned to a frame to create the tension needed to accept the new warps, wefts and knots.

Frames for most occasions. If a rug needs refringing it is neccesary to use a much wider one if possible to accomodate the whole width of the rug.

Matching the exact shades of wools to be used can take a long time. I ususally do this outside the studio in natural daylight.

This was a real challenge. This chair was decorated with 10 strips of antique Portugese embroideries, all of which were worn beyond repair. We made new embroideries to match and stitched them back on to the upholstery. The right hand one on the seat still awaits replacing.

This is the 296 year old Royal Tapestry Workshop in Madrid. They were wonderful and allowed me a short internship when I arrived in Spain. I saw original designs by artists such as Goya and Velaquez. I was made welcome by the then owner who was the 9th successive generation of the founding family.

Book issued by the Royal Tapestry Factory to celebrate 250 years of continuous production.

Fortunately my studio and workshop is in a courtyard to the left of my home.

In the courtyard next to the studio there is a fountain through which water from the Sierra behind us flows permanently. The sound is soothing . The water is pure and ideal for washing rugs.