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December 23, 2021

How Do You Repair Vintage Rugs?


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Many vintage or antique rugs are precious family heirlooms. In most cases, these vintage rugs are priceless — not only because of their monetary value but because of their sentimental value, as well. In short, they are irreplaceable.

However, irreplaceable doesn’t mean unrepairable.

Even if vintage rugs get damaged, there are still ways to save them. Regardless of whether the rug is made from intricate silk, wool, or cotton, a professional and high-quality vintage area rug repair will leave none the wiser about the damage.

The Best Way to Repair an Antique Rug

It’s always best to turn to the experts to fix a vintage or antique rug. Professional rug restorers know how to best mend different types of rug damage. Moreover, they would have better tools and materials to ensure a seamless and unnoticeable fix.

Repairing a regular rug is hard to manage on your own, especially if you’ve never tried doing it before. Moreover, the stakes are even higher when fixing vintage or antique rugs. These types of area rugs are generally more delicate and require more careful handling.

Although some types of rug damage may be minor and seemingly easy to resolve, the fiber materials of a vintage rug might be prone to breakage if handled roughly. Over the many years since the rug was woven, it’s normal for the fibers to weaken or break down.

Common Types of Rug Damage

There are different types of rug damage that vintage and antique rugs can sustain. Some may happen naturally, such as breaking down the rug fibers. Some may also be a result of accidents, such as water damage and tears. However, regardless of what kind of damage you discover, it is important to act quickly.

Putting off repairs of vintage rugs can result in larger problems. In worst-case scenarios, the damage might become too extensive to repair. Here are common types of rug damage to keep an eye out for.

Water Damage

Rug water damage often results from flooding and spilled drinks. A build-up of moisture from high humidity and temperatures can also cause water or moisture damage. Additionally, it can lead to other problems, such as mold, mildew, bacteria, and bad odors.

Loose Sides or Edges

Years of foot traffic and friction can cause wear and tear on the rug fibers. This can cause them to loosen and fray. In some cases, the sides of a vintage rug can start to come apart. Loose rug sides or edges can also result from the ties of the rug coming undone.

Holes and Tears

Rug holes and tears can result from several things, including insect or moth damage, excessive wear and tear, and snagging on pointed objects. It’s important to immediately patch even the smallest of holes. If not, the hole can grow and cause irreparable damage.

Fringe Breakage

Broken, loose, or unraveled fringes are a common problem with old rugs, especially vintage Oriental and Persian area rugs. When this happens, you run the risk of the big sections of the rug unraveling.

DIY Repair for Vintage Area Rugs

Although we recommend taking a damaged vintage rug to the professionals, we know not everyone might not have the money or availability to do so. Some might not even have any reliable rug or carpet repair service near them.

For cases of minor rug damage, you may be able to repair and resolve them yourself. However, take great care when handling any vintage rug.

Here are a couple of tips for repairing minor vintage area rug damage:

  • For frayed or loose sides: The easiest way to repair a frayed or loosened carpet side is to use fabric glue. Use small amounts of glue to fix small parts along the side together. At most though, this is a stopgap measure. If you can, it’s better to wrap the damaged side with wool or the same fiber used to make the area rug.
  •  For frayed or loose fringes: Old rugs that have long, damaged fringes can be remedied by cutting some of the damaged parts off. However, this won’t work for short fringes or damages too close to the knots or the edge of the rug.
  • For water-damaged rugs: Make sure to immediately air out and dry any water-damaged area rugs. It also helps to deodorize and sanitize the rug to help prevent mold and mildew growth. We recommend renting a rug steam cleaner to bring the rug back to its original look.

Professional Repair Services for Vintage Rugs

Repairing a vintage area rug on your own might work, but you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of a DIY job. Excessive enthusiasm combined with inexperience in mending vintage rugs will most likely lead to greater damage and more repairs needed.

Don’t let your vintage rug even get damaged more than it needs to be. Call Area Rug Masters right away for trustworthy and affordable rug repair services in Gainesville, FL.