How to Determine the Condition of a Handmade Rug
Whether a rug is in adequate or worn condition, it can be repaired. The value of a rug is dependent upon its condition. Sam Presnell from The Rug Gallery discusses how to determine the condition of a rug. Listen or read more to find out how to maintain or repair your rugs.
John Maher: Welcome to The Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an Oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m John Maher, and I’m here with the owner of The Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hi, John.
John: Sam, today we’re talking about how to determine the condition of a handmade rug. Can you define the criteria for a rug, say in fine condition?
Sam: Yes, fine condition or excellent condition rug, would be something when you really look at — you got to examine a rug on the edge. You see a rug takes a lot of beating around the edges. These are the fringes or the serging or the sides of the rug, and that’s where most of the wear begins at first. A fine condition rug or an excellent condition rug would have no repairs, it would have no — it would have the fringe intact, the serge would be intact and firm and nothing loose. The fringe would not be worn all the way to the pile of the rug. Those are things you would look at and consider to be a fine or an excellent condition.
How to Determine if a Rug is Average Condition
John: What about sort of more of a typical average condition that you might find a rug in?
Sam: To me, that something that’s maybe has some minor repairs done to it, maybe has had the serging or fringe replaced or where we reduce the fringe down in order to get rid of the old nasty tail ends of a fringe. It won’t have a brand-new looking fringe to it. It’ll be a shorter fringe, and something that’s been overcast, and just incorporated into the rug. Process serge has been done, or else it has some wear, but it’s not low to the back and any other places.
Criteria for Worn Condition Rug
John: Then finally how would you define the criteria for a rug that’s in worn condition?
Sam: Worn condition would mean something that has actually wear to the back of the rug. You see that’s very common in rugs that are getting older, in that there’ll be certain areas where there’s traffic lanes, where they’re actually the pile is gone. It’s all the way to the back or the foundation of the rug. You’ll see usually wide lines, or it’ll appear little softer in color, or it’ll be like a solid looking — there’s no pattern left anymore. It’s been totally worn off. That’s what I would call worn condition.
Also, it’s usually missing part of the borders or something, could be off or where they basically have the fringe wear off, and then it didn’t get repaired and people kept using it. Then the pile started coming off of it, and then part of the design of that border started coming away from it as well. Those are things that we consider to be worn. It could have stains on it as well. So, anything that’s unsightly or a stain that’s permanent, that can’t be removed, that would be considered poor condition or a worn condition.
Rug’s Value in Terms of Its Condition
John: How does the condition a rug affect the value?
Sam: Greatly. If you have a nice old rug that’s in great shape, taken care of, that’s a big difference than something that’s kind of what I would call average. Where it needs some work and may got to put some dollars into it to get it to where you’ll be safe again, will perform again. Then you’re not going to get as long of a wear out of something that’s in the average condition — it’s just something more decorative and you’re probably just buying it because you like the color or designing. You don’t really care about all the things that are wrong with it. That’s going to be the most reasonable ,and can be bought very cheaply in the marketplace, whereas the average condition rugs, there’s probably more of those out there.
When you get into a fine rug that’s desirable and in great condition, it’s kind of like buying a car or buying a piece of art. The older it is, the better condition it is, the more valuable it is.
How to Fix a Worn Rug
John: Can anything be done to fix a worn rug that, like you said, it’s kind of worn back to the pile or maybe it is stained, or it’s missing some fringes, things like that?
Sam: Yes, there’s lots of things you can do with old rugs and repair which is really interesting where you can actually weave spots that are worn out. There’s different types of stitching you can do to it, fairly reasonable, that will make it appear like it has pile again, but it’s really more of flat weave to it to make it hide the wear in it. We can redo the fringe, we can extend it, but that usually has to be something that’s very sentimental, I call it, or else something of really nice value, and something very collectible but has some problems, and it warrants the cost.
That’s a very expensive proposition to do here in America, to reweave because we really don’t have inexpensive weaving here in the U.S. Whereas a lot of times we get an old rug that’s really worthy of it and has extensive amount of repair work to be done to it, we’ll send back overseas. Most of the stuff we do, we send back to Turkey and there’s excellent weavers over there, very reasonable that can do it for fraction what we can do in U.S. Even though we ship it over there and back, it’s still cheaper than trying to get that done here in the U.S.
How to Maintain a Rug
John: Is there anything that people can do to maintain their rug, maybe they have a rug that’s in fine or excellent condition or even average condition, and they’re starting to see some wear and tear, but they want to keep it from getting any worse, and really lose that value? Is there something that people can do to help maintain their rug?
Sam: Definitely. I think the biggest thing, and I’m guilty of it too, is not rotating your rug on a regular basis. If you could every year or every other year basically just rotate it. If you’re getting one edge or one corner or one side that gets all the traffic in your house, if you can more even that out over two sides that’s going to be very beneficial to the look of that rug, and make it look a lot better for a longer period of time.
John: All right, that’s great advice. Sam thanks again for speaking with me today.
Sam: All right, John, my pleasure.John: For more information about Sam, the Rug Gallery and Oriental rugs and carpets visit RugGalleryCincy.com. That’s ruggalleryC-I-N-C-Y.com or call 513-7 93-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episode by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes, and if you could take the time to give us a review as well would appreciate that. I’m John Maher see you next time on The Rug Gallery.