A bit of updating on processes that we covered back in Sept 2011 in the Care of Textile Collections program. In addition to wet cleaning, underlayment repairs and learning a variety of stitches and their application, I did a bit of rug repair.
Our instructor, Harold Mailand worked through the techniques with me. Then I went to work on the red and pink piece below.
The warp in this 80+ year old Dhurrie rug is jute - the weft is wool. The outside edges are starting to breakdown since jute is a fairly short lived fibre. It should be said that I did not attempt a perfect reweaving of the weft, but rather a stabilization to prevent further degradation.
The second repair, which I used in several places on rug, is a reweaving to reenforce the edges. Since this rug is in regular use - not an exhibit piece - it has to be strong and usable on both sides.
This is a picture of the first finished repair. As I went along the weaving got better each time - tighter and less visible.