One of Val's many weaving projects in progress on her 10 harness 56" Macomber loom
Randy dyeing Tussah silk with natural (Botanical )indigo for another Valerie weaving project
Randy and Valerie have over thirty-five years of experience working with oriental rugs and other weavings.
Renaissance is a love story, a rug love story. Randy & Val Hyde meet while working for local rug cleaners and rug retailer Atiyeh Brothers in Portland in the early 1990s. Randy and Valerie developed a love and appreciation for woven textiles and each other.
In their off time, they scoured antique shops for rugs and explored weaving and dyeing as hobbies.
In 1996 Randy left Atiyeh Brothers and accepted a position with tribal rug expert and author James Opie, working retail, cleaning, and wholesale importation of rugs, an opportunity to expand his knowledge of rugs and carpets.
The way Randy tells it, I felt most at home cleaning and restoring fine carpets and area rugs.
In 1999 Randy founded Renaissance Rug Cleaning Inc. Since its inception, Renaissance has been a specialty workshop devoted to the cleaning & restoration of oriental rugs and area carpets. Unique in that most cleaning companies provide various services, including in-home carpet cleaning and upholstery, while renaissance is committed itself to area rugs.
It wasn't too long before Valerie followed Randy to work at Renaissance. Two kids and seven employees, and over twenty-three years later, Renaissance is one of a small number of oriental rug and area rug-specific facilities that specialize in rug cleaning and repair in the country.
The world may have changed, but Val & Randy's commitment to cleaning and repair for Portland oriental and area rugs hasn't.
Val is a weaver; when she's not busy repairing rugs, she can often be found felting and weaving blankets, scarves, and all things fiber arts related at home.
While Randy is interested in spinning and natural dyes that complement Valerie's weaving projects, like peanut butter and jelly
From 2016 -18 Randy served as the president of ARCS (Association of Rug Care Specialists), a rug cleaning trade association dedicated to science, training, integrity, and professionalism in the oriental and area rug cleaning trade.
Most recently, Randy worked in In Afghanistan from 2020-2022 as an educator and technical consultant to US Aid programs to improve hand-woven rug production in Afghanistan. Specifically, modern dyes and chemicals are used in the rug-making process to ensure the Afghan rug weaving future.
Randy has spent time in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iran and visited rug weavers and rug producers' rug washhouses along the way.
Afghans come from a long history of rug weaving; they need no help learning how to weave. Issues exist with the use of modern dyes and various finishing washes given to new rugs. Randy's work centered around the more efficient uses of dyes and chemicals used in the rug-making process to ensure Afghan carpet weaving exists in the 21st century
Randy teaching and inspecting rug weaving workshops in Kabul 2020
Why the name Renaissance Rug?
[ren-uh-sahns, -zahns, -sahns, ren-uh-sahns, -zahns, -sahns; especially British ri-ney-suh ns]
1, the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning
rejuvenation, renewal, rebirth, resurgence, revitalization, revival, awakening, invigoration.
In the 1980s, a few bold and intrepid rug dealers & collectors asked a seemingly simple question, Why don't new rugs have the qualities that antique rugs have that make antique rugs so attractive?
The exploration of this question led some of these forward thinkers or is it backward-thinking, rug people to turn back time to make rugs the old way. Choosing Hand spun wool from heirloom breeds of sheep and natural dyes not used in modern commercial rug production for decades and even letting weavers design the rugs they wove or wildly embellish existing ones.
This was a time when the rug world was full of machine-spun, synthetically dyed, and programmed designed rugs. By doing this, companies such as Tufenkian, Woven legends, Asia Minor, Michaelian & Kohlberg, Zollanvari, Miri, and others took rug making back nearly a century. Making rugs with depth, quality, and old-world integrity that hadn't been seen on a large scale since the 1930s.
In the oriental rug trade, we referred to this movement as a "RENAISSANCE" in rug weaving.
In 1999 when Randy started Renaissance Rug Cleaning, most rug cleaners were carpet steam cleaners, only surface cleaning oriental rugs with carpet shampoos, hot water extraction, or, at best, haphazardly running rugs through machines but failing to get rugs clean and odors out.
Few cleaners were truly cleaning rugs with a full wash, but there were a few. Portland rug owners desperately needed an old-world style handwashing cleaning service.
It seemed only natural that the RENAISSANCE in rug weaving should lead to a RENAISSANCE in RUG CLEANING. Today, Renaissance Rug Cleaning Inc. is Portlands only dedicated to area rug cleaning workshops.
These bold few don't provide a plethora of cleaning services but specialize, hyper-focused on what they know in-plant rug cleaning and repair services.
What's the story behind our business logo?
Weaving was a way of life with Turkmen nomads of central Asia while the traditional nomadic life is gone, Turkmen still exist. In Afghanistan, often called the Haza