How to get an oriental rug repaired 

Rug Repair Renaissance Rug.jpg

Perhaps it's grandma's old hand-me-down Persian rug, tattered and forlorn by time, a new carpet used as a chew toy by a puppy, or recently discovered damage from wool months. Renaissance Rug Cleaning is  Portland's antique rug repair experts. 


At some point, every rug needs repair.


Foot traffic is hard on rugs & carpets; here are the top questions our rug repair experts get asked about rug repair. Can woven oriental rugs be repaired, and how to find a skilled local rug repair service to do the repair right. 

What's My Area Rug Worth 

Before we start talking about repair costs and various repair strategies, it helps to know three things about your handwoven carpet. Its's origin( where it's from), Age, and value. We calculate the value of rugs and carpets in three ways.

Market Comparisons; what do similar rugs sell for in the marketplace. We work with POrtlands top rug and area carpet retailers, and we see lots of new and antique orientals. In some cases, a quick call to local rug dealers like Christine Millinger Rugs, Kush Carpets, Tufenkian, or even our competitors at Atiyeh Brothers to confirm the value. The point is, that an area rug value is based on the market's aggregate, and we work in the local Portland rug marketplace and beyond. We know what reasonable rug values are locally and nationally.

Decorative; A rug may have a value that makes repair illogical, but its esthetic or decorative appeal drives repairs—making an otherwise irrational repair logical. 

For example, The retro 60-'s70's design movement drove the value of some vintage rugs higher it also legitimized repairs on some rugs based on a vintage look outside the logic of value. 

Sentimental; We can't put a price on one's emotional attachment to their rugs. Some of the most valuable things we clean aren't dollar value but sentimental ones—some heartwarming and others heartbreaking. Carpets & rugs anchor us to family and events in the past. Persian carpets were common wedding gifts in the early to the mid-20th century. There's often a chain of custody. Great grandma's rug was a wedding gift, handed down to grandma, then passed down to mom and dad to you

Often the value of a rug to its owner is a combination of all three of these, part sentimental, part decorative. Our goal is to get you to consider why to repair a rug or why you shouldn't repair a rug. Sometimes it's better to put that money you'd spend on repair towards buying a new rug.


Our goal during an assessment of the area rug repair is not to sell repairs. It's to distill our expertise into digestible information so you can make an educated and informed choice. Think of the Renaissace Rug repair team as rug therapists; how do you feel about your rug? What are your earliest memories of the rug? Where do you see this rug in the future, in your home?

The first is conservation.


In conservation work, we try to maintain the textiles state as it is now while stopping or slowing further deterioration. Typically you'll hear terms like stabilizing or securing; these methods don't alter the rug as it is now; they seek to stave off further degradation. 

No adhesives or machine work is used in our repairs. While not always possible, Ideally, this type of work shouldn't be visible and adds nothing visually to the textile, it's also fully reversible if need be without damaging the rug.

The second is alteration.

Alteration often changes the look and or the size of a rug. In the case of this Nepalese rug on the right, the client needed a smaller rug so it was cut and a new side cord is being built by hand to maintain the authentic look of the rug Vs. machine sewing and surging.

With traditional handwoven oriental rugs, matching intricate designs can be difficult to impossible when a rug's end and sides are cut down. Additionally, cutting old rugs destroys their value we often advise against it.

The third is restoration.


Restoring a carpet's original look, you will hear terms like reweaving and re-knotting. With restoration, we seek to take the rug back in time to add back what was lost. Restoration is the most expensive repair option; reweaving holes is costly and time-consuming. We do a fair amount of reweaving of old rugs. It's not something we suggest with every rug.

Three Oriental Rug Repair Strategies.


How Much Does Hand Rug Repair, and Restoration Cost?

Rug repair costs vary by the type of rug, type of repair, how much repair, how coarse or fine the weave, and materials needed, such as wool, silk, and viscose. In some cases, we need to spin and dye repair materials and ply or un-ply yarns to suit. Repair is often a complex set of factors. Since rugs come in many different weave qualities and structural styles, it's impossible to give a specific price.

Photo can helps get us in a to-start conversation about repair options and price range. Let me give you an example of how that conversation can change really fast; In one case, a dog chewed a five-inch hole in a rug and we quote based on photos. Once we got a Persian carpet to our shop, we found the carpet was rotten and that five-inch repair was a 2'x3' rotten area. Substantially more expensive repair than the five-inch repair we could see in the photos. It's always best to see weaving in person to lay our hands on it for an accurate repair cost. Even then, surprises can happen during repair 

Finding a Rug Repair Specialist

Seeking a qualified rug repair company isn't always easy. Not all rug cleaners have the skills, aptitude, or training in hand repair of oriental rugs, and not all rug repair companies do authentic hand repair. A Google search for rug repair near me or rug repair companies pull up local companies that offer repair, but that doesn't always mean they know how to fix rugs by hand properly.


Be wary of terms like rug serging and binding, rug repair glue, carpet adhesives, or companies with carpet fabrication departments.

That doesn't mean a company doesn't offer authentic hand repair, much like rug cleaning; it's best to visit a rug repair shop and ask lots of questions. Often carpet and rug terminology are foreign to the average person asking to see examples or photos of repairs is a good idea.

Make sure the rug cleaner rug repair people understand Persian oriental rugs a slick website and terminology is easy to come by but is there a depth of knowledge in the carpet & rug services they provide. 


We see it all the time carpet cleaners branch out and offer area rug and oriental rug cleaning as a side service, but they lack fundamental knowledge about woven rugs. These cleaners might even do an excellent cleaning with oriental rugs, but they lack an understanding of handwoven rugs' age, origins, values, and proper repair techniques.


Machine repair methods are often applied to handwoven rugs; cutting, glues, and adhesives are used with disastrous results. These methods destroy their value and ruin the aesthetics of handwoven carpets. In many cases, the rug's owner doesn't clearly understand the repairs until it's too late.


Hand rug repair is a skill that takes decades to master, not a side hustle It's not something learned in a class; rug restoration is a skill set entirely different from cleaning which takes decades to master.

Does My Rug Need To Be Cleaned Before Repair?


Yes, rugs need to be cleaned before repair. Embedded,

Dry soil from an area carpets sandy, clay-like soils making it harder to sew into a rug.  These sols are deeply embedded in the foundation of a rug as this pic shows.


Have you had a carpet cleaned and marveled at how bright the colors are after cleaning? That's because soil hides and obscures color in woven rugs. When we do a repair that requires yarn, we want to match the color to clean wool, not wool tinted by soils.


Hygiene. Rug resides on floors with foot traffic; they absorb soils, dander, hair, and lint, pets have accidents, and things get tracked across rugs. Oriental rug hide soil that's part of their charm they didn't look dirty but this soil was deeply embedded in the rug's foundation. Rugs can bring in moth and moth eggs. My repair personnel works for hours with hands and elbows resting on rugs and sometimes rugs in their laps.

Another cleaner just cleaned my rug


Sometimes that's acceptable, and others, it's not. All cleaning isn't equal; having a carpet cleaner steam clean or shampoo your oriental rug at home that frankly, isn't clean to our standards. We require your rug to be adequately dusted and washed; we need to put the rug through a proper wash process to get embedded soils out.


Cleaning isn't negotiable; it's also out of my own hands. I have given sole discretion and authority to my repair staff on this matter, their word is the law.