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Colour Repair becomes Rug Reweaving

May 1, 2024



I was recently tasked with repairing the colour of a handmade rug. The client's photos revealed three bleach spots, ranging from the size of a small side plate to a large dinner plate, on a green Moroccan rug.


"Easy," I thought, devising a quick plan: clean to eliminate any chemical residues and spot dye. I have yellow spots, aiming for turquoise green, so just a bit of blue should do the trick, right?


I arranged to pick up the rug during my next London trip. There, I spent a few moments with the guilty party—a lovely Siamese cat—and inquired about any DIY cleaning agents used on the rug.


Back at my workshop, I thoroughly cleaned the rug with full immersion, focusing on the bleach spots. After drying, I prepared to redye the areas of colour loss.


Following our Carpet Dyeing and Colour Repair Course protocol, I tested my formula on a discreet section and quickly dried it to assess the outcome.


There was hardly any change.


"No problem," I thought, "I'll just strengthen the formula." Despite several dye applications, the spot remained a vivid yellow. "Houston, we have a problem!"


I returned to the basics to ensure nothing was overlooked:


- A pipette test confirmed no chemical residues within the fibres ✅

- A pH test showed both the fibers and my dye solution were acidic ✅

- A temperature check verified my dye solution was hot ✅


After ruling out all possible interference with the dye setting, I concluded the wool fibers wouldn't accept the dye, likely due to chemical damage from the DIY solutions used or scrubbing, or both.


Not all bleach spots can be fixed, so it's wise to have a backup plan.


"I'll find a way to fix this, even if it means reweaving the entire rug," I resolved.


Upon closer inspection of the weave, I discovered chunky, loosely woven Turkish knots with so many wefts that they formed an entire kilim between each row of knots.


I realized that my Plan B was not only feasible but also not as daunting as I initially thought.


By blending different shades of yarn, I achieved an excellent colour match, and a quality carding brush ensured the new knots integrated seamlessly.


After tying the first 20 knots, my fingers, though not the finest, readjusted to the weaving motion, and I was reminded of my initial passion for rug restoration.


Once the restoration was complete, the customer was thrilled with the results, while the cat remained as indifferent as when I first saw her.


Interested in learning rug repair? Our upcoming Essential Rug Repair Course is scheduled for August 2024 in Australia, followed by a more local one at The Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster in November 2024, and the Advanced Rug Repair Course in early March 2025.


Gabriel Andreca

Brio Carpet Care




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