December Newsletter 2017



When a customer walks into your shop with rugs that need blocking or stretching, it is good to have someone on your staff with the knowledge and the skills to explain the process and manage a customer's expectations. Trust is earned with expanded expertise, while additional income can be realized correcting flaws inherent in a rug or issues that arise in cleaning.

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Blocking and Stretching by Andrija Malbasa



The most common methods for preserving oriental rugs, their value, and appearance are outlined below: 

Conservation is a method that generally involves stabilizing a fabric to prevent further deterioration. It is consistent with the concept of "first, do no harm." This method does not necessarily enhance the appearance of a rug. It is intended to support and preserve the structure of the fabric. Scholars and collectors favor this approach for preserving important cultural properties and rare rugs.

Restoration spares no expense, using materials and methods that are consistent with the original construction of the rug. If executed properly, restoration is evident, on close inspection, only to an expert. Restoration usually returns a substantial measure of value to a rug that has been worn or damaged. It is the approach used by those requiring rugs in excellent condition. The best antique rug dealers employ restoration to maintain inventories of fine rugs.

Repair employs techniques to improve both appearance and longevity. Repair often includes techniques and materials that may be inconsistent with the original construction of the rug and are usually evident upon close inspection. Repair may add to the longevity of a rug and is less costly than restoration. The overall quality of a repair determines whether it returns any value to a rug. Improperly executed repairs may inhibit future attempts at proper restoration.

Concealment is any of a number of techniques used to improve the appearance of a rug without addressing underlying structural problems. These techniques are employed to conceal wear, damage or inferior repairs. Inks, glues, and paints are often used in these procedures intended to "fool the eye." These procedures may damage the prospect for future restoration.

Concealment, when performed with the knowledge and approval of the owner, may be appropriate for improving the appearance of a worn out family treasure. However, techniques used to conceal damage, wear, or poor repairs, if not fully disclosed to all parties during a sale, do considerable violence to the prospect of a fair sale.

Allen R. Kosub
Accredited Senior Appraiser 
American Society of Appraisers 
Designated Specialty: Oriental Rugs