Rug Restoration Guide

Many rugs show the effects of use and wear over time. The following are examples of some of the more common types of restoration.


These pictures show wear to the foundation of the rug. Some people choose to color in the white threads to disguise the wear. If you suspect this might have been done, take a wet white cloth and rub the worn area to see if color comes up.

Antique rug foundation wear

Foundation wear

Close up of antique rug foundation wear

Close up of antique rug foundation wear


The plain ivory border on the end, which had been missing, has been masterfully rewoven. Note in the photo of the back how well the weave is matched, and on the front, the quality of the color and surface.

Antique rug reweaving

Reweaving - back

Antique rug reweaving

Reweaving - front


Sometimes you'll see an antique rug that has a well-done restoration, but over time, the dyes in the wool that were used have faded, resulting in what you see here. We discourage tinting the area as it won't last. One either has to live with it or have it redone.

Antique rug reweaving with faded dye

Reweaving with faded dye


This photo shows the edge of a rug, often referred to as "selvedge," that is in need of repair. Because this damage has been allowed to creep into the body of the rug, the repair will be more involved than a simple rewrapping of the selvedge.

Antique rug edge damage

Edge damage


When a rug is allowed to begin to unravel at the end, it results in a look like this. A simple overcasting with a buttonhole stitch or whip stitch can correct this and prevent further unraveling.

Antique rug end loss

End loss

Antique rug overcasting with whip stitch

Overcasting with whip stitch

Antique rug overcasting with buttonhole stitch

Overcasting with buttonhole stitch