We were asked in early December 2015 if we could pick up, specialist hand clean and fringe repair two antique Persian carpets/rugs. The client requested the carpets to be retuned to the property before Christmas – giving us just over three weeks to complete the work.
This was quite a fete given one of the Persian carpets was over 18 feet long and over 15 feet wide. We class this size of carpet as a ‘room sized’ Persian carpet – incredibly heavy but magnificent in design with dark blues and light reds. Although very difficult to move as they are so large, carpets this size are our specialist and we pride ourselves on the ability to conduct specialist hand cleaning and repair on such items.
The estate was situated over 6 miles down a single track road in Glen Etive – scenery many will be familiar with following the release of the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ (http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/films/skyfall). It was a six hour round trip from the Scottish office in Edinburgh’s New Town – so we set off early Sunday morning to get there for 10am when the estate would be quiet.
Through blizzard conditions we travelled to the house, avoiding hitting deer that had come down from the mountains in search of food in the sub-zero temperatures. On arrival at the estate, the house keeper had made scones and a hot cup of tea was most welcome (thanks again!). We moved the furniture and rolled the Persian carpets up and loaded for the trip back to Edinburgh. Luckily we were able to follow our tracks in the snow back to Glencoe which made the six miles less arduous – there were times when we thought we might have had to call for a pull out of the snow – but in the end we made it.
The rugs went straight to our workshops and the restoration process started almost immediately as we were hard pressed for time given the tight deadline. Firstly the dust extraction took place, then followed by the first hand wash which ascertained if there were any stains that needed special attention – we always apply an organic moth treatment for all carpets and rugs at this stage. The very large Persian ‘Heriz’ carpet had not been hand cleaned by a specialist oriental rug cleaning company in over 30 years, so once back in our workshops, this needed some intense dust extraction before we started the main clean by hand. Once the first clean and dry, we conducted the necessary repairs to the fringes. The damage looked like it had been inflicted by a dog or vacuum cleaner – the fringes were worn and needed restored to their original splendour. The smaller Persian ‘Tabriz’ was in better condition and we were confident that our cleaning methods would return the rug to as good as new – and we really did deliver. The final clean brought both rugs back to life and they looked fantastic. The wool had the beautiful shine through the thick soft pile – uniform again in its direction.
We dry rugs using the ambient air and we were experiencing wetter than normal weather in December which slowed the process up by several days. It is vital to allow oriental carpets and rugs to dry naturally, as using heat to speed the process up can shrink the foundation and cause the rugs to warp in the foundations and sit awkwardly on the floor.
We completed the specialist cleaning, repair and restoration and delivered the rugs within the required time frame. We travelled North again to deliver, this time in much better conditions – although still a little chilly! Once placed back in situ, our client was absolutely delighted, commenting that the results were far in excess of expectation. The carpet and rug sparkled again – fringes beautifully restored by hand to their original specification and wools with the lustre and shine were like jewels on solid wood flooring in the house – magnificent!
Although the cold weather had gone – the deer hadn’t made it back up the glen yet and they even came up to our car to say hello on route back!
Thanks again Glen Coe – enjoy your beautiful carpets and rugs – it was a pleasure…