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Carpet and Rug Fringe and Kilim Reconstruction, Conservation or Repair?


For some projects full reconstruction of a damaged carpet isn’t always the best option.

This small project pictured above came in needing a good clean, but the fringe and adjoining area of kilim on the top and bottom of the rug – which was not an integral part of the original rug – had suffered wear.  The fringe that was attached had been both stitched and glued in, which had lead to discolouration of the cotton.

To re-weave the kilim part of the fringe would have cost more than the value of the rug.  Yet this piece has both sentimental and financial value and, who knows, maybe in the future it will be worth re-weaving the kilim and fringe. In the meantime, we removed the old false fringing, and replaced it with a new cotton fringe for its aesthetic value.

So what did we do?  After fully cleaning the rug, the new fringe was carefully stitched in place.  We don’t use any adhesives in this type of work, but repaired the kilim first (before stitching on the fringe), to make sure the rug would be resilient.

It’s worth noting with these antique and semi antique rugs that the fringing really makes no significant difference to residual values.  So conserving with a false fringe to protect the original weave is not harming the piece in any way.

After pics below.

New envelope cotton fringe added