How to Repair Oriental Rug Binding

Handmade Antique Rug Binding

Did you know that wear and tear from foot traffic appears first along edges and corners of area rugs? This is true whether it is a modern, machine-made rug that uses all kinds of synthetics that are designed to last years or it is a far more delicate oriental rug. Regardless of the materials or methods used to make the rug, you may see that you need to repair rug binding when the rug begins to fray and even unravel.

What is Rug Binding?

With machine-made rugs, you will see that there is a bit of binding tape that has been sewn over and around the edges, the long edges that run the length of the rug as well as the ends where some rugs might have fringe. Because modern rugs are made on cotton foundations and are not hand tied or woven, their bindings tend to be extremely strong.

With oriental and handmade rugs, the long edges are bound by hand with heavy threads run in what are known as over-round stitches. This ensures that the rug’s edges are not overly exposed to wear or fraying.

However, in all types of rugs, you may find that you will need to repair rug binding due to the traffic and materials that a rug is exposed to over the years. If you fail to effect such a repair, you jeopardize the long-term stability of the rug as well as the value of a costly oriental or handmade rug.

The question then becomes, how do you repair rug binding?

Techniques Used to Repair Rug Binding

First things first, let’s not ignore the fact that an oriental or handmade rug in need of repair should really be put into the hands of a knowledgeable expert. This is because they are going to have the tools, skill and materials needed to repair rug binding without causing any further harm to the rug. They can also help you preserve the overall value of the rug by using methods and materials that don’t cause any issues that affect the making or style of the rug.

What would an expert do?

They are going to have to take a few steps that include:

  • Removing the frayed portion OR re-weaving or sewing it to halt the fraying
  • Removing the binding close to the damaged area to ensure that it doesn’t begin a new area of fraying, and incorporate that into the repair
  • Use the appropriate techniques. For modern rugs, it will mean a carpet binding tape repair along with machine-stitching. For handmade rugs, it will require hand sewing to guarantee that the repair does not harm the rug, matches the colors and materials and prevents further issues with the binding.

As you can see, even if it is a modern rug, it is a good idea always to hire an expert to do the repairs. This promises to be a permanent fix as well as upholding the good looks and the overall value of the rug.