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Considering buying an oriental rug? Then a visit to Olney Oriental Carpets is essential. Most visitors describe it as a real “Aladdin’s Cave”. There is a relaxed and friendly ambiance and many people make regular visits just to soak up the atmosphere.
Visitors are amazed when they first explore this rambling rug market. Set in a 400-year-old house with oak beams and windy staircases. Each room is filled to busting with every conceivable kind of rug. Stacks of rugs, rugs hanging, rugs draped and suspended.
Manoeuvre carefully round a heap of bright Turkish Kilims, climb a stack of Persian Sarouq carpets and follow the steep winding staircase to the collectors room where you will find a rummage of antique Shah Savan kilim panels, baluch carpet bags, tent band and door canopies. The embroidered shisha panels from Rajasthan are stunning.
All Shapes and sizes are there. Circular and octagonal rugs. Hall runners up to 40 ft long. Square carpets (harder to find than you think). Persian rugs for long narrow rooms called Kelleghs. Tiny Turkish rugs that are favoured as place mats on the table.
Move on to the British School, a separate show room nearby to see our room size carpets. Over four hundred carpets are on show here. Our selection is varied and represents a wide range of quality and cost.
The rugs you have selected can be delivered to you home on an approval basis before you purchase.
We have people who are competent to give advise on colours and design if you would find it helpful.
Focus on Lesley Hancon textile restoration specialist
The patience of a saint
I remember years ago a BBC2 program called What’s My Line. Back in the days of black and white TV four panellists watched an invited guest mime the actions they used whist carrying out their daily job. Analysing the mine and asking astute questions the panelists would try to deduce the guest’s profession. The most memorable must have been the Sagger Makers Bottom Knocker.
Quite what mime Lesley Hancon of Olney Oriental Carpets would perform to illustrate her skills I’m not sure. Certainly black and white TV would not adequately display Lesley’s daily tasks. As a specialist Oriental rug repairer and restorer Lesley’s day is full of colour, design, texture and art.
The aim is for perfection. An invisible repair that can only be detected by carefully examining the back of the rug. To get to this level, technical knowledge about the construction of rugs is essential. Weavers in Southern Iran tie a different knot to those in Central Turkey. The way the wool is spun, the knot density, the choice of material for the warp and weft all have a bearing on the final texture of the finished repair. Get all that right and you’re less than half way there. Lesley calls on a stock of over one thousand different shades of wool when matching colours. Even then it is sometimes necessary to dye additional colours.
Preparation is the key to a good result and often repairing the foundation of the damaged rug take longer than the re-weaving itself. Time is money and Lesley must work quickly and accurately to keep costs down for the client. Even so, large repairs to rare and valuable antique rugs can take several weeks. Attention to detail is vital. Taking care to use materials that are sympathetic to those used in the original rug is very important. A professional restorer will never use any kind of glue. Great patience and tenacity is required, weaving thousands of individual knots and all to produce something that can’t be seen! The patience of a saint.
Who needs rugs repaired? Well our work comes from many places. Two or three rugs a week come along with a hole chewed in the middle. A new puppy in the house will usually generate enough work to keep her busy for quite a few days. Sloppy vacuuming can make short work of the fringes on granny’s family heirloom. Bless the child that thoughtfully turned the rug face down so a not to make it dirty. Then cut out the wings of his balsa-wood plane using the rug as a cutting table.
Oriental rugs have always been precious items. Treasured by kings and ambassadors in years gone by, few ordinary folk could afford the luxury of a real hand woven rug. These days they are regarded as that final finishing touch to a decorating scheme. They add warmth, individuality and quality to the completed room and more and more people are choosing to invest in these amazing pieces of textile art.
Have you a family treasure that needs some repair or cleaning. Call in and talk to Lesley at Olney Oriental Carpets. Or call on 01234 712502 .
Moths, The ultimate Rug Rat
Carpet Moths don't eat carpets.
The barberry carpet moth was previously found in hedgerows throughout England and Wales, but it is now very rare and confined to a handful of sites. The moths live exclusively on barberry plants, but these plants are thought to have been selectively removed from hedgerows in the 19th century as they were identified as an intermediate host for the 'wheat rust' fungus which effects agricultural crops. As a result the barberry carpet moth is threatened with extinction in much of its range. The barberry carpet moth doesn’t eat carpets!
The two most common clothes moths, the webbing moth (Tineola Bisselliella) and the casemaking moth (Tinea Pellionella) look very much alike. Both adult moths are buff or tan in colour and have a wingspan of about 1/2 inch. They are not strong flyers and are adverse to bright light; instead, they prefer to flit erratically in dark or dimly lit areas. Female moths can lay from 200 to 300 tiny eggs upon a material in which the larvae can feed - primarily wool. The egg-hatching period is about four to eight days but may take longer in cold temperatures. The webbing moth spins a silky coverlet, under which the white-bodied, dark headed larvae feed and then pupate at the conclusion of the feeding period. Its life cycle is variable, extending from three month to a year. The casemaking moth larvae construct a small portable case of the woollen material that it feed upon. The case enlarges and is dragged about as the larvae feeds. After the feeding stage has concluded, the larva attaches the case, in which it will pupate, in a secluded place. The length of life cycle is extremely variable, depending on the food supply, temperature and humidity and may last from two months to four years.
Protection It’s a good bet that almost every carpet has hidden deep within its pile more than a few moth eggs belonging to Tineola Bisselliella. They sit and wait for conditions to be right before they hatch out. Sometimes upon hatching, if the environment is hostile, then the larvae just die and no damage is done. To thrive, they enjoy dark undisturbed places, with a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees and a humidity of around 70%. They are fussy eaters and prefer areas of carpet that have been soiled with food or urine. They even have a preference for red wool over black. This could have more to do with where the egg was laid rather than the flavour.
Rugs to be stored should be washed front and back then dried then very thoroughly. Vacuum back and front. Spray the rug with a permethrin insecticide. Mothballs are not recommended these days because naphthalene can cause respiratory problems. Use paper rather than polythene to wrap to prevent condensation inside the package. For the green option you could try oil of cloves or citronella oil on the wrapping paper. There are no guarantees here. You may want to try a more extreme method. Put the washed and dried rug in polythene a bag. Suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner. Seal the bad making it as airtight as possible. Put the rug in the deep freeze. This will most likely prevent eggs hatching, but domestic freezers are not cold enough to destroy the eggs.
Concern about insect damage should not be limited to stored rugs. Rugs kept in rooms with little traffic or daylight or with portions of carpets that extend under furniture are also subject to moth and beetle infestation. Rugs and weavings that are hanging on walls are particularly susceptible to insect infestation. Even actively used rooms can harbour hordes of destructive insects if they or their food source remain undisturbed. Under ideal conditions, rugs can suffer extensive damage in a surprisingly short time. Good housekeeping is the remedy here. Vacuum dark corners, under the edges of rugs, under furniture and so on.
Chris Is Climbing Kilimanjaro
One cold, rainy and dark winter day elderly gentlemen came to the shop...
What is my challenge?
I will be climbing Kilimanjaro (5th highest mountain in the world) in February 2017 to raise money for the Nasio Trust. 'Kili' is an old volcano which is known as 'The Roof of Africa'. It is located in Tanzania and it is the highest free-standing peek in the world. I will be taking the Lemosho route that is one of more remote ones and challenging routes of the 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) climb. I'll be climbing 7 days in total which gives the time to acclimatise your body to use less amount of oxygen (50% less than on the sea level) and after reaching the summit - 1 day of descent.
My goal is to raise £3.000 (anything less and I will not be able to climb). It is a huge amount of money, I realise that. Please help me to meet this ambitious target - every donations will be much appreciated.
I have also a target of 30% (£1.000) to fundraise by August deadline which is required to book everything.
Thank you in advance!
Why I’m doing this?
I'm a happy father of 3 wonderful boys (Casper 8, Ozzie 4 and Victor 1). Nearly 3 years ago I crashed badly on the motorbike. During my stay in hospital I realised how lucky I was to survive and how special I should feel every day of my life to be able to enjoy a healthy and happy family. I decided to commemorate my 40th birthday next year by fundraising to help vulnerable kids who are not so lucky as mine.
Why did I choose Kilimanjaro climb? - It's been my dream for many years but only recently one of the customers I met at work inspired me with the idea...(click BBC report) and I started thinking realistically about it. It's a huge personal challenge. Please support me!
Who are the Nasio Trust?
The Nasio Trust supports the HIV Orphans and vulnerable Children of Kenya. It helps them by providing day care support including, educational resources, food, medical treatment and clothing.
The Nasio Trust is solely supported by donations from the public and are currently supporting over 400 children in two day care centres in Western Kenya, St Irene's and Noah’s Ark day care centres.
To me, this what makes The Nasio Trust so special, its aim is to help kids to achieve their dreams and this is where your support and donations helps the Nasio trust. I did many challenges in the past when I was fundraising including Sport Relief. They were always wonderful causes. However I've never had an opportunity to see exactly where my support and fundraised money goes..With Nasio Trust after the climb (if still alive..) I'll have a chance to meet those kids, visit the centre, school, meet the founder and staff and see the charity work.
More Info about this fantastic charity: TheNasioTrust