D. A. Burns' Carpet & Rug Workroom Works A Little Magic Every Day

August 19, 2019

Posted by D. A. Burns

D. A. Burns

Do you have a rug too big, too long, too small or the wrong shape to be of use?

Does a favorite rug have unsightly wear or damage, and you keep it in storage because you can’t bear to throw it away?

Is your favorite rug showing some wear, and you know you can’t get those colors anymore?

Have you found a "just right" that doesn’t come in a size that works for you?

The D. A. Burns carpet and rug workroom may have a solution. Every day our crafts-team fixes wear and tear, makes broadloom carpet into area rugs and alters rugs to change their shape and size. Maybe one of the following examples would be a solution for you.

Making A Rug Smaller

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This is relatively simple. Just take one or two sides off, and finish the cut sides to make a smaller rug. Pattern matching or centering can be a little more involved, as well as cutting shapes to fit a drawing.

In some cases we need to take the pattern and construction of a rug into consideration to get the smaller version to look just right.

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In this example, a customer wanted a hall runner, and the one she liked only came in a size too long for the hallway. The end border was removed, and the section cut out was chosen so the patterns would still match. Two cuts, one hand-sewn seam, a little edge-wrap touch up, and the rug now fits in the hall.

Making A Rug Larger

Often, someone will find just the right rug for their decor, and then find it’s only available in a size too small for the area. We often are asked to put two or more rugs together to make a “right size” rug.

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In this example, the designer found the perfect rug at the perfect price, but not available in the needed size. No problem. Two rugs, trim two edges away, hand-sew together. Perfect!

Being Creative...Something Completely Different

A well-loved rug gets a new life by surgically removing a hole in the center. This rug was shared by two sisters that remembered it from their childhood and wanted to do something creative with it.

Rather than reweave the hole, the center of the rug was removed to make two rugs and two pillows.


Now the sisters each have their own matching rug and pillow.


Save The Birds...Another Well-Loved Rug Story

The appearance of insect damage and stains kept this treasured rug in storage for years. The owners decided they had to find out if it was usable or let it go.

We determined that reweaving the damage would be too costly for their budget, but if they were OK with a slightly smaller rug we could save it. Their only request was that we save the birds!


The area marked in tape had the heaviest moth damage, as well as a few permanent stains, so that rug material would be removed and some of it used to repair other damage.


Removing material would be done carefully around the birds. Any areas of insect damage that affected the birds would be rewoven by hand.


The first step was to remove the end border. The "bird corners" would be integrated into the nearest "bird ovals" on the side borders.


Crafty surgery was employed to preserve the bird, branch and flower designs.

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The donor rug material is sewn together to fill sections where the damaged material was removed. View from the back.


Birds shown after reweaving sections of the insect damage.


This view of the rug shows where sections are sewn together. They’re easy to see now, but after some grooming and a little foot traffic the visible lines between these sections will disappear.


The red line shows the path of cutting and hand-sewing that was used to integrate two patterns into one along the side border.


The ovals of the side borders are now part of the corners. No birds were harmed.


Birds saved, and the rug is back in use.


Sharing One Rug

This large Sarouk rug was brought to us by a brother and sister. After settling their parent’s estate, there was one thing they both wanted – the rug they weren’t allowed to play on while they were growing up. “Sharing” the rug as it was didn’t make sense since neither had a room large enough for the rug. Was there a way to make two reasonable looking rugs out of just one rug?


Also, Sis liked fringe, Bro did not, so we came up with a way they could both get what they wanted. Our suggestion was to cut the rug in a way that would give them both half and still maintain an even border around each new rug.


The plan was to take the outer border (number 1) off completely. This would be used to surround the center section (number 4) to make a new rug with a balanced field design and a fringed end for Sister. Sections number 2 and 3 would be brought together, and with some adjustments would make another rug with a balanced border and field – and no fringe – for Brother.


The former center of the large rug is surrounded by the complete border of the larger rug. Folds are made in the border material where the pattern can be cut and matched.


A sewing method known as “blind” stitching was used to disguise seams. Only by very close examination would anyone be able to tell the rug pictured above has been altered.


Completed “sister” rug with fringe.


The second “Brother” rug posed a bit of a challenge. Most hand-knotted rugs are not completely square, and patterns and borders often get wider and narrower at different points along the rug. You can see in this picture that the top half is wider than the bottom, so additional material had to be removed to get the patterns to align.


The “Brother” rug shows some of the inherent irregularities of hand-made rugs. Some blocking (stretching) will be done to make the rug a little closer to being straight and even.


Sister and Brother now have two rugs, similar but different.


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