We have a lot of experience preparing materials for rug restoration. It’s always been difficult to find the right materials. From the beginning it was clear that spinning, re-spinning, and custom dying was the only way to get it right to do the job.
There is a hard truth in rug restoration. No matter what your skills are, the end result won’t look good unless your yarns match. There are many variables such as spin, yarn size, the size and texture of the individual wool fibers.
Robert Mann Restoration Yarns is a partnership that has evolved from the result of a fortuitous meeting many years ago. Teddy Varndell and I met in the course of our work. I was a rug cleaner, restorer and dealer. Teddy Varndell was a dealer in all sorts of rugs, ethnic textiles, and folk art. At the same time he was a wholesale wool buyer and broker with a long experience in the wool trade. Teddy knew how to buy fleece, how to blend it, and how to ship it to all corners of the globe to be spun and dyed.
Some years back, Teddy and I were talking about the difficulty of finding the right materials for rug restoration. We decided to work together to develop a line of restoration yarns. It took a time, and a few false starts, but we are now at step one of this new venture.
Our first offering consists of seventeen colors specifically chosen as base colors for a restoration yarn inventory. Our goal is forty to sixty colors, dyed with pre-metallized acid dyes, with smaller sub-groups dyed with madder and natural indigo. The idea is to start with the colors of traditional rugs, then move in to some of the ‘fashion’ colors of modern productions. There is a lot of work to be done, but we will eventually get there.
Our goal is to produce a wool fiber blend that suites a wide range of handmade rugs. In the United States virtually all the commercial yarns offered to the repair trade are re-purposed needlepoint yarns – soft and fine Merino fleece that bears no resemblance the the fiber in hand-made rugs. We offer blends that actually match the look and texture of rugs from traditional production countries.
Our initial offering of Restoration Yarns will be at the upcoming ARCS/Summit 12 in Denver the week of October 15-20, 2018. In the near future we will be offering the yarns by mail order from our Denver location. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing materials for restoration.
We also have sample swatches of our yarn offerings, available upon request.