For my purposes, it's easier to name the rugs, so I'm calling them Rose and Amber. If your mom had names for them, let me know!

From the emailed pictures, I could see three holes on Rose that needed repair. On closer inspection, there are eight areas that I'll show you below. Some are small holes, not that noticable now, but small holes inevitably progress into large holes. If there is a small crack in the foundation material, it unravels in slow motion. The reason the small holes are harder to see is because the loops stay in place through inertia until the backing finally gives way, and you start to see the holes.

The method of repair is the same: I unhook around the damaged area until I get to healthy backing. I need at least 1" of healthy backing so I have something to anchor my patch to. Then I rehook through both layers. So if a hole is the size of a dime right now, I will need to put in a patch that is at least 1" wider all around.

If the wool strips are in good shape, I can re-hook them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are too fragile to re-hook. Then I'll come in with new. I will need to spot clean the areas that I'll be repairing, because I need to see the original colors at their brightest in order to match them.

I can clean both rugs for you too, if you want, but I'm also going to include the instructions below for you to do it yourself. It's not difficult, just a bit of a project. Basically, we hand-wash the rugs, but try not to get them soaking wet. You can wash and dry a hooked rug outdoors on a sunny day.









8 (back)

I would recommend that I start with #4 because it's the largest hole, and also happens to incorporate all of the colors, so you'll get a good idea of what my repairs will look like. Then you can decide if you want me to keep going.

Actually, #7 has a glued-in patch.. As far as I can tell, it seems stable, but the loops are gone, so it looks like a hole from the top. So it's up to you: if the blemish bothers you I could patch and rehook it, but since it seems stable right now, that could be something you just leave as is. #8 is also glued, but seems substantial for now (just be careful when you lift up Rose, the patch is on the end of the rug. You don't want to have the weight of the rug pull on that glued patch) I'll give you prices below, you can consider how much repairing (if any) you want me to do.

Repair hole #4: $65.00

Repair holes #1,2,3,5 and 6: $40.00 each ($200 total)

Repair hole #7: $40.00

Repair hole #8: $65.00

Clean Rose: $100.00

So the total if you want me to do everything (including cleaning) would be $470.00.

The replacement cost for Rose for insurance purposes is $2200.00 ($100/sq. ft.).


With Amber, I found the the damage seemed to go along the center line, which makes me think it was folded up and stored for a long period of time. Folding tends to put some extra stress on the backing material, so if you need to store a hooked rug in the future, (or you're moving house, etc). it's best if you can roll it up, design side out and wrap it in a sheet. That will protect the backing in the future. For the purposes of shipping back to you, I don't think folding the rugs will do any damage (only for a week in transit), plus the cost to ship them back to you rolled up would be exhorbitant!

So in that center section, you could definitely see the two yellow roses that had holes (#1), but the other yellow flower in that center section also has a hole in it (#3), and the pink rose between the two big yellow holes also has at least three small holes in it (#2). I could do one patch to cover the two holey yellow flowers, including the pink one, too, and a separate patch for the other yellow one. 

There's a good chance that once I start unhooking the center section, there will be other small holes and places where the backing has weakened, so you might want to consider having me patch the center floral bunch (rather than two smaller patches). I think that might give more support to the center than smaller patches. You wouldn't have to decide that until I start excavating. If the area surrounding the two yellow flowers with the pink in between seems solid, you wouldn't have to do the whole center flower bunch.

Then there was one more small hole, again along the center line (#4).

So to repair the three roses in #1: $80.00

Repair the yellow rose in #3: $50.00

If you want me to repair the whole floral bunch in the center with one patch, I would charge you $200.00. (The benefit would be a more sturdy patch, and the colors would all match perfectly. But again, you wouldn't have to decide that until I start unhooking and see how the backing looks)

Repair #4: $40.00

Clean Amber: $100.00

So the total to repair Amber (including cleaning) is $270.00-$340.00

Replacement cost for Amber for insurance purposes is $1900.00 ($100/sq, ft,)





How to clean your rugs

Vacuuming is very good for hooked rugs, since it removes the grit that tends to wear away the fiber. However, I always examine the rug, top and bottom, to make sure no loops have been pulled out. If you do find a loose piece, just re-hook it before you vacuum.​​

Dry cleaning is not recommended, unless you're sure your dry cleaner is familiar with hooked rugs. I've heard horror stories, so just be careful. Anyway, it's not too difficult to do it yourself.

To wash your hooked rug, dissolve about one tablespoon of laundry detergent (you want laundry detergent as opposed to dish-washing liquid because it won’t make suds) in about 2 cups of cold water (if you are using powdered laundry detergent, make sure it dissolves completely). 

Put in a sponge or a rag and squeeze it almost all the way out. You don’t need to get the rug soaking wet, you just want to use enough moisture to lift the grit and hair off the surface of the rug, top and bottom. Scrub in a pivot motion. I kind of twist my wrist in a spot a couple of times, then move on to the next.

Rinsing: After you have scrubbed a small section, rinse the section with a clean sponge in plain water (I‘m told that a dash of vinegar is also good for the wool), so you rinse out some of the soap. Squeeze almost all the water out of the rag. Again, you don't need to get the rug soaking wet, just the surface.

Continue the whole process on the top and bottom of the rug. Then lay it somewhere where it can get plenty of air circulation while it dries. Outdoors on a sunny day, a rug should dry in a couple of hours. Indoors it might take a day or more. If so, just flip it over a couple of times during the drying process.



This is a matched set: the one on the right has been washed, the one on the left hasn't. You can see how much brighter the one on the right is.