MARCH 27, 2018 12:01 AM
Reading City Council steps back to work in style
The 1929 rugs in its chambers, after
being cleaned and repaired, should
last another 20 years, a city official said.
WRITTEN BY DAN KELLY
READING, PA -
Reading Eagle: Bill Uhrich | The rugs in the Reading City Council chamber have been restored.
Once a single 12-foot-by-48-foot rug, the Oriental-style floor covering is now two rugs, which
were badly in need of repair. They were back in shape for Monday's City Council meeting.
Two large Oriental-style rugs that have graced the hardwood floors of Reading's City Council chambers since 1929 were back in place for the council meeting Monday night.
"Those rugs are the only thing that has survived getting trampled by all the politicians," joked Mayor Wally Scott.
The tears that developed in worn parts of the rugs have been repaired.
The rugs had been one rug, a humongous 12-foot-by-48-foot swath, but at some point in the reconfiguration of the council chambers it was decided to cut the rugs evenly into two 12-foot-by-24-foot carpets.
Getting the two rugs cleaned and repaired was becoming a necessity because visitors to City Hall would sometimes trip or catch a heel in a frayed section.
But finding the right vendor to do the repair work was not easy, said Ramsey Reinert, public properties manager for the city's public works department.
For one thing, Reinert said, most rug-cleaning and repair companies didn't want the job. She said two of the companies said they only replace old rugs but they did not have any rugs that size in stock.
Ali R. Nejad, president and CEO of Nejad Rugs in Doylestown, Bucks County, was the only rug maker and importer with the staff of weavers and cleaners needed for such a big job, Reinert said.
Reinert said getting the two rugs cleaned and repaired cost the city $8,500, or $4,250 each. Replacing them with two new rugs would have cost $9,800 each. Recreating the design on the city rugs using all new materials, essentially weaving two replicas or clones of the existing rugs, would have cost $17,000 each.
She estimated that, with proper carpet padding underneath and regular maintenance, including cleaning every five to seven years, the rugs should last at least another 20 years.
Reinert credited City Clerk Linda Kelleher with doing most of the leg work on the rug replacement.
Nejad has been in business in Bucks County for 33 years. He said he personally oversaw the entire Reading project.
His team hand washed the rugs, section by section, so as not to do any further damage.
"Once the process of cleaning the rugs was finished, the labor-intensive and time-consuming work of repairing numerous holes and large ripped areas began," Nejad said. "Wool yarns had to be dyed to match the original colors and patterns.
"Large areas had to be re-secured by hand sewing and weaving," Nejad said.
Both Reinert and Kelleher said they were surprised at how quickly Nejad completed the job.
"He had them back to us in about a month and it would have been three weeks if not for the snow," Reinert said.
Previous Page | Nejad Home | Contact Nejad
Nejad Gallery Fine Oriental Rugs showroom - Nejad is located at 1 North Main
at the corner of North Main & East State Streets in historic Doylestown, Pennsylvania.