water's edge magazine article

Water's Edge magazine article

Rug weaver's work is rewarding

They’re works of art, intricate antique Oriental and Persian rugs that adorn the homes of residents along America’s First Coast. But what do you do when the dog chews on the corner of that priceless Aubusson, or your toddler spills his juice on the grandmother’s heirloom throw? You get in touch with Hamid Bijanfar. A master rug weaver at Advance Oriental Rug Service/Bijan Oriental Rug Gallery in Jacksonville, Hamid says he’s one of a few artisans in the United

States who repairs antique Oriental and Persian carpets. He learned his trade decades ago in Iran and has been perfecting his painstaking craft for more then 40 years. Largely self-taught, Hamid says his job takes extraordinary patience. “This is a very, very hard work,” he says. “I use the magnifying glass for four, six hours at a time.” Preserving the authentic antique look of a rug is the challenge. The intricate weaving wears away over time, and threads of modern manufacture can be tough to blend

into the older fabric. “If you want to repair an old Oriental rug, you have to put in a new foundation,” Hamid says. “You must be very, very patient, and make sure the colors match.” He restores up to 60 rugs a year, and hopes to eventually pass on his rare skill in a local rug-weaving class. “It’s my hobby, not just my work,” Hamid says. For information, call Advance Oriental Rug Service/Bijan Oriental Rug Gallery at (904) 296-9696.

- Melissa Ross