The Blog– Page 4 – Bradford's Rug Gallery

The Blog

Natural versus Synthetic Dyes

The first synthetic (aniline) dye was discovered by William Henry Perkin in 1856, near the end of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to that only natural dyes had been used in dying textiles including wool yarn for rug weaving. "Natural dyes have been used since the beginning of organized society, developed so humans could paint their bodies, clothes, houses, weapons and religious icons.  The colors were obtained from plants, animals, fruits and earth," writes the Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, "In Mexico, [natural dye sources] include indigo, cochineal (an insect), moss, nut shells and leaves, wild flowers, tree bark, and even a sea snail that emits a deep purple ink."

Natural dyes are sourced all over the globe, each cultural center having it's own collection of regularly used materials. The colors used in older rugs are often indicators of it's origin, they can help identify when it was made, as well as who made it.

 

 

There is much debate about whether natural or synthetic dyes are better,  both in rug making and in other textile industries. There are many factors to take into account when trying to answer that question: cost, environmental sustainability, human health and safety, brilliance of color, intensity of color, and color fastness. Depending on your perspective, you may come up with a different answer.

Our preference, as rug enthusiasts, is always natural dyes over synthetic. Natural dyes have a luster and glow that is often lacking in synthetic dyes. Sometimes synthetic dyes can be jarring to the eye. Natural dyes are often more harmonious and most natural dyes colors will coordinate with any other natural dye color.

 

With natural dyes the yarn must be first dyed yellow and then over dyed with indigo to achieve the color green.

 

When talking about color fastness (a material's color's resistance to fading or running), natural dyes can have a tendency to fade faster than synthetic dyes, but as they fade over time they stay true to their original color, the colors just become softer and acquire a patina. Synthetic dyes tend to be more color fast, but when they do get to the point of fading they can fade to a different or muddier color than that of the original. For example a navy blue could fade to a gray, or orange to beige. You can see in the photo below a vintage rug dyed with synthetic dyes had faded and we sheared off the top of the pile to reveal the original color below. The vibrant magenta had faded to an almost muddy orange, the lime green to a pale yellow.

 

 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to natural versus synthetic dyes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us love those vibrant and sometimes almost electric synthetic dye colors, while others of us appreciate the results of the natural process of dying materials with plants and herbs. No matter what your choice fading is inevitable, neither natural or synthetic dyes are completely immune to the sun's rays. We recommend rotating your rugs every so often (every 6 months or so - more often if in direct sunlight) to keep the fading balanced and less noticeable. And most of all we recommend picking out a rug you love, regardless of how it's colors were obtained.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about natural or synthetic dyes please stop in and visit us at our showroom, we love to talk about all things rug,  we are at 297 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04101 Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm - Closed on Sundays.

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2018 Annual Summer Sale

 

Our sale is underway! All in-stock area rugs are on sale starting at 20% off! (Cotton and indoor/outdoor rugs - are 10% off) We even have a selection of area rugs in a range of sizes and styles with deep discounts over 50% off!

 

7'9"x9'9" Qing

It's that time of year where we want to clear out the old inventory so we can start ordering in exciting new products. Help us make way for new inventory and get a great deal at the same.

5'9"x8' Shirazi

Sale inventory includes traditional, transitional, contemporary, and modern styles. All colors and all sizes. Flatweaves, tufted, hooked, and hand knotted pieces.

9x12 Tibetan

The sale runs through Saturday, June 30th - our hours are Monday through Saturday 9am to 5pm (Closed Sundays). And remember we are closed for vacation the first week of July!

10'3"x11' Oushak

We hope to see you soon! Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Hand Tufted Versus Hand Knotted

What's the Difference?

We do our very best to carry the best quality hand-made, wool area rug options, while also doing our best to carry a wide range of price options. When starting an area rug search it can be overwhelming to take in all your options - sizes, styles, colors, construction, etc. That is why we are here to help.

Often times with customers just starting their search one of the most frequent questions is regarding prices and why one rug is significantly more expensive than another.

Cost is typically dictated by three things: construction, quality, and fineness. Construction is how the the rug is made, quality refers to the quality of materials used in making the rug, and fineness refers to the level of detail in the pattern of the rug, similar to pixels in a digital photo. I'm going to talk a little bit about construction.

Below are some side by side comparisons of hand tufted rugs (on the left) and hand knotted rugs (on the right). Hand knotted rugs typically being of a much higher quality construction, gives them a higher price tag. 

Tangier Classic  versus  Vintage Farahan

With a hand knotted rug the weaver hand ties yarn around each warp (vertical foundation thread) creating individual knots, this row of knots is then secured with one or more wefts (horizontal foundation thread) that are then packed securely into place, on top of which another row of knots is tied and the process continues. This is an intrinsically strong structure that will withstand many years of wear.

Hand Tufted Construction versus Hand Knotted Construction

With hand tufted rugs, a pattern is printed on a pre-woven cotton foundation, the artisan than uses a hand-guided piece of machinery to poke yarns through the back of the existing foundation, following along the pattern somewhat like a color-by-number. Once complete a latex glue is then applied to the back of the rug (this is what holds it together) and then cotton canvas put over the back to cover up the glue. The latex glue that holds the wool pile in place breaks down over time and eventually the rug will begin to come apart. The heavier the wear the faster the latex glue will break down.

Galaxy 04 versus Fall

Don't get me wrong - there is a time and a place for all rugs. That is why we offer both hand tufted and hand knotted rugs. Tufted rugs are usually significantly less expensive than hand knotted rugs, if you don't have the budget for a hand knotted rug a tufted rug can often be the perfect solution. But, when you are pricing area rugs and you notice there is a vast price difference between two rugs it is likely due to the difference in construction, quality, and/or fineness of the rugs you are comparing.

 

Craft 00 versus White wash Heriz

If you would like to learn more about the differences in construction, quality, and fineness, come visit our show room and we'll be happy to talk more with you about all things rugs!

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History's Most Significant Carpets

History is a huge part or what feeds our passion for antique carpets. Not only do you have the interest of the individual carpet's history but also the fascinating history of the cultures and the people who create them.

While all antique carpets have intrinsic historical value, there are only a few that really stand out as being some of the most important rugs in recorded history. Those include the Pazyryk Carpet owned by the St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, The Ardabil Carpet owned by the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet sold at a Sotheby's auction in 2013 to an anonymous buyer.

This is what makes each of these three rugs so historically significant:

The Pazyryk Carpet:

Photo courtesy www.nazmiyalantiquerugs.com 

The Pazyryk Carpet is the oldest known piled carpet in existence, it is reliably known to be from the 5th Century BCE. A Nazmiyal Collection blog post states the following:

"The land surrounding Siberia’s Ukok Plateau is vast.  Harsh in the winter, the region of Altai Krai is home to the Altai Mountains and the Ob River and her estuaries.  The plateau descends into the Pazyryk Valley, which contains ancient kurgans (burial mounds) in the style of the Scythian peoples who inhabited the area over two thousand years ago.

Archaeological digs in the area began in the 1920’s and unearthed a wealth of historically important items that offered intriguing insight into the little known ancient nomadic tribes of the Pazyryk.

Among the findings were mummies, cloth saddles, a full-sized burial chariot, decorative or devotional figurines, and cannabis seed with an inhalation tent.  When the tombs were unearthed, it was found that they had been remarkably preserved in ice since the 5th century BCE. The mummies that were found were so complete that they still had their tattooed flesh and hair. One of the most remarkable finds was the Pazyryk Carpet.

The Pazyryk Carpet most likely came from Central Asia, though it is really a tossup between Persia or Armenia.  Both nations have traditions of carpet weaving spanning thousands of years, and the horses represented on the rug are nearly identical to horsemen on a frieze in the ancient Persian city of Persepolis.  The possibility that the rug was produced by the Pazyryks is extremely slim, because the sophistication and elegance of the design is indicative of a settled and cosmopolitan civilization unlike the nomadic Pazyryks."

The Ardabil Carpet:

Photo courtesy Victoria & Albert Museum - www.vam.ac.uk  

The Ardabil Carpet is the oldest existing dated carpet, meaning the date is literally woven into the design of the carpet. The Victoria and Albert Museum (owner of the carpet) writes the following:

"[The Ardabil Carpet] was made in the town of Ardabil in north-west Iran, the burial place of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, ancestor of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722). While the exact origins of the carpet are unclear, it's believed to have been commissioned by the court for the shrine of the Shaykh, which, by the 16th century, had became a place of pilgrimage.

We can date the carpet exactly thanks to an inscription on one edge, which contains a poetic inscription, a signature - 'The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani’, and the date, 946 in the Muslim calendar, equivalent to AD 1539 - 1540. Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpet and not a slave in the literal sense.

The wool pile, which holds dye much better than silk, is very dense - there are about 5,300 knots per ten centimetres square. This density allowed the designer to incorporate a great deal of detail. Making such a large carpet with so many knots would have taken a team of skilled weavers several years - up to 10 weavers may have worked on the carpet at any one time. Carpet weaving was usually performed by women at home, but a court commission like this one may have been woven by men."

The Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet:

Photo courtesy www.sothebys.com  

The Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet is unlike the Pazyryk and the Ardabil in that is is not famous solely for it's age and condition but also for the astonishing price it sold for in a 2013 Sotheby's auction. A June 5, 2013 Washington Post article reads:

"A Persian carpet decorated with swirling vines and vibrant flowers that was stored for decades by the Corcoran Gallery of Art sold Wednesday for more than $30 million. That sum, fetched at a Sotheby's sale, shattered the previous record for rugs sold at auction...

The winning bid for the Clark Sickle-Leaf Carpet stunned viewers and participants at the sale, in which 25 rugs and carpets were auctioned off to raise money for new acquisitions of American and contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery. The anonymous bidder, who participated by phone, paid $33,765,000 for the 17th-century Persian piece, which came from the bequest of William Clark, the industrialist and U.S. senator who donated more than 200 works of fine art and rugs to the Corcoran upon his death in 1925. Before Wednesday’s sale, a blue leaf-patterned 17th-century rug from southeast Iran held the global record, selling for $9.6 million at Christie’s in London in 2010."

For a description of the Clark Sickle-Leaf visit the Sotheby's catalogue description here.

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Sisal Season

Sisal Season
Summer is coming ever closer and summer is truly sisal season, nothing provides that light and airy beach feel like the unique, textured look of a sisal rug. Natural plant fibers, including sisal, jute, seagrass, and coir, can offer tight construction, intricate woven designs, and natural tonal hues to add interest to a room without becoming too over powering. Also extremely versatile, they can be used alone or layered with other area rugs, blending quietly and elegantly with bolder prints and patterns.
More about each natural plant fiber, courtesy of Fibreworks:

Sisal
A durable plant fiber harvested from the mature leaves of the agave sisalana plant. Since most weeding is done by hand, no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used in sisal production.

Jute
Harvested from the skin, or bast, of the jute plant. Jute is sustainably grown, pollution-free and completely biodegradable.

Coir
Extracted from the skin of the coconut fruit, which is cured by the sun and spun into yarn. Whatever can’t be used for food or for coir yarn gets combined with other organic materials and used as compost in soil treatment.

Seagrass
This natural fiber is non-porous and comes in a naturally beautiful range of pale green and gold that mellow over time. Seagrass rugs are never treated with dye, so they’re a great choice for those with chemical sensitivities.

If you would like to learn more about plant versus animal fibers in rugs visit our blog post Material Matter.

All natural plant fiber rugs have normal irregularities that are considered part of their charm. Variations in weave and shading, for example, create a distinctive, interesting character that makes natural fiber floor coverings unique. All natural grass fiber floor coverings are "perfectly imperfect." 
Though grass fibers are hard wearing, environmentally friendly, and offer a great look at a reasonable price - they are not appropriate for all applications. Liquids can pose potential staining issues, so using sisal in kitchens, dining rooms or other areas where liquids may frequently be spilled is not ideal. If you do have a wet spill on your sisal rug we recommend sopping up as much of the liquid as possible and then applying a dry extraction powder (such as HOST) to the area.
All in all, sisal and all the other grass fibers add an overall relaxed yet sophisticated look to any space. The perfect combination of a neutral color and textural interest, sisal can bring the beach right into your home.
If you would like to see all our different sisal weave options please stop by our gallery at 297 Forest Ave, in Portland, Maine. Sisal rugs are available in standard sizes as well as custom sizes.
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All About Rug Pads

Why do you need a quality rug pad?

First, a good rug pad will provide a layer of protection between the rug and your hard surface floors which will help prevent wear – giving both your floor and your rug longer life.

Second, a well made rug pad is soft, luxurious and resilient, compressing underfoot and bounding right back for your comfort.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, the right rug pad can prevent accidents by keeping rugs from slipping or buckling – keeping you and your family safe.

We are here to help you determine which rug pad is most appropriate for your particular rug and your particular needs. This is a description of all the rug pads we offer for sale, with recommendations for which situation they are best used.

Optimat

Made of 22 ounces of felt and 16 ounces of non-washable rubber per square yard with a heat fused face, optimat pad is ideal for use with hard surface flooring or wall-to-wall carpet. Place the reverse waffle (rubber) side face down on hard floors and you get excellent gripping power. Turn the pad over – rubber side up – and you have a pad that keeps area rugs securely in place over wall- to-wall carpeting. The surface is specially treated to provide extra grip and prevent fuzzing and fraying. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. Optimat pad is 1/8" thick. NOT for use with radiant floor heating.

Ideal for:

  • Most hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.
  • Placing area rugs on top of wall-to-wall carpet or when layering area rugs.
  • Adding stability and cushion under thin rugs ie: flat weaves etc.

Ultimat

Literally the ultimate in rug pads, Ultimat is made with 28 ounces of fiber and 20 ounces of washable rubber and 5 ounces of latex face coat per square yard. Like optimat, place the reverse waffle (rubber) side face down on hard floors, turn over - rubber side up - and you have a pad that keeps area rugs securely in place over wall- to-wall carpeting. The surface is specially treated to provide extra grip and prevent fuzzing and fraying. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. UltiMat is 1/4" thick.  NOT for use with radiant floor heating.

Ideal for:

  • Most hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.
  • Extra protection and stability under thinner rugs ie: flat weaves, old, worn rugs etc.
  • Additional cushion and comfort under any area rug.

Slimmat

An extra thin version of the optimat pad. Slimmat is 1/16" thick. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. NOT for use with radiant floor heating.

Ideal for:

  • Great for tight spaces under doors.
  • With extra thick rugs that need no additional padding.
  • Most hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.

Securenet

Made with soft pillows of non-toxic, natural rubber to provide a comfortable cushion that holds rugs tight to the floor. Approved for radiant floor heating. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. Securenet is approximately 1/16" thick.

Ideal for:

  • Tight spaces under doors. 
  • Use with radiant floor heat
  • All hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.

Magnet

The thickest and toughest open-weave non-toxic, natural latex pad available. Provide a comfortable cushion that holds rugs tight to the floor. Approved for radiant floor heating. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. Magnet is approximately 3/16" thick.

Ideal for:

  • Extra cushion for radiant heat floors
  • All hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.

Econet

Made with non-toxic, natural rubber coating a jute base. It will not stain, mar or discolor standard flooring. Through a partnership with Trees for the Future, a tree is planted for every EcoNet pad sold. Econet is approximately 1/16" thick. Econet is not our top choice in rug pad, it will protect both your floor and your rug, but it provides minimal slip protection, and no additional cushion.

Ideal for:

  • Use over laminated wood, wood, tile and other hard floors.
  • Use with radiant floor heating due to it's open grid design.

Rubber Anchor II

The VERY best rug pad for any type of area rug. Made with open cell natural, non-toxic rubber, Rubber Anchor II’s comfort, resilience, performance in protecting against rug wear and preventing slipping, on both wood and tile floors, is unsurpassed by any other rug pad. It’s smooth surface eliminates the possibility of texture showing through even the finest rugs. Available in 3 thicknesses 1/16", 1/8", and 1/4".

Ideal for:

  • All hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.
  • Preventing area rugs from migrating around the floor.
  • Providing additional comfort under foot.

Rubber Anchor Green

A great choice for consumers looking for an eco-friendly, non-toxic rug pad.  Like all the Rubber Anchor products, Rubber Anchor Green is made of natural rubber, a rapidly renewable resource, and it contains no toxic chemicals. In addition it is made with recycled rubber and through a partnership with Trees for the Future, a tree is planted for every pad sold. Rubber Anchor Green offers comfort, resilience, and performance in protecting against rug wear and preventing slipping on both wood and tile floors. 

Ideal for:

  • All hard surface flooring; hardwood, tile, laminate, linoleum etc.
  • Preventing area rugs from migrating around the floor.
  • Providing additional comfort under foot.
  • Those who are especially eco-conscious

Outdoor Rug Pad

Allows rugs to dry quicker preventing mold and mildew growth. Durable & abrasion resistant. Made from polymer coated polyester. Only recommended when absolutely necessary.

Ideal for:

  • Use on stone, concrete, tile, wood, or any exterior hard surface
  • Adding comfort & safety on outdoor surfaces
  • Keeping outdoor rugs in place
  • Preventing mold & mildew

For sizing and pricing of all of our rug pads please visit our Rug Pad Collection.

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Going Contemporary

Contemporary: adj.

1. existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time.

2. of about the same age or date.

3. of the present time; modern.

"Technically, a contemporary design style reflects what is popular 'now', meaning that it represents whatever styles, colors, etc. are currently trending. Contemporary and Modern styles are often used interchangeably because they are similar, they are actually a bit different.  Contemporary design takes it cue from Modern, but then doesn’t hesitate to break the rules to reflect whatever is current, whereas Modern is a bit more strict with its style based on historical, iconic design." - tidbitsandtwine.com

photo courtesy modernsanctuary.com
If you are someone who appreciates a clean look, shiny finishes and sleek lines, you probably lean more towards a contemporary style for your home. Maine can sometimes be a hard place to find great contemporary decor options, we Mainers tend to appreciate the classics, we are practical and appreciate functionality above all else. But Maine is a growing, changing state, contemporary design has found a niche here. Bradford's Rug Gallery has been increasing and expanding our inventory to provide a great range options for our customers who want a more modern - contemporary look.
In the above photo, designer Charles Prior of Baxter Creative Designs has created a sleek, bold, stylish, and sophisticated space using a low profile leather sofa, glass and brass side tables and a strong wall color. You can achieve a similar look by choosing one of the following rugs to pair with your leather sofa and modern decor. 
Rugs Shown:
Left - Kourion Seaspray
Middle - Marble Canyon
Right - Pablo Blue Grunge

photo courtesy of www.futuristarchitecture.com

For a super minimalist, monochromatic look, like the one above from Futurist Architecture, try one of the three great area rug options from below.

Rugs Shown:
Left - West Village
Middle - Mercury
Right - Hallen Dark Grey
photo courtesy of http://modernsanctuary.life/galleries

Or for a warm and relaxing, yet still contemporary look, like the one above from Modern Sanctuary, try one of these great options to go with your white or gray sectional.

Rugs Shown:
Left - Fluxus Granite
Middle - Levi Grey/Beige
Right - Borior Snowfox

 

If you'd like to see our full collection of contemporary area rugs visit our Hand Knotted Tibetan Collection or our Hand Knotted Transitional Collection.

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Easy Green

 

 

 

We could not be happier to embrace the 2018 color trend toward soft grey greens.  Colors like Magnolia Home's Olive Grove, Ben Moore's Jojoba and Valspar's Silver Eucalyptus are everywhere right now and we are ready.  Tranquil, soft greens can go in so many directions, amp them up with saturated red and blue or soften with pastels.  I put together some of my favorite rugs to bring some "easy green" into your life. 

 

 

CLICK THE PICTURES FOR PRODUCT INFORMATION
 
First up is a classic Kazak, our bread & butter here in the showroom, a traditional style without being too formal.  These bright reds and blues will take your muted greens to the next level.  

 

Image via { wander hues }  @nathalierollandin

 

You really can't go wrong in New England with blues and greens, keep the background ivory for that super fresh summery vibe.  This double sided Soumak weave is made of the softest New Zealand Wool.

 

Image via Pinterest

A rug round up would not be complete without something from Dash and Albert by Annie Selke. Here's a classic 100% cotton, long time best seller Stone Soup, under $ 500 for an 8x10 means you use it, love it and replace it. 

 

image via Pinterest

Perhaps a more classic styling suits your taste? This roughly 10x14 Tabriz bring s soft sophistication to any space.  With soft tones on a neural base this one of a kind beauty gives you the flexibility to keep a room muted and serene or amp it up with bold, saturated textiles.

 

Image via Pinterest 

Feeling the need for a more rustic, say farmhouse style ?  This wool Kilim is circa 1975 and has just the right blend of color, based on her line of paints, I think Joanna Gaines would approve. 

 

Image via Pinterest 

Gabbehs, traditionally from Southwest Iran ( this one was expertly crafted in Pakistan) are so versatile, they create a cozy space in a craftsman stye or pull it all together in an open concept contemporary.

 

Image via Pinterest 

Prefer a more simplified color pallet but equally sophisticated ? This antique Serapi circa 1875 is a true collector's piece, showcasing soft greens accented with the perfect rusty red and a touch of blue. A design that is muted enough to pair with bold fabric prints or keep everything else simple and let this impeccable antique run the show.  

 

{ flora tones } image via: @heather_page

 Let's turn to the other end of the rug spectrum and have a look at a hand tufted, aka under $900 8x10. This one pairs a cool shade of plum with greens and coral.  And if Gucci puts these colors together, everyone should !

 

image via Pinterest 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rug Speak:

We are so immersed in the rug culture we forget sometimes that our customers don't necessarily speak the rug language. When explaining qualities of a rug to a customer they will frequently ask, "What does that mean? I don't know much about the carpet industry." For those of you who want to know more here is a brief and simple explanation of the terms "antique" and "vintage" when it comes to area rugs.

In the rug world the "antique" designation can only be assigned to rugs that have reached the age of 100 years or more. In different collectible markets such as pottery or furniture, the definition of antique can vary from that in the rug industry. The word antique purely describes age and nothing more - not all antiques are valuable, as with other areas of collecting, condition and rarity have more to play in valuation than just the age alone. 

"Vintage" is a much broader term, it can literally be used to describe any rug that is not brand new. Essentially, vintage rugs are anywhere from 1 to 99 years old. Even though the definition is less exclusive, in general we only use the term for rugs that are older but have not reached the antique status yet. As you can tell from the broadness of the term the designation "vintage" does not ascribe any value to a rug. That is not to say that vintage rugs have no value, the value of a vintage rug will come from it's condition and desirability.

When choosing an antique or vintage rug our best recommendation is to choose the rug you love. Terms like "antique" and "vintage" mean little when you are trying to create a home environment that is both comfortable and functional. The thing we love best about older rugs is that they have been through a lot in their lifetime, and there is probably very little you could do to it that it hasn't already been through. Antique and vintage rugs are both great choices for easy maintenance and will continue to look good throughout the years.

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Meet the Bradford's Rug Gallery family!

Some of you know us well, some of you know us only a little, as it's the start of a new year, I thought it would be a good time to re-introduce all of us so you can know us just a little better. As there are only four of us and we are all family, this both an easy and a challenging feat. None of us enjoy having our pictures taken, in fact you're more likely to find a picture of one of us making faces rather than smiling happily in a family portrait. Which makes it particularly difficult to take and share more personal pictures - rugs never argue when you take pictures of them. We want to have a personal connection with all of you, our customers, no matter how far away you live. For that reason I have forced everyone (amid much reluctance and complaining) to let me take a "nice" photo and share a brief profile. I hope you enjoying getting to know a little bit more about our family!

 

Bradford Ross

Brad Ross (the Bradford in Bradford's Rug Gallery) is the co-owner and founder, and father of two - also THE most difficult to photograph. Brad got his start in the rug business at the young age of 18 while working at a small rug store in Freeport, Maine. Always a history buff, Brad was immediately drawn to the history to be found in the traditional rug making culture. With his enthusiasm for vintage and antique Persian, Caucasian, & Turkman rugs Brad slowly began to amass a collection of rugs until he reached the point at which he was ready to begin his own venture - in 2006 he opened Bradford's Rug Gallery. He continues to be dedicated to the study of old rugs - always educating himself with his extensive personal library - looking, learning, and comparing. Brad is proud to say that his work is truly his passion - if you have ever worked with Brad, his passion is evident.

 

Elizabeth Ross

Elizabeth (Beth) Ross is co-owner as well as Brad's wife, she is the contemporary style-savvy, technical-savvy half of the business. Beth started working with Brad from the beginning, she would bring their younger daughter, Isabelle, to the store with her a couple days a week while also working a second job. Brad frequently remarks that he couldn't have gotten the business up and running without Beth's help and support. Beth also managed to complete a Bachelor's degree in Political Science at the University of Southern Maine all while helping Brad run the store and fulfill all her other roles. A tireless worker, Beth dedicates herself both to the store and her family - taking care of all of us. She keeps an eye on current trends in interior design so she always knows how to keep our customers up to date and in style. 

 

Courtney Ross

Courtney Ross - that's me - I'm the blog writer, photo taker, rug repairer, and Brad's younger sister. I started working part-time for Brad and Beth in March of 2014 and in 2017 became a full-time employee. Years of retail experience, and being a trusted family member made me the obvious choice to be Brad & Beth's first employee. It also happened to work out nicely that I have a personal interest in the fiber arts, so I have vast knowledge of wool and it's properties, as well as an understanding the process of spinning yarn as well as weaving which made me a prime candidate to learn the art of repairing and restoring rugs. In February of 2017 I completed a rug repair class with Robert Mann Rugs in Denver, Colorado. I've been enjoying doing more and more in-depth repairs and restorations and hope to visit Robert Mann Rugs again soon to further my training.

 

Abigail Ross

Abby Ross is Brad and Beth's oldest daughter - and the most photogenic of all of us. At 17 she is in her Junior year at Gray New Gloucester high school where she is Junior class President, a member of the National Honor Society and captain of her varsity soccer team. She mostly works on Saturday's, occasionally adding an extra day when she is on a school break. Abby is greatly appreciated, we all enjoy her smiling face, her sense of humor, and her willingness to do the not so fun jobs like filing paperwork or cutting rug pads. She keeps us tidy and organized and we love having her here.

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