Hides are tough, no doubt about that. In their natural setting, on the back of an animal, that is - they are naturally durable; meant to last a lifetime. What they aren't meant for, are shoes on the feet of human pedestrians walking atop them day in and out. Over time, it's very possible that a small hole, or tear - or very thin spot might start to show on your natural cowhide rug. And this doesn't just go for cowhide rugs, it's also true for nearly any type of animal skin/natural hide rug including bear skin, zebra rugs, etc.
Or, perhaps something was spilled on your cowhide rug, or even burned or accidentally torn or cut. Whatever the situation - rest assured that your natural hide can be repaired.
Easy Repair Process
1/ Get your patch. Most natural hides follow the natural shape of the animal, and have similar coloration, naturally, throughout. This means, you can easily pull your patch material right from the same rug. Find an edge where you can spare a few centimeters of similarly colored hide as the area you want to repair. You will have to use a utility knife to get through the backing. If this is impossible, or you simply don't want to cut from the perimeter of the rug, another option is to just buy a sample piece of hide in the same style or color. (Rawhide Company provides good sized cowhide samples for only $24.95!)
2/Prepare your hide & patch. Place a work board behind the area of the rug you are working to repair. Being careful not to take too much, cut a small square around the damaged spot. Do not cut through the backing of the hide. Then, use this square to match your patch as best as you can to ensure that the colors and patterns are the best match possible and that your patch is sized appropriately. The hairs should be laying in the same direction on the patch, as they were in your damaged area.
3/Place backing on the patch. You can use carpet backing, or even thickset felt. Place your new patch on this backing using heavy-duty fabric glue (follow the directions for amount and drying time) and leave a one-inch perimeter of backing to the patch.
4/Place the patch. With the patch now ready, and facing upwards, you will see the one-inch perimeter around the hide area. On that area, you will apply more fabric glue and then gently slide the patch in the square area on the hide. Press firmly along the outside of the repaired area to seal the glue between the patch and the damaged area.
It might be smart to place a weighted object on top for several hours to ensure a good bond. And, depending on how much traffic your hide rug sees, you might also want to stitch the backing to the patch backing for added closure.
Need help patching your rug? Contact us at Rawhide Company for more information on how to keep your cowhide rug in the best condition possible.