Teddy Varndell & Robert Mann
The partnership of Restoration Yarns is the result of a fortuitous meeting between Robert Mann and Teddy Varndell back in the halcyon days of the early 90’s rug world. Robert was a rug cleaner, restorer, and dealer. Teddy was a wholesale wool buyer and broker who knew how to buy and ship fleece to all corners of the globe to be graded, washed, combed, and spun.
Early on they shared the realization that materials mattered as much, or more than skill in a successful carpet restoration. While the top restorers had access to the best materials, and could spin and dye to meet their needs, there was a woeful lack of appropriate yarns available to the average craftsperson.
Restoration Yarns has worked to achieve a fiber blend that suites the widest range of handmade rugs. Virtually all commercial yarns offered to the rug repair trade are re-purposed needlepoint yarns – soft and very fine fibers that bear no resemblance to the fiber in hand made rugs. The goal of Restoration Yarns is to offer wool blends that actually match the look and texture of traditionally produced rugs.
Robert Mann designed wool formulas, striving for the proper texture and dye affinity for restorers of hand-made carpets. The yarns are 2-ply and ideally suited for a broad range of restoration work. Teddy Varndell worked with fiber producers, top makers, and worsted spinners to produce this formula.
Restoration staff at Robert Mann Rugs were tasked with identifying a range of the most often used and necessary colors. The initial palette of colors was specifically chosen as a base colors for a restoration yarn inventory. Presently Restoration Yarns offers over forty colors (working towards a goal of sixty colors). Restoration Yarns are dyed with pre-metallized acid dyes, as well as smaller sub-groups dyed with madder, cochineal, and natural indigo. The plan is to start with the colors of traditional rugs, then add colors used in modern rug productions.
Developed for antique carpet restoration, the qualities inherent in these yarns make them a good choice not just for repairs but also for knitting, needlepoint, crochet and weaving. We also maintain an inventory of un-dyed yarn and can offer custom colors in small quantities. In addition, we offer a very limited quantity of hand-spun and naturally dyed yarns. Color cards of our offerings are available upon request.