The general idea of how to do: a seam repair,  a patch repair, or install carpeting hasn’t changed. However  the tools have. Why? First because the carpets manufacturing processes changed. Secondly labor costs had to be kept down.

Up to the 1960s’ installing and repairing carpets was slow and meticulous work.  Very skilled people were needed just to accomplish only a satisfactory job. Seeming carpets was an art, along with matching up  their patterns. Any minor mistake resulted in a major flawed looking instal or carpet stain repair in Metro Detroit. That’s where he mostly worked.

Imagine you have a 15 foot by 24 foot long master bedroom carpet. The carpet in Grandads’ day came in rolls that were approximately 2 feet wide with flower patterns on them. In order to do a 15 foot wide room 8 pieces 24 feet long would be cut off at the store.  Then they would be hand sewn together to fit the 15 by 24 foot room.

If the customer had wall to wall carpet in their hallway then the new was sewn to the old in the hall. To do this the large heavy new bedroom carpet had to be layed out in the room and then folded over through the 3 foot wide bedroom doorway and into the hall so that it could be sewn from their “backsides” together. Of course the walls and wood door frames must not be scratched by the carpet. After sewing, taping, gluing, drying, the carpet had to folded over to its topside in the bedroom and installed.

Gramps had to put the carpet on the roof of his car,wrap it when necessary, and deliver it to do his installs or carpet repair work in Detroit and surrounding suburbs or whatever they were called back then.

Wall to wall was unusual back in his day. Most people had hall runners with binding, and stair runners with binding. How were they fastened after stretching? Sterilized “blued” sharp tacks were tossed into the mouth, turned with the tongue so the point was out. Then the carpets were knee kicked and tacked down.  Although my experience spitting tacks was limited I did get to try it out a few times. My dad wanted me to learn “everything’! Yes, I said “spit”.


1 comment so far

  1. Andy Coentino on

    Who’s that Handsome Young guy on the computor?

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