In the early 1900’s, Ramallah, a city that seems to change nationalities depending on which country is in control, was dominated by the Ottoman empire. The Turks issued a decree that any native boys, when they turned 16 had a choice – they could pay $50 in gold and leave the country with the agreement never to return, or they could join the Turkish army, from which they would never return either. In 1906, Theodore Shihadeh left Ramallah and came to the United States with a lot of hope and little of anything else.
For years, Theodore Shihadeh ran a rug cleaning business, a linen trading business, and invested in real estate in East Orange, New Jersey. Then depression hit and he lost everything. During that same time, the First Pennsylvania Railroad was building their “Main Line” from Philadelphia to Lancaster, PA., through the rural areas northwest of the city. Theodore knew wherever the railroad went, money would follow, so based on his premise: “It’s easier to sell something to someone who has money, than to someone who doesn’t,” he moved the family to Ardmore, Pennsylvania and started Shihadeh Oriental Rug Cleaning and Reweaving with his two sons.
The Art of the Business
Cleaning and reweaving rugs is an art, not a science. Throughout three generations, our company has passed on the knowledge of both cleaning and reweaving rugs that has been practiced and improved by our family since the 1800’s. By combining the art of handwork with the world of technology, our company has been perfected over the century.
Cleaning, Reweaving & Appraisals
In 1952, David Shihadeh installed equipment specially designed to clean oriental rugs, including a survey table, dusting machine, mechanically controlled soap tank, cleaning machine, and 32-pole conveyor system in the dry room. None of these machines are still made, but because they are so effective, we have learned to manufacture our own parts to keep the equipment running at high levels.
Reweaving rugs has always been a specialty of our company. We take great pride in giving additional life to some beautiful pieces of floor art in addition to museum-quality pieces. Rugs have been shipped to us from all over the country so that we can restore the pieces.
Rugs have increased in value, so it’s important to get appraisals of them for your personal pleasure, insurance, and/or estate purposes. With each appraisal we do, you’ll get a history of the rug, replacement value, and wholesale value.
Thank you for your time. We look forward working with you.