There are a few different materials that Oriental rugs are made from. The most common are wool, cotton and silk; wool being the most popular of those three. They are the least expensive and most durable. Silk Oriental rugs are the most ornate rugs and therefore most delicate.
You need to be cautious when shopping for a silk rug. There are a lot of faux silk rugs out there that are fine and look great. But you do not want to pay silk prices if you are not getting an authentic silk rug. A lot of markets in India, Pakistan and Turkey will prey upon naive Americans who may not be able to decipher a genuine silk rug from a fake.
Real silk is gathered from a silkworm’s cocoon. This is the cocoon that it resides in while transforming into a moth. This is used to make Oriental rugs because dyed silk has very rich colors and soft qualities.
Artificial silk has all of the same great qualities that real silk does. It just does not come from a silkworm’s cocoon, and is therefore cheaper. They are usually made from rayon or a blend of fibers.
Cotton is another popular material that Oriental rugs are made from. Mercerized cotton is a format used to swell cotton fibers to make it appear more reflective. A ripening cotton ball may contain up to 5000 separate cotton fibers that can be spun into a yarn.
To make sure that your silk rug is authentic, you must really look closely. It should be very tightly woven with intricate detailing. The fringe is another good place to look. A real silk Oriental rug will have the fringes extending off of the rug instead of being sewn on.
For more information on Oriental rug materials in Brooklyn/Manhattan, call 212-380-1591.