Oriental Rug Dyeing

When it comes to rug dyeing in Brooklyn/Manhattan, there is a longstanding misconception that vegetable or natural dyes are a favored alternative to synthetic dyes and that a rug woven with vegetable dyes is the best choice. The truth is, it is nearly impossible to neatly divide rugs into natural dyed and synthetic dyed categories. Vegetable dyes are associated with a more pastoral rug weaving style while synthetic dyes are more often associated with rugs produced in an urban environment. This distinction does not really hold up though, as synthetic dyes were used by rural weavers as far back as the late 1800’s. If you purchase a rug that is several decades old, that does not necessarily mean it was vegetable dyed. In the past twenty years, the amount of vegetable dyed rugs has greatly increased. Turkey picked up the trend in the late 1960’s, but vegetable dyeing has now been reintroduced in countries like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal.

The most common vegetable dye used in rug dyeing is indigo, madder and larkspur. Indigo is made by extracting and fermenting indican from indigo plant leaves. Madder is created by boiling down the dried root of the madder plant and larkspur is produced by boiling various parts of the larkspur plant. Indigo dye produces a dark blue shade, madder makes a dark brick-red color and larkspur is used to create a muted gold hue. When you first dye a rug in Brooklyn/Manhattan, the color looks very saturated and deep. Subsequent dyeing will produce lighter and softer colors.

Rug dyeing is a complicated process but can produce beautiful results when done correctly. Oriental rugs in particular, involve much more than just dyeing. There is a rich history behind them, and a specific set of terminology as well. To learn more about rug dyeing and other rug services in the Brooklyn and Manhattan neighborhoods, contact H&S Rug Cleaning and Restoration at 1-888-899-9383 today.

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