• Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
  • 1. Vegetable Dyes

    Handmade rugs are usually made from vegetable dyes like madder, indigo etc. 

    The freely growing wild madder root is used to make various warm reds. The older the plant, the deeper the shade of red. The roots of plants which are over eight years old produce a purplish wine red.  Also, number of colors are made from insects, for example bright magenta, brilliant crimson. To make the vivid “Turkey red” the madder is mixed with milk which has been fermented. 

    The yellow dyes are made from the saffron crocus. Pomegranate skin makes a rather muddy yellow, but when it is blended with metal salts it can become olive or lime green. Other greens are made from turmeric berries and vine leaves. A mix of blue and yellow can also produce various greens, just as blue and red can be combined to make purple, but these kinds of combinations are frequently unstable.

    Orange colors are made from henna or vine leaves. Persian berries, madder and pomegranate skins can produce a golden brown. Other browns are made from catechu (or cutch), walnut shells and oak bark. Blackish colors are made either by mixing henna and indigo or else by using logwood (brazilwood) combined with ferrous sulfate. Sadly, this iron salt is corrosive; in time it eats away the wool down to the warp threads, which is why many old rugs have an embossed look.

    The natural blacks, greys and browns of the wool are, of course, also used, but like all undyed animal fibers, they tend to fade. White is simply the natural color of the wool. The Turkoman nomads often give it an ivory cast by curing it in the smoke from their fires.

  • 2. Rug Colors

    Color is part of the essence of an oriental rug. It is as important in a rug as it is in a painting; the beauty of the rug depends on it. Imaginative, artistic coloring can mean that a poorly woven rug is nevertheless delightful. If the colors are “wrong,” even the most technically perfect piece “misses.” The colors may shine as they do in a stained-glass window; they may be rich and dark or clear pastels or even, as in the case of the Fars rugs (made near the Persian town if Shiraz), contrasting tones of undyed wools. What matters is that the color statement should add a dimension of beauty and be so subtle that you will never tire of looking at it. The glowing wine reds of Afghanistan, the pure blues of the antique Chinese rugs, the soft brick reds of Asia Minor all have this quality. Each region, town and tribe tends to remain true to its own particular color theme, even in these mobile days. The designs of the rugs change far more easily than their basic colors.

    In the cool climates of the north we enjoy the sunshine – we even bathe in it. The harsh sun of the tropical plains and in particular of the deserts is another matter. For the people who live in the hot arid regions, the constant glare of the sun is exhausting. This is one of the reasons why many oriental rugs are made in strong dark colors. Strong, because all color appears weak n very bright light; and dark to give relief to sun-dazzled eyes. Pale, softly colored rugs are woven but only in the cooler parts of the rug-producing countries. So that any rug you select will last, it is important (if you want a rug with gentle colors) that you choose one that is woven that way, not bleached afterwards.

    Types of Rug Dyes:

    • Vegetable Dyes

    • Aniline Dyes

    • Chromatic Dyes

    • Chemical Bleaching

    • Airbrushes

    • Overdye

    • Antique Wash

    • White Wash

    • Gold Wash

    • Silver Wash

    Check back for more information on each of these rug dyes.

  • 3. Storing the rugs

    Oriental rugs (for that matter, all precious textiles) should be stored either flat or rolled. Folding woolen rugs for a week or two should do no harm but if they are left that way for long periods they will become badly creased. If any friction has taken place, the wool along the edges of the crease may be damaged. Very thick rugs, such as Persian Bijars, should never be folded because this tends to break their foundation threads.

    Never, ever store a rug before your are sure it is free of moths. Choose a cool dry place.

    If you prefer to store your rugs rolled:

    1. Lay the rug on its face and liberally dust the back with camphor powder.

    2. Then turn the rug face up and cover it with a large sheet of plain brown paper, or tissue paper if your prefer (DO NOT use newspapers as the print could stain the rug). Sprinkle the paper with more camphor powder.

    3. Next you need a round wooden pole or cardboard tube that is approximately the same length as the width of the rug. The tube will prevent the rolled rug from being bent and straining its foundation threads.

    4. Making sure there are no creases, roll up both the rug and the paper around the tube. Try to make sure that the paper separates the camphor powder from the face of the rug. So that the pile doesn’t get squashed, roll the rug quite loosely, against the pile.

    5. Then, wrap the whole roll in a sheet of clean dry plastic, sprinkled with yet more camphor powder.

    6. Loosely tie up the bundle with string, leaving the ends open to allow air to circulate.

    7. Seal the seams with sticky tape to keep moths out during the summer and remember to undo them in the fall to let in the fresh air.

    If you prefer to store your rugs flat:

    1. Spread a large sheet of clean dry plastic and sprinkle it with camphor powder.

    2. Place the rug on top, and cover it with a sheet of brown paper.

    3. Sprinkle the paper with more camphor powder and lay your second rug on tip of this, continuing for as many rugs as you have to store. The bottom sheet of plastic must be large enough to fold over the entire stack.

    4. Fold the plastic quite loosely.

    5. Seal the seams with sticky tape to keep moths out during the summer and remember to undo them in the fall to let in the fresh air.

    Using either of these methods, your rugs can be safely stored indefinitely. Just be sure that they are kept cool and completely dry and renew the camphor powder once a year when you check the rugs.

  • 4. Stains

    Please call us as soon as you notice the sports or stains. Taking care of spots or stains immediately increases our chance of success. If a stain has not affected the fibers permanently, we have a much higher change of removing them.
    What is Scotchgard protector? How will it help my rug?

    The Scotchgard protector repels soil and dirt and helps prevents stains from becoming permanent. It is child and Pet safe and is non toxic. As an added bonus, it has a natural fresh scent.

  • 5. Tips for buying a rug

    Check the threads of the rug from both front and back to see if there are any breaks or cuts. Also check to see if any repairs have been done, if so, if they were properly executed. Check the pile for holes, stains and Moth damage, especially in older rugs. Examine the colors for running by wiping a damp cloth firmly over the rug.
    How do I determine when it is time to clean my rug?

    This is how you determine if it’s time to clean your rug:

    * Your hand will become dirty when you rub your palm on the rug for a few seconds.
    * If your rug has four odor when you kneel down to smells it.
    * When you lift the area rug corner and vigorously shake it up and down once or twice, a dust cloud will be forming.
    * With the rug facing up, fold a corner of the rug back, away from the pile, to expose the base of the fibers. You need to have your area rug professionally cleaned if there is dirt deep down in the pile.

  • 6. How long does it take to make a rug?

    Authentic rugs are hand made – for a small 3′ x 5′ rug; it might take several months to make. Medium-sized rugs (5′ x 8′) can take up to a year to hand made. Very large rugs (10′ x 20′) might take a group of people a few years to complete. Larger silk rugs with up to 1,000 knots or more per inch, may take a lifetime to make.

  • 7. How to determine the quality of a rug

    There are two basic signs that tell us how to determine the quality of a rug:

    1) Small, tight knots and a fine pattern with a clear design on the front as well as on the back of the rug.

    2) The wool should feel oily, and full of lanolin.

    Handmade rugs are more valuable then machine made. The back of the rug will help you determine whether it is a handmade rug or machine made.

    A handmade rug has the same, vibrant design as the front of the rug. The more knots per square inch and the more intricate the design, the more valuable the rug.

    Silk rugs are the most expensive rugs on the market. In addition, when examining antique rugs other factors enter in. Originality, rarity and overall condition are important factors.

  • 8. What is an Oriental Rug?

    An authentic oriental rug is a handmade rug that is either knotted with pile or woven without pile. In hand-knotted rugs, strands of yarn are tied into the flat-woven fabric, creating a pile and pattern. Oriental rugs that are made by machines, hand-tufting or any method other than hand-knotted or hand-weaving are not considered authentic oriental rugs.

    For generations and many years of history, oriental rugs have been a luxury standard and proved many times their value increases over the years. Antique rugs are most valuable, because of the history they’re carrying and time has enhanced their beautiful colors. A genuine oriental rug can last for generations and is a great investment.

    These rugs normally come from a broad geographical region such as China, Vietnam, Turkey, Cyprus, Iran, Pakistan, and India. Oriental rugs are organized by origin: Persian rugs, Anatolian rugs, Kurdish rugs, Caucasian rugs, Central Asian rugs, Turkestanian rugs, Chinese rugs, Tibetan rugs, and Indian rugs.