Natural Aging vs. Defects in Hand-Woven Rugs

natural aging of oriental rugs

A brand new hand-woven rug is a beautiful sight. But over time, you may start to notice some changes in the appearance of your rug. Most of these slight imperfections are not defects but natural characteristics that become evident as the rug ages. Here are a few you may notice.

White Spots or Knots: Handmade rugs are woven together over long strands of cotton that create the foundation of the textile. When a length of cotton thread runs out, another is tied to it. These tiny knots eventually start to show as foot traffic wears the pile down over time. Don’t try to cut out these knots—you may end up with a hole in the rug. If the white dots are undesirable, have them professionally dyed.

Loose Threads: Handspun wool used in many oriental rugs may “sprout” over time, showing loose threads or untied knots—particularly after a vigorous cleaning. These imperfections are more common in hand-made than machine-made products (although excessive sprouting can be a sign of a cheaply made rug). Don’t pull on a strand or a knot may come undone. Instead, carefully trim the loose end to the same length as the rest of the pile.

Color Variations: Handmade rugs are usually colored with natural dyes that may not always match up perfectly. These variations, called “abrash”, not only add to the unique beauty of your rug, but offer further proof that it was handmade. Fading from sun exposure is also unavoidable over time for rugs used near a source of natural light. Rotating your rug at least once a year will make the fading more even and less noticeable.

Hand-Woven Rugs Should Not Be Perfect!

Part of the allure of a hand-crafted rug is that it is obviously not made by a machine. While some imperfections may be corrected, owners often choose to keep them the way they are as proof of the item’s uniqueness. Other signs of wear and tear, such as ragged fringe, frayed edges, holes, and color bleeding need to be professionally repaired to maintain the rug’s value and beauty.

Ayoub N&H™ Carpet & Rugs is your source for professional care and cleaning of your fine rug. Contact Us or Call 301.946.7944 for Free* Pick-Up & Delivery in Howard Co., Montgomery Co. Prince Georges Co. Maryland, Fairfax Co., Arlington Co., Virginia or Washington DC. You can also drop off your rug at our Kensington, MD location or at a convenient dry-cleaner location near you.
*(mininum service charge applies).