Oriental Rug Cleaning


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Oriental Rug Cleaning & Repair Services – Local Rug care in NYC

Dealing with the Colors of Oriental Rugs

By their nature, authentic Oriental rugs have many variations. A machine does not make them. They are handmade. The results are unique, beautiful, and distinct characteristics that set them apart from lesser reproductions.

Handmade rugs have differences along the fringe ends, shape irregularities along the border, hand-knotting pile density, and surface color variations. A typical and universal characteristic of genuine Oriental rugs, especially ‘nomadic’ or older rugs, is a color variation known as abrash.


The effect produces differing colorations and patterns, and various hues and shades. Gradations are often seen in a single color or color field of design. Colors include browns, reds, blues, and others. The variations appear as horizontal bars or bands. Other sections of color variation or shapes are possible.

Abrash color varies from subtle shade differences to bold, distinct change in specific colorations of the rugs. The dyeing process causes the effect. Pile yarn is dyed by hand before the rug is made. Color variation is inevitable when dye lots are next to each other, and each lot is hand-knotted into the design of the rug.

Antique and semi-antique connoisseurs of Oriental rugs value the handmade appearance and beauty that is characteristic of abrash. High-quality rug manufacturers spend a lot of money and time simulating abrash in machine-woven rug designs. It gives handmade Oriental rugs a distinctive, natural appearance and beauty.

Pakistani oriental rug wash

Bleeding Colors

When colored fibers lose dye when wet, bleeding occurs. Light colored or uncolored yarn or fiber soaks up fugitive dyes from the darker yarn or fiber and becomes stained. Deeply dyed shades such as blacks, blues, and reds are the most often seen in Oriental rugs.

They are the colors that runaway and bleed into light colored or white areas. Dye bleeding in colored yarns and fibers occurs under at least two conditions.
•Defective dyeing method or dyes – The dye is either not correctly handled or poorly selected. The result is unstable, weak, unsecured, or excess dye. A dye with poor wash fastness or stability bleeds during washing.

•Using too much dye – When too much dye is used, the excess adheres to the outside of the fiber and washes away easily. If the bleeding occurs during manufacturing, the rug is defective. Sadly, for consumers, the defects are not seen when the rug is purchased.

Cleaning Oriental Rugs

With wear and use, compaction and soiling obscure or cover over the abrash color variation. Use affects the dye. Over time, animal and pet residue, common chemicals, atmospheric fumes, and sunlight weaken dyes.

Weakened dyes may bleed or run when cleaned. Professional rug cleaners know by experience or pretesting if an Oriental rug has the potential to bleed. The best satisfaction guarantee is to place the task of cleaning Oriental rugs in the hands of professionals.

Cleaning the rug removes much of the surface soil. The pile is made erect by grooming. The pure, authentic pile coloration is again revealed. It is possible, after a thorough cleaning, to see a variation in shading or pile direction. The colorations are not defects. They are characteristic of the many dye lot and variable differences that went into the handmade rug initially.