Superior- quality carpets depend on the materials used in Oriental rugs.
Handmade rugs are shown to their best when only natural materials are used in their production. The materials used in weaving an oriental rug have a great influence on its look when woven and even more so after being used for a long time. It also enhance its longevity. The use of good quality dyes, wool, warp and weft will determine the quality of the rug to a great extend. At times metal, gold and silver are also used.
Materials Used in Oriental Rugs:
- Wool – This is the most commonly used material and is regarded as one of the most durable and softest natural fibres. Wool from lamb is sought after because its texture is springy yet fine. “Live wool” is a term used to refer to wool that is sheared from live sheep, and is regarded as one of the best in quality. The quality of the wool depends on the region where the sheep has grazed. Better vegetation gives rise to better quality shiny wool. Colder climate areas produce a more durable type of wool because its more dense with longer yarn. The wool’s quality and characteristics can vary depending on the location, breed of sheep, climate, pasturage as well as local customs on when or how to shear the wool.
- Cotton – Cotton is typically used as the rug’s foundation for its warp and weft. It is less susceptible to humidity and stretching and can be spun more tightly. Some say that rugs made with cotton foundation are more likely to lay flat and that knots tie more firmly on cotton warp, they also feel stiffer.
- Silk – Native to China and produced from the larva of a type of moth that is commonly known as silkworm, silk is one of the most expensive materials used in Oriental rugs. It is known for its glossy fibre, smooth texture and brilliant colors. Silk pile is used to highlight special parts of the rug’s design, and the carpets are fine with short pile and an elaborate design. Silk carpets are generally more expensive and very tightly woven.
- Hemp/ Bamboo- Experimenting with different material for pile started in the 1980s. Hemp and Bamboo while not as durable as wool or silk give a silky look to the pile. They feel a bit abrasive to the touch. Usually they are used for lighter shades, as they do not take dyes very well.
Knowing the materials used in Oriental rugs will help you in choosing your carpets – visit us at Sharafi & Co and we’ll help you in finding that rug that you want to take home.