Find out here if you’ve bought a tea washed Oriental rug.
Antique Oriental rugs continues to be popular as rooms accents. Vintage rugs have a way to make any room look elegant, classy and attractive. Both Oriental and Persian rugs are deemed to have more value if they are older. For over a century, rug makers have used different ways for the rugs to look older to make them sell better.
In the 21st century, one of the most popular tricks to give this vintage looks to the rugs was to use tea wash. Tea washed Oriental rugs are newly woven rugs that were stained using either tea or henna. The brown dye solution makes the rug appear darker and older when applied, and the untrained eye can be tricked into believing that the rug is antique.
The solutions used here are really more of stains than dyes, as neither tea or henna is colorfast. The instability of the solutions is a problem for rug cleaners – and, really, a problem to the carpet owner if he ever spills anything on it. The after- weaving application of the stain can lead to more rug dye bleeding.
How to find out if you have tea washed Oriental rugs
Here’s an easy and safe way to test if your rug is tea washed:
Brush a dry towel along the rug fibers. Tea washed Oriental rugs will transfer a brown color to the towel when you do this. If this is the case, this brownish color on the rug will wash away during cleaning no matter what you do – even when using low moisture and dry compound cleaning solutions.
Try the same test using a damp towel or do it using a hot water test. If the brown coloring transfers, the stain will continue to come off during cleaning.
A buyer must be made aware that what are being sold are tea washed Oriental rugs, so that they know that the rug will not look the same after cleaning. Buyers can also be shammed into paying more for a tea washed carpet because they think it is vintage.
Buy your carpets from trusted dealers like Sharafi & Co and avoid wasting money on tea washed Oriental rugs.