The colors and dyes used in Oriental rugs is one of the features that attracts people. Good quality dyes enhance the design and breathe life into the design.
The yarn has to be first washed. Then it has to be boiled with a mordant. To put simply the job of the mordant is to attach itself to the yarn so the dye can attach itself to it. Then the dye and the yarn are boiled together. The yarn then needs to be rinsed thoroughly and then washed with soap or detergent to remove any excess dye.
Dyes Used in Oriental Rugs
Chemical dyes started being used in rugs from around 1920s in small scale. After the Second World War the use of it became more prevalent. In the 1980s some dealers started reviving natural dying in rugs. One of the first schemes was the Dobag project in Turkey. This revival was picked up by other weaving areas in the 1990s, especially in Iran and by the 2000s there were some notable natural dye weaving projects being carried out.
Natural dyes are derived from roots, fruits and leaves of plants and insects. Different shades are achieved by a mixture of different dyes. Great depths of different shades can be obtained. These dyes are very much colour fast and are not easily faded by sunlight. Combined with good quality wool natural dyes improve with age. The colour deepens and becomes shinier through ageing.
Generally speaking chemical dyes consist of Chrome or anilin dyes. Anilin dyes are very low quality and have no depth to them. They run very easily and fade very quickly under sunlight.
Chrome dyes are much better quality and do not run or fade very easily.