First brought to this country in colonial times, oriental rugs are today more popular than ever as American decorating style evolves. While an oriental rug is always at home in a traditional room setting, decorators are also using the intricate pattern and color as a counterpoint to contemporary decor. Many first-time buyers are new to this exotic world of color, design, and language and questions frequently arise.
Oriental Rugs FAQ
Is an Oriental Rug Really a “Work of Art”?
The answer is a definite “yes!” And like all art, you’ll be drawn to some rugs more than others. The design and color of oriental rugs follow centuries-old traditions; new rugs are interpretations of those motifs, conceived by a real artisan, taking several craftsmen many months to hand tie the millions of knots that make up an average 9×12 Persian design.
Isn’t the Designa Little “Busy” for My Home?
In the showroom, an oriental rug is subject to much staring and close attention. The center medallion of a Persian design rug may seem enormous; the colors may seem a little intense. In a natural room setting, however, the rug tends to “calm down” a little. While in the showroom, try to view the rug at the distances and angles from which it will be encountered at home.
Why Do they Add the Fringe?
Actually, the fringe was there before the rug! These cotton threads run the entire length of the rug and form the “warp” onto which the weaver ties the knots. When the rug is cut down off the loom, the ends of the warp become the fringe.
Why Does the Color Seem Lighter from One Side?
The dyed wool from which the rug is made doesn’t stand straight up. The pile “leans” in one direction, and light is either reflected or absorbed, depending on where you stand and the source of the light.
But Even When I Stand in One Place, the Color Still Seems to Be Different Shades. Why is This?
Variations in color are part of the natural beauty, of handmade oriental rugs. Often, wool is dyed in separate lots, and this will sometimes cause a slight difference in hue over the course of a rug. In Persia, this difference is called “dohrang,” which literally means two colors. A more commonly used international word to describe the same effect is “abrash.”
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