Things to Consider When Buying an Oriental Rug
Dyes and Spin
For all intents and purposes, natural dyes and modern synthetic dyes are excellent, as are hand and machine spun wool. When buying an Oriental rug, the choice between the two depends on personal aesthetic. There are four ways these choices can be combined: natural dye with handspun wool, synthetic dye with handspun wool, machine-spun wool with synthetic dye, and machine-spun wool with natural dye.
Natural Dye with Handspun Wool
Handspun wool leads to color variegation and other elements that add character to an Oriental rug, while natural dyes add a pleasant irregularity. The combination of natural dye and handspun wool has been used for more than 2,500 years. To some, the extra cost is worth it, if for no other reason than tradition. If you are looking for an Oriental rug with personality, then you might consider one made with handspun wool and natural dye.
Synthetic Dye with Handspun Wool
Handspun wool so greatly enhances the texture and appearance of an Oriental rug that, for some, the use of a synthetic dye on top does not diminish the appearance and character. Many experts agree that if you cannot have both natural dye and handspun wool, then buying a rug made with handspun wool and synthetic dye is the best alternative.
Machine-Spun Wool with Synthetic Dye
Many people prefer the finished, formal look of city rugs. They have more order and regularity than an Oriental rug made with handspun wool. They are also more symmetrical since the colors and surfaces are smooth and consistent. They lack the irregularities of more natural Oriental rugs that some people find off putting.
Machine-Spun Wool with Natural Dye
These rugs are among the most successful today. This pairing has the best of both worlds. The mill-spun wool looks refined and finished enough for more formal settings, while natural dyes lend character to the Oriental rug.
Now that you know about the different combinations of dye and wool to consider, you can decide which combination suits your style. When you go out to buy your own Oriental rug, you can spend less time browsing through rugs that do not suit your personal aesthetic and spend more time looking at the ones that do.
Source: Oriental Rugs Today by Emmett Eiland