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What Is A Persian Rug Made Of?

Generally speaking, a handmade Persian rug is made from natural materials. Over the many centuries Persian rugs have been made there are many different materials used. The materials used in weaving greatly depend on where the rug is made and who in particular is making the rug.

Wool is one of the most common materials used in rug weaving. Often, rugs are made entirely of wool. Meaning, both the foundation threads and the pile are made from sheep's wool. In antique rugs this wool was dyed with natural plant and animal sources such as leaves of a flower or crushed insects. The rug pictured above is an antique Persian rug made with 100% wool. In the late 19th century dye experts began experimenting with synthetically derived colors. Some older carpets were made with these synthetic dyes, and of course today rugs are still woven with both synthetic and natural dyes.

Cotton is arguably the second most common material used in rug weaving. Cotton is often used as foundation threads in certain carpets depending on their origin. Some carpets may employ cotton as both the warp and weft threads while others may use it as only one or the other. The vintage rug corner pictured above has a wool pile woven on a cotton foundation. 

Silk is a popular material in rugs. An elegant, valuable, natural material only adds to the fine quality of a hand made rug. Silk rugs are often very finely woven with intricate details. The beautiful Chinese rug pictured below is woven with silk. Goat hair and camel hair are also used in the edge work of many tribal carpets.

Chinese Silk Rug

Aside from the materials hours, days, weeks, months, and years make the time to weave these masterpieces. Often, I find myself thinking about the weavers who created these beautiful antique rugs. Hand-Knotted rugs are truly one of a kind and deserve to be displayed and appreciated as the fine works of art they are.


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