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​​​​​​​Rug Fact of the Day: Why Are the Colors in Your Area Rug Uneven?


Rug Fact of the Day: Why Are the Colors in Your Area Rug Uneven?

Ruthie here with Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care in Prescott AZ and today I wanted to talk about something that we see at rugs here ALL THE TIME!  We have to have at least one rug every day come in that has uneven colors in it, and perhaps you’ve noticed that the colors in your rugs aren’t completely solid.

When there is more than one shade in a single color of a rug, it is called abrash:

abrash : a·brash (ä-bräsh′, ə-bräzh′) n.: The natural and variable change in color that occurs in an Oriental rug over time when different dies are used.

[Arabic, mottled, possibly of Persian origin.]

You can see a pretty good example of the abrash in the section of the rug shown here in this post.  The abrash in a rug can either be drastic like this one or more subtle. Sometimes when the abrash is more subtle, a client may pick up their rug and make a comment about how they had never noticed the color variation in their rug before.

Sometimes, the client either didn’t pay much attention to the little details in their rug or even that the colors appeared to be more even when the rug was first purchased.  Over time, the dyes used oxidize and fade differently. Dry soil can certainly mask these changes as they happen and cleaning removes this dry soil and can reveal color variation that is much more noticeable.

The rugs that most commonly have abrash in them are village and tribal rugs.  This is because they are made with small batches of dyed wool and the environment is not able to be controlled as much as it would be in a large manufacturing plant.  A weaver may run out of one batch of wool while making a rug and simply grab another batch without a second thought. Sometimes this new batch of wool was made with a different dye lot, changing the color slightly.

Abrash is a highly sought after rug feature!  It adds to the one-of-a-kind look that
all handmade rugs offer.  Some machine made rugs are even made with
color variations done on purpose to mimic abrash!

Hopefully this little introduction to abrash has made you love the uniqueness of your rug that much more!

Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!

Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Prescott, Prescott Valley, Sedona, Flagstaff, and much of the Northern Arizona areas.  We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training, including certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION.  Such extraordinary certification ensures our client’s area rugs receive the highest quality care.

Give us a call for more information about handmade area rugs and professional cleaning at 928-445-1718, visit our website at, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available). 2-25-2019

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