Natural Dyes Used for Oriental Rugs

Two Colored Oriental Rugs

If you have ever wondered why Oriental rugs have such beautiful colors? The secret may lie in the use of natural dyes. Rug making has been practiced for centuries, and for most of this time span, chemical dyes, produced in laboratories, have not been available. Rug makers had to rely upon nature to supply them with the colors needed, and they found what they needed in the plant, animal, and mineral world.

Natural dyes can be much more fugitive than synthetic dyes, and improper cleaning and care can cause the colors to fade. Green Carpet Brooklyn understands Oriental rugs and natural dyes, and will provide the expert care your rug needs.

Where Do Those Dyes Come From?

There are probably more sources of natural dyes than you might suspect, and the instinctive curiosity and inventiveness of humans has led to the discovery of numerous, lovely dyes straight from nature.

  • Indigo comes from the indigo plant, and this yields a blue. The leaves are used to make the dye.
  • Rose madder is a perennial plant whose root provides a rosy red dye.
  • The entire larkspur plant can be utilized to make a very robust yellow dye.
  • The Kermes scale insect is used to make a red dye. Cochineal scale insects are also used, although they did not appear in the Old World until after 1500 AD.
  • Although many natural green dyes are made by combining indigo with larkspur, there are several direct sources of these dyes, such as red onions skins and nettle leaves.
  • Black dye can be obtained from oak galls, walnut husks, or carbon.
  • Purple, which was a very rare dye, was derived from a fluid produced by the gland of a murex marine snail.

The natural history of these dyes is nearly as fascinating as the history of Oriental rugs themselves, and they are inextricably entwined. Because of the fragility of some of these dyes, it’s important that you depend upon the professional care provided by Green Carpet Brooklyn to keep your rug looking its best, especially if it is an antique.