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Abrash in hand made rugs


What is Abrash and why does my rug have it?

What is Abrash?

Hand-knotted rugs including Persian, Turkish and Oriental rugs possess inherent traits that contribute to their individuality. One such characteristic is the presence of color variations within the field or border, commonly referred to as abrash. This term, originating from the Arabic word for mottled, describes the subtle changes of color that fall horizontally across the rug’s surface. These variations often occur within the same colour for instance, a dark blue field may display streaks of lighter blue. However, abrash can also have a broader spectrum of color irregularities, creating a mottled effect to specific areas of the rug. Interestingly Machine made rugs often have imiations of Abrash (see picture 2) but this colour change is consistant and has a repeated pattern unlike authentic hand knotted rugs

What Causes Abrash?

Abrash is the outcome from variations during the dyeing process. Most commonly, different dye lots may not produce consistent results, particularly when dyeing in small batches. Often when weaving a hand knotted rug the weaver may run out of one batch and restarts with a new batch, which may result in a slight variation in the colour. Variations within the same dye lot are also possible. Variations in the yarn density and twist, particularly with hand spun yarns, will create different absorption rates of dyes within the yarn. Also, the duration the yarn is in the dye bath can impact the absorption rate, outer yarns within a skein tend to absorb colour more rapidly than those nestled within.

When the colour variation isn’t in the same colour tone, this may be a mistake made by the weaver, picking up the wrong colour yarn during the weaving process. While certain individuals may lean towards rugs with uniform and consistent coloring, abrash is often celebrated as a captivating feature of oriental or hand-knotted rugs. Within the rug community, there’s ongoing discussions regarding the extent to which abrash results from the unpredictability of the dyeing process versus intentional choices made by the weaver. This intriguing question only serves to deepen the mystique surrounding oriental rugs

Why is it more obvious after cleaning?

The cleaning process hasn’t caused the colour variations in your rug, it was already there. However, now your rug is clean and bright meaning the colour differences seem more obvious. As you use your rug you’ll notice that they will once again start to blend in overtime, as foot traffic and soiling mutes the colours and makes it less noticeable.

Abrash in Hand Knotted Rug
Imitation Abrash in Machine made rug
Abrash in hand made rugs

Can it be removed or corrected?

Abrash is not a sign of damage nor is it anything to worry about, it is simply a characteristic of a genuine hand knotted rug made with hand dyed yarn.

Some customers ask if we can dye the uneven areas of colour to make it consistant. While this is possible we don’t recommend this as many see this charactistic as showing the rug is authenic and unique. Abrash is part of the beauty of a Persian hand made rug.