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  • What is Abrash?

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    Handknotted rugs, like any handmade work of art, have inherent characteristics that add to their uniqueness and appeal.  Abrash is one of those characteristics that appears in fine Persian and Oriental rugs and adds a layer of intrigue and beauty, and for most rug collectors, desirability.

    “Abrash,” which comes from the Arabic word for “mottled,” appears as variations of a single color within a rug’s field.  Most commonly, these color variations appear as lines or striations on the rug, though they can also appear as dappling or flecks.  These color variations range from barely noticeable to dramatic.  So if you’re looking at a deep green field on your oriental rug but you see paler green lines or flecks running horizontally across the field, you’re probably looking at abrash.

    The abrash effect is the result of variances in the dyeing process.  One batch of dye may have more pigmentation.  With vegetable dyes in particular, variations can occur among batches or even within the same batch of dye.  Indigo, rose madder, saffron, and other such raw materials that are sourced for their pigmentation are found in nature, and can be affected by something as seemingly innocuous as location or changes in weather.  Even the way the fibers are twisted can affect the absorption of dye and cause one spool of yarn to be slightly different in color than that of another spool.

    When the rug is then being created on the loom, the weaver will replace the spool when the thread runs out.  Though the new yarn may be identified as the same color, the changes during the dye process mean the color won’t necessarily be an exact match.  So, the lines or mottling of abrash are really the specific areas where new thread was incorporated during the handknotting process.  To an untrained eye, abrash may be misconceived as a flaw in the dyeing or weaving process.  In reality, it is an earmark of handcraft, and a desirable and highly sought feature of hand-knotted rugs.

    Abrash is just one example of the exquisite features of handmade rugs.  Such treasures need to be routinely cleaned, not only with weekly vacuuming and general maintenance, but also with routine cleaning by a highly rated professional rug cleaning company.  RugPro Oriental Rug Cleaning is the best local rug cleaning service Jacksonville FL homeowners depend on for their rug cleaning and care.  We’ve cared for and deep cleaned Persian rugs for homeowners throughout Jacksonville, Fleming Island, Nocatee, Ponte Vedra Beach, and throughout the region, and we’d love for you to trust us with your fine area rugs.  You’ll love the results of a RugPro rug cleaning!