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    Rug Fact Sheet

Antiqued or “Tea Washed” Rugs

There is a growing trend to produce new rugs with an “old” look. These rugs will have the muted colors that old rugs acquire through exposure to wear and light. This is accomplished with an antique wash (tea wash) of either a yellow or brown tone dye. These dyes are either sprayed on or the rug is immersed into the dye bath. Some of these manufacturing processes produce a good final product but many do not. Those of poor quality create problems for both the owners and the cleaners of these rugs. In many cases just the addition of plain tap water will cause these dyes to run into adjacent areas or into furnishings placed on the rug.
Identification is not always easy. If the front of the rug and the back of the rug are several shades in color different, this can be an indication of a “sprayed” on wash. This same rug could also have the fringes (most hand tied rugs have cotton foundations that are white) appearing to be tan or brownish in hew.  

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