|A very large rug on the loom; note that weaving is done from bottom to top|
In order to understand why there is a light and dark side of an Oriental rug, first you need to learn a little about the parts of a hand knotted rug.
|Photo courtesy of rugchick.com|
- The warp threads run lengthwise (or north to south, top to bottom) and make up the fringes of a rug.
- The weft threads run across the width of the rug, (or east to west, side to side.)
- The selvage or edge of the rug is made by wrapping several warp threads at the edge of the rug with yarn to reinforce this part of the rug.
- The knots which are tied to the warps create the pile or nap of the rug.
You can usually determine the "dark side" of the rug by standing at the end of the rug and running your hand toward you and the pile will feel smoother. Alternately, the "light side" of a rug will feel rougher when you run your hand on the pile.
The rug's light and dark sides result, in part, from the pile direction, although some Oriental rugs may have more pronounced light and dark sides because of the weaving style and the luster of the fiber.
Pile fibers lay at an angle where they will do one of two things: reflect or absorb light. On the rug's lighter side, light reflects off the fiber's sides, giving the pile a brighter sheen. From the dark side of the rug, your view is the cut tips of the wool which absorb light rather than reflect it, appearing to give the rug a deeper tone.
The photographs below are the same rug under the same lighting.
|Light end of an Oriental rug|
|Dark end of an Oriental rug|
Another article you may be interested in:
You can count the knots, although knots don’t count!
Come by our Virginia Beach Rug Store to learn more about Oriental rugs!
Mark Gonsenhauser's Rug and Carpet Superstore
4153 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452