After my return flight to London was cancelled due to the great ‘storm Dennis’, I sat in the airport waiting to transfer onto another flight. I decided to use my time wisely by taking a look back at the blog archives; I came across a post that I thought would be great to bring back to life - this subject has grown in popularity recently and we are receiving more and more interest in the style and process.
As you may know already, we are huge lovers of Persian rugs in their original forms. However, if you’ve taken a look through our Persian Rug Encyclopedia, you’ll notice they come in so many different styles and not all of them suit interior trends of the moment. In recent years, a new trend has been emerging in the rug industry that has seen old rugs being given a make-over to complement the modern home. Overdyed rugs also known as distressed rugs came into fashion a few years ago and you’ve probably already seen this style championed by interior magazines, stylists, designers and home bloggers.
These days, it’s about being as eco-conscious as possible, ethically and sustainably. At Lilla Rugs, we don’t just sell Persian and Oriental Rugs; by reducing our impact on the environment we are committed to supporting local artisanal communities in preserving their traditional craftsmanship. What we love about the ‘Overdyed Rugs Collection’ is that we can give new life to rugs that are out of fashion. It is such an innovative way to recycle and reuse a rug that would otherwise be dead inventory. Persian rugs are uniquely recognisable due to the way they have been made, those that are out of style would simply not be purchased. We are still able to buy these rugs, supporting the weavers, and upcycling to produce something that is now widely recognised in the UK (& beyond) and particularly loved by Interior Designers. The Overdyed Rugs are softer in colour and design, making them smoothly adaptable to any space.
Image Credit - Pinterest
Traditionally, some villages in Iran are known for their creation of bold reds and block floral designs. Unlike the Persian Kashan Rugs, Persian Nain Rugs, and Persian Vintage & Antique Rugs, these struggle to sell due to their outdated look. One type of rug (except for certain Vintage pieces) that falls into this category is the Persian Kerman rug; Kerman is an ancient city in the south-east of Iran famous for its high-quality handmade rugs, known for their floral designs and large sizes.
Being the daughter company of a family business, Lilla Rugs has benefited from strong relationships with the weavers in Iran. Over 30 years working on these ties have enabled us to find the best Overdying process in the country. You will see many 'overdyed' rug styles around; some made in Pakistan, India, Turkey and elsewhere. However, the quality is entirely different from the Persian Overdyed rugs we have created, primarily down to the rugs that are chosen to be upcycled and the neutralisation process we apply.
Architectural Digest made a valid point " The uptick in popularity of the overdyed rugs look" that has, unfortunately, "led to a decline in the quality of overdyed rugs on the market. Many vendors are keen to take cheap, undesirable rugs and shave them down on purpose to give them a distressed look before overdyeing... Sometimes they'll even cut up other rugs to add "patches."
At Lilla Rugs, we meticulously hand select Kerman rugs in good condition to undergo the overdyeing process; this gives them a new lease of life. Depending on the desired look, the ageing process may be accelerated using several methods. Not every old rug is suitable for this process; all have to be made of natural materials and a certain fineness or density for it to withstand the ageing process.
- First the rug is thoroughly washed and cleaned to get rid of any dirt and stains.
- They are then colour neutralised & soaked, to strip the harsh tones of the original dyes and reduce the original colour to the bare minimum. This process sometimes needs to be done numerous times, depending on how strong the original colours were.
- They are then dyed over with a new colourway - giving them a fresh life. Every piece will take the colour differently. It depends on the original rug, the mix of dye, the weather conditions, and much more. This process is laborious, taking 3 or 4 months to get to the desired colour. The answer to the above question is that the wool has to be of good quality, as it simply takes to this process better and gives a softer and more desirable finish.
- The pile will be shaved now in places, to give the rug a more distressed and vintage feel. This varies per rug - some are more worn than others.
Featured Rugs (Left to right) - TALLIE, TRIXIBELLE, LAYLAND.
As the demand increased; more colours were added to the spectrum of these rugs and the processes were fine-tuned. These rugs are now available in a range of colours.
HOW TO DECORATE
Image Credit (left to right) - Pinterest, MyDomaine, Digs Digs, The Synergists, House Beautiful
Consider each overdyed rug as a unique work of contemporary art, which can truly enhance your space. An overdyed rug can stand out without being disturbing; imagine how it will interact with the rest of the elements in the room and match the colour to your home accessories.
Let it be part of a design that envelops you in a warming feeling, touched with a hint of the Orient. A vividly-coloured overdyed rug can become the perfect focal point if used in a minimalist environment with neutral colours. It acts as an explosion of colour - a centrepiece that at once stands and brings together its surroundings. So if you want to suit the style present in the space, add a vibrant splash of colour into your lives, while still exuding the timeless class of an original handcrafted piece of art.
Here are some of our favourite rugs from the Overdyed Collection:
You can check us out on Pinterest and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest trends and rug inspo. Don’t forget you can visit our showroom, to view one of the largest collections of Persian Rugs in London. We also offer a ‘Try before you buy’ service.