15 Jun WHY ARE VEGETABLE DYED WOOL RUGS MORE EXPENSIVE?
- The wool of the rugs dyed with a natural procedure requires more time
- To dye wool rugs using vegetable dyes requires more labour force
- The dyestuff of the vegetable colours is very costly
Synthetic dyes are made from either aniline or chrome. Aniline dyes are derived from chemical processes rather than from natural resources. Early synthetic aniline dyes made from coal tar were brilliant, inexpensive and easy to use; however, they faded rapidly with exposure to light and water. Modern chrome dyes developed after 1920 seldom have the depth and warmth of natural vegetable or insect dyes. Nevertheless, they were proven colourfast and non-corrosive to the wool. Around 1940, more chrome dyes were developed using potassium bicarbonate and come in a wide range of rich colours.
Most rug collectors and dealers have considerable experience in determining whether the carpet was dyed with natural or synthetic dyes. This comes from years of experience and looking at thousands of carpets over their lifetime. During the last several decades there has also been a movement to revive traditional vegetable dyeing techniques, which are now used alongside the newer, state-of-the-art synthetics as seen in the more recent and finer productions. Within the last twenty years weavers in many rug-producing regions have succeeded in reviving the traditional technique of vegetable derived dyes.