Silk Persian rugs look magnificent. They are lustrous, smooth and luxurious to the touch. The sheen and texture of the rug give it a look of opulence that you’ll never see in rugs made from any other fabric. Yet, many people hesitate about buying these rugs because they believe that a wool rug or a wool-cotton blend may be a better choice in terms of stain resistance and care.
If you’ve seen a silk Persian rug you love but are having a few doubts, here are a few aspects that may help you make the right choice.
Silk: A Fabric And Fiber Of Luxury
Nothing else feels like silk. Some synthetics come close, but they will never match authentic silk fiber for color durability, softness, warmth or sheen. The silk made for the Persian rug industry – especially for hand-knotted rugs – must meet very high quality standards.
Some of the most beautiful silk is found in China and India, and it is then sent to other parts of the world where it is hand-knotted into a beautiful rug.
Silk is a surprisingly durable fiber, and it will not fray or split the same way that some other fibers do. The most beautiful and ornate silk rugs come from Iranian areas such as Nain and Tabriz. Some disreputable dealers may try to pass off artificial silk such as viscose as something called “art-silk.” This is not 100% silk and it should be avoided.
We’ve listed three methods below regarding how to tell if the silk rug you are about to purchase is actual, 100% silk.
How To Distinguish Real From Fake
- Rub the fabric – Silk will warm up when you rub your palm across it. It will not take long for this to happen, and the colors may also take on a slight sheen. Run your hand over the silk rug and see if it becomes warm or gives off a sheen. If the rug feels harsh or isn’t soft, chances are good it is not silk.
- Do a Burn Test – You cannot do this in a rug shop or in front of the merchant. This is a good tip to know, however—when silk is held to a flame, it will burn black and may smell slightly like burning hair. Take the flame away and it will immediately stop burning. The best way is to do a burn test on a piece of snipped fringe.
- Dissolve it – Silk and wool both react to a bleach test in the same manner -they will both dissolve completely. You definitely do not want to do this test on the main rug but you can try it with a small piece snipped off the fringe. This is another test you cannot do in a shop or in front of a dealer.
How To Take Care Of Your Silk Rug
Silk rugs are an investment, and you must know how to care for it so it appreciates in value through the years.
Keep your silk rug out of high-traffic areas and try to keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Should you experience a spill, blot the spill as quickly as possible and then lightly dab cool water on it and allow the spot to air-dry completely.
Turn it over regularly to shake off the dirt and debris before it gets embedded in the fibers and destroys the sheen of the rug.
Have your rug professionally cleaned once a year by someone who knows how to clean a silk rug.
If you take proper care of your silk rug, it will stay looking good for years to come.