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  • Writer's pictureBal Arisi

Dye Bleed

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

Some oriental rugs are notorious for it. No matter, whether natural or synthetic dye is used it can occur. What is it? Color run. A common issue in oriental and other decorative rugs made from natural fibers such as wool and silk. These beautiful rugs are known to have beautiful rich colors adjacent to strikingly light ivories. This makes for a precarious situation when it comes time to wash your rug.

What is dye bleed and why does it occur?

Dye bleed is a term used to describe the migration of colored dyes into other areas of a woven piece such as a rug when water or another liquid is introduced. This is not generally a problem unless it is a darker dye moving into a lighter an area of lighter dyed material on the same rug.

  • If wool or other fibers used in weaving are not washed after being dyed, dyes may migrate when the rug is washed.

  • If the proper mordant was not used or dye were not set sufficiently, then the dyes will not be colorfast and will run upon contact with water or other liquid.(Note: unstable dyes can also transfer onto other fabrics when rubbed i.e. if a rug is placed on top of another lighter colored rug, dyes can transfer. This is called dye crocking)