The oldest rugs were made by using the natural coloring of the wool. The range of colours was rather wide.
Handmade Rugs with the natural wool coloring are to be found nowadays as well.
The high artistic value they have is due to its harmony of subdued colour values.
Yarn dyeing is one of the most important
stages in rug manufacture. Dyes should be stable, weather
and wash protective otherwise colours will become achromatic.
The quality of dyeing, the right selection and harmony of
colours are pretty much the main indicators for rugs’ esthetic
The basic method
of yarn dyeing consists in boiling away the wool in a dye’s water
solution in a specially adapted dyer’s tank. The wool can
be dyed as a raw material /washed only/ or as a wool yarn.
natural dyes are used for colouring: plant, animal
dyes are extracted from herbs, flowers, vegetables, fruit,
trees and at that, only from certain parts /roots, rind, twigs,
leaves, blossoms, seeds, fruit /. The obtained hues can be
described as soft and deep and in their duration of use, they
become even more attractive due to the natural patination.
They are extremely durable, suitable for dry-cleaning without
loosing their richness. The natural dyeing is a long and arduous
process, requiring long experience and mastery. The process
consists of three main stages: dye extracting, wool dyeing
and colour fixing where the main methods for processing the
materials are retting and boiling. Getting a particular colour
and its saturation depend on many factors: climatic conditions
of the relevant year, at which stage of the plant development
the dye material has been collected, the period in which the
pigment is strongest, time and temperature of extracting the
dye and the wool dyeing process, the colour of the wool, the
preparation of the wool for dyeing etc.
colour is a mixture of Madder
root (Rubia tinctorum), Logwood
(Haematoxylon campechianum), Poke root (Phytolacca decandra), Hawthorn
colour – Walnut
leaves(Juglans regia), Mulberry
nettle (Urtica dioica), Periwinkle
colour - Indigo
(Indigofera tinctoria, Indigofera suffruticosa), Blossoms
of cornflower (Centaurea cyanus).
colour - Quince
leaves (Cydonia vulgaris), Oregano
( Origanum vulgare), grains of sweet
Sorghum (fodder plant) and Bluestone
Copper Sulfate (CuSO4)
colour - walnut pods infusion, green
leaves and nutshells(Juglans Regia), Hawthorn
roots /Quercus cerris/, rinds of alder
tree (Alnus glutinosa).
colour - dry
beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), rinds of Alder
tree (Alnus glutinosa), Ash
tree (Fraxinus excelsior) etc.
colour - blossoms of Pelagorium
(Pelargonium roseum), green
stone (FeSO4), blossoms of Corn
poppy ( Papaver rhoeas), twigs
of prune (Prunus domestica) etc.
colour – Milkweed
(Euphobria ciparissias), vinegar, crab-apple
(Pirus malus), Sumac
rinds (Rhus cotinus) etc.
colour - Sumac
(Rhus cotinus) and green
stone (FeSO4), walnut
rinds (Juglans regia), Ash
tree (Fraxinus excelsior) etc.
most popular dyes for domestic use, among the ones with animal
origin, are Cochineal
(carmine) and Sepia.
dyes are extracted from the soil. For the purpose of dyeing
textile fabrics, the people have adopted some other substances
like slaked lime, soot, ash etc.
In the last century, the chemical dyes were
brought into use on a large scale. They are easy to use, less
expensive, the process of dyeing is shorter and the result
is guaranteed. The choice of colour scales is wide and hues
are variegated. Generally, the colours are sharper, strong and saturated.
The using of chemical dyes changes the pattern of the handmade rugs,
making them more motley and vivid, while the natural dyes
provide true to life harmony and softness of colours. The
real craftsmanship though, is achieving these soft pastel
colours and combining them in harmony by using chemical dyes.
Nowadays, the commercial conditions increasingly require chemical
dye technology in rugs manufacture.