Silk Oriental Rug
How to Identify a Silk Oriental Rug
How do you know if you have a silk oriental rug or not? Oriental rugs can be made out of wool, cotton, or silk. Silk is popular for the following reasons: they are soft and smooth to the touch, they take dyes very well, and they are very hardy. But you'll often find silk oriental rugs that aren't really silk at all; they'll be rayon or cotton. Why? Oriental rugs are often made out of faux silk because real silk rugs are much more expensive to produce.
When shopping for oriental rugs that are supposedly made out of silk, here is a test you can use to verify if an oriental rug is really made out of silk or not: the burn test. See what it smells like when you light it up! Heavens, not the whole thing but just a tiny little bit. Ask the dealer first to do this for you. Real silk will smell like burned hair when it burns. Anybody who's burned their hair over a candle will remember what this smells like. If the "silk" rug is really rayon, it will smell like burning paper. Cotton also will not have that "burning hair" smell when burned. If you smell anything, it will be closer to burning paper as well.
Another way you can verify if an oriental rug is really silk or not involves a chemical test where you place the "silk" thread into a chemical solution that would only dissolve silk and leaves wool, nylon, and cotton alone. Don't fall for the dealer's trick into convincing you that you can feel the difference between silk and faux silk. Most people can't.
The best way to make sure you're getting an oriental rug that is really made out of silk is to be selective with whom you deal with when purchasing silk rugs. Going with a reputable dealer is often times the only litmus paper you need.
About the Author
Janine Jones is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia (she likes to call it NoVa). New to the freelance world, Janine used to work as an analyst / programmer for a beltway bandit before deciding to mix being a stay-at-home-mom with a writing career. These days, Janine tries to get a little work done when her two kids (ages 3 and 15 months) are otherwise occupied. Janine is hooked on area rugs of all kinds.