Protect Oriental rugs from Sun-fading
Oriental area rugs are breathtaking pieces of art, there is only one design for each one of them, some of them are so antique and valuable that the price can go up to 6 figures depending on how well preserved they are. Wool Persian rugs are the Ying Yang of the middle east, they go from being thrown on the street for “aging” to being one the most valuable extra fine pieces full of culture and beautiful designs placed in your living room. Persian rugs can survive anything but yet again they are one of a kind pieces of art.
As common knowledge, nothing is absolute and perfect in this world and all of us have our own weakness, Oriental rugs have their own too, which is sunlight. Even though they are very durable and can go on for generations, it could also be damaged by its worst enemy. The first thing you must know about any type of authentic Oriental area rug is that they are made with natural fibers such as wool, silk or cotton. Sometimes a rug can have all three types of fiber or just wool as a foundation and pile. These type of rugs are handmade with natural oils from seeds and plants which make them more susceptible to sun-fading, especially reddish rugs.
When buying an Oriental rug, we know that you want to enjoy your rug as much as you can where the light stands out the colors better, but the most convenient would be to protect your rug when you’re not in the room enjoying its beauty. If you are planning on either having these rugs in your family for generations or sell it sometime in the near future, then for sure, you will want your rug to be as long as possible its best quality with its colors intact. Sun-fading is one of the primary reasons why Oriental rugs can depress its value. But of course we don’t want that to ever happen and that is why we are here to help! There is nothing that cannot be solved when talking about Oriental area rugs.
There are several options for you to protect your rug from ultraviolet light:
1. The easiest and common one is to change the direction of the rug every 6 months or every year. This will not prevent the rug from sun-fading but will fade the colors evenly, consequently, the rug won’t have just a faded spot on one side and vibrant colors on the other. If the rug is placed in an area where the sun only hits it partially in one corner or so, this idea won’t work entirely.
2. Another great option would be to add a protective coating such as a professional UV film or filter for your windows.
3. If you don’t like UV film or filters or you consider them not to be effective enough, you could also use Low Emission glass which is a type of glass specially designed to filter the quantity of UV light getting through your window. This glass is amazing because it also lowers down the heat in summer and keeps the heat better during the winter. Plus it will save you a lot of money on bills over the Air Conditioning unit.
4. A cheaper way to protect your rug would be to keep your curtains drawn or your blinds closed when you’re not home during the day. This still may cause sun fading in a lower way, we recommend sheer curtains and depending on the shape and size of your window if could still fade the colors on the edges of the rug.
5. If you have a skylight, I would tell you to really consider the UV film or the Low Emission glass or change the rug into a different spot where light does not affect it directly.
Even though you could change the position of the rug or use curtains or blinds, I still would recommend the Low Emission glass or the UV film or any other type of filter that you consider for your windows. This is because, if you have a skylight, for example, you work daily, mostly during the day, you don’t have time to pay attention to where is the light hitting the rug, you come home one day and realize you beautiful magnificent red Persian area rug has an irregular faded spot. Also, because the position of the sun changes depending on the season, during the winter solstice, the sun is lowest in the sky at noon and rises and sets farthest south and during the summer the position of the sun at sunrise and sunset is farthest north and daylight time is longer than usual. We know that you don’t have time to be aware of everything, every single day. So not to worry! If this already happened and your Oriental rug has already a few faded spots, there are ways to restore Oriental rugs from sun-fading.
Another important thing! Very super important thing! Abrash in Oriental area rugs is not the same or ever will be the same as sun-fading. Do not let anybody tell you otherwise. Abrash is a very distinctive quality that only hand-knotted or hand-weaved rugs have and is actually a very valuable thing to find in these type of rugs. We have another article where you can learn everything about how abrash is an amazing quality and how you can’t ever be deceived when buying an authentic Persian rug.