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Abrash: What it is and why it happens.
Let's take a look at the condition called, "abrash."
Often controversial and commonly misunderstood - we're going to tell you why abrash is actually something to look for in your rug!
What is abrash?
Abrash refers to the color variation, or striation, that can be seen between fibers of the same intended color in a handmade rug. Often, abrash will have a mottled appearance and you'll notice different shades of what looks like it should be the same color. And the truth is - it should be the same color - sort of. Read on!
Why does abrash happen?
The color variation you see is most often caused by a variation during the dying process. Yarn is dyed in what we call "dye lots." These dye lots can have different shades for a number of reasons, especially when the process is done by hand. The dye solution itself could be slightly different, from one person to the next. One dye lot may be left in the solution longer than another. The yarn's absorption rate may also differ depending on how tightly the yarn is wound and twisted.
From there we get into how a rug is made. Generally speaking, the yarn is knotted horizontally, left to right, or vice versa, in rows. As the rug maker uses up one dye lot and begins to use another, you'll often notice a more prominent color variation at this juncture. If the variation occurs within the dye lot, then you may see more subtle examples of abrash elsewhere.
Is abrash good or bad?
This is the real question, isn't it? Without fail, we've never met a rug dealer or rug enthusiast who ever thought abrash was a bad thing. In fact, it's something we look for to determine the authenticity of the rug and how it was made. This is because you won't see these true variations with a machine-made rug. Many machine-made rugs try to mimic color striations, but unfortunately, the process is so digitized that the rug you get will always look like all the others. What we love about handmade rug products are their genuine, unique, and one-of-a-kind characteristics.
Can I see abrash in the rug I want to buy?
Yes, for sure. We always describe abrash in the product details and provide photos on our website as much as possible. You can always get in touch with us and we are happy to send more pictures or talk you through the exact condition of the rug you're shopping for.