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Nothing else feels like silk rug. Silk oriental rugs look magnificent. They are lustrous, smooth and luxurious to the touch. The sheen and texture of the rug give it a look of opulence that you’ll never see in rugs made from any other fabric. Some synthetics come close, but they will never match authentic silk fiber for color durability, softness, warmth or sheen.
Real silk rugs shimmer rather than shine. Yet, many people hesitate about buying these rugs because they believe that a wool rug or a wool-cotton blend may be a better choice in terms of stain resistance and care.
Some of the most beautiful silk fiber is found in China and India, and it is then sent to other parts of the world where it is hand-knotted into beautiful silk rugs. In Uzbekistan there is also a cultivation of silk worms and production of silk thread.
Silk itself is a surprisingly durable fiber, and it will not fray or split the same way that some other fibers do. The nature of the silk fiber, being a smooth single filament, means it does not have “pockets” to hide soil in it like wool does. This means silk rugs (and cotton and rayon as well) look soiled quicker than wool rugs when exposed to the same amount of foot traffic and dust settling on them. It’s just in the nature of the fiber.
If silk was not strong, weavers would not be able to weave these intricate designs, at a knot count that can exceed 1500 knots per square inch for the finest of weaves.
The thinner the nap of the pile and the higher the knot count per square inch, the more valuable the silk rug price is.
Silk also reflects light brilliantly, and when you walk around the silk rug it has a very distinct bright “light” direction, and a deeper dark direction. Wool does the same thing, but with silk this difference is much more stark. You can literally change the look and colors of the same rug by walking from one end to the other. (Go ahead, walk around your silk rug and see what we are talking about.)
The above also means any foot traffic on a silk rug that distorts the fibers will make it reflect light differently in those spots, giving you a mix of dark and light areas that might give you the illusion it is dirty… when it’s just got a “messed up” pile.
The fine silk rugs are intricate pieces of art, and many of their buyers prefer to mount them on the wall as textile art, rather than having their silk rugs on the floor, and worrying about feet, paws, or spills. But this is just the matter of one’s perception.