Design Dilemma: Turning Old Rugs into Art | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Turning Old Rugs into Art

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How do you salvage an old damaged rug and turn it into something special? Numerous carpet companies have hit on an idea.  We’ve seen it up close and think they’ve got something.

ABC Carpet and Home, for one, has overdyed vintage rugs and called them “Aquasilk” as part of the store’s Color Reform Collection. They’ve taken faded and worn vintage Turkish and Oriental rugs that have definitely seen better days. They’ve bleached out all the color and then infused a pop of electric color over what’s left. These are the results:

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This would seem to fit neatly into the reclaimed and recycled furniture trend that we’ve been seeing in recent years. Having examined these rugs in person, we think they can fall into one of two categories: either they work brillliantly, or they miss terribly. The dye pattern on some of these rugs looks just a wee bit too runny (hence the aqua name) like a rug that’s suffered water damage. This is particularly true of the rugs that don’t boast much of a contrasting pattern underneath the overdye. But on the right rug, this technique looks really cool and could be the perfect modern interpretation of a tradition. Plus, pink, turquoise, purple and royal blue rugs are always fun.

Problem is, these rugs don’t come cheap. A rug of about 7 x 8 feet runs between $8-$10,000 at ABC Carpet and Home. Check out their collection here. Also, will these rugs stand the test of time, or just seem like a really bad trend a year or two from now? If you’ve plunked out $10,000 for a rug, you better hope it has staying power! Even so, we were wondering if there’s something in this idea that might work for the craft-minded at home. Why not take an old sunbleached, faded rug and try overdying in a pop of bright color? If you’re lucky, you might get these results:

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We did a little research and discovered, alas, that the bleaching and dyeing process takes a lot more work than most of us could handle at home (hence the $10,000 price tag on these rugs). The bleaching process requires harsh chemicals that demand good ventilation and special breathing equipment for anyone near by. You will need an acid dye for the overdying and also a stainless steel vat big enough for the carpet and the appropriate amount of hot water which must maintain a temperature of at least 140 degrees farenheit. You will need a carpet steamer to set the dye after overdying. Few of us have the kind of set up at home required to dye an 8 x 5 foot carpet, and the bathtub just won’t work. However, that being said, there are those who have tried it at home, with spectacular results. Check out CentrSource and find great deals for your home design and decoration. Good luck!

Images: ABC Carpet and Home;;

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