Overdyed patchwork Oriental rugs

When I first heard of overdyed patchwork rugs, my reaction was… less than enthusiastic. The concept is to take pieces of rugs too old and worn out to be used as-is, overdye the pieces, and stitch them together to make a new rug. Simple enough, and certainly not new, but recently this type of rug has become available not only from rug dealers, but also Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, and Potterybarn. Several that I found online weren’t even old, but new fiber turned into patchwork (which in my mind defeats the purpose).

[Click on the photos to see larger images]

This particular rug, which I found in a gallery in San Francisco, was produced from various worn out rugs that were cut up, overdyed, and pieced together patchwork-style (or maybe Frankenstein-style?). There is a heavy fabric backing to keep it all together as those top pieces really are quite worn. All the top stitching is done by machine, although from a passing glance it may look as though it was done by hand. I suppose that adds to the “rustic” look the designer was looking for.

What I liked about this rug: From a distance, this rug looks like a Japanese boro, which I love. It is similar to tribal rugs made from recycled material.

What I disliked about this rug: The reality; it isn’t boro, and it isn’t a tribal patchwork rug. It’s just… muddled.

My verdict? Go for an original rug that has either been traditionally patch worked (and is likely less symmetrical), or invest in a rug that is still in one piece. A good quality rug will increase in value over time, but my concern with these overdyed rugs is that since the quality of the patches may be low, they aren’t going to age well.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sarah Jenny says:

    This patchwork is quite unique and decent, patchwork of Overdyed rugs
    i saw first time.

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