blooming: The gradual opening of the tips of yarn in the pile of an oriental rug. Often attributed to use, blooming may render a rug blurry or matted in both appearance of design and detail. Depending on the type of rug, blooming may or may not severly impact value. Generally, serious blooming is a hint to either a poor grade rug, or a carpet which has been subjected to heavy foot traffic with shoes, or poor washing techniques.
The yarn used to create the pile of a hand knotted rug often will have
a slight twist to help strengthen the fiber and resist wear. Generally, a brand new, unused Oriental Rug will have a pile with evenly sheared yarn: clear, distinct and "freshly" trimmed look. However, rugs which have been subjected to light use or greater may exhibit signs of "blooming".
Below: A side-by-side comparison of two similar rugs in equal knot count, size and design. New Rug on the Left and a Used rug on the right.
Above & Below: Closer inspection side-by-side of new vs. used rugs. Note the rug on the left (both above and below) shows crisp, clear details in design. The wool has a clear, distinct and evenly clipped apearance. The carpet on the
right (both above and below) shows the used rug in a similar area with somewhat uneven pile
height, a slightly "matted" look, with a significant loss to detail. Pile fibers are of different length, and the wool has "bloomed".
For more information on the value of your rug, please refer to our Oriental Rug Forum.