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Q&A: Tufted Rugs May Let off Powder Residue, but do Oriental Carpets?

We look forward to talking with anyone on questions pertaining to oriental rugs.  We are an Independent Reviewer, and will give you our opinion for any rug, new or old.  Should you have any questions you would like to submit for a blog entry response, please do so, and be sure to include photographs of your rug.  For more information, please take a look at the bottom of this page, or feel free to Contact Us at

Question received the 8th of August 2008:

Howdy RugRag!

We're writing to ask about more information on an article we read on your blog several days back pertaining to hand tufted rugs giving off a powder residue.  We are curious to know as to whether or not hand knotted rugs give off a similar residue.

-James and Edith, TX


Hello, and thanks for the inquiry,

This white powder is pretty much confined to hand tufted rugs (with the exception to some drier antique silk rugs).  The reason for this is due to the difference in construction.  Tufted rugs use latex glue, Oriental Rugs are hand knotted on a foundation which needs no additional reinforcement.

However, there are instances where Oriental Rugs will release a white powdery residue not unlike that seen in some deteriorating hand tufted rugs.  If found in an Oriental Rug, as often is the case, neither one of the two are good signs.  1. The rug may have dry rot, which is a severe degradation of fibers within the rug due to prolonged exposure to water.  The rug will literally have a very stiff feel, may release a slight powdery substance, and may make a cracking noise when rolled (and often split).  2.  The residue may be found in the fringe area at either end of the rug.  Often, this is a sign of cotton degradation due to use of harsh substances such as bleach to whiten fringe.  To test if there really is a problem, simply pull on one strand of fringe as seen in this post (Can I Whiten my Rug's Fringe?.)

We're not sure if you actually have an Oriental Rug which is releasing this powder.  There may be some packing or transportation techniques certain rug producers may be using which may contribute to this problem.   If you have specifics to follow up with, feel free to do so!  Best of luck

-Rug Rag

See More From "The InBox"

For all those interested in submitting a question to the Rug Rag Editors:  We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs of the reverse side of the rug very close up with a quarter placed on the knots, plus a picture of the fringe, the whole face of the rug and detail shot of the pile.  If the rug is worn, please include photographs of worn areas.  For rugs of any age, please be sure to check for dry areas, moth damage, odor, and whether or not the rug is straight/has right angles where called for.  If you have any questions about our assessment request feel free to send us an email.  Otherwise, we are looking for something similar to these images posted here


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January 18. 2009 15:40

Carpet money

Nice blog,5 out of 5 stars!

Carpet money

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