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Q&A: What is the Pile Fiber in this Rug?


Hi there,

I have just bought a rug described on the British e-bay as "Persian rug -silk" from a private seller, not a rug company. It arrived just now and my first reaction was that it was not silk. The pile is cold to the touch more like an artificial silk, the back looks machine-made, the tassels have been sewn on, and the nylon thread machine stiched all the way down the sides is evident. I cannot pull any threads out ot the back to do a 'burn' test.

Please would you look at the photos and let me know what you think the rug might be made of?

thank you so much for you time


Front of Art Silk Viscose Pile Carpet

Back of Machine Made art silk rug


Hello, thanks for sending this one in.

You're absolutely right to question this rug, and have made some excellent observations about it.  It is a machine made rug as you've gathered well from your own assessment.

Regarding the pile:  There is no need for a burn test.  Rarely is silk ever a material input for machine made rugs.  So this is usually a very good indication of artificial silk be implimented.

Our best guess regarding what type of artificial silk is viscose, a plant based cellulose derived fiber.  While we can't say for sure, we have come this guess for the following reasons: Silk itself is a slippery fiber to weave with, more so than wool.  Artificial silk has similar characteristics to true silk in that it too is slippery.  How this translates into a rug, machine made or hand made, artificial silk often needs reinforcement of some kind.  Machine made rugs with viscose pile consistently have this rubbery backing you have shown in photographs and described in writing.  It's often for two reasons: to act as a non-skid and keep the rug in place, but more importantly, to prevent the fibers from pulling out from the face of the rug.  

Viscose rugs with Persian Designs have become quite popular in the floorcovering world within the last several years.  Manufacturers such as Central Oriental feature several lines of such rugs, although production and sale of such carpets under private labels may be found in local "home oriented" chains and department stores alike. 

In the future, if you're considering acquisition of an ebay carpet or rug, feel free to run the rug by the experts on our Oriental Rug Forum, or ask the seller to have the Rug Rag Verified, which is free for vendors providing a link made from the ebay auction back to the verification for the public to see.

Thanks again for taking the time to inquire, let us know if you have any additional questions by using the comment field below.  Hope this has helped!

-Rug Rag


We look forward to talking with anyone who may have questions on or about 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


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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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