How do I Repair a Color Run in an Oriental Rug?

Written by donny quinn
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How do I Repair a Color Run in an Oriental Rug?
Oriental rugs, though beautiful, are prone to flaws such as colour runs and fraying. (chair image by hazel proudlove from

Most colour runs that occur in Oriental rugs occur from exposure to moisture, according to Rug Spa. Moisture from spills, animal urine or even humidity can damage rugs, making dyes bleed into each other, usually beginning with the reds. Although many sources suggest that you do not try to correct colour problems yourself (due to the variable interactions of chemicals with different dyes and wool), you can correct minor colour runs with two simple tools--the sun and a blanket.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Blanket

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  1. 1

    Check the local forecast in the newspaper or on the Internet and find two consecutive days with full sun and low humidity. On both of these days, you should be available at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

  2. 2

    Search your yard, balcony, or other outdoor space for a clean, dry area with full sun exposure. Lay a blanket out over the surface of the chosen area. Place the Oriental rug on the blanket at around 11 a.m. Beginning at 11 a.m. gives enough time for the morning dew to dry.

  3. 3

    Leave the rug until 6 p.m. During this time, according to Rug Spa, the sun will bleach out certain colours on the rug, beginning with the colour in the colour run. Pull the rug back inside at 6 p.m. to prevent dirt or moisture from accumulating on the surface of the rug.

  4. 4

    If needed, repeat steps two and three for one more day. Ensure that no serious colour fading occurred on the rug before continuing with another day of sun exposure. If, at any point, colour fading begins, remove the rug from the sun and contact a cleaner.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your rugs in dry areas to prevent colour runs, according to Rug Spa. (See Reference 1)
  • Cleaning your own rug can lead to colour changes, including the bleaching out of other colours in the rug. Perform self-cleaning at your own risk.
  • If you decide to take the rug to a professional cleaner, make certain that the cleaner specialises in Oriental rug repair.

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