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Overdyed Rugs

Know What are Overdyed DIY Rugs

New to the world of overdyed DIY rugs? RugKnots has you covered. Take a look at these pictures of million-dollar homes.

Just, for instance, Vintage Overdyed rugs can be sleek and really attractive in their appeal. These vintage rugs are exquisite Unique and shabby chic!

 But what do you need to know about over painted rugs before you buy one? We are here to tell you more about this kind of home decor! Below is everything you need to know before you buy an overdyed area rug. 30 Years of Hand Knotted Excellence, Choose The Rug That is Best For You, For over 30 years, RugKnots has crafted, imported and delivered the very highest quality rugs from the heart of Pakistan, where skilled artisans have passed down ancient oriental rug hand knotting secrets for generations. Simply you can view RugKnots latest rugs collection here.

  • What questions do I ask the seller?
  • What kind of dye is used?
  • How do I know if the rug is a quality overdyed rug?
  • What styles and colors are out there?
  • Can I custom design an overdyed rug?

If you have found yourself asking any of these questions... Keep reading to find out!

13 Best Kept Secrets to Overdyed DIY Rugs

1. What is the Definition of Over-Dyed Rugs?

Overdyed aka “color reformed rugs” undergo a gentle dyeing process. The original color is removed and single vibrant color is added. Over dyeing allows us to save beautiful antique rugs that may be faded and restore them to a newfound glory! They can be dyed to match an existing color in your home or can introduce a bold new shade in your room!

Checkout some of our Overdyed Rugs

2. What Types of Rugs Can Be Overdyed?

The only types of rugs that can be overdyed are antique, wool hand-knotted rugs and vintage, wool hand-knotted rugs. Antique and vintage hand-knotted rugs are woven by an artisan on a specially designed loom. Every individual knot is tied by hand by a trade artisan. Hand knotting creates a handcrafted area rug that is not only durable but one-of-a-kind.

3. What Types of Rugs Can't Be Overdyed?

Hand-tufted rugs and synthetic rugs cannot be overdyed. If the old rug is hand-tufted the rug will fall apart after the dying process. Hand-tufted rugs are made by punching a design into a stenciled canvas. A fabric backing is then glued onto the back to hold the rug together and a fringe is either glued or sewn on to appear hand-knotted.

This technique cannot withstand the color de-saturation and dye retention process. To learn more about how to tell if the old rug is hand-tufted or hand-knotted, check out our blog here.

In the photo above, the fringe on the tufted rug (right) is sewn on. The hand-knotted rug's (left) fringe is a part of the rug's construction. Because tufted rugs are often first treated with chlorine bleach, the fibers are left severely compromised and weakened.

Aggressive cleaning will cause the color to lift out over time and spot cleaning could result in a patch that is a different color from the rest of your rug. With overdyed machine-made rugs, exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading. Fibers will be darker at the bottom of the pile and faded towards the surface.

Synthetic Rugs

You must be careful when dealing with the rug business. A rug that is made out of polypropylene, nylon, or acrylic, is NOT over-dyed. They are made to look overdyed.

These materials cannot retain any dye after they have left their liquid state and are transformed into their sold state. This means the faded colors were added into the melting pot before the "fibers" were even glued onto the plastic rug. This diminishes all of the charm and intrigue of an overdyed rug.

How do you tell? It's simple. The back of the synthetic rug is hard and plastic, and the top of the rug and bottom of the rug will no be mirror images. Check out our post here on how to tell if your oriental rug is fake.

4. So I Should Only Buy a Rug Made From Wool?

You really should choose a wool rug if you want an authentic, overdyed rug. And thankfully, we sell high quality overdyed rugs. 

RugKnots uses an exclusive blend of premium wool from New Zealand and wool from the best local wool farmers in Pakistan. This blend unique to RugKnots creates the most luscious and soft pile on the market.

5. How is the Overdyed Rug Process Performed?

Step # 1: Washing: First the rug is submerged in water, washed with a mild detergent, and rinsed. This step is used simply to clean the rug and remove any residue.

Step # 2: De-saturation: The rug is then placed in warm water with a combination of Thiox and Soda Ash. The rug then goes through a gentle agitation process and finishes with soaking in a hot water bath. Through this process, what is left of the original color is extracted from the rug. This step preserves the intricate details that are unique to each piece.

Step # 3: Dyeing: Next, the rug undergoes a second soaking process with the hand-mixed dye. The rug is submerged in a warm water bath with citric acid (the same acid that makes lemons sour!) and is left to soak for a few hours to achieve a brilliant, saturated color.

Dyes can be derived from all-natural vegetables or chemical compounds. At RugKnots, we think that a beautiful hand-knotted rug deserves an organic vegetable dye to create a truly unique piece!

Step # 4: Rinsing

The dyed rug is then drained, rinsed, and washed to remove all excess dye. The washing process depends on the company.

At RugKnots, we like to go the extra mile and wash the rugs by hand. Hand washing gives the DIY rugs an incredibly soft and lush pile. Machine washing will do the job, just not as well.

Step # 5: Drying

Finally, the overdyed rug is sun-dried to ensure that its vivid color will set permanently and endure decades to come.

6. What Types of Dyes are Used?

RugKnots uses only vegetable dye to produce the most vibrant and environmentally friendly rug possible.

Although chemical compounds will produce vibrant color, the chemical dyes may emit toxic fumes into the atmosphere and your home. It's up to you to decide what's best for you and your family. 

The family at RugKnots has decades of experience working with overdyed rugs. 

Over the years, we have researched what types of rugs are the best to overdye and what makes a quality overdyed rug.

7. What Types of Knots are Used in Overdyed Area Rugs?

Persian Knots

Hand-knotted Persian rugs are one of the most popular styles of ovedyed persian rugs for their beauty, quality, and intricate details. As you can see in the image, the Persian knot is asymmetrical and open to one side.

Countries are known for this knot: 

  • Iran
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Tibet
  • China

This knot does not leave gaps and is less bulky than Turkish knots, meaning Persian rugs are more dense, soft and luxurious. RugKnots uses only Persian Knotted rugs with a double-pile to create an ultra-plush rug that will endure decades.

Turkish Knots

Hand-knotted Turkish rugs use a thinner pile and tend to bunch up slightly rather than stay completely flat like a high-piled Persian rug.

The Turkish knot is symmetrical and can be identified by two small bumps within one knot on the back of the rug. This looks like a double knot.

Countries are known for this type of knot: 

  • Turkey
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Northern Iran 

This type of knot is not as soft or luxurious as Persian knots.  

8. How Do I Clean an Overdyed Rug?

A painted rug can be cleaned exactly the same way you would clean any other wool rug. As long as the rug was overdyed using the proper methods, you won't have to worry about the colors bleeding or running.

For spot cleaning:

  • Simply use 8 parts water, 1 part white vinegar and just a dash of clear, mild dish soap
  • Dab the solution on
  • NEVER ever ever ever rub - this can damage the rug beyond repair
  • Vacuum with a vacuum that does not have a beater bar or with the bristle attachment of your vacuum
  • The beater bar is too powerful and will pull out your rugs wool fibers
  • To learn more Get your free wool rug cleaning guide here

As always, have your rug professionally cleaned once a year

9. So What Type of Styles of Overdyed DIY Rugs are Out There?

Soooooo many! Below is a break down of all of the styles you can imagine!

Patchwork Rugs

Hand-knotted overdyed patchwork rugs are meticulously hand-crafted from pieces of antique rugs to create a modern, new rug! Sections of antique rugs are cut and hand-woven together and the backs of the stitches are reinforced, then the edge of the entire rug is hand-bound with a finishing stitch.

Below you can watch the amazing process of a how a RugKnots patchwork rug is created:

Monochromatic Patchwork

These beautiful rugs are composed of pieces from different rugs, but they are overdyed using one brilliant color.

Bright Colors

Antique Over-dyed Rugs

The rugs pictures below are what you normally think of when you think of an overdyed rug. Artisans take an antique rug, de-saturated the rug's original color then re-saturated the rug with a new dye.

Muted Tones

Over-dyed rugs can also be created in more muted or neutral colors. These elegant pieces still provide the stunning look of overdyed antique rugs, but with subtle tones that are less bold than that the vivid colors.

[Watch Now! Green Overdyed Rug]

Multicolor Patchwork

If you don’t want to commit to one color or you want to add a tasteful splash of color to your room, like the previous patchwork rugs, multicolor patchwork rugs are made from portions of overdyed rugs but are different colors. Together, they create an eclectic spectrum of color that's sophisticated and stylish.

Checkout some of our Patchwork Rugs

Try a pillow!

[Watch this video to learn more about our Multi-Colored Patchwork Pillows]

10. So How Can I Style Overdyed DIY Rugs?

Layering: Combining two types of rugs is a dynamic way to bring texture and original style into your home. You can use two similar rugs, or as seen here, layer a modern piece with a more traditional overdyed rug. 

This overdyed brown rug is coupled with sheepskin (faux, of course!) add tons of textures and interest to the ultra-modern space.


The fact of two or more things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

Like salty and sweet, modern and antique.

A Pop of Color

Over-dyed rugs are a great way to bring an accent color into a room with a neutral color palette or match the rug with other elements of the room.

In the living room, think throw pillows of the same color or draw from the colors in a statement piece of art.

They bring a vivid splash of color into space without looking garish or stealing the attention from other accents

Add Warmth

Color reformed rugs add a sense of warmth and texture to un-carpeted floors. The "smoothness" of the floor complements the "plushness" of the rug. They are a rare treat for freezing feet during the colder months and a soft reprieve for tired feet in the warmer months.

Think Outside the Living Room

The living room might be the center of your home, but it is not the only place for an overdyed rug to shine. A rug in an entryway sets a tone of elegance for visitors to your home. A plush rug in a kitchen, dining room or bathroom can be a beautiful home decor indulgence.

With so many options, you don’t have to limit them to one spot in your house!

11. Custom Over Dyed Rugs? What's Possible?


If you do not see any colors that you like at RugKnots!

We will custom-create any color and hue that you want!

You can even send us a swatch or picture of what you are looking for and we will match it.

Like Anthony: He was looking for a specific color of purple for his modern tastes. He called us, and voila!

We designed the color and delivered his custom rug to his home in no time!

12. Where do I Buy Them?

Finding the right place to buy a rug for your home can be overwhelming and confusing.

Luckily we have a Buyers Guide to help simplify the process and navigate you through the rug-shopping experience

We also let you know what to do once you visit a retailer and everything you need to ask them


What you are buying and finding out about their warranties and return policies.

13. Try The Rug On First- Before You Purchase It

You know when you go to the mall and you think that little dress will look great on you

Then you get it home...

Try it on and...


Everything about it is wrong and you wish you had just tried it on it the store.

That is why we are launching our new Ask A Designer Program!

We understand that purchasing a quality piece is a major commitment

Navigating all the choices, styles, colors and patterns of hand-knotted rugs can be very unnerving

That is why we offer a premium service to show you how our rugs look in your room

Before you make a purchasing decision

  1. Take a photograph of your room
  2. Upload it to our website's Ask a Designer page
  3. RugKnots designers will select the rug of your choice from our collection and insert their suggestions into your room photo.

This will allow you to see what the rug looks like in your room before you buy!

Photos featuring your room will be returned to you in email

We also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with free shipping on all stock purchases!

So easy!  

So there you have it

Everything you have ever wanted to know about cheap overdyed rugs

As always let us know in the comments what you thought or drop us any other questions you may have!

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