Understanding “Tea-Washed” Rugs
Tea-washing gives an antique look it is also called henna washed or antiqued.
Traditionally Tea-washing was done by packing the rugs in tea. Today these treatments are usually done with chemicals or dyes.
This can cause some problems, some chemicals can cause the rugs to stink and higher quality rugs don’t usually have that issue though.
Some people are sensitive to the chemicals of modern “Tea-washing” usually more prominent in lower quality rugs.
Unfortunately, the ‘Tea-washing” is not permanent, it will wear off in some spots and wash out in others. Even a high-quality rug will eventually lose its Tea-wash look.
Sometimes a rug is Tea-washed to hide existing damage like a stain by unscrupulous manufacturers or sellers. These stains will show up after a good wash and unfortunately, the Tea-wash will not come off evenly. Cotton fringes lose the Tea-wash quicker than the fibers of the rug.