The Back of the Rug
Why Should I Look at the Back of the Rug?
The Back of the Rug - When shopping for a rug, turning a portion of it over to examine the underside is extremely important. From a diagnostic point of view, the back of the rug is the area that allows one to make out the technical aspects of the weave or "structure," which in turn will distinguish the place of origin. The reverse side will also reveal the relative fineness of the weave if that is an issue. The back of the rug can also reveal something about the dyes if there is a disparity between the color on both sides. The front of the rug us lighter than the back.
It is usually due to fading; early synthetic dyes are fugitive on exposure to light and the light does not reach the back of the carpet unless it has been deliberately exposed to fade the back as well, so as to conceal the fact that it is faded. If the front is darker than the back, it may have been artificially re-colored or painted. The texture of the back also indicates age. A relatively smooth or hairless back surface takes time to develop, A newer rug will have a a more fibrous, fuzzy texture. Examining the back of the rug may reveal a multitude of sins, or it may be the key to discovering the great age of a carpet whose front looks relatively new.