Over-dyed Vintage Carpet Trend

November 10, 2010

I was so surprised during my visit to Istanbul to fall head first into a shop that featured one of the biggest up-and-coming trends in floor rugs – the over-dyed vintage carpet! While shopping for a rug at Dhoku (and bought a huge collage/patchwork vintage rug that has been over-dyed in beige with spots of bright pink), I got to speak to a man who was very knowledgeable about rugs and he started to tell me about some of his clients and the stores that he was selling to and my ears perked up because I immediately felt a trend coming on!

Over dyed Vintage Carpet Trend

When I got home, I googled and found that ABC Carpet & Home has identified this as a trend already and launched their “Color Reform” collection. Check out these rugs, stunning! Brilliant! I want a pink one now…

Over dyed Vintage Carpet Trend
Over dyed Vintage Carpet Trend

About the collection, each vintage rug was put through a process to neutralize the original colors while still retaining the essence of its design and then each rug was over-dyed to create a solid color with dimension.

“The Color Reform Collection by ABC Carpet began as a vision to salvage imperfect, vintage carpets and resulted in a revolutionary movement of color. Inconsistencies are the nature of this product and make each piece unique. A carpet once traditional is now a contemporary work of art.”

What do you think of these carpets? I LOVE them.

(images: abc carpet & home)

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  • Reply mary jo November 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Fabulous! I’m with you on the pink one!

    xo Mary Jo

  • Reply Beth@Just{Heart}It November 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Welcome back! I was in Turkey twice, in 1995 and 1996 – seems eons ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. How I long to go back. Someday. *sigh* Can’t wait to hear all about it and live vicariously through you! :-)

  • Reply Ludmila {} November 10, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Oh I love them too! Want them all!

  • Reply Megan November 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    In LOVE! The second pink one on the right is absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply Ele November 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I LOVE this, and have started to notice in around, too. It’s like taking the style I grew up with (lots of traditional Turkish rugs in my parents’ house) and making it more modern and accessible. The first yellow one is especially gorgeous!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente November 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I LOoooooove them! I could NOT love them more! And now want one for every room in my house! *sigh* So beautiful….

  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design November 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    ooh–these are amazing! I’ll take the turquoise one on the bottom!

  • Reply Ariana November 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Wow! These are absolutely stunning! I love the teal one in the first grouping. What a great idea! Hoping they make their way to Germany soon… Or maybe I’ll just have to head to Turkey!

  • Reply emma lamb November 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Oh, these are absolutely gorgeous, Holly!
    I think the bottle green one is my favourite, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a few of those round the house to banish the winter blues… :)
    Emma x

  • Reply Mariella November 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    They are absolutely beautiful Holly, I love the contrast between the vintage rug and these kind of brilliant, “fluo”, young colors. My favourite is the purple one with the flowers.

  • Reply Janet November 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I have been coveting these since they introducted them a while back. Looove them! Glad to see they are adding more to the collection. ;)

  • Reply sandra lund November 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I love them, if I had the room for it I would definitely want one.

  • Reply fawn November 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm


  • Reply Dieuwy November 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Check out the last 10 or so copies of VT Wonen magazine, they have been featuring these carpets for quite a while now!

    • Reply decor8 November 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      @Dieuwy – I susbcribe to VTWonen so I have to check that out, thanks for the tip! Most of what I see in their mag are the most subdued palettes though, not so much the strong colorways. I personally love the softer more faded ones in pastel tones or solid pink or turquoise.

  • Reply Glamourshoes November 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I love them, too! Are the top one from Turkey? that yellow one is gorgeous! Welcome home.

  • Reply Evie November 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    What a very exciting find – these carpets are so much more inviting with their brilliant strong colours – love them all!!

  • Reply juliette November 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    wow, I’m really loving this! I wish there was an easy way to DIY this b/c we have a short stack of tired old rugs from my in-laws ‘ time in central Asia that are at the stage where something is just not quite right about their colorings to be a cool boho look, but have history so we can’t totally toss them…hm. I wish I could do a dye job like this on my own!

  • Reply TJ November 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    These are beautiful and a wonder if they qualify as being up-cycled? I love the idea of something old getting an overhaul and becoming even better…

  • Reply Joanna May November 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I’d love to see this as a DIY project – I bet that would be a lot of work!

  • Reply Casey November 10, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    These are beautiful! Terrific idea – a great way to refresh a worn rug and give it a new life. I want one!

  • Reply Melissa Allam November 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    All I can say is gorgeous! A beautiful way to put life back into these hand made beauties.

  • Reply Anna November 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    so good! although it strikes me a little like the paint over wood debate… sometimes it’s amazing, others times it’s a little trying.


  • Reply Katie - Coco Målé November 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    great idea, I’d love one in fuchsia pink!!!

  • Reply Melanie November 10, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Way cool! Must have the teal one on the bottom left!

  • Reply kt November 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Do you mind my asking how much the rugs cost at Dhoku? I have been in love with the ABC Carpet version for months, but they’re a little too pricey for me.

    • Reply decor8 November 11, 2010 at 12:08 am

      kt – they are priced by the square meter so it depends on the size. If you see something on their website, just email them for the size/cost and I’m sure they’ll let you know.

  • Reply Lisa November 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Oh, these are so super beautiful. I especially like the softer pink ones. I’m not a huge fan of things that are slick and brand spanking new, so these really speak to me.

  • Reply Lizzie [Ten Thou Bride] November 10, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I’m with you…they’re gorgeous! That would add so much awesome contrast to dark hardwood or concrete floors…

  • Reply Jennifer Finn November 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I love these! The bright colors are wonderful and have a feeling of aliveness– the ultimate goal when something is upcycled. Thank you for posting!

  • Reply bussbuss November 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I DYE! Seriously though, love, love, LOVE!!! Fantastic find… I’m now adding to my wishlist. :)

  • Reply deb November 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    As a little shopkeeper- I sometimes pass up persian rugs that are little to worn-or a little to beat- but this is a fab idea to freshen them up and bring them new life….

    thanks Holly-
    Another great idea!


  • Reply Steph Bond @ Bondville November 10, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    GENIUS! I just love the intent behind the idea – to salvage imperfect carpets and minimise waste. And they are gorgeous. Finally I might actually buy a ‘persian’ carpet, if they look like this! Thanks for letting us know x

  • Reply Angela November 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I absolutely love these carpets. What a fabulous idea. Have just recently come across your site via a friend on Facebook and I am loving getting your updates. So much inspiration. I work with owners of apartments in a funky neighborhood in Buenos Aires and we’re always looking for ways to make our places stand out from the rest. Thank you for making my job a little easier with all these great ideas to borrow from.


  • Reply Jenni November 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I adore them the original way but have to say I’m smitten with this technique,
    I’ll take the mauve & pale pink one next to it!
    great forecast!

  • Reply julie November 11, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Ooh, I love this too! Loom Rugs in Melbourne have some overdyed rugs that have caught my eye. A great way to contemporise (is that a word?!) a traditional rug – to me it gives the rugs a fun and relaxed feel.

  • Reply Matilda November 11, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Actually, I cringe when I see them. I have grown up in a house layered and practically insulated with hand woven rugs, my dad has a bit of an obsession.

    As an amateur textile artist, I only have an inkling of the thousands of hours of intense work that goes into making every square metre of a handknotted rug, and to see them stripped of their colour before being dyed garish synthetic colours, to me is along the same lines as spray painting the Statue of David gold.

    By all means, weave a rug to imitate the look, but I can’t love a rug that destroys a beautiful piece of handwork.

    • Reply decor8 November 11, 2010 at 1:45 am

      @Matilda – Hi! :) Maybe you missed the description because I agree with you if they were indeed ruining beautiful rugs to simply dye them — but the description makes a point to say that they’re not doing that — they are actually recycling rugs that are damaged and neutralizing them and then dying them. I guess these rugs would otherwise end up going unused or even discarded otherwise so I think the process and idea itself is actually quite clever.

  • Reply Pat langley November 11, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Very creative to dye the rug. I like!
    I once knew a young married who wanted a different color rug, so she painted it!!

  • Reply Mel HomeBody November 11, 2010 at 2:20 am

    What a fabulous idea … I love new creations reinvented from old things. (I’ll have the red one please :).
    ~ Mel.

  • Reply Beth Perry November 11, 2010 at 3:52 am

    wow! those are stunning! especially against that concrete!

  • Reply jenn November 11, 2010 at 3:53 am

    welcome back. these rugs are pretty flippin cool!! it is such a great idea for recycling with such a stong impact, love it!

  • Reply q November 11, 2010 at 4:56 am

    wow, what an amazing idea to recycle vintage carpets – love them!

  • Reply kayte November 11, 2010 at 5:15 am

    i love them and was thinking about trying an DIY overdye on my cheap-o kilim rug.
    we have a few found overdyed rugs at anthro and i got to merchandise with them at the accessories store. they are so vibrant and lovely.

  • Reply Alicia Parsons | Atypical Type A November 11, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I love combining old shabby objects with modern brights so this combines the two in one!

  • Reply Tricia November 11, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Funny I just was admiring a vintage-style “reform” rug in a popular furniture holiday catalog. Not as cool as these bright colors, though. Normally I’d lean toward the turquoise or pink, but this time I think the yellow one is great and would really brighten up a room:)

  • Reply Jess (Where My Heart Is) November 11, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I ADORE! It’s recycling really.

  • Reply Janine November 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Absolutely drop dead gorgeous! A classic with lots of pow wow!

  • Reply Nathalie November 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    i totally love these! the process creates a wonderful texture and raw earthy feel which is sooo hot with the bright colors. i’m drooling here!

  • Reply Christina November 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    These rugs are a great idea, I hope they’re on their way to Australia! I also hope that the process doesn’t rely on too many nasty chemicals…

  • Reply melissa November 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    if yours is anything like the pink patchwork i saw on the dhoku site, you are one lucky lady :)

  • Reply Michelle November 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I love the idea, but the prices at ABC Carpet are scary! I wonder how expensive it would be as a DIY project? I did something like this to transform several yards of vibrant hot pink linen (that I purchased at a major discount) into a color I could actually use. I used RIT Dye Remover to take the hot pink down to a softer color, then over-dyed it with purple RIT Dye. It ended up a lovely lavendar with peachy undertones. It was actually a quite fun project, because I had 2 pieces of the linen, originally the same shade of hot pink, but the dye remover transformed them into slightly different colors (one more peachy, one more yellowish.) So it was a bit of a mystery what color the final result would be once I put them into the dye bath. The same process would presumably work on a wool rug (although I would buy the dye in bulk to save money — and I’m not sure where I would find a large enough dye vat for a whole rug….)

  • Reply enna November 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    wow. pretty cool! do you think it’s possible to “diy” something like that? bleaching an old rug and putting fabric dye on it?

    • Reply decor8 November 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      @Enna – I don’t know but I’m willing to try with you!!!

  • Reply Katherine November 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    WOW! These are absolutely gorgeous. With the whole green movement going on, I can’t believe it has taken this long for someone to figure this out. I recently graduated with a degree in Interior Design, and will definitely be passing this on to my peers and colleagues!

  • Reply Emily Smith Pearce November 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Really interesting. Reminds me of a dyeing project I did once overdyeing some patterned sheets which I made into curtains. I’ll have to post pics of them since I still have them. I’m an amateur dye-er myself. I think it would be pretty hard to do as a DIY project for anything but a very small rug because you would need a huge vat in order to hold enough liquid to do the job. It’s fascinating to think about, though. Wool takes dye very well. Synthetics do not, so you would definitely need to check the fiber content.

  • Reply Kira November 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Oh my god, I need one! They’re gorgeous!

  • Reply Sara November 16, 2010 at 3:21 am

    I just love this idea. How fun! I’d like to try it as a DIY, too. My MIL has a ton of old, damaged, rugs…might have to experiment!

  • Reply Down and Out Chic November 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    i love them too! the colors are so vibrant and the bohemian vibe they exude is lovely.

  • Reply Rugs December 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Love the photographs selected of the ABC color reform collection. Keep up the great work!

  • Reply Jodie December 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    No one in Louisville KY knows about these that I can find. The prices at ABC are affordable on a few of the rugs which I am not crazy about. I have poured over Dhoku’s website, read all of their press, and emailed them. They will custom dye a 3′ x 5′ for $555 and charge $80 for shipping. They have given me their mailing address so that I can send paint samples. Payment is done via wiring funds to their bank. They email images of your rug and ship upon approval. I am not certain if I should move forward due to the risk involved with wiring the money and not receiving any product. Is this a smart thing to move ahead on? or no.

    • Reply decor8 December 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      @Jodie – I met one of the sons to the father who owns Dhoku, he sold me my rug. I think that is a great deal they’ve given you.
      Their clients include ABC Carpet + Home and the Terence Conran shop in London and New York, so they have a
      fine reputation and I would trust them based on my personal experience and knowing who their clients are. Tell them that you found them through me, because I bought a rug in November at their shop in the Grand Bazaar and wrote about it on my blog. It always helps to let people know that you are connected to those they’ve done business with as well. Doesn’t hurt!

  • Reply Jodie December 24, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Thank you soooo much Holly for taking the time to give me your input. That’s all I needed to move forward. I will definitely let them know how I heard their name. You’re right, that will help.
    Thanks for sharing the info with us….I’ve been stuck on this for a while. Can’t find one, can’t afford one, can’t make one and then your blog pulled through for me!

  • Reply Jack November 24, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I love the red and pink rug hanging on the wall!

  • Reply Jess January 9, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Totally digging on these!

  • Reply Jagentin January 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    WOW !! Can´t believe what I´m seeing – such a beautiful and decorative way to use grandma´s stuff. Totally love it!

  • Reply Barbara Summers December 2, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I LOVE color reform rugs. At present I’m test-driving one for 4 days that I found in a design store in my town. I absolutely love it but it is such a challenge for me to incorporate such a huge visual into my home. And the size isn’t perfect so I’m back pedaling which room it might work out in. That’s the thing with these rugs. If you see a design/color scheme that you love you want to move heaven and earth to make it work.

  • Reply daniel January 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for a great blog and posting – we have some beautiful overdyed rugs – we offer same quality and vibrant colors you will find at well know upscale stores .. at a much lower price tag – check us out at we would love to hear from you :-)

  • Reply Alisha October 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Beautiful Over dyed rugs, i just loved the second one from first row.

  • Reply Nazmiyal Rose January 7, 2014 at 8:18 am

    My eyes stayed at the dyed light purlple one. Amazing masterpiece. Loved so much. Blue one is also good.

  • Reply Rachel Miller December 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve never heard of this technique before! It’s really interesting and the final result is fascinating! Thank you for sharing ! My favorite is the purple one!

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