If you’ve never bought an Oriental rug before, you may be a little confused and overwhelmed by the dizzying number of factors that determine the price – and value – of a rug. At first glance, you might assume, for instance, that rugs are sold like many other things – where the overall size of the piece determines the price, or perhaps that there’s a “Good/Better/Best” set of features that you can use to determine the kind of rug you can afford. But rugs are…different. As with anything that is hand-crafted, much more goes into the making of a rug than meets the eye. “Think of the following as Oriental Rugs 101,” a (brief) overview of the ins and outs of rugs that will give you the basic knowledge you need in order to make an informed decision on your rug purchase.
Where to Start
1. WHAT IS A PERSIAN RUG? HOW DO I KNOW IT IS AUTHENTIC RATHER THAN A “KNOCK-OFF”?
A handmade Persian rug is made in Iran, using superior materials, dyeing processes, and designs that have been used for thousands of years. Over the past few decades, other countries such as India, Pakistan, and China have tried to copy the Persian designs. The term “Oriental” carpets incorporates these other countries. However, only rugs made in Iran are true Persian Rugs.
2. HOW CAN I TELL IF ITS A HANDMADE RUG?
Machine vs. Hand-made rugs. One way to tell is by looking at the back of the rug. The machines make a uniform warp and weft grid that looks wholly different from the variations and slightly wavy wraps and wefts of a hand made rug. The tightness of the weave and again looking at the back of the rug to make sure it is as clear a design on the back as it is on the front is another indication. A Persian rug will have a label on it indicating its country of origin. A master designer and weaver will sometimes sign their rug. “Their signature incorporated into the design in the middle of upper edge of the rug.”
3. WHAT AGE CLASSIFICATION IS GIVEN TO RUGS?
NEW= Less then 50 years old SEMI-ANTIQUE= 50-80 years old ANTIQUE= Above 80 years old
4. WHAT DETERMINES THE RUG VALUE?
Hand-made rugs are more valuable then machine-made rugs and they don’t tend to lose value after usage, the older the rug gets the more valuable it becomes. Knot count is one way to determine the value the higher the knots on the back of the rug, means the longer it took to make the rug which makes it more valuable.