How to Purchase an Oriental Rug
The following are five basic areas you will need to be acquainted
with in order to make a wise rug purchase.
Material of the Rug
Most rugs are woven in wool. Some are done in silk and some are a mixture
of wool and silk. Today a number of rugs are also artfully done in cotton.
How the Rug is Made
An average-size Oriental rug can take an artist a full year or longer to
weave. When the rugs is on the loom the vertical strings that form the foundation are
known as the warp and the horizontal is known as the weft. The knots are hand-tied threads
that form the pile. They are tied in rows on the warp. The pile is the thickness of the
rug. Often, fine rugs have a thin, but dense, pile.
Country of Origin
To be a true Oriental, a rug must be woven by hand in one of a few
traditional rug-weaving countries, including Iran (formerly Persia), Caucasus,
Turkey, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan&kashmir. In past years the country of origin has
been the main indicator of general quality and still is in evaluating old and antique
rugs. New rugs from Pakistan and some from China can rival or surpass the quality
standards set by authentic Persian rugs.
Significance of Rug Design
Oriental rugs come in geometric or decorative designs. The geometric rugs
are usually hand woven by nomadic peoples usually in village environments and done in
Some of the areas known for their geometric designs are the Caucasus, Hamadan, Tabriz and
Turkey. Floral designs usually come from larger cities with more sophisticated looms such
as Kashan, Heriz, Kerman, Mashad and Isfahan.
Density of Knots
Knot density refers to the number of knots per square inch that are woven
into a rug. The finer the knot, the more labor involved in the hand weaving of the rug.
Knot density should be used only as one of the criteria for judging a rug quality.
Distinguishing Quality and Price
Value and quality are determined by knot density, either its from China,
Pakistan or Iran (persia) Iranian rugs are very selective now. Also, the more detail or the
more elaborate the rug also influences the price. The floral designs done on city looms as
well as the rugs that include floral bird and animal designs brig a higher price. A good
Oriental rug, properly cared for, will increase in value over the years.
Taking the First Step Toward
Purchasing Your Rug
Now that you are familiar with Oriental rugs, it is time to grace your home or office
with one of these pieces of art. We encourage you to study your floor space and think
about colors. Interior designers recommend purchasing your rug first and building the room
from that focal point.