A good Persian oriental rug can be a wonderful addition to your home as well as a treasured family heirloom. Finding the best deal will require you to know a little bit about your purchase before you head out to a store (or online).
Persian rugs can come from many different countries such as Turkey, China, India, Afghanistan, Russia and Iran (which used to be called Persia). These rugs can come in small oval or round sizes all the way up to a room size carpet. Anything over 35 square feet is considered a carpet and not a rug.
Along with the variety of sizes and shapes there is also a choice of what the rugs can be made of. Some of them are made of silk, some wool and many of them a mixture of both.
A true Persian oriental rug will be hand made, the knots are made of either silk or wool and takes a great amount of time to make. The bigger the rug, the longer it will take to create. The artisans that make these rugs have often been trained for many years and the techniques are handed down in the same family for generations.
To determine if the rug was handmade and not simply a cheap machine made imitation all you have to do is to look at the back of it. If it wasn’t hand made, and it was made by machine, that means it is not worth nearly as much.
With a hand made rug, the pattern will be visible from the back as well as from the front. With a machine made rug, you won’t see the pattern on the back.
A hand made rug can also be detected by finding out whether or not it can be folded up. I know this may sound odd, but a hand made rug will be quite flexible and can literally be folded up like a blanket. This makes it a little easier to move, but it is still pretty heavy (if it’s a big rug). A machine made rug will lack this flexibility and won’t be able to be folded but will have to be rolled up.
One more thing to look for is to find out whether or not the fringe is sewn on to the main rug, which would indicate a machine made rug, or is a part of the main rug.
The age of the rug will also have a lot to do with how much you will have to pay for it. The older the rug, the more expensive it will be, as long as it’s in good shape. A rug that is fifty years old or older is considered an antique. A ‘semi-antique’ rug is one that is between ten and fifty years old. And a ‘new’ rug is one that is less than ten years old.
Learning a little about your Persian oriental rug before you head out to make your purchase will help you be sure to get that heirloom you really wanted and not get taken on a ‘magic carpet ride’.