If you are considering making a purchase of a Persian wool rug, take some time to learn a little bit about what this type of rug is, and isn’t, so you don’t get scammed in to paying too much or getting a fake.
The name ‘Persian’ rugs can be a little confusing. Today what was once Persia is now Iran, but rugs from many other countries such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkey and China, can also be categorized as ‘Persian Rugs’. These fine rugs have been made for centuries and are considered the finest rugs on the planet.
Oriental rugs can be made of silk and, of course, the Persian wool rug, which is obviously made of wool. These rugs only grow in value, as long as they are well cared for, over the years. For that reason an older rug will usually cost more than a newer rug. Any rug that is over 50 years old is considered antique. From 50 to 10 years old is semi antique and less than 10 years old is considered new.
One way to estimate if the rug is old or new is to look closely at the base of the knots. If the fabric is faded evenly from top to bottom that is a sign that the rug has aged naturally and has been exposed to sunlight for quite a long time. Be careful of any rug where the fade pattern is uneven since that is a sign that someone has tried to make the rug appear older by artificially aging the fibers.
The age of the rug is but one determination of price. Whether or not the rug is genuine, and hand made, versus a copy and machine made will also play a big part in figuring out what a reasonable price should be. To determine whether or not the rug is hand made there are several characteristics you will need to look for.
The first, and easiest to spot, is the way the rug was constructed. For example, a traditional Persian rug will have hand made knots of fiber. If the pattern of the rug is virtually the same on the back as on the front you know that the rug was handmade.
If you can’t see the pattern on the back of the rug than it was machine made and therefore not as valuable. Another test is to examine the fringe. If the fringe is just an extension of the main rug it is handmade. If the fringe is a piece that was sewn on to the main part of the rug than it is machine made.
Another unique characteristic of a hand made rug is that it can be folded up. You can fold it up for transport and though it will be heavy, you are able to fold it like a sheet. A machine made rug will lack that level of flexibility and can only be rolled.
A fine Persian wool rug can become a treasured family heirloom that can be passed down to your children and grand children. Just make sure that you know what you are getting when you go shopping otherwise you won’t end up with an heirloom at all.