Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs originate in many countries, the majority of which are on the Asian continent. Construction and design are indicative of the many cultures within each region. An Oriental rug's value is dependent on numerous factors and is an investment that will increase over time.

Types of Oriental Rugs

Authentic Oriental rugs are hand-woven in many countries including Turkey, Iran (Persia), Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, and China. Hand-knotted rugs may take months to create. Oriental rugs may be a combination of materials, with wool being the most common and silk the most costly. It is common for a rug's base to be made of cotton or synthetic material.

The weave, or knot density, of an Oriental rug may affect its value, but should not be a determining factor. The knots per square inch (kpsi), or knots in seven centimeters (raj) may not be identifiable in all types of rugs. Chinese rugs, for instance, may calculate the knots per linear foot.

Rug patterns fall within two categories, each containing multitudes of different designs that are simple to complex in color and content. Any types of swirling or floral designs are classified as curvilinear; geometric designs are called rectilinear. The central part of the rug is the ’field’ area, while the border acts as a frame for the main design.

A reputable dealer will discuss in detail the intricate parts of a rug, including the pile, warp and weft threads, dye method, design, and how the rug is edged. They can also advise on the differences in nomadic, country, and city carpets; verify the age of a carpet; and attest to its authenticity.

Purchasing an Oriental Rug

Established and reputable dealers are located in most cities; many have online businesses. Be cautious when shopping with weekend-only vendors or at going out of business sales. The Oriental rug market is historically attractive to those who may not deal in authentic products.A rug should come with a Certificate of Authentication that lists the:

  • Country of origin
  • Estimated value
  • Design description
  • Type or style.

Oriental Rug Care

Vacuum or sweep Oriental rugs with a light touch once a week. Rotate rugs to reduce the impact in heavy traffic areas. A professional should clean Oriental rugs at least once every two years. Be sure that the cleaning company has specific expertise with handmade rugs.

Most spot cleaning can be administered at home. A first aid kit for Oriental rugs should include seltzer, a clothes brush, white vinegar, alcohol, and a mild dish detergent. A few stains, such as rust, mildew, and permanent markers require immediate care by a professional.

Never allow an Oriental rug to retain moisture. Dry it quickly to prevent damage. Oriental rugs should be rolled��not folded, for transport or storage.


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