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Article: How to Find The Ideal Oriental Carpets and Rugs for Your Home

How to Find The Ideal Oriental Carpets and Rugs for Your Home

How to Find The Ideal Oriental Carpets and Rugs for Your Home

Oriental rugs are becoming an intrinsic part of modern home designs. If you are planning to have one of the Ideal Oriental Carpets and Rugs with priceless historical value as a part of the many attractive additions to your home, prepare yourself to deal with some mighty challenges unless you have good knowledge about Oriental carpets and rugs and know want to look for while buying an authentic piece.

Oriental rugs are a class apart and can add a degree of uniqueness and class to your home or office. However, there are some challenges you must deal with while purchasing these priceless possessions.

Of course, some helpful oriental rug buying tips will certainly make your carpet buying journey easy. These tips will help you understand Oriental rugs better and make a purchase more confidently.

As the name reveals, Oriental rugs come from the East. The best traditional rugs with cashback have their origin in the Middle East, South Asia, or the Far East. Countries like Tibet, India, Iran, and Pakistan have a carpet weaving history that’s the envy of the world. The carpets and rugs from these countries have a certain uniqueness to them as they are crafted by hand by traditional weavers using indigenous tools and methods.

They are regarded as a work of art and made of the finest fibers that include cotton, wool, and silk. The design of each carpet varies and is largely dictated by the region and sub-region of its origin.

These are the things you must know before you finalize a carpet buying deal.

What Makes An Oriental Rug Expensive?

Authentic Oriental rugs and carpets from ancient times have a high premium value attached to them. There are five key reasons for this premium pricing of authentic oriental rugs. They are

  • The age of the rug
  • Knot Density
  • Weaving techniques used
  • Kind of fiber used


Age Of Rugs:

The older the rugs, the more expensively priced they are. That’s the thumb rule of the commerce of the carpets and rugs industry. Mass-produced rugs of today are priced lower than a hand-woven carpet created on a family heirloom. These types of Oriental rugs have become very rare and are likely to be found only in auctions and displays in museums.

Knot Density:

Knot Density is a crucial factor in determining the quality of Oriental rugs and carpets. It is a measure of the strength and durability of the rug, with the durability quotient increasing with higher density. The knotting is measured as knots per square inch. A 16/18 count indicates the best quality, with 16 denoting the knots in the horizontal inch and 16 the number of knots in the vertical inch. If you come across a carpet with knotting mentioned as 12/12, you can safely assume that the carpet is just about average quality.

The Persian rugs (Origin Tabrizes) is believed to have 400 knots, while the coarse rugs from Herizes have just 50 knots. Rugs made during the olden days in the Tibet range have knots in the range of 60 to 120 knots per square inch. As is evident, the knotting system worked differently in different carpet-making regions of the world.

To know if your carpet has good knot density, press your fingers down on the carpet till the base of the pile. A tightly packed feel indicates high knot density and hence higher durability.

Weaving Techniques Used:

Weaving is the core element of all Oriental carpets. An authentic carpet distinguishes itself by its type of weaving. You can instinctively know of a carpet is a genuine work of art or a lazy attempt to make it appear like one by the weaving efforts that have gone into its creation. Authentic Oriental and Persian rugs and carpets from Turkey and Iran are regarded as the best. These countries were part of the erstwhile Persian Empire, which is regarded as the home of carpet weaving. The region has a rich history for making magnificent pieces of art using intricate interlacing of the finest threads.

Oriental carpets stand apart because of their luxurious thick pile of threads. They are created by laboriously adding rows and rows of hand-tied knots in rows to the warp threads. The weft threads are interlaced above them and then packed down using a comb-designed mechanism.

FAQs to Help You Make the Best Oriental Rugs Buying Decisions

Knot Techniques

Persian carpets stand apart because of their thick surfaces created through an intricate weaving process. with an important step added. Handmade knots are added to the warp threads in rows while weaving the carpets. The weft threads are then interwoven above them and pushed down with a device to make it compact and to hold the knots in place.

Knot Types 

  • The Persian or Senneh knot is also known as the ‘asymmetrical’ knot. In this type of knot, the yarn is wrapped around one warp thread, passed under the immediate next warp, and then goes out to the surface.
  • The Ghiorde knot, also known as the ‘symmetrical’ knot. It is also known as the Turkish knot. In this type of knot, the yarn is wrapped around two warp threads. Each end of the yarn piece is then wrapped behind a warp and it comes back to the surface to create a highly durable rug.
  • The Jufti knot is associated with carpets and rugs made in Iran. In this type of carpet design, the yarn is wrapped around four warp threads. It’s a
  • time-consuming process. On completion of the weaving, the pile surface has to be trimmed carefully to make sure that all the tarns have the same thickness.

Kind of Fiber Used:

Most carpets and rugs that come from the East are made of wool. A few have silk threads which make them very expensive. Some merchants may try to sell you carpets with synthetic rayon threads. These are artificial silk threads and may look and feel like silk but they are not and must be avoided.

Know The Industry Technical Jargon

While shopping for Oriental carpets and rugs, you might hear the showroom person or the salesperson using some terms that might sound Hebrew to you. Every industry has its own technical terms and specific jargon. A knowledge of these terms can help you communicate better with the sellers. Besides, when you use these terms, the sellers will also be alerted to the fact that you know a thing or two about carpets. It will deter unscrupulous sellers from trying their sales tricks on you. Some of the commonly used terms in the Oriental carpet industry are:

  • Boteh – A motif in the shape of a pine cone or flame
  • Durries: A woven rug made in India
  • Guard Stripes: Thin bands surrounding the primary border
  • Handle: A term for measuring the flexibility of the carpet
  • Reciprocal design: A motif having the same pattern throughout the rug but in contrasting colors.
  • Runner: Rugs used in hallways and staircases. They are long but narrow.

Key Factors To Focus On:

Experts do not recommend buying an Oriental rug just because you feel like owning one. It must be a well thought out process. You must also be willing to spend some time because it is a major investment. Time constraints and ignorance may lead to a poor carpet buying decision which you may have to regret for a long time. Look for a carpet that will add to the aesthetic value of your home. It must complement the various elements of your house. An authentic Oriental carpet will serve your home for a long time, so make sure you buy a piece that makes your heart jump.

Some Commonly Found Blemishes

You can use the services of a rug expert to ease the purchase process and ensure that you get the best value for your money. These are the key factors to look for while buying authentic Oriental rugs and carpets:


Signs of repair include patchwork and some deft needlework to camouflage damage. It may impact the cost, but a genuinely done patchwork job to save an authentic rug is acceptable.

Multiple Copies:

There are many instances of exact duplicates of an authentic carpet going around in the market. Here, the role of a rug expert becomes crucial. Close inspection by experts is necessary to understand whether you are investing in an original or a good imitation that has poor value.

Damaged and/or Missing Borders:

A missing border or any element that constitutes an authentic carpet or rug can slash its value substantially. Avoid buying carpets that appear to have tinkered borders.

Permanent stains:

The fine threads of authentic carpets can quickly absorb stains. In many cases, these stains do not come off easily and completely, even when cleaned using advanced technology and processes. A permanent stain can reduce the value of an antique rug significantly.

Where to Buy From:

When you are planning to make a substantial investment, it is obvious that you cannot compromise on quality and must look for nothing less than the best. Do not fall for the sales pitches of rug caravans that move around pitching what they claim are “rare and authentic rugs”. Buy from a reputed, well-established, and trusted resource specializing in carpets and rugs of the finest quality.


FAQs to Help You Make the Best Oriental Rugs Buying Decisions

FAQs To Help You Make The Best Oriental Rugs Buying Decisions:

What is the ideal cost of an authentic Oriental carpet?

There is no ideal cost of an oriental carpet as no two authentic carpets are the same. However, there are categories and they operate within a price range. A rug measuring 6’ X 9’ may cost you anywhere between $1000 and $5000.

How many knots per square inch does a good rug have?

Knot density is measured as KPSI (per inch) or KPSC (per centimeter). The knot density starts from 25 KPSI and could reach up to 1000 KPSI and even more. Rugs with a knot density of 80 KPSI or less are regarded as inferior quality. Those with 120/330 KPSI are rated as medium/good. Rugs with more knots are rated as very good by experts.

Details of the knot density of some popular carpets:

  • Pazyryk carpet – 234 KPSI
  • Ardabil carpets – 300 to 350 KPSI
  • Silk Mughal carpet – 2516 KPSI
  • Hereke prayer rug – 4360 KPSI

According to information available, a rug made in the Özipeks workshops which is a silk Hereke masterpiece has the highest recorded rug knot density of approximately 10,000. The estimated production time is over 15 years.

Which country makes the best oriental rugs?

Every rug-making country has its special touch and unique identity when it comes to making these masterpieces. There is a deep influence of local culture on the designs, weaving methods, materials used, and other aspects that go into making fine quality rugs. Some countries that are synonymous with high-quality and authentic carpets and rugs are:

  • Turkey
  • Iran
  • Afghanistan
  • Tibet
  • India
  • Pakistan 

Is it a good idea to buy used Oriental rugs?

If the idea is to create a collection of vintage Oriental rugs and carpets, you can go ahead hunting for all types, including old and used ones. If you have plans for buying modern rugs for your home or office, you can consider buying used rugs provided they are real, authenticated by a reputed agency, and have no signs of repair, patch-ups, and wear and tear. Many shops offering antique carpets for sale but look for one that has been in business for a long time.

Where To Buy Oriental Rugs From:

A good purchase of oriental rugs and carpets is one made from an authentic resource. Most buyers face a problem in identifying such a resource. Therefore, it makes sense to buy from trusted names. Research and shortlist names of some of the most reputed local carpet dealers around you. Even if they are located in a different city, travel is worth the effort considering the value of your investment.

Some traditional sellers also stock and offer machine-made rugs and carpets that mimic the original ones to a significant extent. An honest Oriental rug dealer will not try to hide facts and will provide you the option of investing in an original or a replica.

You can also look at online bidding options but enter only those managed and hosted by the top names in the business.

Have Realistic ExpectationsIt might not be possible for you to zero in on the exact Oriental carpet or rug that grabbed your attention in some designer magazines or celebrity homes. They are either unique single-piece masterworks or custom-made. You are unlikely to find a carpet of that exact design and style elsewhere. You must have an open approach to styles, shapes, and colors to broaden the opportunity to explore design options. The world of vintage oriental rugs is intriguing and unpredictable. You can explore a ton of possibilities, and yet there will always be room for more.

Don’t Waste Time Looking For Perfection

There’s no such thing as a perfect oriental rug. An authentic carpet or rugs will be worn out in a certain way because of the natural wear and tear effects and that of the climate. You must focus more on how the inconsistencies of these rugs were balanced by artisans. An original rug with its inconsistencies and defects will still look beautiful and will have great value as well. On the other hand, trying to hide these natural defects by dubious means will make the rug lose its charm and value.

Your Carpet-Buying Journey Made Easy

The information provided in the blog can go a long way in helping you deal with the challenges of finding and buying the kind of original and authentic Oriental carpets and rugs that you always wanted to own. First-time buyers must be extra cautious because they are treading in completely alien territory. They will benefit better by using the information provided here, as they will have some thumb rules to go by while shopping for rugs and carpets of their choice.

For technical assistance in choosing the right rugs and carpets, using the services of a qualified expert is highly recommended. In any case, these tips will act as a reliable and solid foundation to support you in every stage of the carpet-buying journey.

Finding the perfect rug for your household or commercial establishment could be a long and arduous task. But you can make it short and convenient by buying from a dealer with a great reputation and impeccable credentials.

The Right Resource For The Best-Quality Carpets And Rugs

Istanbul Rugs is one of the most dependable and finest rug distributors operating out of San Francisco. The premier carpet and rug shop has unmatched experience and expertise in working with designers and clients across the world. This is easily one of the most desired resources of buyers looking for the widest collection of handmade carpets and rugs.

Istanbul Rug, the trusted rug store Berkeley, is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of rugs and carpets backed by the support of an experienced design staff known for their expertise in guiding customers into making the best buying decisions based on their needs and budget. They also offer rug repair and restoration services. You can get your carpets cleaned here in an advanced setting and by trained professionals using the most advanced cleaning processes and technologies.

We are the premier source of luxurious handmade area rugs. Our exquisite showrooms located in San Rafael & Berkeley, carry the largest collection of Modern, Oriental & Traditional Rugs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Marin County. Contact us or call at our respective showroom locations for any area rugs-related inquiries. Berkeley: 510-848-9999 San Rafael: 628-253-5454

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