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How to Begin the Search for an Oriental Rug

 

Before you purchase an Oriental rug, do a little research to find out which ones make the best investments and will fit within your budget

Oriental rugs are beautiful pieces of art. Authentic rugs, most of which originate on the Asian continent, are handmade in a variety of shapes and price ranges.

Machined rugs are also readily available and just as beautiful. However, they will not maintain a long-lasting beauty nor will their value increase over decades.

If you are planning on this very special purchase, always visit reputable dealers. You can attend weekend and going-out-of-business sales at your own risk. Rarely can you depend on the authentication that is touted by these dealers.

Beginners are sometimes confused between the terms Persian and Oriental. Authentic Persian rugs are produced only in Iran. The patterns and construction in Persian rugs are indicative to the region; they cannot - and should not - be duplicated elsewhere. The materials in true Oriental rugs will be wool or silk woven into a cotton base. They are hand-knotted, but the depth of the pile may vary somewhat.

The most expensive rugs are made of silk. They are more dense and lustrous. Some dealers will attempt to market rayon-made rugs as silk; these will never wear like silk, not are they considered of any value.

Knots per square inch (kpsi) will help determine the price of the rug. Tribal rugs will have less kpsi than city rugs and Chinese rugs are measured by linear foot rather than inches. City rugs are typically made for the consumer while tribal and country rugs are created for personal use. Also, city rugs will have less nap so the details of the design are more distinctive.

Imported rugs may undergo a chemical wash, which gives the colors an enhanced luster and the rug itself a special sheen. Some washes are used to make a rug look like an antique and buyers should be alert when a rug is advertised as such.

When you find a rug pattern and size that you like, always inspect it from the back. Look for breaks in the foundation or signs of repairs. The edges should be straight and the fringe should look new (with the exception of antique rugs).

A reputable dealer will be knowledgeable in all areas of rug quality and type. He or she can explain the intricacies of Oriental rugs and work with you in finding the perfect rug for your home and budget. Authentic rugs will have certificates that state the specifics of origin.

Once you come to appreciate the heirloom quality of Oriental rugs, you'll want to add to your collection.

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