Given the number of types, the quality of design, and the conditions of Oriental rugs, knowing what to look for can make the difference between finding a bargain or getting far less than you paid. As with any product, you should know the basics in terms of how the rugs are made, what they generally sell for, and whether you should purchase a new rug to brighten up your home or an antique rug as an investment.
When you see rugs for sale, here are a few tips that will help you determine the quality of the Oriental rugs you are seeing and which one to purchase.
Get to Know Oriental Rugs
You do not have to become an expert, but it does pay to find out more about how Oriental rugs are made, which types are the most desired, and how to properly price ones that you find.
Terms: There are a few basic terms you need to know which will help you in talking to a dealer;
- Central Medallion: This is the circle or diamond-shaped motif in the middle of the rug.
- Field: The background of the rug
- Fringe: The edge of the rug
- Guard Stripes: The rectangle created around the inner and outer border area
- Main Border: The area just inside the fringe
- Pile Direction: The direction in which the rug was weaved from top to bottom
Creating the Rug: The rugs are created on a loom using strands of wool or cotton that are stretched from beam to beam. The weaver will make wefts or horizontal rows in-between the warps that bracket the sides of the rug. The warps are then tied together with a simple knot. To create a rug that is 6’ x 9’, it usually takes about six months.
Types: Remember that there are different types of Oriental rugs for sale, so you should be familiar with the types. Generally speaking, each type of rug is denoted by the region or tribe which makes it.
Keep in mind that each type will have a price range that varies about 20% depending on the dealer. So, if you see a rug that is well outside that price range, you should get an explanation as to why first before buying.
Purchase or Investment
Amid the many different types of rugs, there is a strong distinction between new and antique. A new rug is priced by the square foot while an antique is sold by the piece.
New Rugs: New Oriental rugs are quite beautiful thanks and offer a great decorative appeal. They are also long-lasting, so with a little care your purchase should last a long time. However, new rugs are not considered valuable like antiques, so you should not consider them long-term investments. This is because the demand and manufacture of rugs for sale is such that your purchase will not increase much in value over time.
Antiques: These are rugs which are at least several decades, if not centuries old. Most Persian rugs that are sold in the US are antiques because new ones have been forbidden from sale since the late 1970s. A good antique rug is quite valuable and will increase in value considerably over time, making them a strong investment.
However, there are less-than-honest dealers who might try to pass off a new rug for an antique one. There are a few tips to help you identify which is new and which is the real antique;
Dealer: Do you know and trust the dealer? Most dealers are reputable, but some may not be. Telling the difference may be difficult, but you can try to check out their background, especially if they are new to your community.
Repairs: A proper repair on an antique will almost not be noticeable. Look at the back of the rug to see if any repairs have been made. A repair on the back that is barely noticeable will not affect the value of antique rugs. However, obvious repairs and rugs with missing parts such as no border will affect the value considerably.
If something strikes you as being wrong, go ahead and check out the dealer and their track history with selling antique rugs. Be sure to ask questions and feel comfortable before you decide to invest in an antique rug.
Choose the Right Rugs for Sale
If you are looking for Oriental rugs that are new, then you should ask a few questions about those which you find interesting.
Location of the Wool: The best wools from New Zealand and Tibetan carpet wool. The wool is soft, but quite durable and will last a long time with minimal maintenance. Beware of wool that seems too soft and shiny as it may be chemically treated and inferior in most regards.
Knot Density: You’ll want to check out the density of the knots by pressing your fingers into the pile base. You can feel the number and density of the knots to know whether it is durable or not. A dense string of knots means that the rug will be quite durable. But if the knots are loose or give under gentle pressure, then the rug may start falling apart in a short time.
Trial Run: Just like giving a new car a spin before you buy it, many dealers will let you take the rug home for a day or two to see how it looks in your home. Make sure you see the rug in daylight and nighttime to ensure it’s the one for you.
Choosing from the many Oriental rugs for sale is no easy task, but you can avoid purchasing a bad rug if you know a little about how they are made, what to look for, and checking out the source. A dealer who has been doing business in your community for many years is a good place to find the best Oriental rugs. Just remember, when a deal sound too good to be true, it most likely is.