Oriental Rugs, Persian Rugs, Turkish Rugs

Rug Myths

If every rug tells a story, some are more truthful than others. When shopping for Turkish rugs or Persian rugs, you may hear the dealer tells a little tale about the history of the rug itself. Perhaps it’s true or perhaps it’s just interesting, but whatever the case stories about rugs tend to grow over time until they take on a life of their own.

What follows are a few myths that have been spread about Oriental rugs which need to be straightened out before you go shopping for one on your own.

Use Rug Pads
One weird myth is that rug pads somehow damage the rug. Actually, rug pads keep the rug from slipping which increases their life and protects their value. The rug will also feel thicker, smooth out any bumps or dips in the floor, and perhaps most importantly absorb the noise of foot traffic. Of course, you should only choose the right pads for your rug to get the most out of them. Poor rug pads may indeed do damage to the rug, so only purchase the quality ones.

Design Does Not Identify an Oriental Rug
The design of the rug is just one of several components that identify it, such as Persian rugs or Turkish rugs.

  • Construction
  • Type of Knots
  • Type of Signature
  • Age or Textile
  • Origin

All these factors go towards identifying a rug.

Age Does Not Mean a Rug is More Expensive
Being an old rug helps, but it’s the condition that is the determining factor in how much it is worth. An old rug that is in poor condition will not be worth much at all. Even an old rug in good condition does not make it valuable if it does not have any artistic qualities. It may seem counterintuitive, but an old rug that can be restored will have its value increase.

Rugs Do Not Always Appreciate in Value
Most rugs that were created after World War II have not appreciated in value higher than the inflation rate. In fact, due to the sheer number of new rugs being produced, most people paid more in the 1960s and 1970s compared to today. Plus, the rugs will vary in price depending on demand, so what was once scarce and expensive yesterday may be unpopular and cheap today.

The Number of Knots is Not the Best Indication of Value
This is one of the more popular stories in that the more knots that are in a rug, the greater its value. The truth is that while the number of knots may be important, there are several other determining factors. The overall quality, design, and demand will play larger roles in determining the value of the rug. But it is generally true that the more knots, the better the quality assuming that the rug itself is still in good condition.

Put a Protector on the Rug
There is one persistent myth about not putting a protector on the rug because it will damage the pile and threads. This is not true as rug protectors are quite good at repelling dirt, dust, and possible stains while not damaging the rug itself. A proper rug protector will not stop all stains from occurring, but it will help protect the value of the rug and make it easier to clean.

Don’t Put Silk Rugs on the Floor
Silk is not only delicate, but expensive which is why they should be displayed on the wall or kept in proper storage. Silk is also not very durable and will not last as long compared to wool. Worse, once a silk rug is soiled, it can be quite difficult to fully clean and restore them to their original appearance. There is little doubt that a silk rug is beautiful and make the perfect display for your wall, so keep them off the floor.

You Should Vacuum Oriental Rugs
Because most of the dirt and debris that gets embedded in rugs can damage the pile and threads, vacuuming will help lower the threat. You can combine vacuuming with occasional professional cleaning depending on how much soil gets embedded in the rug. Just remember not to vacuum the fringe as it might become damaged by the brushes.

Wet-Cleaning is Okay, too
If the rug is well-constructed, the proper wet cleaning should be fine. There should be a colorfast test before you wet clean to ensure the colors do not run. You should also bring the rug to a professional cleaner and not have it done at home. Unless you store your rug or hang it from the wall, expect to wet clean it every three to four years depending on the amount of dirt and stains that it builds up over that time.

Use Professional Cleaning Services
Unless you have been cleaning rugs for years with good results, it is best to leave such services to the professionals. You’ll want to hire a company that has experience in cleaning Oriental rugs both new and not so new. You’ll want to take the rug to their location, so their equipment can be used for proper cleaning. The good companies will use products that are safe not only for the rug, but for your home as well. This means that they will take care of your rug to ensure its value.

Persian Rugs are Not Necessarily the Best Rugs
There is little doubt that Persian rugs are popular, but that is in part due to the embargo that took place from 1979 to 1999. While Persian rugs might have been the best before 1979, their overall quality has not improved while rugs from other areas, such as Turkish rugs, have risen in quality. While there are still high-quality Persian rugs being made, they are not necessarily the best.

If you own Turkish rugs, Persian rugs, or other varieties of Oriental rugs, you’ll want to know the facts about how to judge their value, how to keep them clean, and how to protect them so that you can maintain their value over time.

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