How to Pick a Good Persian Rug?

How to Pick a Good Persian Rug?
 
 
 
 

A Persian rug instantly adds class, elegance, and charm to any room. It is one of the few household items that can last for decades and passed down from one generation to another. With infinite choices of patterns, colors, sizes, and fabrics, you can never go wrong with a Persian rug. And in India, you will find a wide variety of Persian rugs in an oriental rug store. If you are new to the Persian rug industry, picking a good Persian rug can be overwhelming. But, don’t sweat it. We share tips on what to look for when buying a Persian rug.

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Check the Material

Traditional Persian carpets are made from silk, wool, or a blend of silk and wool. If the material is 100 percent pure silk, the rug will be quite fine and have a shiny finish. However, wool is the most commonly used material. Now, the quality of the material differs depending on the breed of sheep, pasturage, the climate, and the time of shearing. Keep in mind that handwoven carpets are made with wool and silk, which are high quality and flame resistant. Machine-made carpets, on the other hand, are made of synthetic fibers, which are highly flammable.

Check the Colors

Colors are what make the Persian rugs attractive. Traditional rugs are made from natural dyes. For example, they use the indigo plant for the blue color, cochineal insects for reds, and pomegranate rind for shades of yellow. To distinguish between a machine-made carpet and a handwoven one, pick it up and bend it. You should notice a subtle unevenness on the surface. If the dye has penetrated the fiber evenly, then you are dealing with synthetic dyes.

Design

While the design doesn't necessarily dictate the quality of a Persian rug, you may want to check how intricate it looks. The more intricate the design, the more likely it is from skilled and reputable experts. It also means that the experts who created the carpet were highly experienced, and they crafted it with finesse. Traditional Persian rugs producers haven’t been influenced by western consumer demands, that’s why they still feature some of the oldest traditional motifs that reflect natural elements typical to the Middle East. Some common patterns include a ram’s horns, trees, husks and so on. These symbols signify fertility, prosperity, and luck.

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Image: Shutterstock

High Knot Count

You probably are wondering how you can count the number of knots in a Persian rug? Well, you don’t have to. But, the thing with traditional Persian carpets is that they are handwoven on a loom. The knot density is a key indicator in rug quality as it reveals its durability and strength. Depending on the country of production, the rugs sport unique knot density. For example, Indian rugs are measured in terms of warps by wefts for every 10 cm while the rest are quantified by knots per square inch. While you cannot count the knots per square inch, you can use your bare hands to feel the base of the pile. The more tightly packed, the higher the knot density and the more durable the Persian rug.

Choose Your Dealers Wisely

Persian rugs serve as heirlooms or antiques that are decades old. Plus, they don’t come cheap. So you may want to choose your source wisely and be sure that you can trust them. Many rugs can be made to look like antiques, and sometimes, it can be difficult to note the difference. Check for aging signs and patches, usually by looking at the back of the rug. Repairs are expected but look out for obvious defects that can't be restored.

Get the Right Size

Don’t forget to measure the size and shape of the room you intend to fit the carpet. Round rugs look better under round tables or armchairs while rectangular rugs are perfect for the dining table, coffee table, and the living room.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

Look for a Persian rug that complements your room color. Luckily, many Persian rugs come with easy-to-match colors that can blend with your decorative style. Additionally, these rugs come in unlimited and intricate designs. Opt for a pattern that inspires you. At first glance, they may look similar, but if you take a closer look, you will notice the uniqueness of each rug. Quality is a key factor when choosing a Persian rug. The higher the quality, the pricier the rug. And, since this is an investment, consider one that you will pass down to your children. Machine-made rugs may look beautiful and attractive, but don’t let the looks deceive you. Handmade rugs last longer.

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