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Oriental Rugs: How to Buy One

You’ve decided to buy an Oriental rug. But you’re uncertain what you should look for in your purchase. Aside from choosing an Oriental rug for its design and color, there are other important elements to look for when selecting the right Oriental rug for your room.

Don’t Judge the Quality by the Knots or the Country of Origin

While many novices believe that purchasing an Oriental rug means counting the knots, in fact not only are there more important things to look for, the number of knots has more to do with the design than the quality of the Oriental rug. For instance, while a geometric design may have less than 100 knots per square inch, a floral pattern with more detail may have 300 or more.

Instead look for a tight, regular weave that clearly defines the design as well as an Oriental rug that is made of high-quality wool and color-fast dyes. You can test for color-fastness by rubbing a damp cloth over a dark area of the rug. The color should not come off.

Many consider the wool from the sheep of New Zealand best for carpet manufacturing, like the wool used in this hand-knotted Imperial Wool Rug from India. And speaking of India, at one time Persia (Iran today) was considered the premiere source for Oriental rugs. However, over the years other countries such as India, Pakistan, China and Turkey have all risen to claim a place for quality Oriental rugs which not only rival, but in many cases surpass the quality of the Persian originals; though some rug experts hold out that Oriental rugs are not the same as Persian rugs.

Look at the Age, Condition and Demand

As with most things, the price for Oriental rugs is influenced by the design, color and demand. So while certain tones might be popular the way olive green and harvest gold were back in the sixties, times change and so do tastes.  That means it is important not to focus exclusively on color and design trends, but instead to look for Oriental rugs that are classic in style and coloring so they will retain their value.

Though traditionally as Oriental rugs age they increase in value, it will depend greatly on their condition. That means it is important to treat them with care as obvious wear and tear will decrease their value.

Keep in mind that rugs from natural fibers such as silk and wool are the easiest to find. Silk is generally the most expensive; however, wool is the most popular because of its durability, flexibility and the ease with which it can be woven and dyed. High quality wool Oriental rugs such as this gorgeous blue Adana Wool Rug can add years of beauty to any home.

How to Find the Perfect Oriental Rug

It goes without saying that the best way to find your perfect Oriental rug is to take the time and do your homework. Look at lots of rugs to identify not only the styles and colors that are available, but what styles and designs catch your eye. Compare prices and dealers to find a reputable firm that will answer your questions and not pressure you to buy.

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