Whether as a textile designer or painter, anyone familiar with my work knows that I love oriental rugs. They are my passion, my muse, and they have an enduring influence on my work. That’s reason it is so interesting for me to share my knowledge of buying Persian rugs.
First, let’s discuss what an oriental rug is. The term oriental carpet refers to handmade carpets from the Asian continent, including Turkey, Iran (Persia), Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Persian carpets are oriental carpets, but not all oriental carpets are Persian carpets. Throughout history, Persia has always been considered the world’s carpet weaving center. It has been considered the “leader” for thousands of years. Until recently, most oriental carpets sold in the United States came from Persia (Iran). It is widely believed that Persian carpets are the best in the world.
Suppose anyone owns oriental carpets woven in Iran. It is considered the most advanced. The fact is that while there are good quality Iranian carpets, other carpets are ranging from ordinary to inferior. Therefore, when giving your advice on buying Persian rugs, the first rule is that you only deal with reputable dealers. Stay away from out-of-business sales. Also, avoid travel auctions. They are usually exports of rejected goods. It is recommended to do business with direct importers of handmade carpets.
The second secret to buying Persian rugs is to make sure that the rug is aesthetically pleasing to you. Do you love the overall “look” of the carpet? Do you like patterns and colors? Is it color-rich and bright? Are the posts at a uniform height and well cut? Is the size appropriate for the area of your home where you plan to place the carpet? Remember that you are looking at a “kind of” carpet, some of which are slightly irregular in size. They are not necessarily standard sizes. For example, programmed carpets or machined carpets.
Also, keep in mind that hand-knotted or woven oriental rugs are “utterly imperfect.” The slight inconsistency proves that the carpet was woven by hand, not by machine. If the shape of the carpet is slightly irregular and the appearance slightly warped, it is also a sign of “handmade.” Many looms used by tribal weavers are made of wood. Wood reacts to warm, cold, dry or moist air. You are weaving probability distortions. Therefore, there are some reasons for non-compliance. When dealing with artwork, violations will only make the artwork more beautiful. In other words, if the carpet satisfies you, these irregularities will not diminish the value of the carpet.
How do you determine whether the quality of the carpet you are looking at is high?
Here are some things to keep in your mind:
1. Authentic Asian / Persian carpets are made from natural materials such as wool, cotton, silk, goat hair, and camel hair, of which wool is the most popular carpet material. Your oriental rugs made from natural fibers (such as wool) will last longer than wide artificial rugs and are healthier because they don’t release chemicals.
2. Another factor to consider is KPSI or knots per square inch. It is believed that the greater the number, the better the carpet. It is true, and it is not true. Why? Because this is a limiting thought. Traditionally, Persian carpets are made in cities and across the country. Each location has its style and characteristics. Like silk carpets, urban carpets are more formal in shape and have a higher number of knots. Since there are more knots per square inch, the effect is better, and the image is more detailed.
The KPSI of rural carpets is low. They are bolder in design, more structured, and have an informal look. The lower knot count does not mean these carpets are worthless. This means they have a bolder look. Do not worry. These carpets wear like iron and will serve you from generation to generation. I prefer the tribal style. These carpets do not require a high knot count to create a bold look, which is why the low knot count. Ultimately, it all depends on the taste. If the number of knots is less than 70, I recommend switching to a different type of carpet. Keep in mind that some very exquisite oriental rugs are traditionally done with a lower knot count.
3. The classic centers of Persian carpet production include Tabriz, Kazan, Herat, and Kerman. Traditionally, styles have been divided into three categories: geometric, floral, or graphic / curve. Just choose what appeals to you. Consider where to place the carpet. If you want to use it on the table in large part of the restaurant, choose a more elaborate model with “border” fun. In this case, the central medal will not be the best.
4. I suggest people check the back of the carpet. The pattern must be very clear, and you must be able to distinguish individual knots. If it is a handmade carpet rather than a woven carpet, the knots will be irregular or grid-shaped. Small knots are not always straight. In addition, stripes in hand-knotted or woven carpets are part of the carpet structure and cannot be seen. The stripes consist of warp threads that come out of the end of the carpet. Now fold the carpet in half. If there is a crease, it means the quality is poor. High-quality hand-knotted or woven rugs can be folded and rolled up. It will always lie flat when opened.
5. Make sure the carpet has been properly finished. Also, make sure it lies flat.
6. Make sure the dealer is willing to guarantee that the carpet is authentic.
I am always happiest when the carpet is the first object in the room. Oriental carpets are like paintings. They have to show, or at least show well. And it is easier to “start” from the carpet. If you already have furniture, consider your furniture when choosing a rug. If your furniture is used frequently, in other words, on the “busy” side, you may need to use a quieter design on the carpet. In addition, be sensitive to colors. Your room should have three large blocks of color: walls, sofas, and carpets; all other colors can use these three colors.
I sincerely hope to give you some good, practical, and useful information about buying Persian rugs.