What to ask before buying a Persian rug

For centuries, Persian carpets have been appreciated for their fine craftsmanship and high quality. Before investing in a good quality Persian rug, it is essential to educate yourself beforehand to make an informed decision. Here are a few questions you must ask before buying a Persian rug. 

What is a Persian rug?

Often, people get confused between Oriental rugs and Persian rugs very quickly, so it is very important to know the difference between the two.  Persian rugs, also known as Iranian carpets are produced in Iran for home use, local sales and exports whereas oriental rugs can be produced anywhere in the world such as India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and Tibet. Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and Iranian art, and Persian rugs are a unique type of the broader definition of Oriental rugs. 

What should I look for?

Persian rugs typically feature traditional designs that are characteristic for centuries. Extraordinary quality material and skilled handiwork are required to make these pieces of art. As Iran is known to for producing some of the best Oriental rugs in the world. Persian rugs are generally considered superior to other oriental rugs. While shopping for Persian rugs, here are a few things you must consider:

High-quality material

Persian rugs are mostly made of wool. New Zealand is known to supply the best wool in the world. It has extremely soft and plush texture. Persian rug producers often mix New Zealand wool with local wool which is usually brought in from mountains of Afghanistan. Since wool from New Zealand costs much more expensive. 

Modern style Persian rugs sometimes include silk fibers. Rugs made from a blend of silk and wool are super soft and have a rich luster. These rugs are considered luxurious and elegant and are tricky to maintain and clean at the time. Silk – wool blended rugs are typically higher in price than pure wool rugs. 

High knot count

Persian carpets are generally woven using two different knot kinds which include the symmetrical Giordes knot or the asymmetrical Senneh knot. However, as compared to the knotted kind, you should pay extra attention to the knot count of a Persian rug you are about to buy.  A rugs knot count indicates how many knots make up the carpet. The higher the rug count, the more complex and intricate the design can be and the luxurious the fabric feels. A densely woven rug takes extra time to produce and promotes more detailing. Hence Persian rugs with a higher knot count are generally known to be of better quality. For example, a 16x16 rug with a knot per square inch of 300 is considered to be of very good quality.

Even though a high knot count accounts for better quality and higher prices, that doesn’t mean a low know count rugs are poor in quality and not worth investing in. Lower knot counts indicate that the rug took lesser time to produce and had a simpler form of detail.

Hand-knotted character

The specialty of an authentic Persian rug is that it is completely woven by hand. So it important to remember that the rug you are buying is hand-knotted. A hand-knotted rug is dense in feel and rich in color. You can identify whether the work is done by hand or a machine by looking at the back side of the rug to see visible knots and fringe. The rugs backside usually displays a perfect reflection of the design of the rug and should be able to be rolled and folded in any direction.  

Persian carpets are labor intensive and demand a huge amount of expertise and skill to produce all that art together. They are quite expensive and make sure you get what you are paying, that is the right Persian rug!