4 Questions to Always Ask a Persian Rug Dealer

When it comes to purchasing a fine, hand-knotted Persian or Oriental rug, it’s best if come prepared before visiting some rug dealers. What do we mean by prepared?

  • You should have done some research on what makes a fine, hand-knotted rug.
  • You should know a bit about the history of Persian and Oriental rugs.
  • You should know how to tell the difference between a hand-knotted and a machine-knotted rug.

This type of knowledge is what you should know at the very least before venturing into an Oriental or Persian rug showroom.

And never be shy about visiting rug dealers – they are quite happy to take you by the hand (so to speak) to show you’re their wares and to educate you even more about what makes these gorgeous textiles so sought after by collectors as well as homeowners who know how durable these beautiful rugs are and how much beauty and function they add to a home’s décor.

Once you visit a dealer (and you truly should visit at least three in your area before purchasing a rug), here are four questions you should ask while in the showroom.

  1. Can you show me two rugs: one that is hand-knotted and one that is machine-knotted?

Asking this question will allow you to really see the difference between a hand- and machine-knotted rug. You should be able to see the knots on a hand-made rug’s backside. You also should notice how clear and bright the rug’s design appears on its back: it will look almost as clear and bright as the rug’s top side.  (The design as it appears on the back of a machine-made rug, on the other hand, will be dull and possible even barely visible.)

  1. Please show me the rug’s pile.

Authentic hand-made Oriental or Persian rugs almost always are created with wool pile, while machine-made rugs are created with polyester or nylon pile. In addition, a machine-made rug will have a pile that is very uniform weave (hand-made rugs can have uneven weaves; this is considered part of thier charm and beauty). In addition, man-made rugs may have white threads woven into the pile that run from one end of the rug to the other (on the sides with fringe, if applicable). Not all man-made rugs have the white threads, so look for an even weave to ascertain if it’s man-made.

  1. Please show me the rug’s label.

A genuine Oriental or Persian rug will have a label on its back identifying the country where it was made. If the rug doesn’t have a label, the dealer needs to have a very good reason why. He then should be able to present to you a certificate or document that has wording similar to “guaranteed handmade Persian rug made in Iran.” This document also should state the rug’s quality, size and approximate age.

(Important note: a Persian rug is considered to be one that is made in Iran – the former Persia. An Oriental rug generally is a rug made in Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal or the Caucasus.)

  1. May I take the rug home to try it out?

You want an answer of “yes.” In fact, practically all legitimate Oriental and Persian rug dealers allow customers to take a rug home for a few days to make sure the rug fits the room they wish to place it in, and fits in with their décor. You more than likely will need to put a down payment or deposit on the rug and you definitely will need to return it in the same condition as when you took it home.

Make sure you understand clearly the dealer’s try-out and return policies

We’ve said it many times here on our blog, and we’ll say it again: we love to showcase our Oriental and Persian rugs to potential buyers! Please, visit our Dallas showroom one or more times so that we can show you the difference between man-made and machine-made rugs. We love to teach people about these beautiful works of art!