When it comes to a Persian or Oriental rug, quality definitely counts.
But what exactly is quality when it comes to these textile works of art? How can you know when a rug is of good, fair or poor quality?
Take a look below for four signs of a great Persian or Oriental rug.
- The finest of these rugs are hand-knotted.
The skill it takes for a weaver to knot these rugs by hand is what makes these rugs so valuable. It takes years of practice to learn how to hand-knot these rugs and months to years of work to create just one, so it’s only fitting that a hand-knotted rug is not inexpensive.
Hand-knotted rugs (also sometimes referred to as “hand-made” rugs) are made by attaching vertical strings (the “warp”) to a loom. The skilled artists working on the rug either weave the strands of wool through the warp’s strings or knot them onto the warp by hand. This makes the “weft” of the rug. Never is any tool (such as a tufting gun) or machine used.
A “hand-tufted” rug is not a hand-made rug: the person making the rug uses a small tool to “shoot and loop” strands of wool through a canvas backing that has the wool’s pattern painted upon it. Once the pattern is filled in, the worker places a glue back or rubber backing to secure the loops and then covers it with a canvas backing to hold the strands in place. A hand-knotted rug will never have backing of any kind upon it.
- Knot count.
When looking at Persian or Oriental rugs, the number of knots per square inch (KPI) is important and rugs are classified depending on their KPI from “super fine” down to “coarse.” A “standard” Tabriz rug would have a KPI of around 162. The higher the KPI, the finer the rug.
- A clear pile.
The shorter the pile of the rug, the better because rugs with shorter piles tend to have exceptionally clear designs while longer piles have designs that look “fuzzy.” Longer pile also tends to become “mushed” more over time as people walk on the rug and/or furniture stands upon it. (This is why it’s important to always rotate any Persian/Oriental rug upon which furniture is placed, so that the pile – of any length – doesn’t get that squashed look.)
- The rug’s design.
Fashions and the latest “big thing” tend to go in and out of style as years go by. This includes the motifs/designs of Persian/Oriental rugs. However, some designs are considered to be “classic” and tend to stay in style. A rug’s design in no way actually speaks to a rug’s inherent quality of workmanship, but rugs woven in a classic pattern tend to hold their value over time – and usually are more expensive to purchase whether new or antique.
Designs/motifs considered classic include: Kazak, Gabbeh, Bokhara, Chobi (often referred to as Peshawar), Kashan (also called the Persian Medallion), Tabriz, Kerman, Quom, Isfahan, Hamadan, Qum, Shiram, Kilim, and others.
To see a true example, come in to Behnam Rugs’ Dallas showroom and talk with the expert Mr. Ben “Behnam” Tavakolian. He will show you the difference between a quality hand-knotted and a hand-tufted rugs, Complete rug appraisals also are available. Just give us a call at 972-733-4000.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net