How Well Do You Know Your Persian Rugs?

Persian Rugs: How Well Do You Know Them?

Are you pretty savvy when it comes to spotting a quality Persian or Oriental rug? If so, prove it! We’ve put together a short quiz about these beautiful works of art to see how well you really know your rugs. Here we go!

  1. Is a Persian rug an Oriental rug?

If you answered yes, you are correct. Any rug hand-knotted in China, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, or Iran is an Oriental rug. Oriental rugs made in Iran (once known as Persia) are Persian rugs.

Is an Oriental rug a Persian rug? Not unless the rug is made in Iran; only rugs made in Iran/Persia can be called Persian rugs.

So a Persian rug is an Oriental rug, but an Oriental rug isn’t always a Persian rug. It’s a square and rectangle situation.

  1. Is an antique Persian/Oriental rug always more valuable than a new rug?

This is false. The value of a hand-knotted Persian or Oriental rug really is based upon its age as compared to its condition. In other words, the older the rug and the better the condition it’s in could make it more valuable than a new rug of comparable design. Some antique rugs can hold value even if they are in fairly bad shape (in need of considerable restoration and repair). But many antique Oriental/Persian rugs in very poor shape are simply old rugs.

Antique oriental rugs

The Turkish Pazyryk carpet was created in the 5th century BC and is considered to be the oldest still-extant Oriental carpet in the world. It is very valuable; another antique rug in this condition may not be.

  1. Are Persian rugs “better” than Oriental rugs?

This also could be considered a trick question, because some people really do think Persian rugs are better than “mere” Oriental rugs, but the difference is so small as to be insignificant.

Persian rugs once were of far better quality, but that is no longer the case.

The work that goes into both types of hand-knotted rug is extensive and any difference in their quality would need the eye of an expert to detect.

So the real answer is, no, Persian rugs aren’t really better than Oriental rugs.

  1. Is the pattern on a machine-made Persian/Oriental rug as clear on the back as on the front?

No. This is one way you can tell if a rug is hand-knotted or not: the design and colors will be almost as brilliant and clear on the rug’s back as they are on the rug’s front if the rug is handmade.

The reason is that machine-made rugs (even hand-tufted rugs, which use a tool to insert and knot the threads into a pattern painted on the rug’s canvas) will have a backing that’s glued to the rug’s canvas; the rug would fall apart without this backing.

A hand-knotted rug, however, is created by a highly-skilled artist making tens of thousands of extremely tiny knots of thread to create the rug’s design. Each knot is tied so tightly that the rug’s design “shows through” on the back of the rug.

To learn more about Persian and Oriental rugs, visit  Behnam Rugs’ Dallas showroom. Contact us at 972-733-4000.

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