5 Things to Remember when Buying a Rug

5 Things to Remember when Buying a Rug

Buying a rug is not as easy as many people think. The rug featured in any room will dictate the atmosphere and ambiance, perhaps adding playfulness, joy, and brightness to the environment. The rug will also decide the use and formality of the room. With the trends for color and design constantly changing, many colors come and go every three to five years or a little longer. However, traditional designs and colors are always in style, even in contemporary homes. Traditional and antique rugs make great statements, no matter your home’s design.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect rug.

1. Size

Do not estimate when it comes to measurements. Get a measuring tape and measure the area where you will place the rug. Rugs are usually made in certain common sizes. Measure the minimum width you need as well as the maximum width you need, and do the same with the length. This will give you some breathing room when it comes to picking the size, as the rugs may not come in the exact measurements you take. Make sure the placement of the rug will make sense. For example, do not buy a rug in a size that will not cover the room evenly so that you end up with the rug only partially covering walkways. Why? You do not want to wear the rug unevenly because you walk half on and half off the rug when traversing the room.

2. Design

New rugs follow the design trends of the moment, using stylish patterns and colors. Traditional Persian designs are always in style and continue to be woven new as well. Traditional Persian rugs typically feature a central medallion or all over pattern. Visit a large rug store to see what you like, whether that’s modern, semi-traditional, traditional, or transitional rugs.


Nowadays, rugs are made in many different color combinations. If you want to keep it simple, less color is easier to work with. Try choosing a rug in a primary color that features a secondary color as well as an additional four to five colors. Color choices are totally a personal preference, and you may choose trendy shades, traditional colors, or a mix according to your taste.

4. Budget

Set a budget for each rug. Be generous- not every design and color you love will necessarily come in the right size and the price range can limit the quality. For an 8 x 10 machine-made rug, an appropriate budget is $800 to $1,500 dollars depending on the rug’s construction and fibers. For handmade rugs, you will need a budget of $2K to $8K.

5. Buy with Confidence

Learn about the rug you will be buying. Is it made of wool, silk, cotton, viscose, nylon, or something else?The material affects the care of the rug as well as its looks and longevity. Learn how to spot clean and make sure you are prepared to take the rug for professional cleaning every three to five years. Buy your rug from a retailer with an outstanding reputation in case you want to return or exchange the rug. In addition, a reputable dealer will educate you about fine rugs and help you decide using years of experience. Be careful buying a rug online, as the color and texture are unlikely to be accurately represented and some sellers may even try to scam you.

Simple Handbook for the First-Time Persian Rug Buyer

Antique Persian RugSimple Handbook for the First-Time Persian Rug Buyer

To those who have never done it before, buying a Persian rug may seem like a daunting task. How will you pick between the hundreds of combinations of style, color, material, and other choices? Lucky for you, this guide will give you some insight into the process and simplify it for you.


Persian rugs come in many designs or styles. We’re going to cover some of the most common and popular designs that you are likely to encounter while shopping.

Gabbeh– These rugs are coarsely woven, resulting in lower knot density. They feature simple, primitive patterns and dense piles as deep as one inch.

Tabriz– These fine rugs have a high knot count and complex designs that include flowers, medallions, and pictorial scenes. Tabriz rugs feature a wide range of patterns which means you have a lot of choice when selecting a Tabriz. They are mostly made of wool with a silk pile.

Kashan– These rugs usually feature a diamond shaped medallion in the “Book Cover” design. They are colored with rich reds, blues, ivory, yellow, and burnt orange.

Kilim– These flat tapestry-woven rugs do not have a pile, resulting in a flatter, reversible rug in a tribal pattern.

Qum– Less rich than Kashan, Qum rugs typically feature bright reds, blues, and ivories and are quite creative in terms of design, featuring central medallions and a smaller size. They are likely to increase in value according to Wikipedia.

In addition, there are three main styles of rug- traditional, transitional, and modern. If you are searching for a Persian rug, you are very likely to end up with a traditionally patterned rug. If you end up falling in love with a rug that is not from Persia, it may be because you actually like the transitional or modern style.


Pehaps you wish to choose a rug with colors that have meaning to you. In fact, every color in a rug has inherent meaning that we will explain here. Choosing a rug based on the message that the colors convey is another way to select a rug.

Red– power, energy, passion, love, luck,

Orange– enthusiasm, creativity, determination, success

Yellow– happiness, positivity, clarity, enlightenment, loyalty

Green– life, renewal, growth, fertility

Blue– trust, wisdom, confidence, tranquility

Purple– royalty, luxury, ambition, creativity, peace

Pink– friendship, compassion, nurturing, love

Black– elegance, rebellion, power, strength

Brown– security, grounding, warmth, honesty

Ivory– purity, innocence, opulence, virtue


There are two materials that a Persian rug will be made from- wool and silk. The materials affect the durability, cost, and ease of maintenance.


Persian rugs are most often made of wool. These rugs are the hardiest and the easiest to clean. They are soft and strong. They also last longer than silk when cared for properly due to the strength of the fibers.


Silk imparts a beautiful sheen to the rug. These rugs are elegant and plush, but sadly more expensive and rare. Silk rugs also show their designs more clearly due to the nature of the material and knotting. Silk rugs are harder to clean and more delicate than wool.

Wool and Silk

Some Persian rugs feature both wool and silk. The wool creates a sturdy foundation while the silk creates the pile.

Shape and Size

Another factor that will affect the buying process is the shape and size of the rug. Consider the room it will be placed in. Large rectangular or square rugs are perfect for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Smaller rectangular rugs can be shown off in kitchens and bathrooms, as well as under coffee tables.

Runners go in hallways and entryways and are long and narrow. They can also be placed in bathrooms of sufficient length.

Round rugs draw attention to chic dining rooms and also look good under tables as a centerpiece.

We hope you have found this short handbook illuminating and that you feel better prepared to shop for the Persian rug of your dreams.

Learn About Past Events and Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

March 21st, 2020: POSTPONED: Estate Plan Your Rugs or Gamble with Your Assets Behnam Rug's ongoing lecture series

Past Events

October 19th, 2019: Real or Fake? Fraud or Value?

June 8th 2019: Rug, Dog, and Wine

March 16th 2019: Rug Shopping Abroad

Behnam Rugs hosts events each quarter that are free to the public. The lecture series is composed of educational events that benefit attendees by sharing information on different rug-relevant topics. Persian brunch is served and attendees enjoy food and beverages while owner and rug expert Ben Tavakolian shares his expertise. These learning experiences teach the public about rug ownership, rug shopping, rug maintenance and care, how to avoid scams, and most recently, how to integrate your fine handmade rugs into your estate plan. Make sure to sign up to attend the fourth event in the lecture series on March 21st from 10 am to 1 pm. You will learn vital information about estate planning, donation for a tax benefit, creating a rug portfolio, trading, selling, and more. Every event goes over Rug 101- a short yet illuminating lecture that details everything a rug owner should know about fine handmade rugs. Children and dogs are always welcome to attend.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying Persian Rugs

Buying Persian Rugs:

The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make

Buying a hand-knotted Persian or Oriental rug can be a big investment, so you’ll want to make sure you are getting the best possible value for this new addition to your home. Here are the three most common mistakes you’ll want to avoid while shopping for your dream rug.

  1. Not Measuring

Many people simply estimate how large a space is by looking at it. Obviously, this can cause some issues. Once the rug has been brought home, many people discover that their new purchase is too large or too small. Not every rug dealer accepts returns, and if the rug was purchased on sale, it almost certainly cannot be returned. Furthermore, even if you can return your rug, there is so much hassle involved in moving all of your furniture out of the way, rolling the rug up, and loading it into your car. Take five minutes to measure the area where you want your rug to be. Measure the size of your room- its length and width, and also a diagonal measurement. Then, plan exactly how much of your room you’d like your rug to cover and take those measurements, too. It’s better to over-prepare than to under-prepare.

  1. Color Matching

While you might think that you know what colors will match well with your room, we always recommend either bringing a swatch or trying a rug out in your home before making your final purchasing decision. There are many things to take into consideration. Different materials can cause rugs to look different colors. Red silk will take light differently than red wool, for example. You’ll also want to take a rug’s pattern into consideration. If you have a sofa that you know looks horrible with green, maybe a floral patterned rug isn’t the best choice. You’ll have to match the flower colors and the color of the leaves, too.

Try browsing Pinterest to see what sorts of rugs are used in rooms similar to yours. You can also bring in photos of your room to a showroom and ask a rug expert about their opinion. Any good rug dealer, including Behnam Rugs, will also allow you to try a rug out to see exactly how it matches with everything in your home.

  1. Not Quality Checking

Your rug might be the right size and color, but is the quality right for you? When you walk across your rug, you’ll want something soft and even. While it might not be realistic to expect a high knot count from a $1,000 rug, you still should be getting a rug of satisfactory quality.

When you’re shopping for a rug, ask questions. Ask about the material, condition, age, and quality of a rug. If you simply only care about the looks of a rug, these factors might not be crucial, however, it’s still good to know exactly what you’re buying. Be able to tell the difference between a hand-knotted rug, a tufted rug, and a machine made rug. An authentic antique rug will only be hand-knotted. Don’t let yourself fall victim to common scams.

One factor to consider in a rug is the knots per inch (KPI) count. An inexpensive, coarse Persian rug might only have 30 knots per inch. Fine antiques that sell for thousands of dollars can easily have hundreds of knots per inch, and will feel much softer in comparison.

You should also be aware of the condition of a rug you are considering purchasing. One thing to note is whether or not the rug is deteriorating or cracking. First, put the rug face down and look on the back for any light colored patches. If you see any, proceed with caution. While this could simply be normal discoloration, these light patches are often the first signs of mildew.

We also recommend gentle bending the corners of a rug. If you hear any popping or splitting, it is a sure sign that a rug’s foundation is coming apart.

Finally, when looking at silk rugs, stay away from brittle rugs. Silk, no matter its age, should never be brittle or coarse. It should always be soft and smooth.

We know the rug shopping process can be a bit daunting, and we invite you to visit our showroom to learn more about the wonderful world of rugs. You can also request a rug on our rug request form.


Do I have a Soumak rug?

What is a Soumak rug?

Soumak rugs are very decorative with abstract geometric designs found mostly in smaller sizes due to being made by semi-nomadic tribal weavers.

The spelling of this type of rug can be written different ways Soumak: Soumakh, Sumak, Sumac, and Soumac.

It is a type of weave, a flat weave like a Kilim but stronger and thicker with an identifiable front and a ragged back. Construction of these rugs are mostly woven with needle or special hooks.

Some of the designs look a lot like what you can find on Kilim rugs with geometric designs like the eye, cross, hook, animal motifs and central diamond shapes.

Mr. Ben “Behnam” Tavakolian says that fine Soumak rugs originated from the western parts of Iran:  Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Turkey are known for their soumak rugs. You may still find them in many other parts of Iran.

These very nice Soumak rugs below are on display and for sale at Behnam Rugs, stop in and experience them in person! Fill out our rug request form to be matched with the perfect rug for you.

Soumak Rug
Soumak Rug