What Rug Shoppers Need to Know Before Buying a Rug

What Rug Shoppers Need to Know Before Buying a RugWhat to Know Before Shopping for a RugSize, Design, Color, Budget, Traffic

When it’s time to purchase a new rug, a well-informed shopper will be happier with their purchase than an uninformed one. There are five things you should keep in mind when shopping for a rug. These things will make the process easier for you and the rug gallery salesperson.

Size

First, measure the room you want to place the rug in. Find out the largest size of rug that will fit in the room, as well as the size of rug that will look too small. And of course, measure the “perfect” amount of space you would like your rug to take up. It’s important to take these three measurements so that you don’t purchase a rug that won’t fit. There is no set rule that dictates how large or small a rug should be, it just has to look good to you.

Because handmade rugs are one-of-a-kind, you may fall in love with a rug that’s a bit larger or smaller than the “perfect” size. If you know the dimensions of the room like the back of your hand you can often make a less ideally-sized rug work. Also, take multiple pictures of the room, that way you don’t need to try to remember the shades of furniture and décor. It can also help the dealer choose colors that will match the room.

Design

Next, do some research to determine the designs and styles of rug you like. Handmade rugs come in many designs, such as Persian, Oriental, modern, transitional, and traditional. Are you looking for something with a central medallion? Do you prefer geometric, tribal, or pictorial rugs? After you narrow down the design you like, you need to determine the styles you like within that design group.

Persian rugs, for example, come from numerous different cities that each have their own unique look. Maybe you find you like the flat weave look of Kilim or Soumak rugs. Or maybe an antique Oushak is more your taste with its unique color palette and geometric design. When you know the designs and styles you like going in, the salesperson will be able to serve you better. It’s helpful to do a bit of online shopping and research to better refine your tastes.

Color

On a related note, keep in mind the colors that you like, as well as the colors that will best complement the room the rug is going in. Most reputable galleries will allow you to take the rug home with you for a day or two, to make sure the colors look right in your home. A rug that looks vibrant under the showroom lights may actually be too dark for your home or furniture. Take note of which colors you don’t want in your rug to make the process simpler.

Note that red, cream, and navy are some of the most common rug colors and that galleries are likely to carry more inventory in the most popular colors. If you have a specific, unique color palette in mind, you may have fewer options to choose from. Nowadays, it is easy to find traditional rugs in modern colors, as well as modern rugs in traditional colors.

A proper rug dealer will have a large amount of inventory in a variety of sizes, styles, colors, and quality levels. In addition, keep in mind that there are many different color and style combinations, ensuring there truly is a perfect rug for every shopper.

Budget

Have a budget in mind so you don’t waste time looking at rugs outside of your price range. Once you set your budget, share this information with your salesperson. To get an idea of the price ranges for rugs of different sizes and quality levels, keep reading. For an 8×10 machine-made rug, expect to pay between $500 and $1,200. For a medium-quality handmade rug, the cost will range from $1,200 to $3,500. For a high-quality handmade rug, expect to pay $4,500 to $8,500, or higher.

Rugs generally come in one of three levels of quality. There are low-quality rugs, which have coarser weaves and lower knot counts, medium quality rugs, which have higher knot counts and levels of detail, and fine rugs, with exceptional detail, softness, and very high knot counts. The quality level affects the appearance of the rug, as well as the price. In addition, handmade and machine-made rugs will come in different quality levels and materials.

Traffic

Finally, consider the amount of traffic the rug will receive. A high traffic area, for example, should not be decorated with a viscose rug. Traffic also plays a part in the amount of time a rug can go without washing.

The more information you gather and share with the rug salesperson, the more individually curated the selection of rugs they will present to you. Make an appointment to stop by the Behnam Rugs showroom by calling 972-733-0400, or fill out our rug request form to see if we carry exactly what you are looking for ahead of time.

Rug Cleaning: Viscose Rayon

Folded rug on a tableRug Cleaning: Viscose Rayon

Most rugs are made of either wool, silk, wool and silk, cotton, nylon, or viscose rayon. Wool rugs can last for centuries, as can silk rugs and wool and silk rugs. Cotton rugs can last around 100 years. Nylon rugs and carpeting last almost 10 years. Lastly, viscose rayon can last between three and 10 years. If your viscose rug receives almost any amount of foot traffic and wear, expect it to last closer to three years.

If you’ve bought a machine made rug before, chances are you are familiar with viscose rayon. Even if you aren’t, viscose rayon is used in paper towels, kitchen sponges, diaper liners, and more. Though it is good for cleaning products, it is not an ideal fiber for rugs as they are exposed to foot traffic, moisture, spills, pet accidents, and dirt.

So, what exactly is viscose rayon? It is a fiber created out of regenerated cellulose. The plant pulp is heavily processed to impart shine. Also known as artificial or “art” silk, viscose rayon is often referred to by names which make the consumer believe they are being sold real silk. However, in actuality, they have been sold a rug made of what is essentially disposable paper. And it’s being sold at real silk prices!

It is not uncommon for customers to bring their brand new “silk” rug to Behnam Rugs for cleaning or appraisal. Unfortunately, when shopping abroad, many consumers are sold viscose rayon rugs and are told their rug is real silk. In particular, the individuals most likely to be tricked are visiting Turkey, China, or India, often as part of a cruise. By the time they are able to get a second opinion on these “real silk” rugs, it is too late and they have no way to get their money back. That’s why we recommend reading our blog about rug shopping abroad before purchasing a rug in a foreign country.

The best way to get reliable feedback about a rug’s materials and construction is to ask a rug cleaner. They are the one resource consumers can trust because they are not being paid commission for a sale and they have cleaned viscose rayon and know about its benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to silk fiber, consumers must be educated before making a purchase. Educate yourself by reading our blog about buying fine silk rugs.

Let’s discuss the viscose rayon creation process. Most commonly made in developing countries, viscose rayon is derived from cellulose. This material is liquefied in a chemical mixture which makes a substance that can be spun into fibers and then into thread. The thread is then woven to create the rug, usually by machine, as handmade rugs are typically made of wool or silk.

Something important to note is that Carbon Disulfide is used in the production process. The highly toxic nature of this compound and the risk of poisoning has caused concerns for worker safety. Improved technology has lowered the risks of working with this chemical and reduced the emissions of sulfur to air. However, the production process is still far from ideal. In fact, the production process is so toxic it’s banned in the U.S.

While viscose rayon is biodegradable, which is a positive trait, the production process is so wasteful it negates the eco-friendly biodegradable aspect. So while you will have purchased a rug that will degrade once you throw it out after a few years and professional cleanings, it’s not really better than a wool rug that will need far fewer cleanings and last over 100 years.

Consumers are being told lies and half-truths about viscose rayon. These claims include the following:

“Viscose rayon is a luxury material.”

While it is true that these rugs have a distinct appearance and feel, their sumptuousness quickly fades from everyday wear. They need regular grooming and are rapidly affected by foot traffic and minor soiling. They show each and every footprint. In very little time, the fibers lose color, sheen, and quality. Attempts to clean this material are often unsuccessful. Though these rugs may at first seem luxurious, you will begin thinking about a replacement within a few years. Essentially, viscose rugs are highly priced disposables. Many consumers are not informed or aware that these rugs last for only a few years before needing a replacement.

“Viscose rayon is simple to maintain.”

This is just not true. Because viscose rayon is made of regenerated cellulose, it cannot hide soil. Dirt from foot traffic and general dust in the home permeates the fibers, causing graying. In addition, foot traffic can cause shedding and breakage quite quickly. Small amounts of moisture from spills cause yellowing. Even a minor water spill can cause a permanent yellow stain and fiber damage. Cleaning up the spill only makes the soiling more obvious. Instead of spot cleaning yourself, trust the professionals to remove any spills or stains to avoid yellowing. Vacuuming can also damage the fibers and cause sprouting. Due to all of this, viscose rayon rugs require professional cleaning much more often than rugs made of other fibers. This is an added expense most consumers aren’t aware of or prepared for. Viscose rayon begins to look dirty quicker than any other rug material. In addition, folding these rugs for shipping or moving can cause unsightly and likely permanent creasing, crushing, and more.

“It’s good for the environment.”

While these rugs are indeed biodegradable, you are now aware that the creation process is toxic, wasteful, and dangerous. In addition, the rug will require many professional cleanings. A wool or silk rug that can last for centuries is a better choice, as viscose rayon rugs need to be replaced about every five years or so, increasing demand for these rugs and thus increasing the output of the far from ideal production process. This production process has been improved with newer technology but it is still quite harmful to the environment.

If you have purchased a viscose rayon rug, it is likely in need of professional cleaning. Make sure you work with a company that specializes in washing viscose rayon, like Behnam Rugs. We have been working with this fiber, as well as nylon, wool, silk, and cotton for over 40 years. Call 972-733-0400 to schedule professional hand washing.

Consider browsing our showroom for a replacement, as your viscose rayon rug will only last a few years. We carry thousands of handmade rugs constructed of materials that are much more ethically sourced and long-lasting than viscose rayon.

If you have purchased a viscose rug, place it somewhere it will not be walked on that is a low risk area for spills and stains. Consider using it as a wall hanging to maximize its lifespan. Now that you know the drawbacks to viscose rayon, we hope you feel more well-informed about the rug buying process. We highly recommend all new viscose silk rugs be sealed by a professional to protect them from spots and stains.

4 Things Your Persian Rug Dealer Wants from You

ChecklistWhat Your Persian Rug Dealer Wants from You

The main thing Mr. Ben “Behnam” Tavakolian wants for his customers is a pleasant visit while viewing the selection of fine handmade rugs available at Behnam Rugs. The next step is to help you find a Persian or Oriental rug you love and feel is a good investment.

We have listed some suggestions to help with the process of finding the rug you and your family will love for generations.That’s right- a fine, handmade rug can last hundreds of years with proper care and maintenance!

    1. Do you know the price range you are willing to invest in a fine rug?

    Knowing the range you are willing to invest when rug buying will help you and the dealer find the perfect rug for you that much faster. Your rug dealer is in the business of selling rugs, but he’s also in the business of making customers happy and if he ends up selling you a rug that’s more than you can really afford, neither of you will be happy. Beware rug dealers who consistently try to sell you rugs out of your price range. A reputable dealer will stick to your budget.

    1. Do you know why different rugs of the same size are valued differently?

    There’s absolutely no shame in not knowing why hand-knotted Persian and Oriental rugs are more expensive than carpet or why different material used in construction will change their value. Tell us why you value your pieces and we will show you our treasures during your visit also. It is possible for two rugs in the same size to be different prices. The reason may be a higher knot count, one rug is Persian and the other is not, or one rug is silk and the other is wool.

    Persian and Oriental rug sellers almost always love to let their customers know about the history of these textile works of art, the stories behind their various designs and how to tell if a rug is made of natural fibers and truly a hand-knotted rug or not.

    1. What is a quick way to evaluate the quality of your possible rug purchase?

    The design on the back of a hand-knotted Persian or Oriental rug will look almost exactly the same as the design on the rug’s front. If the design can’t be seen on the rug’s back, that’s an indication that the rug is hand-tufted or machine-made.

    Your rug seller is proud of his wares and he will be happy to show you the difference between a hand-knotted and a machine-made rug.

    1. Ask to try the rug in its new home before you buy!

    Rug dealers know that choosing the perfect rug is very important and that many homeowners can’t “see” how the rug will look in their home until their rug is actually in their home.

    That’s why it’s very common for potential buyers to take the rug they’re eyeing home for a few days to see how the rug looks and “works” in their home.

    You will have to put a deposit on the rug, of course, and if you decide the rug’s not for you, return it to the showroom in the same condition as when you took it home.

    Visit our showroom or call 972-733-0400 for more information.

Wool or Silk Persian Rug?

Sheep Make Wool, Silk Worms Make SilkWool vs. Silk Persian Rugs

Authentic Persian and Oriental rugs are made not only of the finest of wool, but also can be made of silk.

You may wonder which is better to purchase: The answer is neither. Neither is “better,” but one or the other may be a better choice depending on what you plan to do with the rug.

If you’re going to place it on a floor and walk upon it, it’s probably better to purchase a wool rug – they are much more durable. Silk rugs show wear from traffic very quickly and are better for areas where people rarely walk.

If you plan to use the rug more as a work of art – you plan to hang it on a wall, for example – a silk rug may be best because a silk rug isn’t as durable as one made of wool but does show more detail. Silk rugs often have a higher knot count than wool due to the finer nature of the fibers. This increase in labor means that many times silk rugs are more expensive than wool rugs.

Most handmade Persian rugs made today are crafted from fine wool (such as camel hair, Manchester or Kork wool). Relatively few authentic Persian rugs are made of silk today. Most on the market are antiques and therefore are rare, quite valuable and really shouldn’t be trod upon.

To choose a quality silk rug, check for the following:

  • You’ll want to make sure it’s actually made of silk. To tell if it is, pull a teeny strand of silk from the rug and burn it. If it’s silk, it should shrivel and smell like burned hair.
  • The rug should be very shiny when looking down its nap. The more noticeable the shine, the better the chances that the rug is really made of silk.
  • Note that some dealers use the term “art silk,” when talking about some rugs. This is not indicative of the artistry that went in to making the rug. Instead, it means “artificial silk.”

As for a wool rug, to make sure it’s of a high quality, check for the following:

  • While a wool rug shouldn’t be shiny, it should have a sheen or luster to it.
  • Be careful, however, because some poor quality wools are blended with artificial materials made from petroleum that falsely give the wool the sheen of a good quality wool. These wools will fall apart over time. They also can become smelly as the years go by, especially if laid on a heated floor.
  • You want to look for a rug with wool that has been hand-spun, if possible. Wools that were machine-spun are fine, but not as highly regarded. The good news is that a rug made of machine-spun wool won’t be as expensive as one that is crafted with hand-spun wool.

If you’re still unsure if a wool or a silk rug is right for you, discuss your needs with our rug experts. Stop by our showroom or call 972-733-0400 to schedule a tour.

Designing Your Living Room Around Your Persian Rug

Living room with Persian rugHow to Design Your Living Room Around Your Persian Rug

Your Persian rug is a true work of art and, even though it’s a functional piece of art, it still deserves to be displayed in a way that showcases its beauty.

In fact, if you were to look at old issues of Architectural Digest you’d notice quickly that Persian and Oriental rugs appear in at least one featured home every issue. Go back 50 years in the magazine’s archives and you’d still see them in featured homes.

The reason? A Persian rug just adds a little bit of je ne sais quoi to any décor. The rug brightens a room. It can make a room look elegant, or even casual (depending on the other décor surrounding it). Persian rugs have a distinctive look that complements many interior design styles in a tasteful way.

What’s more, add a Persian rug to your living room and it changes it automatically. You could make absolutely no changes to the room otherwise and it still would appear as if you had an interior decorating redo.

Your first step in designing a living room around your rug is to find a rug you love. It’s that simple. Truly. Love the rug and the décor will practically take care of itself.

One thing many people worry about is that the pattern of the Persian rug will clash or even become “too overbearing” in a room. Don’t worry about this. Have you ever noticed that all real woods, whether dark or light “go” together? The same with a Persian rug: it truly “goes” with everything! It will not clash with any of your furniture or decorations. In fact, a Persian rug in a traditional style displayed in a modern room can really steal the show!

Mr. Behnam at Behnam Rugs reminds customers to keep in mind the size of their rug and make sure they walk all the way on it or all the way off of it. This, he says will help keep the wear of your valuable rug even. In addition, be sure to rotate your rug every year to help make wear present evenly.

If your rug has mostly red tones, consider this idea:

  • Use a sofa to anchor your rug. Add two end tables on each side of the sofa. Place the coffee table in the center and place two chairs facing the sofa. You now have a beautiful living room as well as a conversation nook.
  • If possible, choose a sofa in a neutral color. Add accessories (pillows for the sofa, art for your walls) that bring out the rug’s other colors. You also may want to upholster the two chairs facing the sofa in fabric that also brings out the rug’s colors.

In general, follow these designing rules:

  • If you don’t have two chairs, but have a chair and a love seat, place the sofa and the coffee table as described above, place the chair at an opposite corner of the rug and the love-seat at the other side of the rug so that the sofa and the love-seat form an L shape.
  • If your rug is small don’t place it in front of the sofa; it will look miserly. Layer it over a larger neutral piece such as a natural fiber rug if your heart is set on placing it there.
  • At the same time, if the rug is very large, place a part of all of your living room’s furniture on the rug.
  • If your living room has wall-to-wall carpeting, you can place your rug on top of it, just so long as the carpet’s pile is no greater than ½ inch. Placing a rug on top of carpeting with deeper pile just never seems to sit or look right.
  • Remember that all rugs need padding, even rugs placed over carpet. This is both for your safety as well as for the health and longevity of your rug.

Have more design questions? Trust the experts at Behnam Rugs and call 972-733-0400. You can also learn more about buying a Persian rug by reading our handbook.