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.

Questions a Quality Rug Dealer Can Answer

Hanging rugQuestions a Quality Rug Dealer Can Answer

When you’re shopping for a fine, handmade rug, you don’t want to go in blind. A good rug dealer will educate you on the fine rugs they sell, imparting valuable knowledge that will help you make an informed decision. So, what are the questions you should ask a fine rug dealer?

1. Where is the rug from?

The dealer should be able to tell you the country of origin, and in some cases, the exact city that it’s from. The country and city of origin gives you an idea about the quality. Certain areas are known for producing high quality rugs, will other areas are known for producing lower quality rugs. In addition, the place of origin influences the pattern or design of the rug. You may learn you love rugs from India and hate rugs from China, for example. This will make shopping easier for both you and the dealer, as you can tell them the areas whose rugs you prefer.

2. What is the rug woven from?

Handmade rugs generally come in one of three materials or a mix of two. These materials are wool, silk, and cotton. It is quite common for Persian rugs to be wool or wool and silk. Wool and silk rugs are made with a wool foundation and silk pile.

3. Is the rug hand knotted or machine made?

A good dealer can know by a casual glance if a rug is handmade or machine made. They can even tell you a few tips for spotting the difference yourself! For instance, a higher knot count is often an indication of higher quality, and sometimes tells you the rug is handmade. Look for imperfections in the knots on the back of the rug, as a machine made rug is far less likely to have any mistakes. These mistakes do not affect the design and are not visible from the front but they tell you that a person made the rug by hand, which is a good thing! The fringes of the rug are a good place to examine in order to tell if a rug is machine or handmade.

4. How old is the rug?

A rug dealer who knows his stuff can ascertain the general age by looking at the rug. In addition, he or she should know the approximate age of the rug according to its certificate or tag. Certain designs and quality rugs are woven in specific time periods. In general, the older the rug, the higher the value.

5. Is the rug traditional, transitional, or modern?

For those new to the rug game, it can be hard to tell which patterns are which. With a knowledgeable rug dealer by your side you will quickly learn the difference between the major styles of rug. Traditional rugs are more intricate, often feature medallions, and include specific designs that can be floral, animal, or some other complex pattern. They often feature ten colors or more. Transitional rugs fall somewhere in between traditional and modern. They aren’t as simple as modern rugs, and are not as complex as traditional rugs. They are almost a mix of the two. Lastly, modern rugs are generally simpler in terms of design and color. They are more likely to come in neutrals like gray, beige, tan, and black. A modern rug might feature just three or four colors. They typically have simple designs and patterns that would not be considered “busy.”

6. How much is my rug worth?

If you’re not looking to buy a rug, you may still have questions a rug dealer can answer. The most common one is, “What is my rug worth?” A reputable dealer will likely give verbal and written appraisals. They take all the questions we covered into account to assess your rug. The country of origin, material, whether it is machine made or handmade, whether it is traditional, transitional, or modern, and the age of the rug all affect its worth. Quality rug dealers are able to discern the approximate value of your rug and give appraisals for insurance or sale purposes. The condition of the rug and how well it has been maintained in the past, including washing and restoration, is a big factor in determining how much your rug is worth.

If the person selling you a rug can’t answer these questions, run!

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.

Rug Shopping Abroad Seminar March 16th

Rug Shopping Abroad

On March 16th, 2019 Behnam Rugs hosted the first educational brunch seminar in its ongoing lecture series. Attendees learned the following and more:

  • What to buy and what not to buy
  • How to buy quality handmade rugs in different countries you are visiting
  • How to recognize real silk from viscose rayon silk  
  • How to negotiate a better rug price

You can learn how to tell the difference between real silk and fake silk by reading our blog.

Images of people enjoying the event