It’s fascinating to learn that each region and sub-region in Iran has its own Persian carpet style with unique iconography. Families pass them down through the generations to keep the specific designs alive.
If you’re in the market for a Persian rug, it can be confusing to know what you should be looking for. How do you know you’re getting an authentic design and how do you know you’re not getting ripped off?
In this guide, we’re going to take you through the ins and outs of what to look for when buying a Persian rug. Read on to learn how you can add an air of mature dignity to any room with a beautiful oriental carpet.
What’s Your Budget and Where Will You Buy It From?
The first thing you need to establish before buying an oriental rug is your budget. Before buying Persian carpets, do some research online about general prices. Prices will differ a lot depending on where you buy your carpet from.
So, when you carry out your research, consider where you are going to buy the carpet from. Will you buy it from a large online retailer or a Persian rug specialist? Or, will you buy it from a market stall in the Middle East or even in Iran?
Before choosing an oriental rug from a market stall, you need to learn how to haggle in that region. If you don’t, you could end up paying way more for your rug than what the market seller was prepared to sell you it for.
Understanding Different Persian Rug Types
There are many different types of Persian rugs to consider. You can choose from:
These are actually just a few of the popular ones. In reality, there are many more types. However, the most popular type as to be the Heriz. The highest quality Heriz rugs are called Serapi where the weavers made them before 1900!
What Will You Use It For?
When choosing an oriental carpet, you need to consider where you will put it. Will it be a decorative carpet that you hang on a wall, or will you have it on the floor in a room to give the space some warmth and comfort?
If you want a decorative piece, then you might want to think about silk-woven varieties. If you want a practical rug for warmth that has good durability, then opt for a wool rug. Wool rugs can handle loads of footfall and they are better for hiding any spills that may occur.
What’s the Knot Count?
If you want a high-quality Persian rug, pay attention to the knot count. People weave traditional Persian rugs, however, even if it’s not, you should still look for a decent thread count at the very least.
A good thread count is around 120 knots within a square inch of the carpet. Ideally, you should be buying a handmade Persian rug, and to check this, turn the rug over and look at the back. You’ll be able to estimate the number of knots on the back.
You should also look to see if the backing is soft or not. Plus, are there any larger knots at the back? You’ll see some larger knots with handmade rugs while machine-made ones won’t have any due to the uniform stitching of the machines that make them.
Check the Material
We’ve already touched on materials but here we’ll teach you how to tell them apart. So there are silk and wool rugs, but there are also silk and wool blends that you should be aware of.
A 100% silk rug will look shiny, will feel super smooth, and will be delicate to the touch. Wool rugs are more coarse but you should try to find the smoothest one possible for the best quality.
A telltale sign that the material is a man-made type is the rug will let out lint. You should avoid rugs made from acrylic or other man-made fibers as they will be very flammable and thus dangerous. They also won’t provide you with the warmth and comfort you’re after and will wreck easily over time.
Persian Rug Colors
If the colors on a Persian rug seem a little inconsistent, then you will know that someone has dyed it with natural colors. If the color is too even, it’s a trademark sign that a manufacturer has made it with a machine.
Also, look to see if the colors are representative of natural colors in nature. Machine-made rugs may not have such color representations.
For instance, do the blues on the rug look similar to that of the indigo plant? Or do the yellows have a pomegranate edge to them? Cochineal insects should provide the reds, so have reference colors to hand when you are shopping for rugs.
Persian Rug Patterns
There is a fantastic array of patterns to ponder over with Persian carpets. You could go with tribal, geometric, traditional, or paisley designs. Or, you might want to go more floral.
Think about where you will be putting the rug and what the room’s aesthetics are like. Then, you will be able to narrow down your pattern options.
Cleaning Your Persian Carpet
When it comes to cleaning a Persian rug you’ve got two main options. You either spend the time and effort doing it yourself, or you hire a professional service to do it.
If you have a small stain on your rug, you might be able to get away with using a water and vinegar solution to sort the problem out. Yet, if you’re scared of cleaning your expensive Persian carpet because you think you’ll ruin it, why not check out this rug cleaning service?
Your Persian Carpet Buying Guide
When buying a Persian carpet, the key is to know the trademark signs of whether it’s handmade and woven from natural materials. The last thing that anyone wants is to pay a small fortune to later find out they’ve been conned into buying an original when in reality the rug is factory-made.
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