Technical Terms and Information

What to look for when purchasing an Oriental rug

Oriental rugs come in a wide variety of weaving styles, from tribal to village to workshop production. Your choice will depend upon your personal preferences for color, design and the look of the room.

Our rugs are woven in well-organized workshops. Characteristics of well-made rugs we sell are:

  Consistent weave
 Consistent colors from commercial dyes
 Straight edges and ends
 Width dimensions the same at both ends
 Well finished ends
 Good long-staple, high-elevation wool
 Light soap and water wash
 High knot-count

Other tribal or village rugs, tend to have lower knot-counts and often use vegetal dyes resulting in a folk-art look. If they have other attributes, especially good wool, these rugs are considered to also be fine quality.

There are many interesting books on Oriental rugs you can read for product knowledge. Two books we suggest reading are:

Tribal Rugs by James Opie

The Oriental Carpet,
A history and guide to traditional motifs, patterns and symbols by P.R.J. Ford

Shopping Hints:

1. When planning to redecorate or finish a room always begin with a rug. Remind your interior designer (or yourself) that it is easier and less expensive to purchase paint, upholstery and drapery fabrics to match the rug you like, than to get a rug to match your colors and fabrics.

2. Measure your area for the rug before you go shopping. For a list of standard rugs sizes please refer to our portfolio. The basic guidelines for rug dimensions are as follows:

Living room - allow at least 8 in. (20cm) of exposed floor around baseboard on all sides. More than one rug is acceptable.

Dining room - add 6 ft. (1.8m) to the width and length of the table dimensions to allow for chairs moving in and out. This is more important for your guest on the side than the ends.

Bedroom - if the rug is under the bed allow 3 ft. (.91m) on both sides. An economical method is to use 6 ft. (1.8m) runners on both sides.

Hallways, stairs and foyers - runners are normally 2 ft. 6 inches to 3 ft. wide (.76m - .91m). Kelleyi sizes are approximately 4, 5, and 6 ft. wide. (1.3m - 2.0m)

3. Ask for an overnight trial of the rugs you initially select to see them in all lighting situations of your home or office.

4. Shop in the summer for the most service and best bargains. Shop in the fall or spring for best selection.

5. Go to a well-established, reputable dealer, preferably one referred to you by a local rug cleaner. For the name of a dependable dealer near you, go to the Where can I get it page.

What to avoid when shopping for an Oriental rug:

1. Deep discounts. Reputable dealers make a reasonable profit and do not stoop to phony discounts to market their rugs.

2. Itinerant auctions claiming US Customs seized merchandise or immediate liquidation - These auctions, in our opinion are only for entertainment and cannot be taken seriously because they market medium to low quality shop-worn goods.

3. Going-out-of-business sales. Known as GOBs, this ploy is a repeated pattern used by some quick-buck artists designed to separate you from your money without regard to you or your community.

When in doubt, check with your local Better Business Bureau or State Attorney General.

This section continues with an article about the Second Grand Persian Carpet Exhibition and Conference, highlighting the unusual political situation and the state of Persian carpet weaving today.

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