|The floors in your home may be wood, tile,
or carpet, but nothing covers them like oriental
rugs. Rug making originated in the times
of the ancient Greeks (if not before) in
the areas of central and southern Asia, and
these regions still set the standard for
fine workmanship. Here is what to look for
when selecting a fine, hand made oriental
Knots or knot density is a count of the knots per square inch
and is one of the most common measures of
rug quality. Rugs are made of short pieces
of thread pushed through a woven backing
and tied in a knot around its crossed threads.
Generally, knots are either Turkish (Ghiordes)
or Persian (Senneh), with some variants.
The kind of knot has little to do with the
value of a rug. The value of the knot count
can be overstated, but it is a rough measure
because of its relation to pattern. Quality
rugs have 100 knots; premium rugs have 200
Origin is important to the style, pattern, and
material of a rug. Most rugs today come from
southern Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran
(modern Persia), Central Asia, China, Pakistan,
and India. The countries of origin usually
show a strong influence of Islamic art. Perhaps
the finest works are from Iran and other
areas of the Caucasus. China, and Pakistan
produce quality works as well.
Patterns define the appearance of a rug and may dictate
its material. Patterns exhibit characteristics
of repetition and organization. Generally,
patterns are symmetric about the center and
may differ for borders and the field in the
center of the rug. A rug may also have a
center medallion with a unique pattern within
its own field. Rugs are often identified
solely by their pattern (e.g., Tabriz or
Farahan), and patterns can connote both the
origin, material, and appearance of a rug
because of the tribal traditions of that
area. The finest patterns generally require
the best materials and the highest knot counts.
Condition is important if you are looking for particular
rugs that are no longer produced or in short
supply because their production. The value
of classic patterns and fine workmanship
is offset by visible wear.
Colors of a rug are important not only for its
appeal but for what it indicates about the
material and the technique of dying the material.
Some colors are harder to achieve than others
or require particular effects like the sheen
of silk. Color affects the price of oriental
carpets almost solely because of demand.
Content can strongly influence the value of a rug
both because of its cost and its durability.
Cotton is generally less costly than wool;
silk most expensive of all. However, wool
lasts longer than cotton, and silk may only
be suitable for display, not heavy foot traffic.
Size can restrict your options. Rugs generally
come in the rough sizes of 2' x 3', 4' x
5', 6' x 9', 9' x 12', and 10' x 14'. Runners
for stairs or hallways are about 30 inches
wide and in varying lengths. Custom rugs
can be made in any size, of course, but also
come with custom price tags.