Many people are uninformed about oriental rugs. Most of the information they gather is at the point when they are about to purchase one. We would like you to be aware of these common misconceptions about oriental rugs so you can become better informed before you purchase a rug.
Rugs of the same name are of equal quality
Truth: Generally, a rug's name comes from its design or region of origin-- not its quality. There are hundreds of workshops that weave, for example, Tabriz designs, or Agra designs. One would be naïve to think that they would all use the same quality of wool, dyes, and weave. Even machine-made and hand-tufted carpets sometimes use the same name as hand-knotted carpets, and they are usually lower-quality and less expensive.
The higher and thicker the pile the better
Truth: A rug's quality is generally a function of its weaving tightness, dye and wool quality, and whether it contains silk. When a rug is finished, the face of the rug looks fuzzy and very thick. The workshop decides how low they are going to shear this rug. The tighter the knotting, the lower it will be sheared, so that the wool does not move back and forth and make the rug look fuzzy. If the wool is the same, then a tightly woven rug with a low pile will wear better than a coarsely woven rug with a higher pile.
Hand made rugs appreciate in value
Truth: New oriental rugs can take decades to appreciate. Antique rugs can appreciate in value, if they are in good condition. But according to United States Customs, a rug must be a hundred years old in order to be considered antique. A rug can also be referred to as semi-antique; however, not everyone agrees on the definition of that term. Some dealers may call a rug semi-antique even though it may be only thirty or forty years old. Buy your rug because you like it, and let your children or grandchildren benefit from its profits.
There is a correlation between country of origin and quality
Truth: In Turkey, Iran, Nepal, India, China and Pakistan, there are hundreds of workshops that weave rugs at various qualities. I have been to every one of these countries multiple times, and in each country I have come across both fine quality rugs and sometimes very junky ones.
Foreign travel gives you sometimes the best chance to buy from the source
Truth: Traveling overseas may not give you the best rug values. One customer goes to Turkey and is sold a Chinese silk carpet labeled as "made in Turkey." Another customer buys rugs on a trip to Bahrain thinking that there will be deals and end up paying more than he would have if he bought it in America (Bahrain does not weave carpets). One of our suppliers in India told us that they manufacture rugs exclusively for the tourists that are so that company can save on the cost of shipping to the United States (an 8x10 rug weighs around 120 lbs). At times people bring us their “finds” for assessment. It is often revealed that the better quality and better buy is close to home, than a trip halfway around the globe.