What To Look For In Persian Rugs
Selecting a Persian rug can be a daunting task for most people.
There is a lot of misinformation out there as to what to look
for. Let's face it, a good Persian rug can cost a lot of money,
and most people will be hesitant to make a significant
investment on something they know little about.
The best solution for most is to find a reputable dealer who
will work with you to find the rug you are looking for. The
disadvantage to this is you will be paying for their help and
advice in the markup of the rug, which can be quite high.
Another alternative is to use the power of the internet. There
are a number of sites out there that sell authentic Persian
rugs, with money back guarantees and free shipping.
Which ever way you choose, a little knowledge can go a long way.
An authentic Persian rug is handmade. There are a lot of machine
woven imitation rugs out on the market. How do you tell the
difference? Two ways:
1. The loops on the back of the rug will be visible on a
2. If the fringe is sewn on, then the rug is probably machine
Another advantage of an authentic rug is its durability. The
natural fibers have a greater level of strength than
machine-made rugs with synthetic fibers.
Once you have determine a rugs authenticity, there are several
things to look for in selecting a rug. Probably the most well
known and widely used is Knots Per Square Inch, commonly
abbreviated as KPSI. Persian rugs can typically have between 20
and 700 knots or more in a one-inch by one-inch area. Generally,
the more knots per square inch, the more valuable the rug. As a
rule, a good quality rug should have at least 70 knots per
Another factor to look for is how long it took to make the rug.
This can help determine the value when comparing similar rugs.
It is not unusual for a hand woven rug to take many months to
many years to create. A typically sized rug can taken between
6-12 months to complete.
How old a Persian rug is important as well. An older carpet is
generally more expensive. Be careful of dealers who chemically
wash the Persian rug to give it that aged look.
Learn about the different styles. Various terms you will hear
are Tribal styles and City styles. Selecting among the two is
more a matter of personal preference. Within each style, there
are many popular and well known variations. Gabbeh, Shiraz and
Bakhtiari are popular Tribal styles. Isfahan, Tabriz and Qum are popular City styles. There is a
story behind each rug.
This is just the starting point. Use the internet or your local
library to learn more.