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How to choose Oriental Rug

There are many things to consider before purchasing a beautiful oriental rug for your home or office, including: cost, size, as well as of course origin. An oriental rug can be made anywhere from China,

There are many things to consider before purchasing a beautiful oriental rug for your home or office, including: cost, size, as well as of course origin. An oriental rug can be made anywhere from China, Iran or evenAfghanistan and for every region there are differences in the styles and designs.

Some of the most popular rugs are most definitely Persian, for the incredible weave quality, as well as their stunning colour. However, a lot of people also like the more unusual rugs from places like Afghanistan, Chechnya, Morocco or even Tibet for their unique and often more contemporary designs.

The choice of rug mainly just comes down to personal taste and budget, but whether you decide on Persian, Asian or African, there are certain things that you should always be on the look out for. Below we will look at a few of the most important things to look for when you are choosing that perfect Oriental rug.

 

The Knot Count

Any good quality oriental rug or carpet will be hand made on a loom or hand knotted using only natural materials. The best way to check for this is to look at the underside of the rug and check for uniformity in the weave, if there seems to be too much uniformity in the weave, it is probably factory made. You can also count the knots on the underside, if it has more than 120 knots per square inch you are looking at a very good carpet. It is important to check for both uniformity and knot count, as there are many carpet sellers who will gladly sell you a factory made carpet at handmade prices.

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Oriental Rug

By IDangerMouse (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Fibre of the oriental rug

If you are looking at a silk or wool rug it is a very good idea to do the burn test. This is just a matter of putting a flame to a loose piece of weave or a picked knot to make sure that it smoulders but doesn’t flare and burn. Remember, silk or wool will only smoulder, where as boiled cotton or other materials being passed off as silk or wool will certainly catch and burn. If you are in a bazaar or souk, you should never buy a carpet without doing the silk and wool burn test first.

 

The Colour of the oriental rug

A good quality hand made Oriental rug will be dyed using only the finest quality natural dyes such as indigo, henna hollyhock pomegranate and gallnut. Testing for natural dyes in a shop is not the easiest of tests but can be done with just good light and a keen eye. All you need to do is bend the carpet to expose a thread a closely look to see if it is coloured evenly or if there is any colour variation. A synthetic dye will colour the thread very evenly whereas a naturally dyed thread will have a certain amount of colour variance. Also look out for bright oranges and hot pinks, as these will almost certainly be synthetic.

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