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What Makes Oriental Rugs Valuable

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What Makes Oriental Rugs Valuable

Oriental Rugs are a timeless work of art.

Persian & Oriental Rugs exude such elegance and beauty. But what exactly makes Oriental Rugs valuable?
A valuable Oriental Rug brings us back to history. This is an ancient artistic skill that has been nurtured for over two thousand years.  Of course, there are some factors that contribute to its value,

Oriental Rug Weavers

When you consider that certain rugs can take over a year to create, not to mention devotion and skill, you realize that having a handwoven rug really is a treasure. The best rugs are woven by weavers who are considered artists in their own right. They are well paid for their work. Often they become publicly acknowledged within their communities. Traditionally, rugs are the product of two groups, the designers and the weavers. The weavers are the ones who bring these rugs to life so that we can enjoy them in our homes.

Materials in Oriental Handmade Rugs

If you start with high-quality material, you will usually end up with a high-quality product. In Oriental Rugs, this means the use of high-grade materials, pure wool or silk. Of course, handspun. High-quality wool will not be overly shiny, it will have a lustre from naturally occurring oils in the wool. If wool is blended with synthetic materials it will always appear to be too shiny. A real wool rug will always outlast a rug that is made with synthetic materials. On the other hand, a silk rug should look shiny. A high shine on silk means you have a better chance of having real silk as opposed to another blend of materials. Some rug dealers will use the term "art silk" but beware of this term. This stands for "artificial" and is not an indication of superior quality. To test if your rug is made of real silk, if you pull a strand and burn it, it will shrivel and smell like human hair.

Oriental Rug Dyes

There are synthetic dyes and natural dyes, of course, natural dyes are always more expensive. If handspun wool, naturally dyed rug seems inexpensive, it's probably not the real deal. Plant dyes are always more costly than synthetically dyed rugs because they are much more difficult to work with and more time-consuming. A synthetic dyed rug although lower in cost, will never have the same visually pleasing harmony in the flow of colour on your rug.

Knot Count In Oriental Rugs

The knot count in a rug can also be another indication of cost. Knots are often classified as course to super fine. However just because a rug has fine knots, it does not make it more valuable than a rug with course knots. Silk rugs often are made with fine knots, which does lend itself to the finer detail in the design. Be aware of getting too caught up in knot count, some people get so busy counting knots that they forget the quality of the rug in general. Tribal rugs made with course knots could be much more costly and valuable than a silk rug of fine knots.

Weaving Indicators

Is there symmetry in size and design? Of course, slight variation is to be expected from any handmade work of art, some people actually like this. It adds a certain charm, making it truly an original piece of art. However, a large variation in the rug could mean the work of a novice worker. The symmetry in the image is also a factor, if you compare the back of the rug to the front, it should somewhat match up. In a very gifted weaver, there will be no difference at all, and you will find it hard to tell the front from the back.

Age & Oriental Rugs

One of the best things about handmade rugs is that they will retain their value, and may even increase over the decades, this is unlikely heard of for other home furnishings. Likely, a rug can be resold at its original purchase price. Age, however, will not make up for any deficits in the rug. In other words, a rug that is over 100 years old but is of poor quality, will always be of poor quality no matter what the age.
Oriental rugs are known for their history, the beauty of their intricate design, their colours, and the endless hours of labour done by hand. These  Oriental Rugs have more than likely travelled far and wide to find a place in your home, a place in your heart. Perhaps, this is what makes them the most valuable!

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  • Tanya Shea
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