Intricate heirlooms imbued with a grand sense of culture and tradition; authentic Persian and Oriental rugs are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your home. Originating from Iran (Persian) or countries such as India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey (Oriental), Persian and Oriental rugs can range from the large, extravagant pieces found in Hamedan and Kashmir, to small flatweave prayer rugs woven by nomadic tribes.
Always handmade, Persian and Oriental rugs are known for exquisite traditional and tribal patterns comprising geometric, floral and animal motifs, each with their own significance and meaning. Perfect for classical and traditional interiors, with some also suiting Scandi, eclectic and bohemian-style homes, a Persian or Oriental rug is a worthy investment for every household, certain to last throughout the years.
With over 25 years experience in selling beautiful Persian and Oriental rugs, we have decided to compile the ultimate guide to choosing a Persian or Oriental rug for your home. Read on for our best tips and tricks, as well as our aftercare guide and how to determine authenticity.
General Tips and Tricks
While silk Persian/Oriental rugs are more valuable, wool rugs are much more durable. It is important you consider this before making a decision.
Persian and Oriental rugs are completely handmade, which can naturally lead to size discrepancies. Ensure that your rug is as symmetrical/rectangular as possible before purchasing.
Before purchase, make sure to assess your rug for colour run, which can occur during the dying and washing process. While it not only diminishes the appearance of the piece, it also lowers its value overtime.
To ensure that your chosen rug is a worthy investment, it is important to clarify whether or not it is an authentic, handmade piece.
Pattern Workings and Knots
There will never be a backing on an authentic Persian or Oriental rug. Pattern workings and rows of knots should always be visible on the underside of the piece. The entire piece should be tightly woven, with more than 200 knots per square metre.
The fringe on your rug should clearly belong to the rest of the rug’s structure, rather than be sewn on to the edge.
Neither the warp nor the weft should be made using synthetic fibres. Rather, most Persian rugs will be made from materials such as wool, silk and cotton.
Persian and Oriental rugs are always either hand-knotted or woven. If the pile is very thick, for example, 12mm in depth, then it has probably been made by tufting, and is likely not authentic.
If in doubt, you should always ask for a certificate of authenticity.
If cared for correctly, Persian and Oriental rugs can last a lifetime. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the best out of your new rug.
Wool Persian and Oriental rugs should be vacuumed 2 to 4 times a month at most, so as to avoid over-vacuuming, which can damage the fibres. Do not use a beater bar/rotating head on your vacuum, which will damage the piece. Use a sweeper brush to remove dirt from silk and never vacuum fringe.
Kelim flatweaves are very easy to care for because they have no pile and are typically woven from 100% wool. To clean, simply vacuum or shake out.
We recommend you regularly move your furniture and rotate your rug, so as to prevent uneven wear in the pile.
Try to keep your rug out of direct sunlight in order to prevent fading in the design.
Accidents & Spillages
Take care if spillages occur. Gently blot the rug with a dry cloth in order to soak up as much liquid as possible. It is very important that you blot rather than wipe, because the vegetable dyes used to achieve the vivid designs may bleed. Once you have soaked up as much liquid as possible, we recommend you have your rug professionally cleaned as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage and staining.
Always remember to send your rug to be professionally cleaned at least once a year, in order to keep it in perfect condition.