Without the best Oriental rug buying tips, you may face some hitches when shopping online. We are here to guide you. For many people, it can be quite a confusing and daunting experience to buy an Oriental rug in the USA. You may browse numerous retail stores online, with no real knowledge about how to judge the fiber, dye, or handiwork of the rug. The first question you would want to ask is, how do we find the best rug? It is simple: We empower you with our top Oriental rug buying tips so that you can get the best value for your money! We want you to appreciate the artisanship and finesse that goes into making every carpet. So, we are here to help! The more you know about Oriental rugs, the better equipped you are to secure a good buy.
1. Check if the Rug Has the Right Material
The best handmade Oriental rugs have piles typically made of wool, silk, or a blend of both. The base of the carpet could be cotton, wool, or silk. Whether you are looking to buy Persian rugs or Oriental rugs, both have similar materials. Pure silk rugs are lustrous and soft to touch. Wool, however, is the standard material of choice for most Oriental carpet weavers. The best weavers use New Zealand or Tibetan carpet wool. Synthetic fibers, often mistaken for wool or silk, have a glaringly obvious difference that distinguishes them from the authentic material of handmade rugs. Synthetic material is highly flammable and leaves specks of lint, whereas silk and wool have a flame-resistant quality. So, before you buy an Oriental rug, make sure the carpet has genuine material.
2. Check for the Fringe!
The fringe of the rug is the first thing the weaver makes. Cheap, mass-produced rugs tend to have a frayed and thin-looking fringe. In contrast, weavers knotting their rugs by hand are super meticulous about the fringe. They make hard-wearing, beautiful fringes. A handmade rug will have a neat, wide fringe that holds the pile well. So, our second Oriental rug buying tip is to look out for flimsy fringes!
3. Know What Knot Density You are Looking For
Oriental rug buying tips no.3 - When you visit a store to buy an Oriental rug, knot density, and design definition of the carpet are the ultimate authenticity indicators that you should check. The price of the rug also depends on the knot density, which is another quality indicator. RugKnots founder Naheed Mir shares her expertise on the subject, saying, “It’s like buying a diamond ring. If it is a three-carat ring, it is going to be more expensive. If it is a one-carat ring, it’s going to be less expensive.” The concept is pretty simple. To test the knot density of a rug, sift your fingers through the fibers to the base of the pile. Then make a tight fist and check for loose fibers. If the knots feel tight and compact, the rug is durable. Mir goes on to share one of her favorite Oriental rug buying tips about knot count, “Higher quality rugs are tightly knotted, so the front and the back of the rug will look kind of similar.” Pretty handy, huh? Moreover, if you check the back of the rug, you can take a ruler to measure the knot count. The best quality Pakistani handmade rugs have a knot count of 16/18 horizontally by vertically, whereas 5/5 is poor knot count. Similarly, if you decide to buy Persian rugs, the finest quality ones will have up to 400 knots per square inch.
4. Find Out If the Rug Has a Natural Dye
Here is the next of our Oriental rug buying tips: pick a rug with natural dye. Traditional Oriental rugs have natural dyes. The colors come from nature, such as cochineal insects for red, indigo plant for blue, avocado skins and seeds for pink, and blackberries for greyish-black, etc. Synthetic fibers have a fine, even infiltration capacity, but natural dyes only tint the surface. If you bend the carpet at different angles and isolate a few fibers, you will notice a lack of uniformity in color. Natural dyes last longer, look more beautiful, and let us not forget, they are eco-friendly, too! They give a vivid, antiquated definition to the rug that you will never find with artificial dyes. In recent years, they have made a comeback into rug fashion. Mass-produced rugs always have artificial dyes, whereas weavers prefer to use natural dyes for handmade rugs.
5. Trust Your Gut and Our Oriental Rug Buying Tips!
Our last Oriental rug buying tip is simple and easy to follow: trust us and your gut! If you like the design of the rug, the colors are vivid and pleasing to your eyes, and the size fits your floor space, then go for it! If the material of the carpet is soft to touch and the knot count satisfies you, do not overthink your purchase. Overthinking will confuse you, and you will be back to where you started. That is not what we want. We want you to go home with a beautiful Oriental rug that will personalize your living space and add a cozy, lived-in feel to your interior décor. This is why, if you are looking to buy an Oriental rug in the USA, we would recommend RugKnots Oriental rug collection for genuine, handmade carpets to last you a lifetime!
How to Identify a Real Oriental Rug vs. a Counterfeit?
You know our Oriental rugs buying tips are not complete if we do not tell you how to discern an authentic handmade Oriental rug from a replica. There are a few basic ways you can confirm if the rug is genuinely original and handmade. Read on to find out!
· Reviews Always Tell a True Story
Trust customer reviews, always. When you decide to buy an Oriental rug, first scour the Internet for reviews. The best dealers will have plenty of five-star reviews and references. For example, if you visit the RugKnots official website, you will find plenty of testimonials from happy clients detailing their purchase. So that is usually the first sign of an authentic rug dealer; they have positive reviews to back them up!
· Pressure Sales Are the Enemy
Have you ever walked into a store not liking the collection but walked out with purchase anyway? That is called a pressure sale. Discounts and sales are good. They allow you to buy an Oriental rug in the USA at reduced prices. Rugs that would usually cost you a small fortune are more affordable during clearance sales and discount offers. However, having a dealer smooth-talk you into a purchase that is not worth the money is something you should watch out far. Reputable dealers will always try to help you, not pressure you into buying an imitation.
· Never Be Too Shy to Ask Questions
Any reputable rug seller will know their rugs inside out and will be eager to share their knowledge with all prospective buyers. From the origin and material of the carpet to the type of dyes and knot density, they will be able to tell you everything.
· Buy from Trusted Rug Dealers
Rug dealers with a significant online presence and testimonials to support their claims are trustworthy. Never buy from “never heard of” and “never seen online” rug sellers.
· Authentic Oriental Rugs Have Pattern Markings
The patterns of the original Oriental rugs pass down from generation to generation. The authentic handmade pieces have pattern markings on the underside of the carpet. So, here is another Oriental rug buying tip for you: turn the carpet over and look for pattern markings on the back. If you find them, that is a pretty reliable indicator of the authenticity of the rug.
Care and Maintenance for Oriental Rugs
This would not be a thorough Oriental rug buying guide if we did not share some of our rug care and maintenance tips with you. So, here we are with some very practical tips to care for your rugs! With proper maintenance and care – authentic, handmade Oriental rug should last decades. If it is a silk rug, it should last for centuries. But if you do not take steps to regularly clean and care for your Oriental carpet, you would be lucky if it even lasts a few short years. Now, let us share some of our favorite tips with you!
· Play Around with Furniture Setting
The placement of our furniture items set a path for us that we navigate regularly. Now, if the furniture stays in the same place for too long, we will continue to walk on the same path. This will eventually wear out our rugs and runners. Not too fun, eh? They look especially dreadful when the rug erodes from certain places, and the parts that are under the furniture or in a corner remain brand new and tidy. So, to prevent significant wear and tear, you should move your furniture items regularly. If possible, you can also try rotating the rug to even out the wear.
· Keep Away from Sunlight
How many times have you heard this one? This particular care instruction is on the back of every household item. Whether you buy Persian rugs or Oriental rugs, the sunlight can damage the coloring of both. Too much exposure to sunlight will cause the rug to fade. Do you know what is worse than a faded rug? A rug that fades from a few spots only. So, keep the rug out of sunlight and rotate it every few weeks to keep any possible fading that happens, even.
· Do Not Let the Fringes Tangle
We have another Oriental rug buying tip for you: do not buy one with tangled fringes. If the rug at the store has tangled fringes, it is because the owner did not take proper care. And you do not want a carpet that does not get proper maintenance from the seller. Similarly, when you do buy an Oriental carpet, keep the fringes straight and untangled.
Warning: Do not try brushing or combing the strands, you will pull at the fringes, and they will fall out due to damage. What you need to do is carefully flip the rug. Once you do that, the fringes of hand-knotted Oriental rugs will straighten and untangle naturally.
· Vacuum Your Oriental Rug
Rug maintenance begins with proper cleaning. So, vacuum your rug regularly to keep it clean from all the dirt and grit its fibers may gather over time. If you let the rug sit for too long without a vacuum cleaning session, the debris will settle into the base of the rug. This will wear down the carpet and make it super difficult to clean it. So, gently vacuum the rug in the direction of the fibers. The back and forth combing through rug fibers can damage it. You should also take special care when cleaning the fringes of the rug.
And this is where we wrap things up for now! The best part of buying an Oriental rug is when you roll it out on the floor and see how its intricate design, vibrant colors, and rich texture have completely transformed your living space. You know you have picked the right rug when it brings out everything unique about your furniture. We hope our Oriental rug buying tips were all the help you needed to buy the perfect Oriental carpet for your home! But, when in doubt, always buy rugs from RugKnots!