Persia is the birthplace of not only the ancient art of hand-knotted carpets but also civilization, as we know it! Read this complete guide written by RugKnots Professionals and ask any questions in the comments below. We make it easier and worthwhile for you to buy Persian rugs and other rugs. The world of Persian rugs is so confusing! Right? How to know the difference between Persian Rugs and Oriental Rugs? How to tell if it is an authentic Persian Rug? Is a Persian Rug better than an Oriental rug? What is the difference between oriental rugs versus Persian rugs?
What is Persian Rug?
A Persian rug is a carpet, produced in Iran, modern-day Persia. Persia is the birthplace of the ancient art we are talking about as hand-knotted carpets! People typically consider the Persian area rugs as high in quality, because Iran is famous for producing intricate rugs with high knot counts. Because the rug artists in Iran are so skilled at their craft, they can create incredibly detailed rugs with impressive precision. People have sought antique Persian rugs for centuries! These carpets are never going out of style! However, in the modern-day, the U.S. has placed trade sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. This, unfortunately, means that dealers in the U.S. cannot legally sell products produced in Iran. When you find a rug advertised as a "Persian rug," this means that :
- That rug was brought into the U.S. illegally or;
- The sellers are mismarking the rug to reel in a high price or–
The rug was brought into the U.S. before the sanctions
The sanctions began in 1987. Antique rugs indeed exist on the market, and they were imported into the U.S. before the sanctions. However, if the piece is new, or not verified, or dated older than 1987, BEWARE! You could become involved in something illegal, and you do not want to be involved.
What Is an Oriental Rug?
All Persian rugs are Persian Oriental rugs, but not all Oriental rugs are Persian rugs. There are other types as well which include Bokhara and Zeigler rugs. An Oriental rug is a rug crafted in any of the "Oriental" countries other than Iran. Before the Persian practice spread, a rug made in Persia was often considered superior to any other rug crafted in the Orient. The secret of the Persian Knot has spread throughout to rug artisans all over the world. Moreover, the key to a Persian rug lies with its knot style, not the country where it was crafted.
Difference between Persian and oriental rugs
- The bottom of the rug is an exact mirror image of the top pile
- The bottom is soft and the same material as the top pile
You can visibly count the knots per square inch
The fringe is a part of the rug’s construction. It is not sewn or glued on Hand-Tufted Rugs.
- Fringe is glued or sewn on
- There is a canvas or piece of cotton on the bottom of the rug
Synthetically Produced Rugs:
- A hard plastic backing
Sewn or glued on the fringe
What is important to understand is that terms like handmade, hand-loomed, and hand-tufted do not mean the same thing as hand-knotted.
"Hand-tufted" refers to a rug-making method that is a hybrid of machine creation and hand-knotting. When a rug is hand-tufted, the fabricator uses a handheld machine that punches the design into a canvas backing. The term "handcrafted" can refer to a person hand-loading yarn into an automated loom, which poorly mimics human hands.
How was it Constructed?
The most important detail to pay attention to when you want to buy Persian rugs is its method of making the fabric. Dealers often apply the "Persian style rug” term to any rug bearing traditional design. However, a true vintage Persian rug is one that is made in Persia and is hand-knotted.
Knots of Rugs
The Persian knot is asymmetrical and open to one side. This does not leave gaps and is less bulky than Turkish knots. The Persian knot is asymmetrical and open to one side. This does not leave gaps and is less bulky than Turkish knots. Because of this, an artisan who uses the Persian knot can create a much more intricate design with a lush pile. When you embark on the mission to buy Persian rugs in the US or anywhere in the world, check the design thoroughly. Along with excellent artistry, the Persian knot is one of the reasons why people consider the Persian rugs to be the best in the world. The knot allows for extreme precision in floral patterns and multi-layered borders.
Turkish Knot (Ghiordes Knot)
The Turkish knot is symmetrical. You can identify it by two small bumps within one knot on the back of the rug. Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and northern Iran are famous for this type of knot. Of course, any knot can be used anywhere in the world. Rug industry experts consider this carpet an Oriental area rug because of its production outside of Iran. The rug can be of the same quality, crafted with the same techniques and material, but because a manufacturer in Pakistan crafted it, it is considered an antique Oriental rug, not a Persian. – It cannot bear the "Persian" name. The construction of the Persian Rug is unique. If the piece is Persian knotted, you should buy it! The only way that the piece can be Persian knotted is if it is hand-knotted. Hand knotting refers to the technique used by rug-weaving artisans, where they hand-tie each knot to create a carpet. Do not buy Persian rugs that are not hand-knotted, because they are likely fake. Ideally, the dealer you buy from is open about the construction process.
Materials for Both Rugs
Both Pakistani and Persian rugs are unique and both use different materials. Before you buy Persian rugs or Oriental rugs, read the complete material guide for Persian Rugs and Oriental Rugs.
What are Persian rugs made of
Wool and silk are the only materials used to make a real wool Persian rug. Wool is sheared from sheep yearly. Some artisans design silk Persian rugs from natural silk, harvested from silk caterpillars. Some use bamboo silk, which is an alternative method that produces nearly the same result. We firmly recommend using natural bamboo rather than natural silk. Natural silk is NOT cruelty-free! Around 2,500 silk caterpillars must die in the process of retrieving 1 pound of silk. There are other ugly synthetic materials on the market. A true Persian rug will never be made of polypropylene, nylon, acrylic, viscose, jute, or any other material.
What about Oriental Rugs?
Once again, the only significant difference between a Persian rug and an Oriental rug is the location in which the rug was constructed. The materials used to make Oriental rugs are also significant. A real Oriental wool rug will only be made of wool and/or silk, and it will only be hand-knotted.
Do not Forget about Knot-Count!
No matter where the rug is made, knot-count is the biggest determinant of value. In all the craziness that ensues with buyers concerning questions whether a carpet is a Persian or Oriental rug, too often consumers ignore one of the most important quality factors. A good rule of thumb for those who want to buy Persian rugs in the US: The higher the knot count, the higher the value, and the higher the price.
You May Not Want to Buy a Persian Rug
Do you want to know what is funny? Now that I have talked on and on about Persian rugs, I am going to tell you that in many cases you are not going to want to buy one! Except in the case of over-dyed and patchwork Persian rugs, we do not sell traditional Persian rugs. We sell hand-knotted Oriental rugs, hand-woven in Pakistan. Moreover, we sell these predominantly because we believe that in many cases the quality of a Pakistan-produced Oriental rug can be as good or superior to a Persian rug. At RugKnots, we use Persian knots and imported New Zealand wool, but our carpets are crafted in Pakistan. So why would I talk on-and-on about how great Persian rugs are, and then try to convince you to not buy one? Because RugKnots' Pakistan-produced Oriental carpets feature the same knots, the same techniques, and the same materials that Persian rugs have. However, our products come at a much better price tag!
The Authenticity of Oriental and Persian Rugs
There are various approaches to distinguish original oriental rugs from a fake one. Here are some ways you can confirm the genuineness of an oriental rug. These will also help those who are looking to buy Oriental rugs online. First, always buy from legitimate vendors with positive reviews and references. Do not buy Persian rugs from furniture stores or rugs you find on discounts. There is a chance that you will find replicas in such situations unless the rug dealer only sells fine rugs. Ask questions. Any reliable vendor or private seller will know their way around authentic oriental and Persian area rugs personally. They will have the option to disclose to you where it is from, how they made it, and articulate the trademarks. That is because they understand how important it is to communicate the value of an authentic piece to the customer.
Turn the area rug to look for patterns at the back. Persian and Oriental carpets are hand made and are passed down through years and years. Look for pattern markings on the back of the area rug. If you can find these, it means the rug is an original one. Turn over the area rug to look for little hand knots that were made in the creation of the pattern. The back of the oriental or Persian rug should be soft. If it feels like plastic or has a rough surface, it means the rug is not authentic. Test the color of the rug before you buy Persian rugs. Authentic Persian rugs only use colorfast dyes, which means the different colors you find on a Persian rug will not bleed out into each other. To do this, you can place a damp piece of cloth on a specific area and leave it overnight. If the piece of cloth catches color, it means that it is not a Persian rug.
Both Oriental and Persian rugs require special care and maintenance to protect them from dust and dirt. If kept with proper care, they can last for a long time. Here are a few hints to secure and keep Persian and oriental rugs around for a while.
Move Your Furniture
We normally explore our homes depending on the position of furniture. After some time we will over and again stroll in a similar way to get around the house. To keep that from happening, move your furniture consistently, so you and your visitors will modify how you move around the house.
Maintain a strategic distance from Sunlight
Daylight can make an Oriental and Persian rug's colors look faded out after some time. Keeping it out of direct daylight is a recommendation. If the room you have it placed in, gets a lot of exposure to the sun, then consider changing its position after every few weeks to keep the fading even.
Fix Fringes Immediately
If the fringes of a Persian or Oriental rug tangle frequently, do not attempt to brush them. Even though it requires some exertion, cautiously flip the rug over. Since these rugs are hand-knotted, the fringes will easily fall back into place.
Vacuum Once every Week
It is imperative to vacuum your area rug routinely to keep it clear of dust and garbage. After some time, limited quantities of dust and residue can wear the area rug out. Utilize a good quality vacuum, no aroma diffusers, or filters for the body of the floor covering and the nozzle and brush accessory. Then vacuum the area rug towards the grain instead of back and forth which can harm the rug. Remember, when you buy Persian rugs or buy Oriental rugs in the US or even online, you are making a huge investment. You need to take proper care of these to make them last longer.
What Size Rug to Buy
This can be a difficult decision to make for some people. Besides, it is probably the most talked-about question that we help our customers answer. Customers would not have measured the space for which they are looking to buy the rug. Before you buy Oriental rugs or Persian rugs, it is a good idea to measure the area where you want to use them. Oriental as well as Persian area rugs, for the most part, come in generally standard sizes:
- 2x3 feet
- 3x5 feet
- 4x6 feet
- 5x7 feet
- 6x9 feet
Area rugs from 2x3 to 6x9 are typically used in lobbies, restrooms, and kitchens. 8x10 area rugs are the standard size to go under an eating table for six. Bigger feasting tables require an 8x10 or 9x12 area rugs. Floor coverings of 8x10 and up are ideal for bigger rooms, for example, dining, and lounge areas. Round and square area rugs are useful for round and square tables or in lopsided lobbies yet are hard to discover in the domain of hand-woven area rugs. As far as a rug size is concerned, the most troublesome space to approach is the lounge room. Essentially, you can choose from two options. Either your lounge is too large. Then use a big area rug and place the furniture on it. Alternatively, it is a small lounge, and little area rug with the furniture arranged around it would look amazing. The truth is that there is no law about this! You ought to pick as indicated by your preferences. A related issue in this situation is the issue of how much space to leave between the wall and the area rug. However, there is no standard about this. However, 2 feet is a decent space to leave, particularly if you have hardwood flooring.
As lovely as a rug looks, while unifying the room together, it would be a disgrace to hide hardwood flooring! This issue also happens with Persian runners. Almost all Persian runners are 2.5 feet wide and most ways are 4 feet wide, leaving a decent space between the wall and the runner. The length of runner rugs fluctuates from 6 feet to 40 feet so the length is another issue that brings to the significance of measuring space. To measure the space you are looking to cover, you can run a measuring tape and envision how the rug would look. One helpful method is to put a paper on the floor in differing sizes - if you needed to check whether an 8x10 or a 9x12 is the ideal size. At that point, you can look for yourself how the rug would look by size.
8 X10, 9 X12, AND ABOVE
We can categorize every one of these sizes into one as they mostly have similar arrangements. You may find the standard arrangement for these rugs in sizes for bigger rooms like the living room. You can use Oriental and Persian rugs this big in a living room or a large bedroom. They would also look great in a study room. In bigger rooms – it is ideal to go with a bigger area rug and have all your furniture sit on it as well. Ensure that there is sufficient rug reaching out behind the furniture pieces leaving a comfortable space behind the furniture to walk on. In bigger rooms - the space usage is better when the floor covering goes under the couch and turns out on the sides.
5x7 & 6x9 Rugs
As individuals are scaling back, 5x8 and 6x9 floor coverings are ending up amazingly popular. On numerous occasions, they work conversely and give the planner a huge amount of remarkable choices. In a standard arrangement, the furniture begins to isolate itself from the area rug, particularly in 5x8. 6x9 and 5x8 floor coverings are occasionally used in a standard dining area arrangement. However, condominiums have completely changed how we see our space. People now mostly push the table to a window or a wall, which ends up sparing a huge amount of space and can amplify light at the dining table. A 5x8 floor covering can also go well with your couch, but with no other sitting furniture on it. Generally, bigger area rugs look best when the front legs of your furniture are set on the area rug. If your space permits it, you can generally have numerous carpets in the lounge room – or even a runner running behind the couch.
2X3, 3X5 & 4X6 RUGS
A 4X6 or 3X5 oriental or a Persian area rug would especially look beautiful in front of a fireplace as well in a hallway. Another great idea would be to use a 3x5 or 2x3 area rugs inside the kitchen area and can be a great addition to the kitchen overall. A 2x3 area rug can find its place in front of the stove and a 3X5 would next to a kitchen counter. You can also place a round rug in the center of a large kitchen area.
Cost of Persian & Oriental Rugs
At RugKnots, we do not up-charge for the word Persian, and we are a factory direct supplier. We do not have to pay a middleman so you do not pay a middleman! The two pieces are made of the same material, use the same techniques, are the same size, and even have a similar design, yet because the 1st dibs piece is Persian, it reels in a price of almost 10x that of the RugKnots Oriental rug.
Here are some FAQs
You might have some questions, let's answer those!
What is so special about Persian rugs?
This is because everything about Persian rugs is special. The intricate designs, warm and enchanting colors are just unreal which makes these rugs very valuable. Moreover, they are mainly made up of natural fibers such as silk, cotton, wool etc instead of synthetic fibers which increases tehri value and specialty.
Are Oriental rugs out of style?
Oriental rugs will always stay in the trend no matter how times change. They can never get out of style because these are kinda how rugs identify!
Buy Oriental rugs or buy Persian rugs in the US at affordable prices right here at RugKnots. If you want to buy Oriental rugs or Persian rugs in a particular color, size, or shape, learn about our custom rugs. We can create any rug that you want and do it in less time than any other designer may quote you!
Furthermore, if you have more questions or want any rug done in a custom size, please email us at email@example.com or call us at 301-669-704.
We are happy to answer your questions.