What’s the difference between Oriental and Persian Rugs?

Rug lovers, or as we love to call them, “Rug-a-nistas,” those special people that love to have lengthy discussions about high-end wool rugs, are the kinds of friends we love to visit with often.

We talk about knot counts. We discuss ancient rug motifs passed down through generations. We marvel at the variety of natural dye colors that artisans used to tint their wool.

But once in a while we accidentally speak of Persian rugs and Oriental rugs as if they were interchangeable or the same. In reality, the difference between Oriental and Persian rugs is quite vast. Both Oriental and Persian rugs are beautiful and unique in their own way.

The key differences

The difference between Oriental and Persian rugs is sometimes hard to distinguish. Their ancient and intricate designs, natural wool fibers, durability and extensive workmanship make them the most valuable and highly sought after rugs in the world.

Both types of rugs increase in value over time. Most importantly, both types of rugs have been hand created making them a one-of-a kind treasure that can bring joy and beauty to your home for decades to come.

Country of Origin

One difference between Oriental and Persian Rugs is the country they are created in, The Persian rug dates back thousands of years to the ancient Persian Empire.

While it is true that Persia’s borders changed frequently over numerous years, Persian rugs most often come from the country of Iran. Tribal Persian rugs are also woven by Pakistan’s indigenous weavers.

Authentic Oriental rugs are most often woven in the countries of China, Turkey, Tibet, India and Egypt.


Another difference between Oriental and Persian rugs is the type of knot used to create the rug. True Oriental and Persian rugs are hand knotted on looms. Oriental rugs are tied with symmetrical Ghiordes knots.

This type of knot is found in rugs, hand knotted in Turkey, and the Kurdish areas or Iran. Persian rugs are most often knotted using an asymmetrical or Senneh knot. Countries who have spent thousands of years, tying these types of knots include Iran, Pakistan, India, China and Egypt. Rugs woven with Senneh knots are normally more symmetrical and precise.


The ancient and traditional process of hand washing a rug creates a big difference between Oriental and Persian Rugs. One of the reasons that Persian rugs are thought to be the softest in all the world is because they are traditionally hand washed.

Pakistan rugs are highly sought after because of their washing process and also because of their natural dyes. When considering a long term investment, collectors often prefer Pakistan’s indigenous weavers. In the last decade, there have begun to appear some very interesting village rugs from Pakistan made with vegetable dyes and hand spun natural wool.


Oriental rugs

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