The first step in buying an oriental rug is determining what type of rug you want. Persian rugs and oriental rugs both fall under the category of oriental rugs, but there are quite a few diverse types of oriental rugs out there that vary based on colour, size, and design. To buy an oriental rug that suits your tastes and home decor, you’ll need to identify exactly what you’re looking for so you can find it easier!
Consider your space, style, and budget
The first step in shopping for any style of rug, whether it’s a traditional Persian or a country and western cow print, is considering your space, style, and budget. Do you want something bold? Something neutral? How much can you spend? The last thing you want is to walk into a local store or surf online with no idea what you’re looking for.
A glossary of terms
Knowing how to speak about an oriental area rug starts with acquiring a vocabulary of the relevant terms.
Learning these eight basic terms will give purchases the vocabulary you need to talk about a carpet like a connoisseur.
Carpet weaving starts with a loom. These can be amazingly simple in construction, as used by the weavers of nomadic tribes. Carpet weavers affix long poles to the floor at a distance apart from the desired length of the finished rug.
The warp is the yarn strung taut between the two poles of the loom.
Weavers pass weft threads cross wise through the war threads in an alternating pattern to create the basic under the carpet’s structure.
The selvage is a strip on the lower border of the carpet “against which the weft is secured…typically, the selvage will feature decorative motifs.”
With certain exceptions, oriental carpets are made with only two knots: the Turkish, or symmetrical, knot, and the Persian, or asymmetrical, knot. These knots are generally but not exclusively associated with carpets produced in the regions they are named after.
Weavers trim the tuft ends of knots to create the oriental carpet’s pile. As rug expert Niels Larson notes, this happens “once the carpet is finished but before it is removed from the loom.”
Abrash is many connoisseurs highly prized mottled or striped patches of a single colour for the vitality it brings to normally monotone carpets.”
In its most basic form, a hand-woven rug, a kilim is a flat weave carpet consisting of the warp and weft, but without any knots attached. In the words of rug experts, a kilim’s “surface texture becomes increasingly delicate in direct proportion to the number of warp threads and their proximity to one another.
When a knotted or pileless carpet is finished, warped strings at either end of the loom are cut, creating a fringe. Depending on the region where it is produced, weavers can incorporate further decorative elements into the fringe, such as knots.
Avoid salespeople who don’t know what they are talking about
Salespeople at rugs stores may not always know what they are talking about. If you go into a store and it seems like salespeople are blowing smoke, feel free to walk out. You don’t need to be talked into a $2,000 rug or pressured into buying something you don’t like. Take your time, do your research well and find what fits you best!