What to look for in a Persian Rug

Five questions to ask a dealer

1. Where was the carpet made?

Quite a few countries throughout Asia and the Middle East manufacture handmade rugs and carpets nowadays and each have their own distinctive style. However some regions now copy, reproduce or make rugs in the Persian style, and while they look like genuine Persian rugs and carpets, they do not hold the same value. That is why it is so important to deal with reputable rug dealers that have been in business for a long time.

2. What material is it made from?

Persian and Oriental rugs and carpets are generally made from two main materials, wool or silk, and sometimes a combination of both. These two natural fibres are the best for constructing rugs and carpets because of their durability and ability to hold dyes. Cotton is rarely used as it does have the durability of either wool or silk.

3. How old is the rug?

The age of the rug or carpet is a big determining factor in price, along with the rarity and condition of the piece. Most rug merchants will carry a stock line that ranges from new to approximately 50 years old. The larger, more established dealers will sometimes carry an antique and semi antique range as well.

4. What sort of dyes are used in the rug?

Most rugs will use natural vegetable dyes as modern chromatic dyes aren’t generally as robust. Although this is not a hard and fast rule. In fact some rugs can be seen to have both. Natural dyes have a softness and do not run but are more expensive.

5. Can I take it home to try it out?

As most Persian and Oriental rugs and carpets have at least 10 different colours throughout the pattern, it is quite important that you try the carpet out in your home first to make sure that all colours tie with your decor. And most reputable dealers will allow you to do this obligation free as they know that a hand made Persian Carpet is an investment that is going to be with you for a very long time.