How to select

a handmade rug

A necessary prerequisite in acquiring a handmade rug is to purchase from a trustworthy seller with a permanent business location and a deep knowledge of the merchandise.

Acquiring a handmade rug is not an easy endeavour, for two reasons: One, because a handmade rug is an investment for a lifetime, and must be to the buyer’s absolute liking. And two, because it is not an inexpensive, spur-of-the-moment purchase since, as a work of art, it is quite valuable.

The rug you choose does not necessarily have to be an expensive investment piece. You may become enchanted even by a plain little rug, which you will happily admire in your home or office for years to come. Handmade rugs are created by hand, by craftsmen who are nameless and unknown to the final buyer, but who toil day and night over their looms.

A necessary prerequisite is to purchase from a trustworthy seller with a permanent business location and a deep knowledge of the merchandise. Away from opportunistic, uncertain and casual purchases, because then one runs the risk, instead of the work of art one dreams about, to acquire a worthless piece of textile.

The quality of a rug is determined by several factors. The main one, which also determines the duration of the rug’s life that, as the Orientals say, may be as long as an elephant’s, is the quality of the raw materials used in its construction, such as cotton, wool and silk. The wool could be obtained from sheep that are well cared for, or not. The wool from sheep from specific areas is more durable over time. Cotton and silk also come in different qualities.

Certainly, it is not true that silk is not durable – after all, it is used in parachutes! However, it does require special care and specific cleaning methods.

Persia still lays claim to the myth of the land of great rugs, although this does not always reflect reality. Today, all across the Orient there are rugs being woven that are of both great and bad quality, both beautiful and ugly, both valuable and worthless.

The main criteria for assessing the value of a rug are the fine workmanship, the beautiful architectural structure, and the quality of its materials.

A reputable trader with a deep knowledge of handmade rugs is obligated to provide you with accurate and useful information about a rug’s durability, and mostly about its value.

Handmade rugs of any provenance, quality standard, value, and design aesthetic are works of art; they are works of folk art and as such, the Americans say, they have value, not price.