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Tips for Buying High-Quality Oriental Rugs

Updated: Mar 24

Weaver busy at work in Sothern Turkey making hand woven rugs
Rug Weaving in Selçuk, Turkey

What Makes Oriental Rugs So Special?

Oriental carpets are always in style and add elegance, warmth, beauty, and functionality to your home. Oriental rugs range from intricate designs to more rustic tribal and even modern abstract colors and designs. There truly is something for everyone with handwoven rugs.

Oriental rugs are made from high-quality carpet wool, silk & cotton foundation that gives them a distinct look and feels, making them special.

Rug designs often have historical and cultural significance: Oriental rugs have a rich history that dates back thousands of years. They are more than just floor covering; they are woven art for the floor and have been traded and collected for centuries.

In the past oriental rugs were synonymous with luxury, wealth, and social status; an oriental rug was expensive and out of the reach of many. In the 20th century, oriental rugs went mainstream, and today you don’t need to be wealthy to enrich your home with a quality handmade rug, style and grace is affordable.

Why Should You Spend Your Hard Earned Money on an Oriental Rug?

Aesthetics of rugs, rugs add warmth, color, and design to your home; their mere presence can help delineate space. An oriental rug can have a bold design with bright colors that dominates a room or subtle colors and designs as a backdrop and harmonize with other elements in a room.

More than just design, wool oriental rugs hold up to heavy foot traffic better than other floor coverings. If your oriental rug is damaged, it can be repaired by professional rug restorers and made whole. This is often not always true with synthetic carpets when damaged they head to the dump.

Rugs are made to be removed from the home for in-plant cleaning. In-plant rug cleaning is far superior to any in-home cleaning method. This means that Quality oriental rugs are not only durable, but they are also more hygienic and last longer than wall-to-wall carpets.

Buying Quality Over Quantity

Choosing the right material is critical to longevity: Oriental rugs can be made from various materials, including wool, silk, and cotton. Consider the characteristics of each material and choose one that will best suit your needs and preferences. Wool is our top choice for durability and resiliency in heavy-traffic areas.

Shop with a rug retailer with experience with rugs and understands rugs that can balance decorative with the practicality of floor use.

Oriental rug weavers in Iran
Rug weavers Isfahan, Iran

Understand How Rugs Are Made

Learn about rugs; there is a difference between handmade, hand tufted, hand loomed, and hand woven; understand these terms and the difference. This is where working with a professional rug dealer pays off.

A good rug dealer’s job isn’t just to sell a rug; it’s to help you navigate the complex and ancient world of oriental rugs; an educated consumer makes good choices that last.

What Should I Look for in an Oriental Rug?

Oriental rugs come in various colors and designs, but consider the design and color that best fits your use. A white rug might make a bold statement, but it’s not a good choice in a high-traffic entryway or kitchen as requires frequent cleaning, and is prone to stains.

Color and design work twofold, adding beauty to your home and performance in camouflaging spots and spills and keeping your rug looking nice longer. So, choosing a hand-woven rug is part design and part practicality, and with oriental carpets, you absolutely can have both.

What's Wrong with buying a Cheap Oriental Rug?

Consider the environmental impact of your purchase. Many rugs are with adhesives and these adhesives have a shelf life; some last just a few years. To make rugs cheaper, corners are often cut, processes are shortened, and inferior materials are substituted for top-quality materials.

These shortcuts show up down the road with quick wear, easy staining, and an over lack of performance on your floor. Rug-making techniques such as handloom and hand tufted sound close to hand woven but lack the durability and longevity of real hand-woven oriental rugs.

Adhesives used in tufted carpets can off gas adding to indoor air pollution and unpleasant smells such as burnt rubber odors and ammonia and chemical odors. This isn't true of all tufted rugs but is true with some tufted rugs

cheaper and quicker rug production but much less durable
Rug Tufting is much faster and cheaper than a hand-woven oriental rug

The benefit of cheap oriental rugs is the upfront price that is lost on the back end in longevity/ durability. We rarely see tufted rugs over 20 years old most have a lifespan in the 10-year range.

How to Choose the Best Brand or Store when Buying Rugs?

Seek out established rug retailers that sell quality oriental rugs in Portland, Christiane Millinger and Tufenkian Carpets, are two examples of retailers dedicated to selling sell high-quality handwoven rugs.

The secondary antique shop, auction houses, and vintage shops sell rugs, too, some are good quality, and some are not. A note of caution some vintage rugs have serious damage and poor repairs, so when buying a used or vintage rug, we suggest dropping the rug by our shop or sending photos so we can evaluate the rugs and spot issues that could be problematic.

Care should be taken with online rug sales colors are hard to match, and quality is hard to ascertain from photos as well as old repairs and stains and authenticity. Additionally, Shipping is expensive so returning a rug that doesn't work can be costly, ultimately seeing a rug on your floor before you buy is best.

Antique Rugs As Investments

Antique rugs can be a good investment for collectors and art enthusiasts interested in preserving the craftsmanship and beauty of handmade rugs from the past. These rugs are typically made from high-quality materials and are created using traditional techniques, and they often have intricate patterns and designs that make them highly sought after.

Antique rugs are fantasist things. It is important to note that the value of antique rugs can fluctuate over time, and there are no guarantees that an antique rug will increase in value as an investment. be very weary of rugs as a financial investment or people that present them as such.

Shop 'til you Drop

Don’t feel intimidated; good rug dealers are there to help educate you and find the rug you want, not push you into a sale. When you go shopping, bring a couple of key things with you.

  • Measure two sizes: the largest rug that can fit in the space and the smallest size you can accommodate.

  • Colors and design; fabric & wallpaper samples; pictures of rugs or designs from magazines; anything you think can help you find the rug of your dreams.

  • A budget considers how much you want to spend on a new rug.

Try the Rug at Home First

Every reputable dealer will let you try the rug in your home to see if it works without obligation. A hand-woven rug is a big investment, and you want to ensure they go with your space. Your lighting at home is different than in a retail showroom, and sometimes the rug falls flat, it’s too dark for your space, or the design is too busy in your home.

Put a quality Pad Under That Rug

A rug pad not only adds cushion and softness a quality rug pad extends the life of your rug, reduces slippage of a rug on a hard surface like wood or tile and protects hardwood floors to help insulate the rug and you from cold floors, and absorbs ambient sounds and foot traffic and protects your floor from scratches.

Caring For Your Rug

Ensure you have the proper information to care for your new oriental rug and understand intervals for vacuuming and in-plant cleaning of an oriental rug.

The frequency of vacuuming depends on the type of rug and where it is located. A Persian rug should be vacuumed once a week. You should vacuum more often if you have pets or smokers in the home or if any other activity would cause debris to get on the carpeting. Professional rug cleaning intervals every 2-4 years or sooner in high-traffic areas.

It is generally recommended to have rugs professionally cleaned every one to three years, depending on the traffic and wear they receive. This can help extend the rug's life and maintain its appearance and value.

When hiring a professional rug cleaner, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable company or individual with experience and expertise in Oriental rug cleaning. Look for reviews and references, and ask about the cleaning methods and products that will be used to ensure that they are safe and effective for your rug.

Look for experience and trade involvement such as ARCS (Association of Rug Care Specialists ARCS, companies that are certified and dedicated to the association's highest standards for area rug care. Members have been vetted for experience and professionalism committed to the highest levels of customer service, technical knowledge, and business management in the rug cleaning industry.

Renaissance Rug Cleaning

1926 SE 10th Ave

Portland, Oregon 97214


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